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[Given by the addressee, subsequently celebrated as Mathilde Marchesi, teacher of singing, in “Aus meinem Leben” (Bagel, Dusseldorf)]


Here is the letter for the Grand Master de Luttichau, which M. de Ziegesar has just written in your honor and glory, with all the good grace and obligingness which he keeps for you.

As regards introductions to Berlin there is a provoking contretemps for you. H.R.H. the Princess of Prussia will pass the winter at Coblentz.

Meyerbeer, to whom I beg you to remember me respectfully, will certainly be your best patron with the Court, and I have no doubt that he will receive you with sympathy and interest.

I will also send you, in the course of the week, a letter for the Chamberlain of H.R.H. Princess Charles of Prussia, which Ziegesar has promised me.

As to our concert, fixed for the 19th (Saturday next), I assure you frankly that I should not have ventured to speak to you of it, and that I hardly venture now.

The receipts are to be devoted to some pension fund, always so low in funds in our countries; consequently I am not in a position to propose any suitable terms. Now as, on the occasion of the performance of the “Messiah,” you have already been only too kind to us, it really would not do for me to return to the charge, unless you were to authorize me to do so quite directly and positively, by writing me an epistolary masterpiece somewhat as follows:–

“I will sing in a perfunctory manner, but with the best intentions and the best will in the world, the air from…(here follows the name of the piece), and the duet from “Semairamide” with Milde or Mademoiselle Aghte, next Saturday; and in order not to put anybody out, I will arrive at the exact time of the rehearsal, on Friday at four o’clock.”

If any such idea as this should come into your head please let me know (by telegram if need be), so that by Monday night, or, at latest, Tuesday midday, I may be able to make the programme, which must appear by Wednesday morning at latest.

With homage and friendship,

F. Liszt

Friday, October 11th, 1850 Be so kind as to give a friendly shake of the hand from me to Joachim; recommend him not to be too late in arriving at Weimar, where we expect him for the evening of the 14th.

P.S.–At the moment when I was going to send my letter to the post the following lines reached me. I send them to you intact, and you will see by them that you could not have friends better disposed towards you than those of Weimar.

Please do not fail to write direct to Ziegesar to thank him for his kindness, of which you have been sensibly informed by me (without alluding to his letter, which you will return to me), and at the same time say exactly which week you will arrive in Berlin; unless, however, you prefer to come and tell him this verbally on Friday or Saturday evening at the Altenburg, after you have again chanted to us and enchanted us. [Literal translation, on account of play on words.]

70. To Carl Reinecke

Dear Reinecke,

Here are the letters for Berlioz and Erard that I offered you. I add a few lines for the young Prince Eugene Wittgenstein, with whom you will easily have pleasant relations; he is an impassioned musician, and is remarkably gifted with artistic qualities. In addition, I have had a long talk about your stay in Paris, and the success which you ought to obtain, with Belloni, who came to me for a few days. You will find him thoroughly well disposed to help you by all the means in his power, and I would persuade you to have complete confidence in him. Go and look for him as soon as ever you arrive, and ask him for all the practical information you require. Make your visit to Messrs. Escudier with him. (N.B.–He will explain why I have not given you a letter for Brandus.)

The greater number of your pieces have hitherto been printed exclusively by Escudier, and in my opinion you would do well to keep well with them in consequence. In your position it is not at all necessary to make advances to everybody–and, moreover, it is the very way to have no one for yourself. Look, observe, and keep an intelligent reserve, and don’t cast yourself, German-wise, precipitately into politeness and inopportune modesty.

In one of your leisure hours Belloni will take you to Madame Patersi, who is entrusted with the education of my two daughters, for whom I beg a corner of your kind attention. Play them your Polonaise and Ballade, and let me hear, later on, how their very small knowledge of music is going on. Madame Patersi, as I told you, will have much pleasure in introducing you to her former pupil, Madame de Foudras, whose salon enjoys an excellent reputation.

Need I renew to you here the request of my four cardinal points?- -No, I am sure I need not!–Accept then, dear Reinecke, all my heartiest wishes for this new year, as well as for your journey to Paris. Let me hear of you through Belloni, if you have not time to write to me yourself, and depend in all circumstances on the very cordial attachment of

Yours sincerely and affectionately,

F. Liszt January 1st, 1851 My return to Weymar is unfortunately again postponed for twenty days, by the doctor’s orders, to which I submit, although not personal to myself. [They referred to Princess Wittgenstein, who was ill.]

71. To Leon Escudier, Music Publisher in Paris

[autograph in the possession of M. Arthur Pougin in Paris.–The addressee was at that time the manager of the periodical “La France Musicale,” in which Liszt’s Memoir of Chopin first appeared in detached numbers (beginning from February 9th, 1851).]

Weymar, February 4th, 1851

My dear Sir,

The proofs of the two first articles of my biographical study of Chopin ought to have reached you some days ago, for I corrected and forwarded them immediately on my return to Weymar. You will also find an indication of how I want them divided, which I shall be obliged if you will follow. Both on account of the reverence of my friendship for Chopin, and my desire to devote the utmost care to my present and subsequent publications, it is important to me that this work should make its appearance as free from defects as possible, and I earnestly request you to give most conscientious attention to the revision of the last proofs. Any alterations, corrections, and additions must be made entirely in accordance with my directions, so that the definitive publication, which it would be opportune to begin at once in your paper, may satisfy us and rightly fulfill the aim we have in view. If therefore your time is too fully occupied to give you the leisure to undertake these corrections, will you be so good as to beg M. Chavee [an eminent Belgian linguist, at that time a collaborator on the “France Musicale”] (as you propose) to do me this service with the scrupulous exactitude which is requisite, for which I shall take the opportunity of expressing to him personally my sincere thanks?

In the matter of exactitude you would have some right to reproach me (I take it kindly of you to have passed it over in silence, but I have nevertheless deserved your reproaches, apparently at least) with regard to Schubert’s opera [“Alfonso and Estrella,” which Liszt produced at Weimar in 1854]. I hope Belloni has explained to you that the only person whom I can employ to make a clear copy of this long work has been overwhelmed, up to now, with pressing work. It will therefore be about three months before I can send you the three acts, the fate of which I leave in your hands, and for which, by the aid of an interesting libretto, we may predict good luck at the Opera Comique. I will return to this matter more in detail when I am in the position to send you the piano score (with voice), to which, as yet, I have only been able to give some too rare leisure hours, but which I promise you I will not put off to the Greek Calends!

As far as regards my opera, allow me to thank you for the interest you are ready to take in it. For my own part I have made up my mind to work actively at the score. I expect to have a copy of it ready by the end of next autumn. We will then see what can be done with it, and talk it over.

Meanwhile accept, my dear sir, my best thanks and compliments.

F. Liszt

The proofs of the third and fourth articles on Chopin will be posted to you tomorrow.

Has Belloni spoken to you about F. David’s “Salon Musical” (twenty-four pieces of two pages each, very elegantly written and easy to play)?–I can warmly recommend this work to you, both from the point of view of art, and of a profitable, and perhaps even popular, success. [Presumably Ferdinand David’s “Bunte Reihe,” Op. 30, which Liszt transcribed for piano alone.]

72. To Carl Reinecke

My dear Mr. Reinecke,

I am still writing to you from Eilsen; your two kind and charming letters found me here and have given me a very real pleasure. You may rest quite assured during your life of the sincere and affectionate interest I feel for you, an interest of which I shall always be happy to give you the best proofs as far as it depends on me.

Madame Patersi is loud in her praises both of your talent and of yourself,–and I thank you sincerely for having so well fulfilled my wishes with regard to the lessons you have been so kind as to give to Blandine and Cosima. [Liszt’s daughters. Blandine (died 1872) became afterwards the wife of Emile Ollivier; Cosima is the widow of Wagner.] Who knows? Perhaps later on these girls will do you honor in a small way by coming out advantageously with some new composition by their master Reinecke, to the great applause of Papa!

Hiller shows tact and taste in making sure of you as a coadjutor at the Rhenish Conservatorium, which seems to be taking a turn not to be leaky everywhere. Cologne has much good, notwithstanding its objectionable nooks. Until now the musical ground there has been choked up rather than truly cultivated! People are somewhat coarse and stupidly vain there; I know not what stir of bales, current calculations, and cargoes incessantly comes across the things of Art. It would be unjust, however, not to recognize. the vital energy, the wealth of vigor, the praiseworthy activity of this country, in which a group of intelligent men, nobly devoted to their task, may bring about fine results, more easily than elsewhere.

At any rate I approve of what you have done, and compliment you on having accepted Hiller’s offer, [Namely, a position as Professor at the Conservatorium of Cologne, which Reinecke occupied from 1851 to 1854.] and shall have pleasure in sending to your new address some of my latest publications, which will appear towards the end of May (amongst others a new edition, completely altered and well corrected, I hope, of my twelve great Etudes, the Concerto without orchestra dedicated to Henselt, and the six “Harmonies Poetiques et Religieuses”). I have also written a very melancholy Polonaise, and some other trifles which you will perhaps like to look over.

Let me hear from you soon, my dear Mr. Reinecke, and depend, under all circumstances, on the faithful attachment of

Yours affectionately and sincerely,

F. Liszt

Eilsen, March 19th, 1851

73. To Dr. Eduard Liszt in Vienna

[An uncle of Liszt’s (that is, the younger half-brother of his father), although Liszt was accustomed to call him his cousin: a noble and very important man, who became Solicitor-General in Vienna, where he died February 8th, 1879. Franz Liszt clung to him with ardor, as his dearest relation and friend, and in March, 1867, made over to him the hereditary knighthood.]

[Weimar, 1851]

Dear, excellent Eduard ,

It will be a real joy to me to take part in your joy, and I thank you very cordially for having thought first of me as godfather to your child. I accept that office very willingly, and make sincere wishes that this son may be worthy of his father, and may help to increase the honor of our name. Alas! it has been only too much neglected and even compromised by the bulk of our relations, who have been wanting either in noble sentiments, or in intelligence and talent–some even in education and the first necessary elements–to give a superior impulse to their career and to deserve serious consideration and esteem. Thank God it is otherwise with you, and I cannot tell you what a sweet and noble satisfaction I derive from this. The intelligent constancy which you have used to conquer the numerous difficulties which impeded your way; the solid instruction you have acquired; the distinguished talents you have developed; the healthy and wise morality that you have ever kept in your actions and speech; your sincere filial piety towards your mother; your attachment, resulting from reflection and conviction, to the precepts of the Catholic religion; these twenty years, in fine, that you have passed and employed so honorably,–all this is worthy of the truest praises, and gives you the fullest right to the regard and esteem of honest and sensible people. So I am pleased to see that you are beginning to reap the fruits of your care, and the distinguished post to which you have just been appointed [He had been made Assistant Public Prosecutor in 1850.] seems to justify the hopes that you confided to me formerly, and which I treated, probably wrongly, as so much naive ambition. At the point at which you have arrived it would be entirely out of place for me to poke advice and counsel out of season at you. Permit me, for the sake of the lively friendship I bear you, and the ties of relationship which bind us together, to make this one and only recommendation, “Remain true to yourself!” Remain true to all you feel to be highest, noblest, most right and most pure in your heart! Don’t ever try to be or to become something (unless there were opportune and immediate occasion for it), but work diligently and with perseverance to be and to become more and more some one.–Since the difficult and formidable duty has fallen upon you of judging men, and of pronouncing on their innocence or guilt, prove well your heart and soul, that you may not be found guilty yourself at the tribunal of the Supreme Judge,–and under grave and decisive circumstances learn not to give ear to any one but your conscience and your God!–

Austria has shown lately a remarkable activity, and a military and diplomatic energy the service of which we cannot deny for the re-establishment of her credit and political position. Certainly by the prevision of a great number of exclusive Austrians–a prevision which, moreover, I have never shared–it is probable that the Russian alliance will have been a stroke of diplomatic genius very favorable to the Vienna Cabinet, and that, in consequence of this close alliance, the monarchical status quo will be consolidated in Europe, notwithstanding all the democratic ferments and dissolving elements which are evidently, whatever people may say, at their period of ebb. I do not precisely believe in a state of tranquility and indefinite peace, but simply in a certain amount of order in the midst of disorder for a round dozen of years, the main spring of this order being naturally at Petersburg. From the day in which a Russian battalion had crossed the Austrian frontier my opinion was fixed, and when my friend Mr. de Ziegesar came and told me the news I immediately said to him, “Germany will become Russian, and for the great majority of Germans there is no sort of hesitation as to the only side it remains to them to take.”

The Princess having very obligingly taken the trouble to tell you my wishes with regard to my money matters, I need not trouble you further with them, and confine myself to thanking you very sincerely for your exactness, and for the discerning integrity with which you watch over the sums confided to your care. May events grant that they may prosper, and that they may not become indispensable to us very soon.–

Before the end of the winter I will send you a parcel of music (of my publications), which will be a distraction for your leisure hours. I endeavour to work the utmost and the best that I can, though sometimes a sort of despairing fear comes over me at the thought of the task I should like to fulfill, for which at least ten years more of perfect health of body and mind will be necessary to me.

Give my tender respects to Madame Liszt; you two form henceforth my father’s entire family; and believe in the lively and unalterable friendship of

Your truly devoted,

F. Liszt

74. To Count Casimir Esterhazy

[Autograph (without address) in the possession of Herr Albert Cohn, bookseller in Berlin.–The addressee was presumably Count Esterhazy, whose guest Liszt was in Presburg in 1840.]

Let me thank you very sincerely for your kind remembrance, dear friend, and let me also tell you how much I regret that my journey to Hohlstein cannot come to pass during your short stay there. But as by chance you already find yourself in Germany, will you not push on some fine day as far as Weymar?–I should have very great pleasure in seeing you there and in receiving you–not in the manorial manner in which you received me at Presburg, but very cordially and modestly as a conductor, kept by I know not what strange chance of fate at a respectful distance from storms and shipwrecks!–

For three weeks past a very sad circumstance has obliged me to keep at Eilsen, where I had already passed some months of last winter. The reigning Prince is, as you have perhaps forgotten, the present proprietor of one of your estates,–the Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe. If by chance you are owing him a debt of politeness, the opportunity of putting yourself straight would be capital for me. Nevertheless I dare not count too much on the attractions of the grandeur and charms of Buckeburg! and I must doubtless resign myself to saying a longer farewell to you.

Let me know by Lowy of Vienna where I shall address to you some pieces in print which you can look over at any leisure hour, and which I shall be delighted to offer you. I will add to them later the complete collection of my “Hungarian Rhapsodies,” which will now form a volume of nearly two hundred pages, of which I shall prepare a second edition next winter. Hearty and affectionate remembrances from

Yours ever,

F. Liszt

Eilsen, June 6th, 1851

75. To Theodor Uhlig, Chamber Musician in Dresden

[Autograph in the possession of Herr Hermann Scholtz, Chamber virtuoso in Dresden.–The addressee, who was an intimate friend of Wagner’s (see “Wagner’s Letters to Uhlig, Fischer, Heine”– London: H. Grevel & Co., 1890), gained for himself a lasting name by his pianoforte score of Lohengrin. He died January, 1853.]

The perusal of your most kind and judicious article in Brendel’s Musical Gazette on the “Goethe Foundation” [By Liszt, 1850. See “Gesammelte Schriften,” vol. v.] confirms me in the belief that I could not fail to be understood by you in full intelligence of the cause. Allow me then, my dear Mr. Uhlig, to thank you very cordially for this new proof of your obligingness and of your sympathy–in French, as this language becomes more and more familiar and easy to me, whereas I am obliged to make an effort to patch up more or less unskillfully my very halting German syntax.

The very lucid explanation that you have made of my pamphlet, as well as the lines with which you have prefaced and followed it, have given me a real satisfaction, and one which I did not expect to receive through that paper, which, if I am not mistaken, had hitherto shown itself somewhat hostile to me personally, and to the ideas which they do me the small honor to imagine I possess. This impression has been still further increased in me by reading Mr. Brendel’s following article on R. Wagner, which seems to me a rather arranged transition between the former point of view of the Leipzig school or pupils and the real point of view of things. The quotation Brendel makes of Stahr’s article on the fifth performance of “Lohengrin” at Weymar, evidently indicates a conversion more thought than expressed on the part of the former, and at the performance of “Siegfried” I am persuaded that Leipzig will not be at all behindhand, as at “Lohengrin.”

I do not know whether Mr. Wolf (the designer) has had the pleasure of meeting you yet at Dresden; I had commissioned him to make my excuses to you for the delay in sending the manuscript of Wiland. Unfortunately it is impossible for me to think of returning to Weymar before the end of July, and the manuscript is locked up among other papers which I could not put into strange hands. Believe me that I am really vexed at these delays, the cause of which is so sad for me.

If by chance you should repass by Cologne and Minden, it would be very nice if you could stay a day at Buckeburg (Eilsen), where I am obliged to stay till the 15th of July. I have not much pleasure to offer you, but in return we can talk there at our ease of the St. Graal…

My pamphlet “Lohengrin and Tannhauser” will appear in French at Brockhaus’ towards the end of July. It will have at least the same circulation as the “Goethe Foundation,” and I will send you by right one of the first copies.

Kind regards to Wagner, about whom I have written a great deal lately without writing to him; and believe me yours very sincerely,

F. Liszt

Eilsen (Buckeburg), June 25th, 1851.

76. To Rosalie Spohr in Brunswick

[niece of Louis Spohr, and an incomparable harpist,–“The most ideal representative of her beautiful instrument,” according to Bulow; after her marriage with Count Sauerma she retired from public life and now lives in Berlin.]

After your amiable authorization to do so, Mademoiselle, I have had your concert announced at Eilsen for Tuesday next, July 8th, and you may rest assured that the best society of Buckeburg and of the Badegaste [visitors who go for the baths] will be present.

The price of the tickets has been fixed for 1 florin, which is the maximum customary in this country. With regard to the programme, I await your reply, in which I shall be glad if you will tell me the four or five pieces you will choose, amongst which will be, I hope, Parish Alvars’ Fantaisie on motives from “Oberon” and the “Danse des Fees.”

A distinguished amateur, Monsieur Lindemann of Hanover, has promised me to play one or two violoncello solos, and the rest of the programme will be easily made.

As to your route, you had better take the Schnellzug [express] next Monday, which starts about 11 in the morning from Brunswick, and brings you to Buckeburg in less than three hours. From here it will only take you thirty-five minutes to get to Eilsen. The most simple plan for you would be not to write to me beforehand even, but to improvise your programme according to your fancy here. Only let me beg you not to arrive later than Monday evening, so that the public may be free from anxiety, and to set my responsibility perfectly at rest in a corner of your harp- case.

May I beg you, Mademoiselle, to remember me affectionately to your father? and be assured of the pleasure it will be to see you, hear you, and admire you anew, to your sincere and devoted servant,

F. Liszt

Eilsen, July 3rd, 1851

I beg you once more not to be later than next Monday, July 7th, in coming to Eilsen.

77. To Rosalie Spohr

I am deeply sensible of your charming lines, Mademoiselle, the impression of which is the completion for me of the harmonious vibrations of your beautiful talent,–vibrations which are still resounding in the woods and in your auditors at Eilsen. While expressing to you my sincere thanks I should reproach myself were I to forget the piquant and substantial present that your father has sent me, and I beg you to tell him that we have done all honor to the savory product of Brunswick industry. The Buckeburg industry having a certain reputation in petto in the matter of chocolate, the Princess, who sends her best regards to you and your family, wishes me to send you a sample, which you will receive by tomorrow’s post. The chocolate, in its quality of a sedative tonic, will, moreover, not come amiss in the intervals of your study.

May I beg you, Mademoiselle, to give my affectionate compliments to your parents as well as to the clever drawing-historiographer [The younger sister of the addressee, Ida Spohr, at that time sixteen years old, who was a most gifted creature, both in poetry, painting, and music. She died young, at the age of twenty-four] whom you know? and receive once more the best wishes of yours most truly,

F. Liszt

Eilsen, July 22nd, 1851

78. To Breitkopf and Hartel

Allow me, my dear Mr. Hartel, to make known to you, as a kind of curiosity, a very long piece I composed last winter on the chorale “Ad Nos” from the “Prophete.” If by chance you should think well to publish this long Prelude, followed by an equally long Fugue, I could not be otherwise than much obliged to you; and I shall take advantage of the circumstance to acquit myself, in all reverence and friendship, of a dedication to Meyerbeer, which it has long been my intention to do; and it was only for want of finding among my works something which would suit him in some respect, that I have been obliged to defer it till now. I should be delighted therefore if you would help me to fill up this gap in the recognition I owe to Meyerbeer; but I dare not press you too much for fear you may think that my Fugue has more advantage in remaining unknown to the public in so far that it is in manuscript, than if it had to submit to the same fate after having been published by your care.

In accordance with your obliging promise, I waited from week to week for the preface that Mr. Wagner has added to his three opera poems. I should be glad to know how soon you expect to bring them out, and beg you to be so good as to send me immediately three copies.

Believe me, my dear Mr. Hartel,

Yours affectionately and most truly,

F. Liszt

Weymar, December 1st, 1851

P.S.–Would it perhaps do to bring out my Fugue on the “Prophete” as No. 4 of my “Illustrations du Prophete”? That was at least my first intention. [It was published in that form by Breitkopf and Hartel.] In the same parcel you will find the piano score of the “Prophete,” which I am very much obliged to you for having lent me.

79. To Louis Kohler in Konigsberg

[An important piano teacher and writer on music, and composer of valuable instructive works (1820-86).]

Dear Sir,

The friendly kindness with which you have spoken of a couple of my latest compositions lays me under an obligation of warm thanks, which I must no longer delay having the pleasure of expressing to you. I should be very glad if you find anything that suits you in my next impending piano publication (the new, entirely revised edition of my Studies, the “Harmonies Poetiques et Religieuses,” and the two years of “Annees de Pelerinage, Suite de Compositions,” etc.). In any case I shall venture to send this work, with the request that you will accept it as a token of my gratitude for the favorable opinion which you entertain of my artistic efforts.

At this moment I have to compliment you also very much on your arrangement of the Hungarian “Volkslieder” [Folk Songs]. For several years past I have been occupied with a similar work, and next winter I think of publishing the result of my national studies in a pretty big volume of “Hungarian Rhapsodies.” Your transcriptions have interested me much through the correct perception of the melodies, and their elegant though simple style.

Senff [The well-known Leipzig music publisher.] showed me also in manuscript a book of Russian melodies, that seemed to me most successful. When will it come out?

If by any chance you have a spare copy of your new work, the exact title of which I do not remember, but it is somewhat as follows, “Opern am Clavier” [Operas at the Piano] or “Opern fur Clavierspieler” [Operas for Pianoforte Players] (or, in French, “Repertoire d’Opera pour les Pianistes”), I should be much obliged if you would let me have one.

Accept, dear sir, my best respects, and believe me

Yours truly,

F. Liszt

Weymar, April 16th, 1852

80. To Carl Reinecke

My dear Mr. Reinecke,

A very good friend of mine, Professor Weyden of Cologne, who has just been spending a few days with me here, kindly promises to give you these few lines and to tell you what pleasure your present of the “Variations on a Theme of Bach” has given me. It is a very eminent work, and perfectly successful in its actual form. While complimenting you sincerely upon it, I must also add my thanks that you have joined my name to it.

I should have liked to be able to send you some of my new works for piano, of which I spoke to you before; but, as I have been altering them and touching them up, the publication of them has been delayed; nevertheless, I expect that in the course of this summer the twelve “Grandes Etudes” (definitive edition) and the “Harmonies Poetiques et Religieuses” will successively appear, and in December or January next the “Annees de Pelerinage, Suite de Compositions pour le Piano,” and the complete collection of my “Hungarian Rhapsodies.” Meanwhile, let me offer you the “Concert Solo” and the two Polonaises which were written at Eilsen shortly after your visit to me there.

Joachim starts tomorrow for London, and I have commissioned him to persuade you to come and see me at Weymar on his return. I have been much attached to him this winter, and I hold his talent as well as himself in high esteem and true sympathy.–

Try not to delay too long the pleasure I should have in hearing your trio; I shall be delighted to make the acquaintance of Madame Reinecke, and would not wish to be among the last to congratulate you on your happiness.

In cordial friendship, yours ever,

F. Liszt

Weymar, April 16th, 1852

81. To Carl Czerny

[Autograph in the archives of the Musik-Verein in Vienna.]

My dearest and most honored Master and Friend,

A melancholy event which has thrown our Court into deep mourning- -the sudden death of the Duchess Bernard of Saxe-Weimar–has not allowed of my presenting your letter to Her Imperial Highness the Grand Duchess until a day or two ago. She has been pleased to receive your letter and your intentions with marked kindness, the expression of which you will find in the accompanying letter which she charged Baron de Vitzthum to write you in her name.

May I beg you then to advise Mr. Schott to send me immediately on the publication of your “Gradus ad Parnassum” a dedication copy, which I will get suitably bound in velvet here, and which I will immediately remit to H.I.H.–As regards the form of dedication, I advise you to choose the most simple:–

Gradus ad Parnassum, etc.,

Compose et tres respectueusement dedie a Son Altesse Imperiale et Royale Madame la Grande Duchesse de Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach Marie Paulowna, par Ch. Czerny.

[Composed and most respectfully dedicated to Her Royal and Imperial Highness Marie Paulowna, Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar- Eisenach by Ch. Czerny.]

Or if the title be in German:–

Componirt und I. kais. kon. Hoheit der Frau Grossherzogin zu Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach Marie Paulowna, in tiefster Ehrfurcht gewidmet, von C. Cz.

What you tell me of the prodigious activity of your Muse obliges me to make a somewhat shameful acknowledgment of my relative slowness and idleness. The pupil is far from the master in this as in other points. Nevertheless I think I have made a better use of the last three years than of the preceding ones; for one thing I have gone through a rather severe work of revision, and have remodeled entirely several of my old works (amongst others the Studies which are dedicated to you, and of which I will send you a copy of the definitive edition in a few weeks, and the “Album d’un Voyageur,” which will reappear very considerably corrected, increased, and transformed under the title of “Annees de Pelerinage, Suite de Compositions pour le Piano-Suisse et Italie”): for another thing I have been continuing writing in proportion as ideas came to me, and I fancy I have arrived at last at that point where the style is adequate to the thought. Unfortunately my outside occupations absorb much of my time. The orchestra and opera of Weymar were greatly in need of reform and of stirring up. The remarkable and extraordinary works to which our theater owes its new renown–“Tannhauser,” “Lohengrin,” “Benvenuto Cellini”–required numerous rehearsals, which I could not give into the hands of anybody else. The day before yesterday a very pretty work, in an elegant and simple melodic style, was given for the first time–“Der lustige Rath,” [The Merry Councillor (or counsel)] by Mr. de Vesque, which met with complete success. Carl Haslinger, who had arrived for the first performance of “Cellini,” was also present at this, and can tell you about it. In the interval between these two works, on Sunday last, he had his Cantata-Symphony “Napoleon” performed, and conducted it himself (as a rather severe indisposition has obliged me to keep my room for several days).

In the course of the month of June my mother, who proposes to pay a visit to her sister at Gratz, will have the privilege of going to see you, dear master, and of renewing to you, in my name and her own, our expressions of sincere gratitude to you for the numerous kindnesses you have shown me. Believe me that the remembrance of them is as lively as it is constant in my heart.

I owe you still further thanks for the trouble you have taken to make Mr. de Hardegg study Schubert’s Fantasia, scored by me, and I beg you to give him my best compliments. It is perhaps to be regretted that this work, which contains many fine details, should have been played for the first time in the Salle de Redoute, so “redoutable” and ungrateful a room for the piano in general; in a less vast space, such as the salle of the Musik- Verein, the virtuoso and the work would assuredly have been heard more to advantage, and if I did not fear to appear indiscreet I should ask Mr. de Hardegg to play it a second time, in a concert room of moderate size.

I have inquired several times as to the talent and the career of Mr. de Hardegg, in whom I naturally feel an interest from the fact of the interest you take in him. If by chance he should be thinking of making a journey to this part of Germany, beg him from me not to forget me at Weymar. I shall be delighted to make his acquaintance, and he may be assured of a very affectionate reception from me.

Accept, my dear and honored friend, every assurance of my high esteem, and believe that I shall ever remain

Your very faithful and grateful

F. Liszt

Weymar, April 19th, 1852

82. To Gustav Schmidt, Capellmeister at Frankfort-on-the-Maine

[Autograph (without address) in the possession of M. Alfred Bovet at Valentigney.–The addressee was, in any case, the above- mentioned (1816-82), finally Court-Capellmeister (conductor) at Darmstadt, the composer of the operas “Prinz Eugen,” “Die Weiber von Weinsberg,” and others.]

Dear Friend,

.–. The idea of a Congress of Capellmeisters is indeed a very judicious one, and from a satisfactory realization of it only good and better things could result for the present divided state of music. There is no question that in the insulation and paralyzing of those who are authorities in Art lies a very powerful hindrance, which, if it continues, must essentially injure and endanger Art. Upon certain principles an union is necessary, so that the results of it may be actively applied, and it especially behooves Capellmeisters worthily to maintain the interests of music and musicians. A meeting such as you propose would be a timely one; only you will approve of my reasons when I renounce the honor of proposing this meeting for Weimar, and indicate Spohr to you as the proper head. The master Spohr is our senior; he has always furthered the cause of music as far as circumstances at Cassel permitted–the “Fliegender Hollander” was given at Cassel under his direction earlier than “Tannhauser” was given at Weymar. Talk it over with him, which from the near vicinity of Frankfort you can easily do, and if, as I do not doubt, he enters into your project, fix the date and let me know. I shall gladly take part in the matter, and will make it my business to do my share towards bringing about the desired results.

“Tannhauser” is announced for the 31st of this month (on occasion of the presence of Her Majesty the Empress of Russia). Beck takes the title-role at this performance. We shall give Schumann’s “Manfred” a few days later. For next season the “Fliegender Hollander” and Spohr’s “Faust,” with the new Recitatives which he wrote for London, are fixed.

Farewell, and happiness attend you, dear friend; remember me kindly to your wife, and believe me ever

Yours most sincerely, F. Liszt

Weymar, May 18th, 1852.

83. To Robert Schumann

[Autograph in the Royal Library in Berlin.]

My very dear Friend,

It is with great pleasure that I am able to announce to you the first performance of “Manfred” for next Sunday, June 13th, and to invite you to come to it. [“Manfred” was put on the stage for the first time by Liszt] I hope that, at this time of year, your Dusseldorf duties will allow of your coming here for a couple of days, and that probably you will bring Clara with you, to whom please remember me very kindly. Should you, however, come alone, I beg that you will stay with me at the Altenburg, where you can make yourself perfectly at home. The last rehearsal is fixed for Friday afternoon; perhaps it would be possible for you to be present at it, which of course would be very agreeable to me. Your Leipzig friends will see the announcement of this performance in the papers, and I think you will consider it your bounden duty not to be absent from us at this performance.

Wishing you always from my heart the best spirits for your work, good health, and “every other good that appertains thereto,” I remain unalterably

Yours most sincerely, F. Liszt

Weymar, June 8th, 1852.

84. To Robert Schumann

[Autograph in the Royal Library in Berlin.]

My very dear Friend,

I regret extremely that you could not come to the second performance [This might perhaps also be read “first performance.”] of your “Manfred,” and I believe that you would not have been dissatisfied with the musical preparation and performance of that work (which I count among your greatest successes). The whole impression was a thoroughly noble, deep, and elevating one, in accordance with my expectations. The part of Manfred was taken by Herr Potsch, who rendered it in a manly and intelligent manner. With regard to the mise-en-scene something might be said; yet it would be unfair not to speak in praise of the merits of the manager, Herr Genast. It seems to me therefore that it would be nice of you to write a friendly line of thanks to Herr Genast, and commission him to compliment Herr Potsch (Manfred) and the rest of the actors from you.

One only remark I will permit myself: the introduction music to the Ahriman chorus (D minor) is too short. Some sixty to a hundred bars of symphony, such as you understand how to write, would have a decidedly good effect there. Think the matter over, and then go fresh to your desk. Ahriman can stand some polyphonic phrases, and this is an occasion where one may rant and rage away quite comfortably.

Shall I send you your manuscript score back, or will you make me a lovely present of it? I am by no means an autograph-collector, but the score, if you don’t require it any longer, would give me pleasure.

A thousand friendly greetings to Clara, and beg your wife to let me soon hear something of you.

In truest esteem and friendship,

Yours ever,

F. Liszt

Weymar, June 26th, 1852

85. To Peter Cornelius

[The exquisite poet-composer of the operas “The Barber of Baghdad,” “The Cid,” and “Gunlod,” which have at last attained due recognition (1824-74).]

Weymar, September 4th, 1852

It has been a great pleasure to me, my dear Mr. Cornelius, to make the acquaintance of your brother, and I only regret that he passed several days here without letting me know of his stay. Your letter, which reached me through him, has given me a real pleasure, for which I thank you very affectionately. Short though our acquaintance has been, I am pleased to think that it has been long enough to establish between us a tie which years will strengthen without changing the natural and reciprocal charm. I congratulate you very sincerely in having put the fine season to so good a use by finishing the church compositions you had planned. That is an admirable field for you, and I strongly advise you not to give in till you have explored it with love and valor for several years. I think that, both by the elevation and the depth of your ideas, the tenderness of your feelings, and your deep studies, you are eminently fitted to excel in the religious style, and to accomplish its transformation so far as is nowadays required by our intelligence being more awake and our hearts more astir than at former periods. You have only to assimilate Palestrina and Bach–then let your heart speak, and you will be able to say with the prophet, “I speak, for I believe; and I know that our God liveth eternally.”

We spoke with your brother about your vocation for composing religious–Catholic music. He enters thoroughly into this idea, and will give you help to realize it under outer conditions favorable to you. Munster, Cologne, and Breslau appeared to us to be the three places for the present where you would find the least obstacles in the way of establishing your reputation and making a position. But before you go to the Rhine I hope you will do me the pleasure of coming to see me here. The room adjoining that which Mr. de Bulow occupies is entirely at your service, and it will be a pleasure to me if you will settle yourself there without any ceremony, and will come and dine regularly with us like an inhabitant of the Altenburg. The theatrical season recommences on Sunday next, September 12th, with Verdi’s “Ernani.” In the early days of October (at the latest) “Lohengrin” will be given again; and on the 12th of November I expect a visit from Berlioz, who will spend a week at Weymar. Then we shall have “Cellini,” the Symphony of Romeo and Juliet, and some pieces from the Faust Symphony.

Kindest regards from yours ever,

F. Liszt

86. To Clara Schumann

Weymar, September 11th, 1852.

It is not without regret that I obey your wish, Madame, in returning to you the autograph score of “Manfred,” for I confess that I had flattered myself a little in petto that Robert would leave it with me in virtue of possession in a friendly manner. Our theater possesses an exact copy, which will serve us for subsequent performances of “Manfred;” I was tempted to send you this copy, which, for revision of proofs, would be sufficient, but I know not what scruple of honor kept me from doing so. Perhaps you will find that it is possible generously to encourage my slightly wavering virtue, and in that case you will have no trouble in guessing what would be to me a precious reward…

How is Robert’s health? Have the sea baths done him good? I hope he will soon be restored all right to his home circle–and to his composing desk.–

It would have been very pleasant to me to renew our visit of last year to you at Dusseldorf, and I was indeed touched by the gracious remembrance of it which your letter gives me; but, alas! an unfortunate accident which has happened to my mother, by which she nearly broke her leg in coming downstairs, has obliged her to keep her bed for more than nine weeks, and even now she can only walk with the help of crutches, and it will be some months before she is all right again.

Forced as she was to remain at Weymar, I have not liked to leave her all this summer, and had to give up the pleasure of a holiday excursion.–The Princess Wittgenstein, and her daughter (who has become a tall and charming young girl), desire me to give their very affectionate remembrances to you and Robert, to which 1 add my most sincere wishes for the speedy restoration of our friend, and cordial assurances of my constant friendship.

F. Liszt

87. To Carl Czerny

[Autograph in the archives of the Musik-Verein in Vienna. The date is wanting; it may be placed, judging from Liszt’s letter of October 30th, 1852, at the above-mentioned date.]

[September or October, 1852]

My Dear, Honored Master And Friend,

Permit me to recommend particularly to you Professor Jahn [The afterwards celebrated biographer of Mozart], with whose many interesting works of criticism and musical literature you are doubtless familiar (among others his Introduction to the original score of Beethoven’s “Leonora,” published by Hartel in Leipzig).

Mr. Jahn’s object in going to Vienna is to collect documents for a biography of Beethoven, which will, I am persuaded, supply a want so much felt hitherto by the public and by artists. May I beg you–in honor of the great man whom you have had the merit of comprehending and admiring, long before the common herd joined in chorus around his name–to open the treasures of your reminiscences and knowledge to Mr. Jahn, and accept beforehand my sincere thanks for the good service you will render to Art in this matter?

It is with unchangeable attachment that I remain, dear master, your very grateful and devoted

F. Liszt

P.S.–When will the “Gradus ad Parnassum” come out?–You will receive the copy of my Studies, which are dedicated to you, through Mr. Lowy in a few days.

88. To Breitkopf and Hartel

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

Weymar, October 30th, 1852

My Dear Mr. Hartel,

I have given up to a friend the piano which you have been so good as to lend me for some years, and he (as I have already informed you verbally) asks me to let him defer the payment of it till the end of this month. I therefore take this opportunity of proposing to you either to let you immediately have the sum fixed upon for the piano (400 thalers), or else to make a settlement of reciprocal terms up to now, by which we shall be quits towards each other. The pleasure and advantage which I find in my relations with your house are too valuable to me for me not to do all in my power properly to maintain them, by conforming to your wishes and intentions. Of my works published by your house there are, if I mistake not, five–

12 Etudes d’execution transcendante (2 books), 6 Etudes d’apres Paganini (2 books), Grand Concerto Solo, Fantaisie and Fugue on the Chorale from the Prophete (No. 4 of the “Illustrations du Prophete”), Mass (with Pater Noster and Ave Maria) for four male voices with organ accompaniment

–upon which we have deferred putting a price until now. Without trying to deceive myself as to the moderate returns which these (as it happens, rather voluminous) works may bring to your house, I should venture however to flatter myself that they have not been an expense to you, and that they are even works not unsuited to your catalogue. However things may be, I beg you to be so good as to use towards me the same sincerity that I employ towards you, persuaded as I am that sincerity is the only basis of any lasting connection, especially when one has to do with things which divers circumstances may render more delicate and complicated. Allow me then at last, my dear Mr. Hartel, to propose to you to square our accounts by my keeping your piano in exchange for the above-mentioned five manuscripts, which should also acquit me for the works of Marx and Kiesewetter that you have sent me, so that, if my proposition suits you, we should be entirely quits.

I was glad to hear that Mr. Jahn had had occasion to be satisfied with his journey to Vienna, and I beg you to assure him that I am entirely at his disposal with regard to any steps to be taken to help on his work on Beethoven, for which I am delighted to be of any service to him.

In a fortnight’s time I am expecting Mr. Berlioz here. The performances of “Benvenuto Cellini” will take place on the 18th and 20th November, and on the 21st the Symphonies of “Romeo and Juliet” and “Faust” will be performed, which I proposed to you to publish. If your numerous occupations would allow of your coming here for the 20th and 21st I am certain that it would be a great interest to you to hear these exceptional works, of which it is a duty and an honor to me not to let Weymar be in ignorance.

Will you, my dear Mr. Hartel, accept this information as an invitation, and also tell your brother, Mr. Raymond, what pleasure a visit from him would give me during the Berlioz week? We shall, moreover, be at that time in good and romantic company of artists and critics from all points, meeting at Weymar.

I will send you shortly my Catalogue, which you will greatly oblige me by bringing out without very much delay. The dispersion and confusion through which my works have had to make their way hitherto have done them harm, over and above any wrong that they already had by themselves; it is therefore of some importance to classify them, and to present to the public a categorical insight into what little I am worth. As I have promised to send this catalogue to many people living in all sorts of countries, I beg that you will put to my account, not gratis, some sixty copies, which I fear will not be enough for me, but which will at least serve to lessen the cost of printing.

In this connection allow me to recur to a plan of which I have already spoken to you–the publication in German of my book on Chopin. Has Mr. Weyden of Cologne written to you, and have you come to terms with him on this subject? The last time he wrote to me he told me that he had not yet had an answer from you. As he is equally master of French and German, and as he thoroughly succeeded in his translation of my pamphlet on “Tannhauser and Lohengrin,” I should be glad for the translation of Chopin to be done by him; and in case you decide to publish his work please put me down for fifty copies.

Pray excuse this long letter, my dear Mr. Hartel, and believe me very sincerely,

Yours affectionately and devotedly,

F. Liszt

89. To Breitkopf and Hartel

[Autograph in the possession of M. J. Crepieux-Jamin at Rouen.]

My dear Mr. Hartel,

I thank you very heartily for the fresh proof of your kind intentions towards me which your last letter gives me, and I hasten to return to you herewith the two papers with my signature by which our little accounts are thus settled. With regard to the extra account of about eighty crowns, which I thank you for having sent me by the same opportunity, I will not delay the paying of it either. Only, as it contains several things which have been got by the theater management (such as “Athalie,” the piano scores of “Lohengrin,” Schubert’s Symphony, etc.), you will allow me to leave it a few days longer, so that I may get back the sum which is due to me,–and which, till the present time, I was not aware of having been placed to my account, thinking indeed that these various works for which I had written for the use of the theater had long ago been paid for by the management.–

I beg that you will kindly excuse this confusion, of which I am only guilty quite unawares.

With regard to the publication of the “Pater Noster” and of the “Ave Maria,” please do it entirely to your own mind, and I have no other wish in the matter but that the “Pater” should not be separated from the “Ave,” on account of the former being so small a work; but whether you publish these two pieces with the Mass, or whether they appear separately (the two being in any case kept together), either of these arrangements will suit me equally well. For more convenience I have had them bound in one, as having been written at the same time and as belonging to the same style.–Berlioz has just written me word that he will probably arrive here two or three days sooner–and the proprietors of our repertoire have fixed the 17th November (instead of the 18th) for the first performance of the revival of “Cellini.” Immediately after he is gone I will put in order the Catalogue that you are kindly bringing out, and which I should be glad to be able to distribute about before the end of the winter. You shall have the manuscript before Christmas.–

As Mr. Weyden has been a friend of mine for several years I may be permitted to recommend him to you, and have pleasure in hoping that your relations with him, on occasion of the translation of the Chopin volume, will be of an easy and agreeable nature. [The German translation of the work was not done until it appeared, by La Mara, in 1880, after the publication of a second edition.]

Pray accept once more, my dear Mr. Hartel, my best thanks, together with every assurance of the sincere affection of

Yours most truly,

F. Liszt

November l0th, 1852

90. To Professor Julius Stern in Berlin

[1820-83; founder of the Stern Vocal Union (which he conducted from 1847-74), and of the Stern Conservatorium (1850), which he directed, firstly with Marx and Kullak, and since 1857 alone.]

November 24th, 1852.

My dear Mr. Stern,

I hope you will excuse my delay in replying to your friendly lines, for which I thank you very affectionately. Mr. Joachim was absent when they reached me, and all this last week has been extremely filled up for Weymar (and for me in particular) by the rehearsals and performance of Berlioz’s works. Happily our efforts have been rewarded by a success most unanimous and of the best kind. Berlioz was very well satisfied with his stay at Weymar, and I, for my part, felt a real pleasure in being associated with that which he experienced in the reception accorded to him by the Court, our artists, and the public. As this week has, according to my idea, a real importance as regards Art, allow me, my dear Mr. Stern, to send you, contrary to my usual custom, the little resume that the Weymar Gazette has made of the affair, which will put you very exactly au courant of what took place. You will oblige me by letting Schlesinger see it also, and he will perhaps do me the pleasure of letting the Berlin public have it through his paper (The Echo).

I did not fail to conform to the wish expressed in your last letter, immediately that Joachim returned to Weymar, and I urged him much to accept the proposition you have made him to take part in the concert of the 13th of December. You know what high esteem I profess for Joachim’s talent, and when you have heard him I am certain you will find that my praises of him latterly are by no means exaggerated. He is an artist out of the common, and one who may legitimately aspire to a glorious reputation.

Moreover he has a thoroughly loyal nature, a distinguished mind, and a character endowed with a singular charm in its rectitude and earnestness.

The question of fee being somewhat embarrassing for him to enter into with you, I have taken upon myself to speak to you about it without any long comment, and to mention to you the sum of twenty to twenty-five louis d’or as what seems to me fair. If Joachim had already been in Berlin, or if his stay there could take place at the same time with some other pecuniary advantage, I feel sure that he would take a pleasure in offering you his co-operation for nothing; but in the position he is in now, not intending at present to give concerts in Berlin, and not having as yet any direct relations with you, I think you will appreciate the motives which lead me to fix this sum with you…

If, as I hope, you do not consider it out of proportion, please simply to be so good as to write a few lines to Joachim direct, to tell him what day he ought to be in Berlin for the rehearsal of your concert, so that he may ask a little beforehand for his holiday from here.

Will you also please give my best regards to Th. Kullak? I have had the opportunity of talking rather fully about him these last days with two of his pupils, Princesses Anne and Louise (of Prussia), and also with their mother, Princess Charles. Mr. Marx (to whom I beg you to remember me kindly, until I write more fully to him about the performance of his “Moses”) will shortly receive a letter from Mr. Montag, whom I have begged to bring with him the arrangements relating to the song parts, which Mr. Marx will be so kind as to lend us. Probably this oratorio can be given here towards the end of next January or the middle of next February, and as soon as the rehearsals are sufficiently advanced I shall write to Marx to give him positive tidings and to invite him to pay us a short visit at Weymar.

A thousand frank and cordial regards from

Yours ever,

F. Liszt

You probably already know that Joachim is leaving Weymar to settle in Hanover at the beginning of next year.

91. To Wilhelm von Lenz in St. Petersburg

[A well-known writer on music and especially on Beethoven; Imperial Russian Councillor of State (1809-83).]

I am doubly in your debt, my dear Lenz (you will allow me, will you not, to follow your example by dropping the Mr.?), firstly for your book, [“Beethoven and his Three Styles” (St. Petersburg, 1852).] so thoroughly imbued with that sincere and earnest passion for the Beautiful without which one can never penetrate to the heart of works of genius; and, secondly, for your friendly letter, which reached me shortly after I had got your book, the notice of which had very much excited my curiosity. That I have put off replying to you till now is not merely on account of my numerous occupations, which usually preclude my having the pleasure of correspondence, but chiefly on account of you and your remarkable work, which I wanted to read at leisure, in order to get from it the whole substance of its contents. You cannot find it amiss that it has given me much to reflect upon, and you will easily understand that I shall have much to say to you on this subject–so much that, to explain all my thoughts, I should have to make another book to match yours–or, better still, resume our lessons of twenty years ago, when the master learned so much from the pupil,–discuss pieces in hand, the meaning, value, import, of a large number of ideas, phrases, episodes, rhythms, harmonic progressions, developments, artifices;–I should have to have a good long talk with you, in fact, about minims and crotchets, quavers and semi-quavers,–not forgetting the rests which, if you please, are by no means a trifling chapter when one professes to go in seriously for music, and for Beethoven in particular.

The friendly remembrance that you have kept of our talks, under the name of lessons, of the Rue Montholon, is very dear to me, and the flattering testimony your book gives to those past hours encourages me to invite you to continue them at Weymar, where it would be at once so pleasant and so interesting to see you for some weeks or months, ad libitum, so that we might mutually edify ourselves with Beethoven. Just as we did twenty years ago, we shall agree all at once, I am certain, in the generality of cases; and, more than we were then, shall we each of us be in a position to make further steps forward in the exoteric region of Art.–For the present allow me, at the risk of often repeating myself hereafter, to compliment you most sincerely on your volume, which will be a chosen book and a work of predilection for people of taste, and particularly for those who feel and understand music. Artists and amateurs, professors and pupils, critics and virtuosi; composers and theorists–all will have something to gain from it, and a part to take in this feast of attractive instruction that you have prepared for them. What ingenious traits, what living touches, what well-dealt blows, what new and judiciously adapted imagery should I not have to quote, were I to enter in detail into your pages, so different from what one usually reads on similar subjects! In your arguments, and in the intrinsic and extrinsic proofs you adduce, what weight–without heaviness, what solidity–without stiffness, of strong and wholesome criticism–without pedantry! Ideas are plentiful in this by turns incisive, brilliant, reflected, and spontaneous style, in which learning comes in to enhance and steady the flow of a lively and luxuriant imagination. To all the refinement and subtle divination common to Slavic genius, you ally the patient research and learned scruples which characterize the German explorer. You assume alternately the gait of the mole and of the eagle–and everything you do succeeds wonderfully, because amid your subterranean maneuvers and your airy flights you constantly preserve, as your own inalienable property, so much wit and knowledge, good sense and free fancy. If you had asked me to find a motto for your book I should have proposed this,

“Inciter et initier,”

as best summing up, according to my ideas, the aim that you fulfill by your twofold talent of distinguished writer and musician ex professo. It is really curious to observe how the well-known saying, “It is from the north that light comes to us today,” has been verified lately with regard to musical literature. After Mr. Oulibicheff had endowed us with a Mozart, here come you with a Beethoven. Without attempting to compare two works which are in so many respects as different and separate as the two heroes chosen by their respective historiographers, it is nevertheless natural that your name should be frequently associated with that of Mr. Oulibicheff–for each is an honor to Art and to his country. This circumstance, however, does not do away with your right to lecture Mr. Oulibicheff very wittily, and with a thorough knowledge of the subject, for having made of Mozart a sort of Dalai-Lama, [The head of the temporal and spiritual power in Thibet (Translator’s note)] beyond which there is nothing. In all this polemical part (pp. 26, 27, etc.), as in many other cases, I am entirely of your opinion, with all due justice to the talents and merits of your compatriot. From a reading of the two works, Mozart and Beethoven, it is evident that, if the studies, predilections, and habits of mind of Mr. Oulibicheff have perfectly predisposed him to accomplish an excellent work in its entirety, yours, my dear Lenz, have led you to a sort of intimacy, the familiarity of which nourished a sort of religious exaltation, with the genius of Beethoven. Mr. Oulibicheff in his method proceeds more as proprietor and professor; you more as poet and lawyer. But, whatever may be said about this or that hiatus in your work, the plan of which has confined you disadvantageously to the analysis of the piano sonatas, and however much people may think themselves justified in cavilling at you about the distribution of your materials, the chief merit, which none could refuse you without injustice, is that you have really understood Beethoven, and have succeeded in making your imagination adequate to his by your intuitive penetration into the secrets of his genius.

For us musicians, Beethoven’s work is like the pillar of cloud and fire which guided the Israelites through the desert–a pillar of cloud to guide us by day, a pillar of fire to guide us by night, “so that we may progress both day and night.” His obscurity and his light trace for us equally the path we have to follow; they are each of them a perpetual commandment, an infallible revelation. Were it my place to categorize the different periods of the great master’s thoughts, as manifested in his Sonatas, Symphonies, and Quartets, I should certainly not fix the division into three styles, which is now pretty generally adopted and which you have followed; but, simply recording the questions which have been raised hitherto, I should frankly weigh the great question which is the axis of criticism and of musical aestheticism at the point to which Beethoven has led us–namely, in how far is traditional or recognized form a necessary determinant for the organism of thought?–

The solution of this question, evolved from the works of Beethoven himself, would lead me to divide this work, not into three styles or periods,–the words “style” and “period” being here only corollary subordinate terms, of a vague and equivocal meaning,–but quite logically into two categories: the first, that in which traditional and recognized form contains and governs the thought of the master; and the second, that in which the thought stretches, breaks, recreates, and fashions the form and style according to its needs and inspirations. Doubtless in proceeding thus we arrive in a direct line at those incessant problems of “authority” and “liberty.” But why should they alarm us? In the region of liberal arts they do not, happily, bring in any of the dangers and disasters which their oscillations occasion in the political and social world; for, in the domain of the Beautiful, Genius alone is the authority, and hence, Dualism disappearing, the notions of authority and liberty are brought back to their original identity.–Manzoni, in defining genius as “a stronger imprint of Divinity,” has eloquently expressed this very truth.–

This is indeed a long letter, my dear Lenz, and as yet I am only at the preliminaries. Let us then pass on to the Deluge,–and come and see me at Weymar, where we can chat as long and fully as we like of these things in the shade of our fine park. If a thrush chances to come and sing I shall take advantage of the circumstance to make, en passant, some groundless quarrels with you on some inappropriate terms which one meets with here and there in your book,–as, for example, the employment of the word “scale” (ut, fa, la, etc.) instead of arpeggio chord; or, again, on your inexcusable want of gallantry which leads you maliciously to bracket the title of “Mamselle” (!) on to such and such a Diva, a proceeding which will draw down upon you the wrath of these divinities and of their numerous admirers. But I can assure you beforehand that there are far more nightingales than thrushes in our park; and, similarly, in your book the greater number of pages, judiciously thought out and brilliantly written, carry the day so well in worth and valor over any thinly scattered inattentions or negligences, that I join with my whole heart in the concert of praise to which you have a right.

Pray accept, my dear Lenz, the most sincere expressions of feeling and best thanks of

Your very affectionate and obliged

F. Liszt

Weymar, December 2nd, 1852

As Madame Bettina d’Arnim has been passing some weeks at Weymar, I let her know about your book. Feeling sure that the good impression it has made on her would be a pleasure to you to hear, I begged her to confirm it by a few lines, which I enclose herewith.–

92. To Robert Radecke in Leipzig

[Printed in the Neue Berliner Musik-Zeitung, November 20th, 1890.–The addressee, afterwards Conductor of the Royal Opera, and present Director of the Royal Academical Institute for Church Music in Berlin, was formerly Vice-director of the Leipzig “Singacademie” with Ferdinand David, and, intoxicated with the first performance of Berlioz’s Faust at Weimar, he had determined to give such another in the Vocal Union of which he was Co- director. With this object he begged Liszt for the score. But the plan was not carried out, as Radecke exchanged his post at New Year, 1853, for that of a Music Director at the Leipzig Town theater.]

Best thanks, dear Radecke, for your letter and the approved good intention.

The “Faust” score will be at your service with great pleasure as soon as I have got it back from Berlioz. It is probable that the copy which Berlioz will see about for me in Paris will be ready by Christmas, so that I shall be able to send it you soon after New Year.

In the course of the winter I intend also to give a performance of the little oratorio “La Fuite en Egypte,” attributed to the imaginary Maitre de Chapelle Pierre Ducre. This graceful and interesting work should meet with approbation in Leipzig, and offers no difficulty either for voice or orchestra. If you keep the secret, and let your Gesangverein [Vocal Union] study it under the name of Pierre Ducre, a composer of the sixteenth century, I am convinced that it will not fail to make an effect.

[Liszt’s playful suggestion about the Flight into Egypt was based upon the fact that Berlioz, on its first performance, had mystified the Paris public and brought forward the work under the feigned name of Pierre Ducre, the organist of the Sainte Chapelle in Paris in the year 1679.]

Joachim goes the day after tomorrow to Berlin; Cossmann is in Paris; and Nabich [The first trombone player of the Weimar orchestra, and a most admirable performer on his instrument.] is performing in London, Liverpool, and Manchester. None the less we are giving “Tannhauser” next Sunday (12th) (with subscriptions suspended!), and for this occasion the entire Finale of the second act and the new ending of the third will be studied.

Now farewell, and be active and cheerful, is the wish of yours most sincerely,

F. Liszt

December 9th, 1852

93. To Bernhard Cossmann

[Weimar, December, 1852.]

[The date and ending of the letter are wanting, but from its contents it may be ascribed to this date.]

Thanks, dear friend, for your kind few lines, which have given me sincere pleasure. Joachim is not yet back from Berlin, and Beck [The chief tenor (hero-tenor) at the Court Opera] has again got his old attack of the throat, and I fear rather seriously, from which these six years of cures, it appears, have not succeeded in curing him radically. In consequence of this dearth of tenors, the performances of Wagner’s and Berlioz’s operas are going to be put off till February, when I hope that Tichatschek will be able to come from Dresden and sing “Tannhauser,” “Lohengrin,” and the “Flying Dutchman.”

As for Cellini [Berlioz’s opera]; we shall unfortunately have to wait until Dr. Lieber, the new tenor engaged for next season, at present at the Cologne theater, has learnt the part. I hear Lieber’s voice highly spoken of, and it seems that he possesses also a dose of intelligence sufficient to understand how he ought to behave here.–

In the matter of news I have one small item to give you–namely, that on your return your salary will be raised fifty crowns, to make the round sum of four hundred.–Laub [Ferdinand Laub, a noteworthy violinist, was engaged for the 1st of January, 1853, as Joachim’s successor as Concertmeister at Weimar.] will arrive very shortly, and accepts the propositions which have been made to him. He will not be…

94. To Wilhelm Fischer, Chorus Director in Dresden

[Autograph in the possession of Herr Otto Lessmann at Charlottenburg.–The addressee was an intimate friend of Wagner’s (“Letters to Uhlig, Fischer, and Heine”–Leipzig, Breitkopf and Hartel, 1889).]

Dear Sir,

By today’s post I have sent you a minutely corrected copy of the score of the “Flying Dutchman.”

As this copy was my own property (Wagner had left it for me after his stay here in 1869) I could not suppose that Uhlig could expect it back from me as a theater score. The last letter from Wagner to me has made the matter clear, and I place this score with pleasure at his further disposal. I have replied to Wagner direct and fully; he is therefore aware that I have sent you my copy. [For fuller particulars about this see the “Wagner-Liszt Correspondence,” vol. i., pp. 207-9.]

Allow me to beg you kindly to make my excuses to Herr Heine [Ferdinand Heine, Court actor and costumier, famous through Wagner’s letters to him.] that I do not answer his letter just now. His indulgent opinion of our Lohengrtn performance is very flattering to me; I hope that by degrees we shall deserve still better the praise which comes to us from many sides: meanwhile, as the occasion of his writing was just the matter of the “Hollander” score, and as this is now quite satisfactorily settled, it does not require any further writing.

With best regards, yours truly,

F. Liszt

Weymar, January 13th, 1853

Is Tichatschek coming to our “Lohengrin” performance in February? Please beg him to try to do so. On Weymar’s side nothing will be neglected, and it will be a real joy to us both.

95. To Edmund Singer

[Formerly Concertmeister at Weimar; at present Court Concertmeister and Professor at the Stuttgart Conservatorium.]

Dear Sir,

I thank you much for your friendly letter, and commission Herr Gleichauf (in whom you will recognize an admirable viola virtuoso) to persuade you not to retract your promised visit to me at Weymar. It would be very pleasant to me to be able to keep you here a longer time, yet I doubt whether you would be satisfied with such a modest post as our administrative circumstances warrant. When we have an opportunity we will talk further of this; meanwhile it will be a pleasure to me to see and hear you again. Laub’s acquaintance will also interest you; he has just been playing some pieces with a really extraordinary virtuosity and bravura, so that we have all become quite warm about it.

Come, then, as soon as you have a couple of spare days, and be assured beforehand of the most friendly reception.

With my very best regards,

Yours truly,

F. Liszt

Saturday, January 15th, 1853

96. To Frau Dr. Lidy Steche in Leipzig

[The addressee sang for two winters in the Gewandhaus concerts (as Frl. Angermann). After her marriage she started a Vocal Union, in the forties, with which, in December 1853, she gave so excellent a pianoforte performance of “Lohengrin” at her own house, and afterwards at the Minerva “lodge,” that Hoplit, in his account of stage performances (Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik), spoke of the Steche undertaking as a “model performance.” This was before the performance of “Lohengrin” at the Leipzig theater in January 1854.]

My dear Madame,

I have the pleasure of answering your inquiries in regard to the performances of the Wagner operas with the following dates:–

For next Wednesday, February 16th, the birthday of H.R.H. the Grand Duchess, the first performance of the “Flying Dutchman” is fixed. (N. B.–For that evening all the places are already taken, and, as a great many strangers are coming, it will be difficult to find suitable rooms in Weymar.) The following Sunday, February 20th, the “Flying Dutchman” will be repeated; and on the 27th (Sunday) “Tannhauser” is promised, and on March 5th (Saturday) “Lohengrin.” Between these two performances of February 27th and March 5th the third performance of the “Flying Dutchman” will probably take place, of which I can give you more positive information at the end of this week. The Wagner week proper begins therefore with February 27th and closes with March 5th, and if it were possible to you to devote a whole week to these three glorious works of art I should advise you to get here by the 27th,–or, better still for you (as you are already quite familiar with “Tannhauser”), to come in time for the third performance of the “Flying Dutchman,” the date of which is still somewhat uncertain, but which will probably be fixed for the 2nd or 3rd March. Immediately after the first performance we shall get quite clear about it, and I will not fail to let you know officially the result of the theater Conference here (in which I am not concerned).

Accept, my dear Madame, the assurance of the high esteem of

Yours most truly,

F. Liszt

Weymar, February 4th, 1853

97. To Gustav Schmidt, Capellmeister at Frankfort-On-The-Maine

[Autograph (without address) in the possession of M. Alfred Bovet at Valentigney.–The contents show to whom the letter was addressed.]

Dear Friend,

Berlioz’s two symphonies, “Romeo and Juliet” and “Faust,” have been twice given here in the course of this winter with the utmost success. Berlioz was so good as to lend me the score and parts,–but with the express condition that they should not go out of my hands. When, at the request of the Leipzig Academy of Singing [Singacademie], I asked him some weeks ago whether he would not allow me to place “Faust” at the disposal of the Leipzig Institute for a proposed performance, he replied to me as follows:–

“Considering the deplorable performances of which my works have often been the victims both in Germany and elsewhere, I have resolved never to lend them in manuscript. Moreover there are enough of my works printed in score and in separate parts (the three Symphonies, several Overtures, the 5th May, the Requiem, etc.) to make it unnecessary to seek for others. If I made an exception for you,” [“Pour toi.” Showing that Liszt and Berlioz employed the “tutoyer” towards one another.] etc…

Although I was perfectly certain that the Leipzig performance would be a very satisfactory one, as many of my friends took a lively interest in it, and although I have not the least doubt that you would be anxious to give “Faust” its full value in Frankfort, yet you see from the above lines of Berlioz that I, to my regret, dare not risk any further application to him in this matter. “Faust,” moreover, will appear in score this year in Paris, and I sent Berlioz his manuscript back a short time ago.

Should you be disposed to perform something or other of Berlioz’s in Frankfort, I can recommend you, first of all, most warmly:-

The two Overtures to “Cellini” and the “Carnaval Romain”;

Two numbers out of the Symphony “Romeo and Juliet” -the feast at Capulet’s house and the Queen Mab (Scherzo);

And two Marches from the “Harold” Symphony and the “Symphonie Fantastique”-the March of the Pilgrims and the “Marche de Supplice” [“March on the Way to Execution”].

But it will be necessary for you to have several rehearsals–and indeed separate rehearsals for the quartet, and separate rehearsals for the wind instruments.

The effect of Berlioz’s works can only be uncommonly good when the performance of them is satisfactory.

They are equally unsuited to the ordinary worthy theater and concert maker, because they require a higher artistic standpoint from the musician’s side.

I looked through Kittl’s [1809-68. Director of the Prague Conservatorium.] opera some years ago in a piano arrangement, and, between ourselves, I do not think the work will last. Kittl is a personal friend of mine, and I should have been glad to be able to give his work here; but…nevertheless…etc., etc.

Raff’s “King Alfred” is a much more successful and important work; and, without wishing to injure Kittl, there is in Raff quite other musical stuff and grist. [Steckt doch in Raff ein ganz anderer musikalischer Kern and Kerl: untranslatable play on words.]

During your last stay in Weymar I spoke to you of Vesque’s new opera “Der lustige Rath.” Various local circumstances have delayed the performance at Vienna of this really pretty, nicely worked out opera. The mise-en-scene does not require any special efforts; the piece only requires a somewhat piquant and not unskillful soprano singer. Altogether the opera appears to me to be written in a charming style, not too superficially conservative, and to be one of the best among the new operas mezzo-carattere. In case you still have time and are not indisposed to give the opera in Frankfort, I can send you the score. You would do Vesque an essential service if you could give the opera soon, and would have friendly relations with him, for Vesque is a cultivated, intelligent, and first-rate man. [Vesque von Puttlingen (pseudonym, Hoven), 1803-83, Councillor of the Austrian Foreign Ministry, composer of songs and operas.] There are not too many such!

Yours in all friendship,

F. Liszt

Weimar, February 27th, 1853

98. To Heinrich Brockhaus, Bookseller in Leipzig

[Published in a German translation: La Mara, “Letters of Musicians during Five Centuries, vol. ii., 1887.]

My dear Mr. Brockhaus,

In thanking you for your kind mention of the notice joined to my name in the Conversations Lexikon, I wish above all things not to go beyond the limits of most scrupulous delicacy, which in these sorts of things have always appeared to me all the more desirable to maintain because they are so very often passed. Consequently I will only allow myself to point out three misstatements of fact in the article about myself: firstly, my supposed title of ex-St. Simonien; secondly, my supposed journey to America; thirdly, my diploma of the University of Konigsberg, which my biographer arbitrarily changes into a diploma of Doctor of Music, which was not the one given to me.–

I have never had the honor of belonging to the association, or, to put it better, to the religious and political family of St. Simonisme. Notwithstanding my personal sympathy with this or that member of it, my zeal has been but little beyond that which Heine, Boerne, and twenty others whose names are in the Conversations Lexikon showed at the same period, and they limited themselves to following pretty often the eloquent preachings of the Salle Taitbout. Among my numerous tailors’ bills, I can certify that there is not one to be found of a bleu-barbot coat [The dress of the St. Simonists.]; and, as I have mentioned Heine, I ought to add that my fervor was far short of his, for I never thought of wishing to “Commune through space with the Child-lake Father,” by correspondence or dedication, as he has done!–

Further, I can also assure you that my practical course of the geography of Europe has not extended beyond it, and that the four or five other parts of the globe are entirely unknown to me. And when you come to see me at Weymar I can show you, amongst other diplomas, that of the University of Konigsberg, in virtue of which I have the honor to belong, exceptionally, to the class of Doctors in Philosophy, an honor for which I have always been peculiarly grateful to this illustrious University.

As to the summary judgment passed upon my person and my works in this article, you will easily understand that I only accept it as transitory and with due reserve, much obliged though I am besides to the author for his kind intentions. After having attained, according to my biographer, the first aim of my youth,–that of being called the Paganini of the Piano,-it seems to me it is natural that I should seriously have the ambition of bearing my own name, and that I should count somewhat on the results of a desire and of persevering work, so far as to hope that in one of the later editions of the Conversations Lexikon I may have a place more in accordance with my aims. [The article in question, which was published at a time when Liszt’s greater works had partly not yet been written, and partly were not yet known in the wider circles, speaks of poverty of invention, and considers his compositions rather those of a virtuoso than of imaginative significance.]

Accept, my dear Mr. Brockhaus, the expression of my most sincere regard, and believe me

Yours very truly,

F. Liszt

Weymar March 22nd, 1853

99. To Dr. Franz Brendel in Leipzig

[Autograph of the letter to Brendel in the possession of Frau Dr. Riedel in Leipzig.–Brendel (born 1811, died November 25th, 1868, in Leipzig) rendered great services to the New German (i.e., the Wagner-Liszt) musical tendencies, as a writer on music (Geschichte der Musik, History of Music), and as editor of the Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik (founded by R. Schumann). He also, together with Liszt, originated the “Allgemeine Deutsche Musikverein” (the “German Universal Musical Union”), and was its president up to his death.]

Dear Friend,

A little trip to Gotha, where the Duke had invited me to be present at the performance of his opera “Casilda” the day before yesterday, must bear the blame of my delay in writing to you. After duly thinking over and considering your letter, I must tell you first and foremost my exact opinion with regard to the immediate appearance of the proposed paper. In my opinion at least two or three months are requisite to establish the necessary relations with the chief co-operators, and to give due weight to the whole undertaking. Without complete agreement as to means and aims we should compromise rather than help the matter. We must have the positive agreement and assurance of Semper, Stahr, Hettner, Hauenschild, and others (among whom Vischer of Tübingen must be sure not to be forgotten), before the first number appears. We have to struggle for a far higher and more difficult end than, for instance, the Unterhallungen am hausliehen Herd [Entertainments at Home] or the Fliegende Blatter fur Musik. [Fly-leaves for Music.] The most important step for us is the very first, at the house door; and if we do not weigh this step with due reflection we shall run a great risk of winning only imaginary future subscribers for the Art Work of the Future, and of seeing our best wishes for its feasibility shipwrecked.

Whether also the title Kunstwerk der Zukunft [Art Work of the Future.] should be employed, or what other definition should be the axis of our united efforts in the opening number, I will put on one side for the present. The full discussion of this and other things I will keep for your next visit to Weymar. Raff’s opera is announced for this day fortnight (Sunday, April 17th). If it is agreeable to you to come here sooner, you will be most welcome at any moment. This time and every time that you come to Weymar, I beg you to stay with me, both for your own convenience and mine.

Förster’s exact address I will send you very soon, although I conclude that letters addressed Herr Hofrath Ernst Forster would be safely delivered by the post office. Stahr is the best person to give you information about Herr von Hauenschild (Max Waldau– not Count, as far as I know), and Hettner is a Professor in Jena.

Further, it is my opinion that you had better not send your communications to these gentlemen until we have settled some of the chief points in this matter.

I shall undertake a security of four hundred thalers on this proposed agreement between us, in return for a receipt from the management which you will give me. I cannot at present hold out the prospect of further support; yet it is possible that I may succeed in getting three to five hundred thalers annually, under certain conditions, for which there is no personal ground whatever (and which I hinted to you in our last conversation in Leipzig), for the pages of The Present and Future.

Remember me kindly to your wife, and be assured of the entire willingness of

Yours truly,

F. Liszt

Weymar, April 3rd, 1853

100. To Dr. Franz Brendel

Dear Friend,

Good advice is seldom cheap, and I must honestly confess that in my present very fluctuating circumstances I am not rich enough to help you efficaciously by lending you a helping hand, however much I might wish to do so. Stahr’s refusal is very much to be regretted, for, in order to attain your end and to influence the world of literature, you positively require more literary men of great note to join you. Next to the money question the formation of the nucleus of management is the most important matter in this undertaking. However zealous and self-sacrificing you and Schlonbach [Arnold Schlonbach, journalist, died long ago.] may be in devoting your talents and powers to the paper, yet I doubt whether you will be able to keep it going unless you get some further capable men of talent as co-operators. This brings us, however, again to the money question, which I unfortunately am not in a position to solve. To be obliged to give it up after six months would be a far worse fate than not to begin it at all. Therefore, before everything, the moral guarantee must be forthcoming for its continuance, and for the constantly increasing spread of the paper, and these depend principally on the guarantee which the first five or six co-operators warrant. You remark quite truly that, if Wagner would take an interest in the matter, it would be of the greatest help. Perhaps he might be persuaded to do so, and I will willingly start the subject to him.

The title, size (as well as the limits of the paper, and cover), and fortnightly issue give me thorough satisfaction, and according to my opinion nothing more need be altered in these three particulars. A weekly issue has its advantages– nevertheless I have always thought that two papers per month are on the whole better than four. But whether it is possible and advisable to make the first start as early as July I much question. “Tout vient a point a qui sait attendre,” says the French proverb. It certainly is important to seize the right moment, and that must be decided by you. Let me only beg you not to give too much weight to passing and local influences, and only to come forward when you can hold your ground with quiet, deliberate courage. Retreat belongs to the enemy. For us it is “Gradatim vincimus.”

The matter of the security remains as promised. If you should not be ready by July, October would be just as favorable, if not more so–only, in Heaven’s name, no backward step when once started!– Some articles of provision and ammunition seem to me to be absolutely necessary before you begin. Two months are a short time to get them ready, and I scarcely think it will be possible for you to be ready for action by July. Have you written yet to Wagner? You must not expect much from Hettner without Stahr. But, through Hinrichs or Franz, Hauenschild might perhaps be won over. I advise you to stick fast to Schwind. One of his last pictures, “Beethoven’s Fancy,” bought by the King of Greece, points to him above all others as the representative of painting in your paper.

May I beg you also to send a few lines to Kurnberger to tell him that I have given you his manuscript? It would be discourteous if I were to leave him without any answer, and, as I cannot say anything further to him, we should save useless circumlocution if you would be so good as to correspond with him direct.

Incidentally you would also save me another letter about nothing, if you would write to Lenz (on the subject of this conference).

Whilst I am talking with you, Senora Pepita Oliva is doing her favorite tricks at the theater, which are more prized and rated higher than they deserve, so I am assured. “J’aime mieux y croire qu’y aller voir.” [I would rather take it for granted than go and see it.] The brothers Wieniawski have also been here some days. The violinist is a virtuoso of importance,–that is to say, in the ordinary, but not quite correct, sense of this word; for Virtuoso comes from Virtu, and should neither be so falsified nor so misapplied.