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In your Revue Musicale for October last my name was mixed up with the outrageous pretensions and exaggerated success of some executant artists; I take the liberty to address a few remarks to you on this subject. [The enthusiastic demonstrations which had been made to him in Hungary, his native land, had been put into a category with the homage paid to singers and dancers, and the bestowal of the sabre had been turned into special ridicule. Liszt repelled this with justifiable pride.]

The wreaths thrown at the feet of Mesdemoiselles Elssler and Pixis by the amateurs of New York and Palermo are striking manifestations of the enthusiasm of a public; the sabre which was given to me at Pest is a reward given by a NATION in an entirely national form. In Hungary, sir, in that country of antique and chivalrous manners, the sabre has a patriotic signification. It is the special token of manhood; it is the weapon of every man who has a right to carry a weapon. When six of the chief men of note in my country presented me with it among the general acclamations of my compatriots, whilst at the same moment the towns of Pest and Oedenburg conferred upon me the freedom of the city, and the civic authorities of Pest asked His Majesty for letters of nobility for me, it was an act to acknowledge me afresh as a Hungarian, after an absence of fifteen years; it was a reward of some slight services rendered to Art in my country; it was especially, and so I felt it, to unite me gloriously to her by imposing on me serious duties, and obligations for life as man and as artist.

I agree with you, sir, that it was, without doubt, going far beyond my deserts up to the present time. Therefore I saw in that solemnity the expression of a hope far more than of a satisfaction. Hungary hailed in me the man from whom she expects artistic illustriousness, after all the illustrious soldiers and politicians she has so plentifully produced. As a child I received from my country precious tokens of interest, and the means of going abroad to develop my artistic vocation. When grown up, and after long years, the young man returns to bring her the fruits of his work and the future of his will, the enthusiasm of the hearts which open to receive him and the expression of a national joy must not be confounded with the frantic demonstrations of an audience of amateurs.

In placing these two things side by side it seems tome there is something which must wound a just national pride and sympathies by which I am honored.

Be so kind as to insert these few lines in your next issue, and believe me, sir,

Yours obediently,

Franz Liszt

Hamburg, October 26th, 1840

30. To Franz von Schober

I will write German to you, dear Schober, in order to tell you all the quicker how much your letter pleased me. I have to thank it for a really happy hour; and that comes so rarely in my intolerable, monotonous life! For a fortnight past I have again put my neck into the English yoke. Every day which God gives–a concert, with a journey, previously, of thirty to fifty miles. And so it must continue at least till the end of January. What do you say to that?–

If I am not more than half-dead, I must still go at the end of February to Berlin and Petersburg,–and come back to London by the first steamer at the beginning of May. Then I think I shall take a rest. Where and how I do not yet know, and it depends entirely upon the Pecuniary results of my journeys. I should like to go to Switzerland, and thence to Venice, but I can’t yet say anything definite.

.–. I have today written a long letter to Leo Festetics. I am hungering and thirsting to go back to Hungary. Every recollection of it has taken deep root in my soul…And yet I cannot go back!

I am grieved that you can tell me nothing better of Lannoy. I cannot understand how that is possible. The news of the Queen has given me great pleasure–if you hear anything more about her let me know. I have a kind of weakness for her.

About the Cantata I will write to you fully later.

Farewell, and be happy if possible, dear Schober; write again soon, and remain ever my friend.

F. L.

Excuse the spelling and writing of these lines! You know that I never write German; Tobias [Tobias Haslinger, the Vienna music publisher.] is, I think, the only one who gets German letters from me.

Manchester, December 5th, 1840

31. To Breitkopf and Hartel

London, May 7th, 1841

Schlesinger has just told me that Mendelssohn’s Melodies which I sent you from London have come out. I can’t tell you, my dear Mr. Hartel, how much I am put out by this precipitate publication. Independently of the material wrong it does me (for before sending them to you these Melodies were sold in London and Paris), I am thus unable to keep my word to Beale and Richault, who expected to publish them simultaneously with you.

The evil being irremediable I have only thought how to get a prompt vengeance out of it. You will tell me later on if you think it was really a Christian vengeance.

The matter is this: I have just added a tremendous cadenza, three pages long, in small notes, and anentire Coda, almost as long, to Beethoven’s “Adelaide”. I played it all without being hissed at the concert given at the Paris Conservatoire for the Beethoven Monument, and I intend to play it in London, and in Germany and Russia. Schlesinger has printed all this medley, such as it is. Will you do the same? In that case, as I care chiefly for your edition, I will beg you to have the last Coda printed in small notes as an Ossia, without taking away anything from the present edition, so that the purists can play the integral text only, if the commentary is displeasing to them.

It was certainly a very delicate matter to touch “Adelaide”, and yet it seemed to me necessary to venture. Have I done it with propriety and taste? Competent judges will decide.

In any case I beg you not to let any one but Mr. Schumann look over your edition.

In conclusion allow me to remind you that I was rather badly paid for “Adelaide” formerly, and if you should think proper to send me a draft on a London bank, fair towards you and myself, I shall always receive it with a “new pleasure”–to quote the favorite words of His Majesty the King of the French.

With kind regards, believe me, my dear sir, yours most sincerely,

F. Liszt

Be so kind as to remember me very affectionately to Mendelssohn. As for Schumann, I shall write to him direct very shortly.

32. To Simon Lowy In Vienna

[Autograph in the possession of Madame Emilie Dore in Vienna.]

London, May 20th, 1841

I am still writing to you from England, my dear friend. Since my last letter (end of December, I think) I have completed my tour of the three kingdoms (by which I lose, by the way, 1000 pounds sterling net, on 1500 pounds which my engagement brought me!), have ploughed my way through Belgium, with which I have every reason to be satisfied, and have sauntered about in Paris for six weeks. This latter, I don’t hide it from you, has been a real satisfaction to my self-love. On arriving there I compared myself (pretty reasonably, it seems to me) to a man playing ecarte for the fifth point. Well, I have had king and vole,–seven points rather than five! [The “fifth” is the highest in this game, so Liszt means that he won.]

My two concerts alone, and especially the third, at the Conservatoire, for the Beethoven Monument, are concerts out of the ordinary run, such as I only can give in Europe at the present moment.

The accounts in the papers can only have given you a very incomplete idea. Without self-conceit or any illusion, I think I may say that never has so striking an effect, so complete and so irresistible, been produced by an instrumentalist in Paris.

A propos of newspapers, I am sending you, following this, the article which Fetis (formerly my most redoubtable antagonist) has just published in the “Gazette Musicale”. It is written very cleverly, and summarises the question well. If Fischhof [A musician, a Professor at the Vienna Conservatorium.] translated it for Bauerle [Editor of the Theater-Zeitung (Theatrical Times).] it would make a good effect, I fancy. However, do what you like with it.

I shall certainly be on the Rhine towards the end of July, and shall remain in that neighborhood till September. If Fischhof came there I should be delighted to see him and have a talk with him. Till then give him my most affectionate compliments, and tell him to write me a few lines before he starts.

In November I shall start for Berlin, and shall pass the whole of next winter in Russia.

Haslinger’s behaviour to me is more than inexcusable. The dear man is doing a stupidity of which he will repent soon. Never mind; I will not forget how devoted he was to me during my first stay in Vienna.

Would you believe that he has not sent me a word in reply to four consecutive letters I have written to him? If you pass by Graben will you be so kind as to tell him that I shall not write to him any more, but that I expect from him, as an honest man of business, if not as a friend, a line to tell me the fate of two manuscripts (“Hongroises,” and “Canzone Veneziane”) which I sent him.

I have just discovered a new mine of “Fantaisies”–and I am working it hard. “Norma,” “Don Juan,” “Sonnambula,” “Maometto,” and “Moise” heaped one on the top of the other, and “Freischutz” and “Robert le Diable” are pieces of 96, and even of 200, like the old canons of the Republic of Geneva, I think. When I have positively finished my European tour I shall come and play them to you in Vienna, and however tired they may be there of having applauded me so much, I still feel the power to move this public, so intelligent and so thoroughly appreciative,–a public which I have always considered as the born judge of a pianist.

Adieu, my dear Lowy–write soon, and address, till June 15th, at 18, Great Marlborough Street, and after that Paris.

Yours most sincerely,

F. Liszt

Is the Ungher [Caroline Ungher, afterwards Ungher-Sabatier, a celebrated singer.] at Vienna? Will you kindly give or send to her the letter which follows?

Have you, yes or no, sent off the two amber pieces which I gave you at the time of my departure? I have been to fetch them from the Embassy, but they were not there. Let me have two words in reply about this.

33. To Franz von Schober

Truly, dear friend, I should like pages, days, years, to answer your dear letter. Seldom has anything touched me so deeply. Take heart for heart, and soul for soul,–and let us be for ever friends.

You know how I am daily getting more concise; therefore nothing further about myself, nothing further about Berlin. Tomorrow, Thursday, at 2 o’clock, I start for Petersburg.

I have spoken to A. It is impossible on both sides. When we meet and you are perfectly calm, we will go into details. I still hope to meet you next autumn, either in Florence or on the Rhine.

Leo [Count Festetics] has written to me again. Write to me at once to Konigsberg, to tell me where to address my next letter to you. But write directly-simply your address.

I have sent all the proofs of your pamphlet to Brockhaus. Be so good as to give him direct your final orders in regard to this publication. I shall be so pleased to have some copies of it while I am in Petersburg. The subject is very congenial to me; I thank you once more most warmly for it.

One more shake of the hand in Germany, dearest friend, and in heartfelt love yours ever,

F. Liszt

Remember me kindly to Sabatier, [The husband of Caroline Ungher, the celebrated singer previously mentioned.] and don’t quarrel with him about me. To Caroline always the same friendship and devotion.

Berlin, March 3rd, 1842.

34. To the faculty of philosophy at the university of Konigsberg.

[Printed in L. Ramann’s “Franz Liszt,” vol. ii., I.]

Much Esteemed and Learned Gentlemen,

It is in vain for me to attempt to express to you the deep and heartfelt emotion you have aroused in me by your rare mark of honor. The dignity of Doctor, granted by a Faculty in which, as in yours, men of European celebrity assemble, makes me happy, and would make me proud, were I not also convinced of the sense in which it is granted to me.

I repeat that, with the honorable name of Teacher of Music (and I refer to music in its grand, complete, and ancient signification), by which you, esteemed gentlemen, dignify me, I am well aware that I have undertaken the duty of unceasing learning and untiring labour.

In the constant fulfillment of this duty-to maintain the dignity of Doctor in a right and worthy manner, by propagating in word and deed the little portion of knowledge and technical skill which I can call my own, as a form of, and a means to, the True [“The beautiful is the glory of the true, Art is the radiancy of thought.” (Author’s note.)] and the Divine–

In the constant fulfillment of this duty, and in any results which are granted to me, the remembrance of your good wishes, and of the touching manner in which a distinguished member of your Faculty [Professors Rosenkranz and Jacobi invested Liszt with the Doctor’s Diploma.] has informed me of them, will be a living support to me.

Accept, gentlemen, the expression of my highest esteem and respect.

F. Liszt

Mittau, March 18th, 1842

35. To Court-Marshal Freiherr von Spiegel at Weimar

[Given by L. Ramann, “Franz Liszt,” vol. ii., 1.]

Monsieur le Baron,

It is very difficult to reply to so gracefully flattering a letter as your Excellency has been good enough to write to me.

I must nevertheless say that I wish with all my heart and in all ways that I could answer it. I shall reach Weimar, bag and baggage, towards the middle of October, and if I succeed in communicating to others a little of the satisfaction I cannot fail to find there, thanks to the gracious kindness of their Highnesses and the friendly readiness of your Excellency, I shall be only too glad.

Meanwhile I beg to remain, Monsieur le Baron, with respectful compliments,

Yours obediently,

Cologne; September 12th, 1862. F. Liszt

36. To Carl Filitsch.

[Autograph in the possession of Count Albert Amadei in Vienna.– Addressed to the talented young pianist, born at Hermannstadt in the Siebenburgen in 1830, died at Venice 1845, studied with Chopin and Liszt in Paris in 1842-43, and created a sensation with his concerts both there and in London, Vienna, and Italy. According to Lenz, Liszt said of him, “When the youngster goes travelling I shall shut up shop!”]

Compiegne, Wednesday Morning [1842 or 1843].

Dearly beloved conjurer,

How sorry I am to disappoint [Literally. “to make a false skip,” a play-of-words with the next sentence.] you of our usual lesson tomorrow! Your “false skips” would be a great deal pleasanter to me! but, unless we could manage to put you where we could hear you from the towers of Notre Dame to the Cathedral of Cologne, there is a material impossibility in continuing our sort of lessons, considering that by tomorrow evening I shall already be at Cologne.

If I return, or when I return–I really don’t know. Whatever happens, keep a little corner of remembrance of me, and believe me ever yours affectionately,

F. Liszt

Affectionate remembrances to your brother Joseph. Farewell again. I embrace you affectionately.

37. To Franz von Schober in Paris

Berlin, March 4th, 1844

You are a dear, faithful friend, and I thank you with all my heart for your kind letter. God reward you for your love to such a jaded, worn-out creature as I am! I can only assure you that I feel it deeply and gratefully, and that your words soothe many spasmodic annoyances.

At the end of this month we shall certainly see each other in Paris. Villers [Alexander von Villers, a friend of Liszt’s, attache of the Saxon Embassy in Vienna.] is coming also. In case Seydlitz is still there make my excuses to him, and tell him that, owing to my delay at Dresden, I only got his letter yesterday. I will answer him immediately, and will address to Lefebre, as he tells me to do. I have had several conferences with the H[ereditary] G[rand] D[uke] and Eckermann. [The editor of Goethe’s “Gesprachen”] Our business seems to me to stand on a firm footing. Next autumn the knots will be ready to tie. [Refers probably to Schober’s subsequent appointment at Weimar.]

My room is too full. I have got a tremendous fit of Byron on. Be indulgent and kind as ever!

Remember me to the Sabatiers, and stick to me! Yours most affectionately,

F. Liszt

38. To Franz Kroll

[Pupil and friend of Liszt’s (1820-1877); since 1849 settled in Berlin as a pianoforte teacher; rendered great service by his edition of Bach’s “Das wohltemperirte Clavier.”]

My dear good Kroll,

What a first-rate man you are to me, and what pleasure your letter has given me! Probably you already know that I also have been figuring as an invalid these last five weeks.–God be thanked and praised that I am already pretty fairly on my legs again, without rheumatism in the joints or gout! In a few days I shall begin my provincial tour (Lyons, Marseilles, Toulouse, Bordeaux), and then towards the end of August by steamer to Stockholm and Copenhagen. Weymar, our good, dear Weymar, will again be our Christmas Day! Oh what beautiful apples and trifles we will hang on our Christmas tree! and what talks and compositions, and projects and plans! Only don’t you disappoint me, and mind you come fresh and well. Leave the bad looks to me, and see that you fill out your cheeks properly. This winter we must be industrious, and struggle through much work.

Your Mazurkas are most excellent and talented. You have put a great deal into them–and, if you will allow me to speak quite freely–perhaps too much into them, for much of it halts. Although the dedication to me is both pleasing and gratifying, I cannot help thinking that it would be to your interest not to publish anything before next spring. Take advantage of being as yet unknown, and give to the public from the beginning a proper opinion of your talent by a collective publication. Write a couple of pleasing, brilliant Studies–perhaps also a Notturno (or something of that sort), and an effective Fantasia on some conspicuous theme. Then let Schlesinger, Hartel, or Mechetti (to whom I will most gladly speak about your works beforehand) publish the six pieces–your Concerto and the C major Study, together with the later pieces–all together, so that publisher, critic, artist, and public all have to do with them at the same time. Instead of dishing up one little sweetmeat for the people, give them a proper dinner. I am very sorry I did not follow this plan myself; for, after much experience, I consider it far the best, especially for pianoforte works. In Weymar we will talk more fully and definitely about this. Conradi [Musician and friend in Berlin] is also to come. I don’t require the Huguenot Fantasia at present. He will have time enough for it in Weymar. En attendant, [A German letter, so Liszt’s own French expression is kept] Schlesinger will give him a modest payment for the work he has begun. Please kindly see about the enclosed letters for Freund as soon as possible.

With all good wishes, I am, dear Kroll,

Yours most sincerely,

F. Liszt

Port Marly, June 11th, 1844

39. To Freund

[Autograph in the possession of Professor Hermann Scholtz in Dresden.]

I am shockingly behindhand with you, my dear Freund, but I won’t make any excuses, although an illness of more than a month comes rather a propos to justify me fully and even more.

Herewith letters and cards for Baron Lannoy (Haslinger will give you the address), for Prince Fritz Schwarzenberg, and for Doctor Uwe, Kriehuber, and Simon Lowy, who will soon be back in Vienna. I shall be glad if you will give them in any case, whether now or later. If you want to give me a pleasure you will go and see my uncle Eduard Liszt, and try to distract him a little.

I detest repeating myself in letters so much that I can’t write over again to you my plans of travel up to the beginning of winter; these I have just told Kroll in full, and you already know them from Hanover.

Teleky, Bethlen (Friends of Liszt’s), and Corracioni are here, and form a kind of colony which I call the Tribe of the Huns!

Probably Teleky will come and pick me up at Weymar towards the middle of February, and we shall go together to Vienna and Pest– not forgetting Temesvar, Debreczin, and Klausenburg!

I hope then to find you in Vienna, and shall perhaps be able to give you a good lift.

Meanwhile acknowledge the receipt of these lines: enjoy yourself, and remain to me always friend Freund. [A play on his name Freund, which means friend.]

Yours most sincerely and affectionately,

F. Liszt

Port Marly, June 11th, 1844.

40. To Franz Von Schober.

Gibraltar, March 3rd, 1845.

Your letter pleases me like a child, my dear good Schober! Everything comes to him who can wait. But I scarcely can wait to congratulate you and to see you again in Weymar [as Councillor of Legation there]. Unhappily it is not probable that I can get there before the end of next autumn. Keep me in your good books, therefore, until then, and accept my best thanks in advance for all you will have done for me and fought for me till then, both in Weymar and in Hungary!

With regard to Vienna, Lowy writes me almost exactly the same as you. To tell the truth I am extremely thankful to the Vienna public, for it was they who, in a critically apathetic moment, roused and raised me [When he came from Venice to Vienna in the spring of 1838, to give a concert for the benefit of his Hungarian compatriots after the inundations, on which occasion, although Thalberg, Clara Wieck, and Henselt had been there before him, he aroused the utmost enthusiasm.]; but still I don’t feel the slightest obligation to return there a year sooner or later. My Vienna journey will pretty much mark the end of my virtuoso career. I hope to go thence (in the month of August, 1846) to Constantinople, and on my return to Italy to pass my dramatic Rubicon or Fiasco.

So much for my settled plans.

What precisely is going to become of me this coming spring and summer I do not exactly know. In any case to Paris I will not go. You know why. My incredibly wretched connection with _____ has perhaps indirectly contributed more than anything to my Spanish- Portuguese tour. I have no reason to regret having come, although my best friends tried to dissuade me from it. Sometimes it seems to me that my thoughts ripen and that my troubles grow prematurely old under the bright and penetrating sun of Spain…

Many kind messages to Eckermann and Wolff. [Professor Wolff, editor of “Der poetische Hausschatz.”] I will write to the latter from the Rhine, where I shall at any rate spend a month this summer (perhaps with my mother and Cosima). If he is still inclined to return to his and your countries (Denmark and Sweden), we can make a nice little trip there as a holiday treat.

Good-bye, my dear excellent friend. Allow me to give you as true a love as I feel is a necessity of my heart! Ever yours,

F. Liszt

What is Villers doing? If you see him tell him to write me a line to Marseilles, care of M. Boisselot, Pianoforte Maker.

41. To Franz Kroll at Glogau

Weymar, March 26th, 1845

My very dear Kroll,

The arrival of your letter and the packet which accompanied it decided a matter of warm contest between our friend Lupus [Presumably Liszt’s friend, Professor Wolff (1791-1851).] and Farfa-Magne-quint-quatorze! [For whom this name was intended is not clear.] It consisted in making the latter see the difference between the two German verbs “verwundern” (to amaze) and “bewundern” (to admire), and to translate clearly, according to her wits, which are sometimes so ingeniously refractory, what progress there is from Verwundern (amazement) to Erstaunen (astonishment). Imagine, now, with what a wonderful solution of the difficulty your packet and letter furnished us, and how pleased I was at the following demonstration:–

“We must admire (bewundern) Kroll’s fine feeling of friendship; we may be amazed (verwundern) at the proof he has given of his industry in copying out the Mass; should this industry continue we shall first of all be astonished (erstaunen), and by degrees, through the results he will bring about, we again attain to admiration (Bewunderung).”

I don’t know how you will judge, critically, of this example, but what is certain is that it appeared to be quite conclusive to our auditory.

Ernst [The celebrated violinist (1814-65)] has just been spending a week here, during which he has played some hundred rubbers of whist at the “Erbprinz.” His is a noble, sweet, and delicate nature, and more than once during his stay I have caught myself regretting you for him, and regretting him for you. Last Monday he was good enough to play, in his usual and admirable manner, at the concert for the Orchestral Pension Fund. The pieces he had selected were his new “Concerto pathetique” (in F~ minor) and an extremely piquant and brilliant “Caprice on Hungarian Melodies.” (This latter piece is dedicated to me.) The public was in a good humor, even really warm, which is usually one of its least faults.

Milde, who is, as you know, not much of a talker, has nevertheless the tact to say the right thing sometimes. Thus, when we went to see Ernst off at the railway, he expressed the feeling of us all–“What a pity that Kroll is not here!”

For the most part you have left here the impression which you will leave in every country–that of a man of heart, talent, tact, and intellect. One of these qualities alone is enough to distinguish a man from the vulgar herd; but when one is so well born as to possess a quartet of them it is absolutely necessary that the will, and an active will, should be added to them in order to make them bring out their best fruits,–and this I am sure you will not be slow to do.

Your brother came through here the day before yesterday, thinking he should still find you here. I have given him your address, and told him to inquire about you at Schlesinger’s in Berlin, where he expects to be on the 8th of April; so do not fail to let Schlesinger know, in one way or another, when you get to Berlin. As M. de Zigesar [The Intendant at Weimar.] I was obliged to start in a great hurry for The Hague, in the suite of the Hereditary Grand Duchess, I will wait till his return to send you the letters for Mr. de Witzleben. I will address them to Schlesinger early in April.

We are studying hard at the Duke of Coburg’s opera “Toni, oder die Vergellung,” [“Toni, or the Requital”] which we shall give next Saturday. The score really contains some pretty things and which make a pleasing effect; unluckily I cannot say as much for the libretto.

Your castle in the air for May we will build up on a solid basis in Weymar; for I am quite calculating on seeing you then, together with our charming, good, worthy friend Conradi. Will you please, dear Kroll, tell Mr. Germershausen and his family how gratified I am with their kind remembrance? When I go to Sagan I shall certainly give myself the pleasure of calling on him.

Believe me ever your very sincere and affectionate friend,

F. Liszt

42. To Abbe de Lamennais

[Autograph in the possession of M. Alfred Bovet at Valentigney.]

Permit me, illustrious and venerable friend, to recall myself to your remembrance through M. Ciabatta, who has already had the honor of being introduced to you last year at my house. He has just been making a tour in Spain and Portugal with me, and can give you all particulars about it. I should have been glad also to get him to take back to you the score, now completed, of the chorus which you were so good as to entrust to me (“The iron is hard, let us strike!”), but unfortunately it is not with music as with painting and poetry: body and soul alone are not enough to make it comprehensible; it has to be performed, and very well performed too, to be understood and felt. Now the performance of a chorus of the size of that is not an easy matter in Paris, and I would not even risk it without myself conducting the preliminary rehearsals. While waiting till a favorable opportunity offers, allow me to tell you that I have been happy to do this work, and that I trust I have not altogether failed in it. Were it not for the fear of appearing to you very indiscreet, I should perhaps venture to trespass on your kindness for the complete series of these simple, and at the same time sublime, compositions, of which you alone know the secret. Three other choruses of the same kind as that of the Blacksmiths, which should sum up the most poetical methods of human activity, and which should be called (unless you advise otherwise) Labourers, Sailors, and Soldiers, would form a lyric epic of which the genius of Rossini or Meyerbeer would be proud. I know I have no right to make any such claim, but your kindness to me has always been so great that I have a faint hope of obtaining this new and glorious favor. If, however, this work would give you even an hour’s trouble, please consider my request as not having been made, and pardon me for the regret which I shall feel at this beautiful idea being unrealized.

As business matters do not necessarily call me to Paris, I prefer not to return there just now. I expect to go to Bonn in the month of July, for the inauguration of the Beethoven Monument, and to have a Cantata performed there which I have written for this occasion. The text, at any rate, is tolerably new; it is a sort of Magnificat of human Genius conquered by God in the eternal revelation through time and space,–a text which might apply equally well to Goethe or Raphael or Columbus, as to Beethoven. At the beginning of winter I shall resume my duties at the Court of Weymar, to which I attach more and more a serious importance.

If you were to be so very good as to write me a few lines, I should be most happy and grateful. If you would send them either to my mother’s address, Rue Louis le Grand, 20; or to that of my secretary, Mr. Belloni, Rue Neuve St. George, No. 5, I should always get them in a very short time.

I have the honor to be, sir, yours very gratefully,

F. Liszt

Marseilles, April 28th, 1845

43. To Frederic Chopin

[Autograph in the possession of M. Alfred Bovet at Valentigney.– The great Polish tone-poet (1809-49) was most intimate with Liszt in Paris. The latter, in his work “F. Chopin” 1851, second edition 1879, Breitkopf and Hartel; German translation by La Mara, 1880), raised an imperishable monument to him.]

Dear Chopin,

M. Benacci, a member of the Maison Troupenas, and in my opinion the most intelligent editor, and the most liberal in business matters, in France, asks me for a letter of introduction to you. I give it all the more willingly, as I am convinced that under all circumstances you will have every reason to be satisfied with his activity and with whatever he does. Mendelssohn, whom he met in Switzerland two years ago, has made him his exclusive editor for France, and I, for my part, am just going to do the same. It would be a real satisfaction to me if you would entrust some of your manuscripts to him, and if these lines should help in making you do so I know he will be grateful to me.

Yours ever, in true and lively friendship,

F. Liszt

Lyons, May 21st, 1845

44. To George Sand.

[Autograph in the possession of M. Alfred Bovet at Valentigney.– A friendship of long years subsisted between Liszt and France’s greatest female writer, George Sand. At her home of Nohant he was a frequent guest, together with the Comtesse d’Agoult. Three letters which he wrote (in 1835 and 1837) for the Gazette Musicale–clever talks about Art, Nature, Religion, Freedom, etc.–bear George Sand’s address.]

Without wishing to add to your other inevitable troubles that of a correspondence for which you care little, allow me, dear George, to claim for myself your old indulgence for people who write to you without requiring an answer, and let me recall myself to you by these few lines through M. Benacci. Their ostensible object is to recommend the above-mentioned Benacci, so that you, in your turn, may recommend him more particularly to Chopin (and I may add in parenthesis that I should abstain from this negotiation were I not firmly persuaded that Chopin will never regret entering into business relations with Benacci, who, in his capacity of member of the firm of Troupenas, is one of the most important and most intelligent men of his kind); but the real fact of the matter is that I am writing to you above all– and why should I not confess it openly?–for the pleasure of conversing with you for a few moments. Therefore don’t expect anything interesting from me, and if my handwriting bothers you, throw my letter into the fire without going any further.

Do you know with whom I have just had endless conversations about you, in sight of Lisbon and Gibraltar? With that kind, excellent, and original Blavoyer, the Ahasuerus of commerce, whom I had already met several times without recognising him, until at last I remembered our dinners at the “Ecu” (Crown) at Geneva, and the famous Pipe!

During the month’s voyage from Lisbon to Barcelona we emptied I cannot tell you how many bottles of sherry in your honor and glory; and one fine evening he confided to me in so simple and charming a manner his vexation at being unable to find several letters that you had written to him in Russia, I think, and which have been stolen from him, that I took a liking to him, and he did the same to me. The fact is that there could not possibly be two Blavoyers under the sun, and his own person is the only pattern of which he cannot furnish goods wholesale, for there is no sort of thing that he does not supply to all parts of the globe.

A propos of Lisbon and supplies, have you a taste for camellias? It would be a great pleasure to me to send you a small cargo of them from Oporto, but I did not venture to do it without knowing, in case you might perhaps have a decided antipathy to them.

In spite of the disinterestedness with which I began this letter, I come round, almost without knowing how, to beg you to write to me. Don’t do more than you like; but in any case forgive me for growing old and arriving at the point when noble recollections grow in proportion as the narrowing meannesses of daily life find their true level. Yes, even if you thought me more of a fool than formerly, it would be impossible for me to hold your friendship cheap, or not to prize highly the fact that, somehow or other, it has not come to be at variance nor entirely at an end.

As the exigencies of my profession will not allow me leisure to return so soon to Paris, I shall probably not have the opportunity of seeing you for two years. Towards the middle of July I go to Bonn for the inauguration of the Beethoven Monument. Were it not that a journey to the Rhine is so commonplace, I should beg you to let me do the honors of the left and of the right bank to you, as well as to Chopin (a little less badly than I was able to do the honors of Geneva!). My mother and my children are to join me at Cologne in five or six weeks, but I cannot hope for such good luck as that we might meet in those parts, although after your winters of work and fatigue a journey of this kind would be a refreshing distraction for you both.

At the close of the autumn I shall resume my duties at Weymar; later on I shall go to Vienna and Hungary, and proceed thence to Italy by way of Constantinople, Athens, and Malta.

If, therefore, one of these fine days you should happen to be in the humor, send me a word in reply about the camellias; if you will send your letter to my mother (20, Rue Louis le Grand) I shall get it immediately. In every way, count upon my profound friendship and most respectful devotion always and everywhere.

Lyons, May 21st, 1845

F. Liszt

45. T Abbe De Lamennais

[Autograph in the possession of M. Alfred Bovet at Valentigney.]

Oh no, there is not, and there never could be, any indiscretion from you towards me. Believe me that I do not deceive myself as to the motive which determined you to write to me with such great kindness, and if it happened that I replied too sanguinely and at too great length I beg you to excuse me. Above all do not punish me by withdrawing from me the smallest particle of your sacred friendship.

M. de Lamartine, with whom I have been spending two or three days at Montceau, told me that you had read to him “Les Forgerons,” so I played him the music. Permit me still to hope that some day you may be willing to complete the series, and that I, on my side, may not be unworthy of this task.

Yours most heartily,

Dijon, June 1st, 1845

F. Liszt

46. To Gaetano Belloni in Paris

[Autograph in the possession of M. Etienne Charavay in Paris.– Addressed to Liszt’s valued secretary during his concert tours in Europe from 1841-1847.]

Dear and Most Excellent Belloni,

Everything is moving on, and shall not stop either. Bonn is in a flutter since I arrived and I shall easily put an end to the paltry, under-hand opposition which had been formed against me. By the time you arrive I shall have well and duly conquered my true position.

[This refers to the Festival in Bonn, of several days’ duration, for the unveiling of the Beethoven Monument (by Hahnel), in which Liszt, the generous joint-founder of the monument, took part as pianist, composer, and conductor.]

Will you please add to the list of your commissions:

The cross of Charles III.

and the cross of Christ of Portugal, large size? You know it is worn on the neck.

Don’t lose time and don’t be too long in coming.

Yours ever,

F. Liszt

July 23rd, 1845.

Kindest regards to Madame Belloni.–I enclose a few lines for Benacci, which you will kindly give him.

47. To Madame Rondonneau at Sedan

[Autograph in the possession of M. Etienne Charavay in Paris.]

In spite of rain, snow, hail, and frost, here I am at last, having reached the hotel of the Roman Emperor at Frankfort after forty-eight hours’ travelling, and I take the first opportunity of telling you anew, though not for the last time, how much I feel the charming and affectionate reception which you have given me during my too short, and, unhappily for me, too unfortunate stay at Sedan. Will you, dear Madame, be so kind as to be my mouthpiece and special pleader to Madame Dumaitre, who has been so uncommonly kind and cordial to me? Assuredly I could not confide my cause (bad as it may be) to more delicate hands and to a more persuasive eloquence, if eloquence only consists in reality of “the art of saying the right thing, the whole of the right thing, and nothing but the right thing,” as La Rochefoucauld defined it; a definition from which General Foy drew a grand burst of eloquence–“The Charter, the whole Charter (excepting, however, Article 14 and other peccadilloes!), and nothing but the Charter.”

“But don’t let us talk politics any longer,” as Lablache so happily remarked to Giulia Grisi, who took it into her head one fine day to criticize Don Juan!

Let us talk once more of Sedan, and let me again say to you how happy I should be to be able one day to show those whose acquaintance I have made through you in what grateful remembrance I keep it.

Will you, Madame, give my best and most affectionate thanks to M. Rondonneau, and accept my very respectful and devoted homage?

F. Liszt

Frankfurt, February 11th, 1846

P.S.–Being pressed for time, and owing, perhaps, to a stupid feeling of delicacy, I came away without paying my doctor.

If you think well, would you be so kind as to credit me with a napoleon and give it him from me: Madame Kreutzer will be my banker in Paris. Adieu till we meet again.

48. To Monsieur Grillparzer

[Original, without date, in the possession of the Baroness Mayrhofer-Grunbuhel at Klagenfurt. It might belong to the year 1846, during which Liszt arranged ten concerts in Vienna, from March 1st to May 17th, and lived there during a great part of the summer. From the same year dates a poem of homage to the incomparable magician of the piano from the great poet. This slight and unimportant letter is the only one of Liszt’s found among Grillparzer’s effects.]

Will you do me the favor, my dear sir, to come and dine, without ceremony, with several of your friends and admirers on Friday next at 3 o’clock (at the “Stadt Frankfurt”)? I should be very much gratified at this kindness on your part. M. Bauernfeld leads me to hope that you will not refuse me. Permit me to think that he is not mistaken, and allow me to express once more my high esteem and admiration.

F. Liszt

Tuesday Morning. [1846?]

49. To Franz von Schober, Coucillor of Legation in Weimar

Prague, April 11th, 1846. [According to the postal stamp.]

Dear Friend,

Your commissions have been attended to. The Wartburg has been sent through Bauernfeld to the Allgemeine, and will, I trust, not have to warten [Wait; a play on the words Wartburg and warten. A treatise on the proposed completion of the Wartburg.] too long. I have sent a second copy of this article to Paris, where it is to appear in French garb. The report figures already in the Vienna Theater-Zeitung, a paper with a wide circulation (and none the better on that account!), where it makes quite a good appearance.

You would get the best connection with Frankfort through O. L. B. Wolff (and through his medium, which is at any rate an honest and proper one, with the German Frankfurtes Journal, or the Oberpostamts-Zeitung, and even with the Didaskalia).

Talk this over with Wolff!

The same with the “illustrated” Leipzig Journal, in which the article on the Wartburg should appear as soon as possible with an illustration. Wolff can also arrange that, and in case it were necessary, why, in Heaven’s name, the sketch can be paid for. The State of Weimar will not be ruined by it. Pereat Philistia and its powerless foolery!!!

You have only to write a line to Brockhaus, and the columns of the Deutsche Allgemeine stand open to you. Your personal and official position in Weimar entitle you to this. Later on, in passing through Leipzig, you can very easily consolidate this connection. My stay in Hungary (Pest) will probably be limited to the first half of May. I shall in any case see Schwab. “Sardanapalus” [An opera planned by Liszt] (Italian) will most probably be produced next season (May) in Vienna.

My stay in Weimar this summer…?? [The continuation of the letter is missing.]

50. To Franz von Schober, Councillor of Legation in Weimar

Castle Gratz (at Prince Lichnowsky’s)

May 28th, 1846

You are curious people at Weimar. You stride on towards a possibility, and as soon as the thing is well in train you take fright at it! However that may be, here are the instructions I have received from Paris, and if you still wish an article on the Wartburg to appear in a French paper you must conform to them, and therefore send to my mother’s address (20, Rue Louis le Grand) the indispensable little notice.

The note from my Paris correspondent is as follows:–

“The article in its present form would not be suitable for publication in any French paper; it will be necessary to write another, explaining in a few words in what and how the Wartburg is historically interesting to Europe, and why Europe ought to interest herself in its restoration; then make a short architectural description of the castle; but above all do not forget that the article is to be read by Frenchmen, careless of what is happening in Germany, and utterly ignorant of German history and legend.”

I continue:–

1st.–A short account, historical and legendary, of the Wartburg.

2nd.–How it has been allowed to fall into ruins.

3rd.–How it is to be restored.

Finally, plenty of facts and proper names, as M. de Talleyrand so well said. Agreed then! As soon as you have got this sketched out on the lines above mentioned (it will serve also for the illustrated), send it to my mother by Weyland. My mother will already know through me to whom she has to give it.

There is nothing to be done with Schwab. His “Delirium” (as I call it) [It was a “Tellurium”] stood in my room for a week, and we stood there not knowing what to make of it. But never and no how could we bring that good Schwab to try to make us see any basis or proof of his calculation. My opinion is that, in order to take away the incognito from his discovery, he ought to send a sample to the Vienna Academy, and two others to the Berlin and Paris Academies, for trial and discussion. If I can help him in this matter with letters to Humboldt and Arago I will do it right gladly; but it is as plain as day that incompetent private sympathies are of no import in such a sensitive discovery, and therefore can do nothing. Meanwhile they have made a subscription of eight hundred guldens in money, and have bought the machine for the Pest Museum.

The relic with authentic verification is in the locked-up box at Wolff’s. Beg the Herr Librarian (it would really make me ill if he is not appointed) to be so good as to find this relic–he will have no difficulty in recognising it–and to send it me to Haslinger’s address, Graben, Vienna.

About my law-suit more anon in Weimar. Meanwhile thank my excellent advocate (does he take snuff?) warmly, and beg him to continue to keep me in his good graces.

If I know that it will be agreeable to his Grace [The former Hereditary Grand Duke and present Grand Duke of Saxony.] to see me in Weimar this summer, I shall come, in spite of the upset which this journey will occasion to me. You know how I am, heartily and personally, in his favor without any interest. I should like also to tell him many things, and for this a stay there in the summer with walks (which as a rule I can’t abide, as you know) would be pleasanter and more convenient.

My stay in Pest might bear serious fruit, were it not that the Byronic element, which you combat in me, becomes ever more and more predominant.

Farewell and work hard! I cannot arrange any meeting with you. I am not my own master. In August I mean to make a peregrination to Oedenburg, and thence to Leo and Augusz (the latter in Szegzard). If I come to Weimar it will be in July.

Address always to Haslinger’s.

Adieu, my dear excellent Schober. Remain as good to me as you are dear!

Yours ever affectionately,

F. Liszt

Remember me most kindly to Ziegesar and Wolff.

51. To Alexander Seroff

[Russian musical critic and composer (1820-71)]

I am most grateful, my dear sir, for the kind remembrance you keep of me since Petersburg, [Seroff was at that time in the Crimea.] and I beg you to excuse me a thousand times for not having replied sooner to your most charming and interesting letter. As the musical opinions on which you are kind enough to enlarge have for long years past been completely my own, it is needless for me to discuss them today with you. There could, at most, be only one point in which we must differ perceptibly, but as that one point is my own simple individuality you will quite understand that I feel much embarrassed with my subject, and that I get out of it in the most ordinary manner, by thanking you very sincerely for the too flattering opinion that you have formed about me.

The Overture to “Coriolanus” is one of those masterpieces sui generis, on a solid foundation, without antecedent or sequel in analogous works. Does it remind you of Shakespeare’s exposition of the tragedy of the same name (Act i., Scene I)? It is the only pendant to it that I know in the productions of human genius. Read it again, and compare it as you are thinking of it. You are worthy of those noble emotions of Art, by the fervent zeal with which you worship its creed. Your piano score of the Overture to Coriolanus does all honor to your artist conscience, and shows a rare and patient intelligence which is indispensable to bringing this task to a satisfactory end. If I should publish my version of the same Overture (it must be among my papers in Germany) I shall beg your permission to send you, through Prince Dolgorouki [Prince Argontinski-Dolgorouki, a devoted lover of music. A friend of Liszt’s: had rich property in the Crimea.] (I can’t tell you half the good I think of him), an annotated copy, which I will beg you to add to the insignificant autograph which you really estimate too highly in attaching so affectionate a price to it! Accept once more, my dear sir, my most affectionate regards.

F. Liszt

Elisabethgrad, September 14th. 1847

52. To Carl Haslinger in Vienna

[The original (without address) in the possession of M. Alfred Bovet at Valentigney.–There is no doubt that it was written to the above music publisher (son of the well-known Tobias H.), who was a pupil of Czerny, and at the same time a pianist and composer (1816-68), and friend of Liszt]

Woronino, December 19th, 1847

My dear Karolus,

I am delighted to hear from you of the arrival of my box from Galatz. Will you be so good as to send it off speedily and safely to Weymar, so that I may find it when I arrive there (at the end of this month)? and, as I am away, address it to M. le Baron de Ziegesar, Chamberlain to H.R.H. the Hereditary Grand Duchess. Beg Lowy to take the same opportunity of sending me the other boxes belonging to me, which remained behind, whether with him or elsewhere, to my Weymar address, unless he prefers to bring them with him when he comes to see me.

In my last letter to my uncle I gave him a commission for you– namely, to beg you to send me the Melodies and Rhapsodies Hongroises complete; also the Schwanengesang and the Winterreise (transcriptions), large size edition, made into a book. As you have had some proofs made of my new Rhapsodies, make up a parcel of it all, which will be an agreeable surprise to me on my arrival.

I have worked pretty well these last two months, between two cigars in the morning, at several things which do not displease me; but I want to go back to Germany for some weeks in order to put myself in tune with the general tone, and to recreate myself by the sight and hearing of the wonderful things produced there by…Upon my word I don’t know by whom in particular, if not the whole world in general.

If you want me to…[editor’s note: impossible to decipher this word in Liszt’s original letter] anything for you, tell me, and give me your ideas as to cut and taste.

Send me also the Schumann Opus (Kreisleriana, etc.) published by yourself and Mechetti, together with Bach’s six Pedal Fugues, in which I wish to steep myself more fully. If the three Sonnets (both voice and pianoforte editions) are already re-corrected, kindly send me also an author’s copy.

Adieu, dear Karolus. I commend my box to you, and commend myself to you also

As your sincere friend,

F. Liszt

I need not say that of course you shall be repaid immediately for sending the box–only hurry on the sending.

Best regards to your wife.

Lowy will tell you what I wish in regard to the credit for my uncle Eduard.

53. To The Hochwohlgeboren Herr Baron von Dornis, Jena.

[Autograph in the possession of Herr C. Geibel, bookseller in Leipzig.–The addressee was a sculptor.]

The confidence which you place in me, most esteemed Herr Baron, is naturally very flattering; but in order to meet it according to your wishes, I ought to have quite other means at my disposal than those I have.

It would of course be very gratifying to me to possess one of your valued works; yet I cannot help taking this opportunity of remarking that, in view of the far too many busts, medallions, statuettes, caricatures, medals, and portraits of all kinds existing of my humble self, I long ago resolved not to give occasion to any further multiplication of them.

Accept, esteemed Herr Baron, my expressions of great regret that I cannot meet your kind proposal as you wish, and with the assurance of my highest esteem,

Believe me yours very truly,

F. Liszt

Weymar, March 6th, 1848

54. To Franz von Schober, Councillor of Legation at Weimar.

Castle Gratz, April 22nd, 1848.

My Dear and Honored Friend,

Your dear letter has brought me still nearer to you in the crisis of the estro poetico, which the “Hungaria” [One of Liszt’s symphonic poems.] brought forth in me; and, thanks to this good influence, I hope you will not be dissatisfied with the composition.

Since my Beethoven Cantata I have written nothing so striking and so spontaneous. One of these next days the instrumentation will be completed, and when we have an opportunity we can have it performed in Weimar in your honor and that of “Weimar’s dead.” [Refers to a poem entitled “Weimar’s Todten.”]

Regardless of the blocking of the Russian frontier the Princess Wittgenstein has safely passed through Radziwillow and Brody with a special official outrider, and established herself at Castle Gratz four days ago with her very charming and interesting daughter. As it is still somewhat early for the German bath season, I should like to persuade her to spend a couple of weeks in Weimar before her Carlsbad “cure” (which, alas! is very necessary for her). If my wishes should be successful I shall arrive at Weimar between the 10th and 15th of May, in order to prepare a suitable house or suite of apartments for the Princess.

I should be so pleased if you had an opportunity of getting to know the P. W. She is without doubt an uncommonly and thoroughly brilliant example of soul and mind and understanding (with immense esprit as well).

It won’t take you long to understand that henceforth I can dream of very little personal ambition and future wrapped up in myself. In political relations serfdom may have an end, but the dominion of one soul over another in the region of spirit, is not that indestructible?…You, my dear, honored friend, will assuredly not answer this question with a negative.

In three weeks I hope we shall see each other again. Be so good as to present my respects to our young Duke. What you tell me of him pleases me. As soon as possible you shall hear more, and more fully, from me, but do not write to me till then, as my address meanwhile will be very uncertain. But continue to love me, as I love and honor you.

F. Liszt

55. To Bernhard Cossmann in Baden-Baden

[The addressee became in 1850 solo-violoncellist and chamber virtuoso in Weimar, and, later, in Moscow, and has been, since 1878, a Professor at the Hoch Conservatorium at Frankfort-on- Maine.]

Circumstances! Conditions! My dear sir, these are now the very ceremonious expressions and excuses of theatrical and directorial beings. Unfortunately that is the case here too, although our dear Weymar continuing free, not only from the real cholera, but also from the slighter, but somewhat disagreeable, periodical political cholerina, may peacefully dream by its elm, yet…yet…I am sorry to say I am obliged not to answer your kind letter affirmatively. Should circumstances and conditions, however, turn out as I wish, then the Weymar band would consider it an honor and a pleasure to possess you, my dear sir, as soon as possible as one of its members.

Meanwhile accept the assurance of high regard of yours very sincerely,

F. Liszt

Weymar, September 18th, 1848

56. To Carl Reinecke

[The present conductor of the Gewandhaus Concerts in Leipzig (born 1824), and celebrated composer, pianist, and conductor]

Dear Sir,

Your kind letter has given me much pleasure, and the prospect which you hold out to me, of seeing you soon again at Weymar, is very agreeable to me. But come soon, and if possible for a few days; I on my side shall certainly do all I can to prolong your stay here and make it seem short to you. The promised Concerto interests me keenly; it will be sure to give us ample material for musical talks, and perhaps after many a talk we shall set to work again and both write a new Concerto.

Would not the best results of criticism altogether be to incite to new creation?

However that may be, do not put off too long taking up your quarters at the Erbprinz, and rest assured that your visit is much desired by me.

Yours very sincerely,

F. Liszt

Weymar, March 25th, 1849

My very best thanks for the splendid stuff for the coat, which will give me quite an important, well-to-do, stately appearance!

57. To Count Sandor Teleky(?)

[The original (without address) in the possession of Count Albert Amadei in Vienna.–The recipient of this letter was presumably Count Teleky, a friend of Liszt’s, who often accompanied the latter on his triumphal European journeys, and who was himself an active musician and literary man. He died in June, 1892.]

I have to give you threefold thanks, dear Count, and I feel that I can undisguisedly do so! Your verses, in addition to your prose and music, are three times welcome to me at Weymar, and the Fantaisie dedicated to the royal hours of leisure of H.R.H. has also charmed my leisure hours, as rare as they are modest.

If it would not be a trouble to you to come to Weymar, it would be most kind of you to give us the pleasure of your company for a day or two during our theatrical season, which concludes on the 15th of June. We could then chat and make music at our ease (with or without damages, ad libitum), and if the fantasy took us, why should we not go to some new Fantasie of leisure on the “Traum- lied (dream song) of Tony, [No doubt meaning Baron Augusz, Liszt’s intimate friend at Szegzard, who died in 1878.] for instance, at the hour when our peaceable inhabitants are sleeping, dreaming, or thinking of nothing? We two should at least want to make a pair.

May I beg you, dear Count, to recall me most humbly to the indulgent remembrance of your charming and witty neighbor [Nachbarin, feminine.] of the Erbprinz, and accept once more my most cordial expressions for yourself?

F. Liszt

Weymar, May 5th, 1849

58. To Belloni(?)

[The letter written apparently to Belloni (who has already been mentioned) was, like the present one, published by Wilhelm Tappert, in a German translation and in an incomplete form, in the Neue Musik-Zeitung (Cologne, Tonger) of October 1st, 1881. The editor unfortunately could not obtain possession of it complete and in the original. According to Tappert, a Belgian musical paper pronounced it spurious, for reasons unknown to the former.]

Weimar, May 14th, 1849

Dear B.,

Richard Wagner, a Dresden conductor, has been here since yesterday. That is a man of wonderful genius, such a brain- splitting genius indeed as beseems this country,–a new and brilliant appearance in Art. Late events in Dresden have forced him to a decision in the carrying out of which I am firmly resolved to help him with all my might. When I have had a long talk with him, you shall hear what we have devised and what must also be thoroughly realized. In the first place we want to create a success for a grand, heroic, enchanting musical work, the score of which was completed a year ago. [Lohengrin.] Perhaps this could be done in London? Chorley, [Chorley (1808-72) had considerable influence in London as author, critic, and writer in the Athenoeum.] for instance, might be very helpful to him in this undertaking. If Wagner next winter could go to Paris backed up by this success, the doors of the Opera would stand open to him, no matter with what he might knock. It is happily not necessary for me to go into long further discussions with you; you understand, and must learn whether there is at this moment in London an English theater (for the Italian Opera would not help our friend!), and whether there is any prospect that a grand and beautiful work from a master hand could have any success there.

[It was not in London, but in Weimar, as is well known, that the first performance of “Lohengrin” took place (on August 28th, 1850). It was not until twenty-five years later that London made acquaintance with Wagner’s work on the stage, in the Italian Opera and with Nicolini in the title-role; and the composer himself heard it for the first time in Vienna on May 15th, 1861.]

Let me have an answer to this as quickly as possible. Later on– that is, about the end of the month–Wagner will pass through Paris. You will see him, and he will talk with you direct about the tendency and expansion of the whole plan, and will be heartily grateful for every kindness. Write soon and help me as ever. It is a question of a noble end, toward the fulfillment of which everything must tend.

59. To Carl Reinecke

Weymar, May 30th, 1849

Thank you much, dear M. Reinecke, for your welcome lines, and I am glad to hope that you are happily arrived at Bremen, which ought to be proud to possess you. The musical taste of that town has always been held up to me, and I feel assured that the inhabitants will have the good taste to appreciate you at your full value, and that you will create a good and fine position for yourself there without many obstacles.

Wagner, who will probably be obliged to lose his post at Dresden in consequence of recent events, has been spending some days with me here. Unluckily the news of the warrant against him arrived the day of the performance of “Tannhauser”, which prevented him from being present. By this time he must have arrived in Paris, where he will assuredly find a more favorable field for his dramatic genius. With the aid of success he will end, as I have often said, by being acknowledged as a great German composer in Germany, on condition that his works are first heard in Paris or London, following the example of Meyerbeer, to say nothing of Gluck, Weber, and Handel!

Wagner expressed his regret to me that he had not been able to send a better reply to the few lines of introduction which I had given you for him. If ever you should be in the same place with him do not fail to go and see him for me, and you may be sure of being well received.

I am very much obliged to you for having spoken of me to Schumann in such a manner as he at least ought to think of me. It interested me much to make acquaintance with his composition of the epilogue to “Faust”. If he publishes it I shall try to have it performed here, either at the Court or at the theater. In passing lately through Frankfort I had a glance at the score of “Genoveva”, a performance of which had been announced to me at Leipzig for the middle of May at latest. I am very much afraid that Schumann will have a struggle with the difficulties and delays which usually occur in trying to get any lofty work performed. One would say that a bad fairy, in order sometimes to counterbalance the works of genius, gives a magic success to the most vulgar works and presides over the propagation of them, favoring those whom inspiration has disdained, in order to push its elect into the shade. That is no reason for discouragement, for what matters the sooner or the later?

A thousand thanks for your exact and obliging packet of cigars. If you should have the opportunity of sending me some samples of a kind neither too thin nor too light, at about twenty to twenty- five thalers the thousand, I shall willingly give an order for some, which might be followed by a larger order.

Schuberth of Hamburg has just sent me your transcriptions of the Schumann songs, which have given me real pleasure. If you publish other things kindly let me know, for you know the sincere interest I feel both in yourself and in your works,–an interest I hope to have the opportunity of showing you more and more.

Meanwhile believe me yours affectionately,

F. Liszt

P.S.–I have not forgotten the little commission you gave me relative to the “Fantasie-Stucke,” and in a few weeks I will let you have a copy of the new edition.

60. To Robert Schumann

[original in the Royal Library in Berlin]

Dear, esteemed Friend,

Before everything allow me to repeat to you what, next after myself, you ought properly to have known best a long time ago– namely, that no one honors and admires you more truly than my humble self.

When opportunity occurs we can certainly have a friendly discussion on the importance of a work, a man, even a town indeed. For the present I am specially rejoicing in the prospect of an early performance of your opera, and beg you most urgently to let me know about it a few days beforehand, as I shall most certainly come to Leipzig on that occasion, and then we can also arrange for it to be studied in Weymar as soon as possible afterwards. Perhaps you will also find time there to make me acquainted with your “Faust.” For this composition I am anxiously waiting, and your resolution to give this work a greater length and breadth appears to me most judicious. A great subject demands generally a grand treatment. Although the Vision of Ezekiel attains in its small dimensions the culminating point of Raphael’s greatness, yet he painted the School of Athens and the entire frescoes in the Vatican.

“Manfred” is glorious, passionately attractive! Don’t let yourself be stopped in it; it will refresh you for your “Faust”– and German art will point with pride to these twin productions.

Schuberth has sent me your “Album fur die Jugend” [Album for the Young], which, to say the least, pleases me much. We have played your splendid trio here several times, and in a pretty satisfactory manner.

Wagner stayed some days here and at Eisenach. I am expecting tidings from him daily from Paris, where he will assuredly enlarge his reputation and career in a brilliant manner.

Would not your dear wife (to whom I beg to be kindly remembered) like for once to make a romantic country excursion into the Thuringer Wald [the Thuringian Forest]? The neighborhood is charming, and it would give me great pleasure to see her again at Weymar. A very good grand piano, and two or three intelligent people who cling to you with true sympathy and esteem, await you here.

But in any case there will appear in Leipzig as a claqueur [clapper (to applaud)]

Your unalterably faithful friend,

F. Liszt Weymar, June 5th, 1849

61. To Robert Schumann

[original in the Royal Library in Berlin]

Best thanks, dear friend, for your kind information about the performance of your “Faust” on the 28th of August.

To draw “das Ewig-Weibliche” rightly upwards [“Das Ewig-Weibliche zicht uns hinan” (“The Eternal-Womanly draws us upwards”).– Goethe’s “Faust”] by rehearsing the chorus and orchestra would have afforded me great pleasure–and would probably have succeeded. [“Gelangen” and “gelingen”–untranslatable little pun.] But unfortunately obstacles which cannot be put aside have intervened, and it will be utterly impossible for me to be present at the Goethe Festival, as I have to betake myself in a few days’ time to an almost unknown but very efficacious bath resort, and my doctor’s orders are most strict that I must not make any break in my “cure” during six weeks.

Notwithstanding this very deplorable contretemps for me, I immediately informed Herr Councillor A. Scholl, as head of the Goethe Committee, of your friendly proposal. Herewith his answer.

Allow me meanwhile to refresh your memory with an old French proverb, “Ce qui est differe n’est pas perdu” [What is put off is not given up], and give me the hope that soon after my return to Weymar we may occupy ourselves seriously with the performance of your “Faust.”…

Hearty greetings to your dear wife, and believe me yours ever most sincerely,

F. Liszt Weymar July 27th, 1849

62. To Robert Schumann

[autograph in the Royal Library in Berlin]

Dear Friend,

A summons which cannot be put off obliges me to be present at the Goethe Festival here on the 28th of August, and to undertake the direction of the musical part.

My first step is naturally to beg you to be so good as to send us soon the score of your “Faust.” If you should be able to spare any of the voice or orchestral parts it would be a saving of time to us; but if not we shall willingly submit to getting the parts copied out as quickly as possible.

Kindly excuse me, dear friend, for the manner in which this letter contradicts my last. I am very seldom guilty in such a way, but in this case it does not lie in me, but in the particulars of the matter itself.

For the rest I can assure you that your “Faust” shall be studied with the utmost sympathy and accuracy by the orchestra and chorus.–Herr Montag, the conductor of the Musik-Verein [Musical Union], is taking up the chorus rehearsals with the greatest readiness, and the rest will be my affair!–Only, dear friend, don’t delay sending the score and, if possible, the parts.

Sincerely yours,

F. Liszt

Weymar, August 1st, 1849

If your opera is given not later than the 1st of September I shall certainly come to Leipzig.

63. To Carl Reinecke

Heligoland, September 7th, 1849

I am very sorry, my dear M. Reinecke, not to have met you at Hamburg. It would have been such a real pleasure to me to make acquaintance again with your Nonet, and it seems to me, judging from its antecedents in the form of a Concerto, that by this decisive transformation it ought to be a most honorably successful work.

The “Myrthen Lieder” have never been sent to me. If you happen to have a copy I should be very much obliged if you would send it me to Schuberth’s address.

With regard to the article which has appeared in “La Musique” I have all sorts of excuses to make to you. The editors of the paper thought fit, I do not know why, to give it a title which I completely disavow, and which would certainly have never entered into my mind. Moreover the printer has not been sparing of changing several words and omitting others. Such are the inevitable disadvantages of articles sent by post, and of which the proof correctors cannot read the writing.

Anyhow, such as it is, I am glad to think that it cannot have done you any harm in the mind of the French public, which has customs and requirements that one must know well when one wishes above all things to serve one’s friends by being just to them.

Two numbers of your “Kleine Fantasie-Stucke” have been distributed, up to about a thousand copies, with the paper “La Musique,” under the title of “Bluettes,”–a rather ill-chosen title to my idea,–but, notwithstanding this title and the words “adopted by F. Liszt,” which the editors have further taken the responsibility of putting, I am persuaded that this publication is a good opening (in material) into the musical world of France, and, looking at this result only, I am charmed to have been able to contribute to it.

I shall return to Hamburg by the last boat from Heligoland on the 27th of September, in order to go to the baths of Eilsen, where I expect to spend all the month of October. In November I shall be back in Weymar for the rest of the winter.

If you would have the kindness to send to Schuberth’s address a case of 250 cigars of a pretty good size from the Bremen Manufactory, I should be very much obliged to you, and would take care to let you have the money (which in any case will not be a very great sum) through Schuberth. The samples you sent me to Weymar did reach me, but at a moment when I was extremely occupied, so that I forgot them. Pray let me hear from you from time to time, my dear M. Reinecke, and regard me as a friend who is sincerely attached to you.

F. Liszt

64. To Breitkopf and Hartel

My dear Sir,

The arrival of your piano is one of the most pleasant events in my peacefully studious life at Weymar, and I hasten to send you my best thanks. Although, to tell the truth, I don’t intend to do much finger-work in the course of this year, yet it is no less indispensable for me to have from time to time a perfect instrument to play on. It is an old custom that I should regret to change; and, as you kindly inquire after the ulterior destination of this piano, allow me to tell you quite frankly that I should like to keep it as long as you will leave it me for my private, personal, and exclusive use at Weymar. In being guilty of the so-called indiscretion I committed in claiming of your courtesy the continued loan of one of your instruments I thought that, under the friendly and neighborly relations which are established between us (for a long time to come, I hope), it would not be unwelcome to your house that one of its productions should play the hospitable to me, whilst receiving my hospitality at the same time. However retired and sheltered I live from stir and movement at Weymar, yet from time to time it does happen that I receive illustrious visitors, or curious and idle ones who come and trouble one for this or that; henceforth I shall be delighted to be able to do the honors of your piano both to the one and to the other, and that will be, besides, the best proof of the strength of the recommendation that I have had the pleasure of making, for a long time past, of your manufactory. If however, contrary to expectation, it should happen that you were in pressing need of an instrument, very little played upon, the one at Weymar would be at your disposal at any moment.

With regard to the Beethoven Lieder-Cyclus I have just received a letter from Mr. Haslinger which I do not communicate in full because of the personal details it contains, but this is the passage, as laconic as it is satisfactory, with regard to this publication:–

“I give you with pleasure my fullest consent to the edition of the Beethoven Liederkreis by Breitkopf and Hartel.”

So by tomorrow’s post I shall have the honor of returning you the proofs of the Lieder-Cyclus, which forms a continuation to the Beethoven Lieder which you have already edited, and which you will publish when you think well. .–.

With the proofs of my third piece on the “Prophete” I will also send you all the pieces on it (piano and voice) which you have been so good as to lend me, as well as the piano score, which I don’t require any more; for, unless I should have a success which I dare not hope for (for these three pieces), and an express order from you for another series of three pieces, which I could easily extract from that vast score, I shall make this the end of my work on the “Prophete.” I come at last to a question, not at all serious, but somewhat embarrassing for me,–that of fixing the price of the manuscripts that you are so good as to print. I confess that this is my “quart d’heure de Rabelais!” [The “quart d’heure de Rabelais” refers to an incident in his life, and means, in round terms, the moment of paying–i.e., any disagreeable moment.] In order not to prolong it for you, allow me to tell you without further ceremony that the whole of the six works together, which are as follows:–

Lieder of Beethoven, Lieder-Cyclus of Beethoven, Consolations (six numbers), Illustrations of the “Prophete” (three numbers), published by your house, are worth, according to my estimation, 80-100 louis d’or.

If this price does not seem disproportionate to you, as I am pleased to think it will not, and if it suits you to publish other pieces of my composition, I shall have the pleasure of sending you in the course of the year:–

1. A “Morceau de Concert”(for piano without orchestra), composed for the competition of the Paris Conservatoire, 1850.

2. The complete series of the Beethoven Symphonies, of which you have as yet only published the “Pastorale” and the “C minor.” (In the supposition that this publication will suit your house, I will beg you to make the necessary arrangements from now onwards with Mr. Haslinger; perhaps it will even be expedient that the Symphony in A (7th), which Haslinger published several years ago from the arrangement that I had made, should reappear in its proper place in the complete series of the symphonies.)

3. Bach’s six fugues (for organ with pedals), arranged for piano alone.

In the middle of February I shall send you the complete manuscript of my little volume on Chopin, and a little later in the same month we shall set ourselves to work here on the study of Schubert’s opera, the performance of which will take place in the first days of April. If, as I do not doubt, the performance of the “Prophete” draws you to Dresden, I shall certainly have the pleasure of seeing you there, for I have just begged Mr. de Luttichau to be so good as to reserve me a place for that evening, and I shall not fail to be there. Meanwhile, my dear M. Hartel, believe me,

Yours sincerely and affectionately,

F. Liszt Weymar, January 14th, 1850

On the occasion of Schubert’s opera I shall probably set to work on the arrangement of the symphony, of which, meanwhile, I hold the score.–Compliments and best regards to Madame Hartel, which I know you will be kind enough to convey to her.

65. To Breitkopf and Hartel

February 24th, 1850

My dear Sir,

.–. With regard to Schubert’s opera [“Alfonso and Estrella.” It was given for the first time on June 24th, 1854, the birthday of the Grand Duke (but not without some necessary cuts)], a recent experience has entirely confirmed me in the opinion I had already formed at the time of the first rehearsals with piano which we had last spring–namely, that Schubert’s delicate and interesting score is, as it were, crushed by the heaviness of the libretto! Nevertheless, I do not despair of giving this work with success; but this success appears possible only on one condition–namely, to adapt another libretto to Schubert’s music. And since, by a special fate, of which I have no reason to complain, a part of Schubert’s heritage has become my domain, I shall willingly busy myself, as time and place offer, with the preparatory work and the mise-en-scene of this opera, for which it would be advantageous, in my opinion, if it could be first produced in Paris. Belloni informs me that it will be pretty easy for you to ensure me the entire rights of this work for France. If such be the case I would take suitable measures for the success of this work, on occasion of which I should naturally have to make a considerable outlay of time and money, so that I should not be disposed to run any risk without the guarantee of proportionate receipts from the sale of the work in France, and author’s rights which I shall have to give up to the new poet.

This matter, however, is not at all pressing, for I shall only be able to set to work in the matter in the course of next year (1851); but I shall be very much obliged to you not to lose sight of it, and to put me in possession, when you are able, of the cession of the French and English rights, in consideration of which I will set to work and try to get the best possible chances of success.

Many thanks to you for so kindly sending the score of Schubert’s Symphony. That of the “Prophete” not being wanted by me any longer, I enclose it in the parcel of proofs and manuscripts which I beg you to undertake to send off to Mr. Belloni’s address in Paris.

On Easter Monday we shall give the first performance of “Comte Ory.” [By Rossini] Would you not feel tempted to come and hear it? It is a charming work, brimming over and sparkling with melody like champagne, so that at the last rehearsal I christened it the “Champagner-Oper” [“Champagne Opera.”] and in order to justify this title our amiable Intendant proposes to regale the whole theater with a few dozens of champagne in the second act, in order to spirit up the chorus.

“Qu’il avait de bon vin le Seigneur chatelain!”

Cordial remembrances from yours affectionately,

F. Liszt

I should be glad for the publication of No. 3 of the pieces on the “Prophete,” and the “Consolations,” not to be put off long.

66. To Professor J. C. Lobe in Leipzig

[Autograph in the possession of M. Alfred Bovet at Valentigney.– The addressee (1797-1881), a writer on music (formerly Court Musician at Weimar), lived from 1846 in Leipzig.]

My esteemed Friend,

It is with much pleasure I send you the good news that H.R.H. the Grand Duchess has graciously accepted the dedication of your “System of Composition.” [Published in 1850.] Our gracious protector [feminine] started yesterday for The Hague, and will not be back till towards the middle of August.

I hope you will be sure not to fail us at the Herder Festival in Weymar (August 25th), as well as at the “Lohengrin” evening (28th); we have been already waiting for you so long!

Between the performances of the “Messiah” and “Lohengrin” (to say nothing of my “Prometheus” choruses) will also be the best opportunity for you to present your work in person to the Grand Duchess.

Remember me kindly to your dear family, and remain my friend as I am yours

Most truly,

F. Liszt Weymar, July 10th, 1850

67. To Friedrich Wieck in Dresden

[published in the “Neue Musik-Zeitung” in 1888.–The addressee was the well-known pianoforte master, the father of Clara Schumann (1785-1873).]

Esteemed Sir,

It will be a real pleasure to me to welcome you here, and your daughter [Marie Wieck, Hohenzollern Court Pianist in Dresden], whom I have already heard so highly commended. Weymar, as you know it of old, offers no brilliant resources for concerts; but you may rest assured beforehand that I, on my side, shall do everything that is possible in this connection to make things easy for you. To me it seems especially desirable that you should wait until the return of H.R.H. the Grand Duchess, which will be within a fortnight; should you, however, be tied by time and come here before that date, I bid you heartily welcome, dear sir, and place myself at your disposal.

Yours truly,

F. Liszt

Weymar, August 4th, 1850

68. To Simon Lowy in Vienna.

[Autograph in the Royal Library in Vienna. Printed in a German translation, La Mara, “Letters of Musicians during Five Centuries,” vol. ii.]

Weymar, August 5th, 1850

Dear Friend,

My cousin Edward writes me word that you are a little piqued at my long silence,–and I, shall I tell you frankly? am a little piqued that you have not yet thought of coming to see me, and of transferring your bath season to some place in the neighborhood of Weymar. Will you make peace with me?–

Accept as a friend the invitation I give you in all friendship. Arrive at Weymar the 23rd of August, and stay till the 30th at least. You will find several of your friends here,–Dingelstedt, Jules Janin, Meyerbeer (?), etc.,–and you will hear, firstly, on the evening of the 24th, a good hour and a half of music that I have just composed (Overture and Choruses) for the “Prometheus” of Herder, which will be given as a Festal Introduction to the inauguration of his statue in bronze by Schaller of Munich, which is fixed for the 25th; secondly, on the evening of the 25th, Handel’s “Messiah”; thirdly, on the 28th, the anniversary of Goethe’s birth, a remarkably successful Prologue made, ad hoc, for that day by Dingelstedt, followed by the first performance of Wagner’s “Lohengrin.” This work, which you certainly will not have the opportunity of hearing so soon anywhere else, on account of the special position of the composer, and the many difficulties in its performance, is to my idea a chef-d’oeuvre of the highest and most ideal kind! Not one of the operas which has entertained the theaters for the past twenty years can give any approximate idea of it.

So don’t be piqued any longer, or rather, dear friend, be piqued with curiosity to be one of the first to hear such a beautiful thing. Sulk with Vienna, for a few weeks at least, instead of sulking with me, which is all nonsense, and believe me always and ever your most sincerely attached, but very much occupied, very much pre-occupied, and oftentimes very absorbed friend,

F. Liszt

69. To Mathilde Graumann