It was during his Roman period that Franz Liszt, deeply inspired by the personalities of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Francis of Paola, evokes in a superb diptych for piano their miraculous actions: the first, in the rustle and the chirping of birds, the second, in the tumult of foaming waves. It is by a theme of chorale that the holiness and faith of Francis de Paule, set to pass through the Strait of Messina, are expressed.
The roar of the sea continues to grow, from the first tremors of water to the mountains of waves that break in a terrible crash. But, always, the Saint reappears unchanging in his sovereign con fi dence, grown by trial. The miraculous crossing accomplished, Francis kneels and gives thanks. A bright volley of bell fills the space. The eminently religious character of this true poem of Love and the Sea, as well as the orchestral approach of Liszt's piano, find in the symphonic organ new resonances.