Contrary to the Hungarian Rhapsodies, the Faust Episodes were origianally written for orchestra and then transcribed for piano (though all were presented to the publisher at the same time.) Liszt wrote a two-piano transcription for both "The Night Ride" and the "Dance in the Village Inn;" however, he made a solo piano transcription of only the latter piece and titled it the "Mephisto Waltz." Liszt literally left it up to the publisher which editions were to be published first. The immediate and long-lasting success of this piece is noteworthy.

Feruccio Busoni, an Italian composer and pianist studied much of Liszt's work in great detail. Indeed everything Busoni did from his work with Bach and Mozart to Liszt was and remains of the highest merit. Busoni's reworkings of the works of Liszt often stemmed from his knowledge of Liszt's own variants of the same works. Sometimes he would refer to an orchestral or two piano version of the work; sometimes even an older or unpublished manuscript. In the case of the Mephisto Waltz, he relied on Liszt's original orchestration. He did not intend to improve the piece or to make it more effective. Rather, he just wanted to offer an alternative transcription, not an easy task when working from the same material!

Many artists have been torn between these versions. Each is such a masterpiece in it's own right, so often times, artists will essentially mix and match the parts they see fit.


Busoni surely was on to something in the below example, because MANY artists make this substitution (or at least the right hand) in this and similar passages. Rather than paste this image under the heading of each artist that made this change on this site it will henceforth be referred to as The Busoni Substitution.

Liszt
Busoni

Another exciting change is the following:

While Liszt writes a brilliant flourishing passage, Busoni captures the essence of the music as well in a passage that will let someone who is less than a virtuoso sigh a breath of relief.

Liszt

Busoni