His playing was free, poetic, replete with imaginative shadings, and, at the same time, characterizes by noble, artistic repose. And his technique, his virtuosity? I hesitate to speak if it. It suffices to observe that he has not lost it but has rather added to it in clarity and moderation. What a remarkable man! After a life incomparably rich and active, full of excitement, passion, and pleasure, he returns at the age of sixty-two and plays the most difficult music with the ease and strength and freshness of a youth….
Eduard Hanslick, Music Criticisms. Translated by Henry Pleasants, Baltimore: Penguin Books Ltd., 1963, p.109-110.
Perhaps the greatest source of wonder in Liszt's life was that he composed anything at all, let alone anything of lasting greatness. The man who, from an early age, had crisscrossed Europe as the greatest travelling virtuoso, providing, with the onset of puberty, much material for gossip columns, might have been forgiven for taking the Wildean view, 'My art is my life', and leaving it at that. [...] Exactly how Liszt could have found the time to compose is difficult to imagine.
Kenneth Hamilton, Liszt: Sonata in B Minor (1996), Ch. 1 : Introduction