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give you their most friendly greetings and wishes, to which I add once more the expression of my friendly devotion.

A thousand respects and homage.

F. Liszt

January 4th, 1855

131. To Alfred Dorffel in Leipzig

[Writer on music, born 1821; custodian of the musical section of the town library of Leipzig: the University there gave him the degree of Dr. phil. honoris causa.]

Dear Sir,

Allow me to express to you direct my most cordial thanks for the conscientious and careful pains you have taken in regard to my Catalogue. [“Thematic Catalogue of Liszt’s Compositions.”] I am really quite astonished at the exactitude of your researches, and intend to repeat my warm thanks to you in person in Leipzig, and to discuss with you still more fully the motives which lead me not entirely to agree with your proposal, and only to use a part of your new elaboration of my Catalogue. To avoid diffuseness, I can for today only state a couple of points.

The standpoint of your new arrangement is, if I have rightly understood you, as follows:–There are still being circulated in the music-shops a certain number of copies of my works, especially of the “Studies,” “Hungarian Rhapsodies,” and several “Fantasiestucke” (under the collective title of “Album d’un Voyageur”), etc., that I have not included in my Catalogue, which I gave into Dr. Hartel’s hands for printing;–and you have taken upon yourself the troublesome task of arranging these different and somewhat numerous works in what would be, under other circumstances, a most judicious manner.

However gratifying to me this interest of yours in the production of a suitable Catalogue can but be, yet I must declare myself decidedly for the non-acceptance of the portions added by you (with certain exceptions).

1. The Hofmeister edition of the twelve Studies (with a lithograph of a cradle, and the publisher’s addition “travail de jeunesse”!) is simply a piracy of the book of Studies which was published at Frankfort when I was thirteen years old. I have long disowned this edition and replaced it by the second, under the title “Etudes d’execution transcendante,” published by Haslinger in Vienna, Schlesinger in Paris, and Mori and Lavener in London. But this second edition has now been annulled several years ago, and Haslinger has, by my desire, put aside my copyright and plates, and bound himself by contract not to publish any more copies of this work henceforth. After a complete agreement with him I set to work and produced a third edition of my twelve Studies (very materially improved and transformed), and begged Messrs. Hartel to publish it with the note “seule edition authentique, revue par l’auteur, etc.,” which they did. Consequently I recognize only the Hartel edition of the twelve Studies as the SOLE LEGITIMATE ONE, which I also clearly express by a note in the Catalogue, and I therefore wish that the Catalogue should make no mention of the earlier ones. I think I have found the simplest means of making my views and intentions clear by the addition of the sign (+).

2. It is the same case with the Paganini “Etudes” and the “Rhapsodies Hongroises;” and after settling matters with Haslinger I completely gained the legal right to disavow the earlier editions of these works, and to protest against eventual piracy of them, as I am once more in possession both of the copyright and the entire engraving plates.

These circumstances will explain to you the reappearance (in a very much altered conception and form) of many of my compositions, on which I, as piano player and piano composer, am obliged to lay some stress, as they form, to a certain extent, the expression of a closed period of my artist-individuality.

In literature the production of very much altered, increased, and improved editions is no uncommon thing. In works both important and trivial, alterations, additions, varying divisions of periods, etc., are a common experience of an author. In the domain of music such a thing is more minute and more difficult– and therefore it is seldom done. None the less do I consider it very profitable to correct one’s mistakes as far as possible, and to make use of the experiences one gains by the editions of the works themselves. I, for my part, have striven to do this; and, if I have not succeeded, it at least testifies to my earnest endeavour.

3. In the “Annees de Pelerinage” (Schott, Mainz) several of the pieces are again taken from the “Album d’un Voyageur.” The Album brought out by Haslinger must not be quoted in the Catalogue, because the work has not been carried out according to its original plan, and Haslinger has given me back, in this case also, the copyright and plates.

As the natural consequence of what I have said I beg you therefore, dear sir, not to undertake any alteration in the disposition and arrangement of my Catalogue, and only to add the various enlargements and improvements, for which I have to thank your overlooking and corrections, as I have now given them and marked them.–

The title of the Catalogue might sound better thus in German:–

F. Liszt

“Thematischer Catalog.” [“Thematic Catalogue”]

And the letters of the headings “Etudes–Harmonies–Annees de Pelerinage–Ungarische Rhapsodien–Fantaisies on Airs from Operas, etc.,” must be rather large, and these headings separated from the special title of the works.

I cannot agree with the admission of a supplementary Opus- number,–but it is of consequence to me that the Catalogue should come out speedily, in order to get as clear a survey as possible of my works up to the present time (which, however, are by no means sufficient for me).

Accept once more my best thanks, dear Sir, as also the assurance of high esteem of

Yours most truly,

F. Liszt

January 17th, 1855.

P.S.–I take the liberty of keeping your edition of the Catalogue here meanwhile, as it cannot be used for the arrangement of the Hartel edition.

132. To Anton Rubinstein

Your fugue of this morning, my dear Rubinstein, is very little to my taste, and I much prefer to it the Preludes that you wrote at an earlier date in this same room, which, to my great surprise, I found empty when I came to fetch you for the Berlioz rehearsal. Is it a fact that this music works on your nerves? And, after the specimen you had of it the other time at the Court, did the resolution to hear more of it seem to you too hard to take? Or have you taken amiss some words I said to you, which, I give you my word, were nothing but a purely friendly proceeding on my part? Whatever it may be, I don’t want any explanations in writing, and only send you these few lines to intimate that your nocturnal flight was not a very agreeable surprise to me, and that you would have done better in every way to hear the “Fuite en Egypte” and the “Fantaisie sur la Tempete” of Shakespeare.

Send me tidings of yourself from Vienna (if not sooner), and, whatever rinforzando of “murrendo” may happen, please don’t do a wrong to the sentiments of sincere esteem and cordial friendship invariably maintained towards you by

F. Liszt

Weymar, February 21st, 1855.

133. To Louis Kohler

My very dear Friend,

Hans von Bulow will bring you these lines. You must enjoy yourself in the artist who, above all other active or dying out virtuosi; is the dearest to me, and who has, so to speak, grown out of my musical heart.–When Hummel heard me in Paris more than twenty-five years ago, he said, “Der Bursch ist ein Eisenfresser.” [The fellow is a bravo.”] To this title, which was very flattering to me, Hans von Bulow can with perfect justice lay claim, and I confess that such an extraordinarily gifted, thorough-bred musical organism as his has never come before me.

Receive him as an approved and energetic friend, and do all you can to make his stay in Konigsberg a pleasant one.

Yours in friendship,

F. Liszt

Weymar, March 16th, 1855

The engraving of my Symphonic Poems is in progress, and in the course of this summer five or six of them will be ready. There is a good bit of work in it.

At the present time I am exclusively engaged in the composition of a “Missa Solemnis.” You know that I received, from the Cardinal Primate of Hungary, the commission to write the work for the consecration of the cathedral at Gran, and to conduct it there (probably on the 15th of August).

134. To Dr. Franz Brendel

Sunday, March 18th, 1855

A few words in haste, dear friend, for I am over head and ears in work. First and foremost, my best thanks for your communications, with the request to continue them, even if I cannot always answer the different points thoroughly.

I send you herewith the title of “The Captive” [Song, by Berlioz, for alto voice with orchestra or piano.]–the words must be written under the notes both in French and German. There can be no copyright claimed for this Opus in Germany, as it appeared years ago in Paris. It is to be hoped, however, that Kahnt will not lose by it, as he has only to bear the cost of printing–and in any case it is a suitable work for his shop..–.

To be brief–Panofka’s [A well-known teacher of singing and writer on music (1807-88); collaborator of the Neue Zeitschrift.] letter, in your last number, must be regarded as a mystification. In the first few lines a glaring falsehood, founded on facts, is conspicuous, for the Societe de Ste. Cecile has been in existence for years, and was formerly [1848-54] conducted by Seghers [Pupil of Baillot (1801-81)]–not to mention that Berlioz conducted the Societe Philharmonique, where “many Symphonies were performed,” for at least a season (of something like four years)–and then as regards Scudo, [Musical critic and journalist in Paris (1806-64)] it must appear incredible to see a man like that mentioned with approval in your paper. It is well known that Scudo has, for years past, with the unequivocal arrogance of mediocrity, taken up the position of making the most spiteful and maliciously foolish opposition, in the revue des Deux Mondes (the “Grenzboten” only gives a faint impression of it), to our views of Art, and to those men whom we honor and back up. (I can tell you more about this by word of mouth.) If Panofka calls that “persuasion and design,” I give him my compliments…on his silliness.–

Your views on the characteristic motives are right, and for my part I would maintain them very decidedly against the bornes attacks which they have to bear–yet I think it is advisable not to discuss Marx’s book [“The Music of the Nineteenth Century,” 1855.] at present.

Yours ever,

F. Liszt

135. To Dr. Franz Brendel

April 1st, 1855

Dear Friend,

The question of criticism through creative and executive artists must some time come on the tapis, and Schumann affords a perfectly natural opportunity for it. [Liszt’s article on Robert Schumann, “Gesammelte Schriften,” Vol. iv.] By the proofs of the second article (which I thank you much for having corrected with the necessary exactitude) you will observe that I have modified several expressions, and have held them in more just bounds. Believe me, dear friend, the domain of artists is in the greater part guilty of our sluggish state of Art, and it is from this side especially that we must act, in order to bring about gradually the reform desired and pioneered by you.

Tyszkiewicz’s [Count Tyszkiewicz, writer on music, collaborator of the Neue Zeitschrift.] letter gave me the idea of asking you to make him a proposal in my name, which cannot be any inconvenience to him. In one number of Europe artiste he translated the article on “Fidelio.” [By Liszt, “Gesammelte Schriften,” Vol. iii., I.] Should he be disposed to publish several of my articles in the same paper, I am perfectly ready to let him have the French originals, [Liszt’s articles were, as already mentioned, written in French and translated into German by Cornelius.] whereby he would save time and trouble. He has only to write to me about it; for, after his somewhat capricious behaviour towards me, I am not particularly inclined to apply to him direct, before he has written to me. I am in perfect agreement with his good intentions; it is only a question how far he is able and willing to carry them out, and how he sets about it. His “Freischutz-Rodomontade” is a student’s joke, to which one can take quite kindly, but which one cannot hold up as a heroic feat. If he wishes to be of use to the good cause of musical progress, he must place and prove himself differently. For my part I have not the slightest dislike to him, only of course it seemed rather strange to me that, after he had written to me several times telling me that he was coming to see me at Weymar, and had also allowed Wagner to write a letter of introduction for him, which he sent to me, he should ignore me, as it were, during his long stay in Leipzig. This does not of course affect the matter in hand, and I am not in the least angry at his want of attention, but I simply wait till it occurs to him to behave like a reasonable man.

I thank you for your tidings about Dietrich–although I am accustomed to expect less, rather than more, from people.

On the 9th April Schumann’s “Genoveva” will be given here–and I think I may venture to promise before-hand that the performance will be a far better one than that at Leipzig. Fraulein Riese will tell you about the “Transfiguration of the Lord.” [Oratorio by Kuhmstedt] Of this kind there should certainly be no more [oratorios The word is missing in the original, as the corner of the letter is cut off] composed.

Yours in friendship,

F. Liszt

136. To Anton Rubinstein

My dear Rubinstein,

Gurkhaus has just sent me a copy of your “Persian Songs,” on the title-page of which there is a mistake which I beg you to get corrected without delay. The Grand Duchess Sophie is no longer “Hereditary Grand Duchess,” but “Grand Duchess” pure and simple, and I think it would not do to send her the dedicatory copy with this extra word. Please write therefore to Gurkhaus to see to it.

In the number of the Blatter fur Musik which has come to me I have read with great pleasure and satisfaction Zellner’s article on your first concert in Vienna. It is not only very well written but thoroughly well conceived, and of the right tone and manner to maintain for criticism its right and its raison d’etre. I second it very sincerely for the just eulogy it gives to your works; and, if you have the opportunity, make my compliments to Zellner, to whom I wrote a few lines the other day. This article coincides rather singularly with that which appeared in the Neue Zeitschrift (No. II.) on Robert Schumann, in which I probed rather deeply into the question of criticism. If you believe me, my dear Rubinstein, you will not long delay making yourself of the party; for, for the few artists who have sense, intelligence, and a serious and honest will, it is really their duty to take up the pen in defense of our Art and our conviction–it matters little, moreover, on which side of the opinions represented by the Press you think it well to place yourself. Musical literature is a field far too little cultivated by productive artists, and if they continue to neglect it they will have to bear the consequences and to pay their damages.

With regard to Weymar news, I beg to inform you that this evening Kulhmstedt’s oratorio “The Transfiguration of the Lord” will be given at the theater, under the very undirecting direction of the composer. I cannot, unfortunately, return him the compliment he paid you at Wilhelmsthal–“Young man, you have satisfied me”; for, after having heard it at three rehearsals, I found no satisfaction in it either for my ears or my mind: it is the old frippery of counterpoint–the old unsalted, unpeppered sausage, [Figure: Musical example]

etc., rubbish, to the ruin of eye and ear! I will try to leave it out in my Mass, although this style is very usual in composing Church music. In five or six weeks I hope to have finished this work, at which I am working heart and soul (the Kyrie and Gloria are written). Perhaps I shall still find you at Vienna (or in the outskirts, which are charming), when I come to Gran in the month of July.

If not, we shall see each other again at Weymar, for you owe me a compensation for your last fugue, which is no more to my taste than Kuhmstedt’s counterpoint. When are you going to send me the complete works of Anton Rubinstein that you promised me, and which I beg you not to forget? Your idea of a retrospective Carnival seems to me excellent, and you know how to write charming and distinguished pieces of that kind.

Farewell, dear friend; I must leave you to go and have a rehearsal of Schumann’s “Genoveva,” which is to be given next Monday. It is a work in which there is something worthy of consideration, and which bears a strong impress of the composer’s style. Among the Operas which have been produced during the last fifty years it is certainly the one I prefer (Wagner excepted– that is understood), notwithstanding its want of dramatic vitality–a want not made up for by some beautiful pieces of music, whatever interest musicians of our kind may nevertheless take in hearing them.

A thousand cordial greetings, and yours ever,

F. Liszt

Weymar, April 3rd, 1855

When you write to me, please add your address. I beg you will also return my best compliments to Lewy. [Pianist in St. Petersburg; a friend of Rubinstein’s.]

A thousand affectionate messages to Van II. from the Princess.

137. To Freiherr Beaulieu-Marconnay, Intendant of the Court theater at Weimar

[Autograph in the possession of Herr Hermann Scholtz, Kammer- Virtuosos in Dresden. The addressee died in Dresden.]

Dear Baron,

It is not precisely a distraction, still less a forgetfulness, with which I might be reproached as regards the programme of this evening’s concert. The indications which Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess condescends to give me are too precious to me for me not to be most anxious to fulfill at least all my duties. If, then, one of Beethoven’s Symphonies does not figure in today’s programme, it is because I thought I could better satisfy thus the intentions of H.R.H., and that I permitted myself to guess that which she has not taken the occasion to explain this time. The predilection of His Majesty the King of Saxony for Beethoven’s Symphonies assuredly does honor to his taste for the Beautiful in music, and no one could more truly agree to that than I. I will only observe, on the one side, that Beethoven’s Symphonies are extremely well known, and, on the other, that these admirable works are performed at Dresden by an orchestra having at its disposal far more considerable means than we have here, and that consequently our performance would run the risk of appearing rather provincial to His Majesty. Moreover if Dresden, following the example of Paris, London, Leipzig, Berlin, and a hundred other cities, stops at Beethoven (to whom, while he was living, they much preferred Haydn and Mozart), that is no reason why Weymar–I mean musical Weymar, which I make the modest pretension of representing–should keep absolutely to that. There is without doubt nothing better than to respect, admire, and study the illustrious dead; but why not also sometimes live with the living? We have tried this plan with Wagner, Berlioz, Schumann, and some others, and it would seem that it has not succeeded so badly up to now for there to be any occasion for us to alter our minds without urgent cause, and to put ourselves at the tail–of many other tails!–

The significance of the musical movement of which Weymar is the real center lies precisely in this initiative, of which the public does not generally understand much, but which none the less acquires its part of importance in the development of contemporary Art.

For the rest, dear Baron, I hasten to make all straight for this evening by following your advice, and I will ask Messrs. Singer and Cossmann to play with me Beethoven’s magnificent trio (in B- flat–dedicated to the Archduke Rudolph), as No. 3 in the programme.

A thousand affectionate compliments, and

Yours ever,

F. Liszt

Monday, May 21st, 1855

138. To Anton Rubinstein

My dear Rubinstein,

On my return from the Musical Festival at Dusseldorf, where I hoped to meet you, I found the parcel of oeuvres choisies and the portrait, which is very successful, of Van II. I hasten to give you my best thanks for this first sending, begging you not to forget your promise to complete, in the course of their publication, the collection of your works, which have for me always a double interest of Art and friendship. This morning we had a taste, with Singer and Cossmann, of the Trio in G minor, of which I had kept a special recollection–and afterwards Princess Marie Wittgenstein (who commissions me to give all her thanks to you, until she can have the pleasure of giving them to you in person) demanded the pieces dedicated to her, which had complete success. A propos of dedications, the Grand Duchess Sophie is enchanted with the “Persische Lieder” [“Persian Songs”], and this she has probably already intimated to you. Shortly before her departure for Dusseldorf she sang several of them over again, taking more and more liking to them. Decidedly the first impression that these “Lieder” made on me, when you showed them to me, and when I begged you to publish them without delay, was just, and I have not been deceived in predicting for them a quasi-popular success. Mdlle. Genast, who has returned from Berlin, tells me that she made a furor there with “Wenn es doch immer so bliebe!” [“Oh, could it remain so for ever!”] But, unfortunately, as an older song has it, “it cannot remain so for ever under the changing moon!” The last time I was passing through Leipzig (where they gave my “Ave Maria” exceedingly well at the Catholic Church), I told Gotze to appropriate to himself three or four of your “Persische Lieder,” which he will sing splendidly; and, as he comes here pretty often, I will beg him to give us the first hearing of them at some Court concert. The Grand Duchess Olga is expected for the day after tomorrow; and if, as is probable, they treat her to a little concert, I shall take advantage of the opportunity to make her become better acquainted with the Trios you dedicated to her, and which I consider as among your best works. In the parcel I noticed the absence of “L’Album de Kamennoi-Ostrow,” which I should like to make known, or, better still, to offer from you to H.I.H. the Dowager Grand Duchess, and which I want you to send me for this purpose.

If by chance you pass through Bonn, do not forget to go and see Professor Kilian, who has been interested in you from very old times, and with whom we talked much of you and your works during the journey from Cologne to Dusseldorf.

Write me word soon what you are doing now. I, for my part, shall spend the summer at Weymar, up to the time of my journey to Gran (June-August). I count on your promise to come and see me in the autumn, unless your road should lead you into these parts sooner. You may be very sure of being always most welcome at the Altenburg–and, even if a number of those holding our musical opinions should meet still less often than in the past, that would not in any way influence the very sincere feelings of friendship and esteem which I bear towards you and keep towards you invariably. When we see each other again, you will find my “Divina Commedia” pretty far advanced; I have sketched a plan of it (a Symphony in three parts: the two first, “Hell” and “Purgatory,” exclusively instrumental; the third, “Paradise,” with chorus): but I cannot set myself entirely to this work until I have finished the new score of my choruses from Herder’s “Prometheus,” which I am rewriting in order to have it printed shortly after the publication of my Symphonic Poems, six of which will come out next October.

I am very curious to see what your new case of manuscripts will contain. Have you set to work on “Paradise Lost”? I think that would be the most opportune work for taking possession of your fame as a composer.

A thousand cordial expressions of friendship, and

Yours ever,

F. Liszt

June 3rd, 1855

139. To Dr. Franz Brendel

[Weimar, June 1855]

Dear Friend,

Best thanks for your munificence. The weed [Cigars] is very welcome, and you will have to answer for it if it induces me to importune you with some more columns. Meanwhile I send you the proofs of the second Berlioz article, together with a fresh provision of manuscripts, and with the next proofs you will get the end.

I will also send you very soon a report of the Dusseldorf Musical Festival (not by me), the authorship of which I beg you to keep strictly anonymous. Probably he will be piquant and forcible. On the whole, and also in detail, the Dusseldorf Musical Festival can only be described as a great success, and I, for my part, rejoice in this and every success without particularly envying it. My task is quite a different one, the solution of which is by no means troubled thereby.

If you should by any chance have read that I am going to America (!–there are many people who would be glad to have me out of sight!), and that a Leipzig virtuoso (in Leipzig such animals as virtuosi are seldom to be met with!) is going to take my place here, you can simply laugh, as I have done, at this old canard– but don’t say anything to contradict it in your paper; such bad jokes are not worth noticing, and are only good as finding food for inquisitive Philistines. In a few days I hope to be able again to do something serious with my work, and shall not leave Weymar until my journey to Hungary (at the end of August). Gutzkow’s appointment is still in suspense, but is not impossible. Have you read Frau Marr’s (Sangalli’s) brochure, brought out by Otto Wigand? The pages which she devotes to my work here may perhaps interest you, and I have absolutely nothing to complain of in them, especially in view of the fact that I have not hitherto been able to go “hand in hand” with Marr. Marr has, moreover, according to what he told me, given in his resignation as artistic Director, [At the Weimar Court theater] and one cannot get clear about the entire theater-management for some weeks to come. I keep myself very passive in the matter, and don’t fish in troubled waters. Thus much is certain–that if Weymar wants to do anything regular, it cannot do without my ideas and influence. About the rest I don’t need to trouble myself. Last Sunday we held a satisfactory performance of “Tannhauser” in honor of the Princess of Prussia–and next Monday the opera will be repeated.

Friendly greetings to your wife from your almost too active fellow-worker and friend,

F. Liszt

I am writing to Fraulein Riese one of these next days, to invite her to the performance of my Mass at Jena. [The Mass for male voices was performed there in the latter half of June.]

140. To Dr. Franz Brendel.

[The first sheet of the original is missing]

Evers’ [Doubtless Carl Evers (1819-75), composed Sonatas, Salon pieces, etc.] letter has amused me, and it will cost you but little diplomacy to conciliate the sensitive composer. You know what I think of his talent for composition. From people like that nothing is to be expected as long as they have not learned to understand that they are uselessly going round and round in what is hollow, dry, and used up. That good Flugel [Music writer and composer; at that time teacher in a school at Neuwied; now organist at the Castle at Stettin.] has also little power of imagination, although a little more approach to something more earnest, which has at least this good in itself–that it checks a really too naive productiveness…His letter on the Dusseldorf Musical Festival is again a little bit of Barenzucker [Liquorice.] (reglisse in French), and W.’s article in comparison with it quite a decent Pate Regnault. When we see each other again I will make this difference clear to you–meanwhile make the Rhinelanders happy with the latter, and don’t be afraid of the whispers which it may perhaps call forth; for, I repeat, it contains nothing untrue or exaggerated, and in your position of necessary opposition it would be inconsistent if you were to keep back views of that kind from the public.

With the most friendly greeting, your

F. Liszt

June 16th, 1855.

My Mass for male voices and organ (published by Hartel two years ago) will be given next week at the church in Jena. As soon as the day is fixed I will let Fraulein Riese know.

Once more I recommend you to keep the W. article strictly anonymous.

141. To Concertmeister [Leader of orchestra] Edmund Singer.

Dear Singer,

If I write but seldom to my friends there is, besides other reasons, one principal cause for it, in that I have but seldom anything agreeable or lively to tell them. Since your departure very little has happened here that would interest you. One half of our colleagues of the Neu-Weymar-Verein [New Weymar Union] is absent–Hoffmann in Holland, Preller in the Oldenburg woods, Pruckner and Schreiber at Goslar, etc., etc.–so that our innocent reunions (which finally take place in the room of the shooting-house) are put off for several weeks. Cornelius is working at a Mass for men’s voices–on the 15th of August we shall hear it in the Catholic Church. I, on my side, am working also at a Psalm (chorus, solos, and orchestra), which will be ready by your return, in spite of all interruptions which I have to put up with by constant visits. An exceptionally agreeable surprise to me was Hans von Bulow, who spent a couple of days here, and brought with him some new compositions, amongst which I was particularly pleased with a very interesting, finely conceived, and carefully worked-out “Reverie fantastique.” Until the 15th of August (when his holidays end) he remains in Copenhagen, where he will certainly meet with a friendly reception. Perhaps next summer you would be inclined to go there. You would find it a very pleasant neighborhood, and many pleasant people there, who have also been agreeably remembered by me. If I had time, I would gladly go there again for a couple of weeks, to find a little solitude in the Zoological Gardens and to forget somewhat other bestialities. [Probably a play on the words Thiergarten (beast-garden) and Bestialitaten] This satisfaction is not so easily attainable for me elsewhere.

I envy you immensely about Patikarius [Hungarian gipsy orchestras] and Ketskemety. [Hungarian gipsy orchestras] This class of music is for me a sort of opium, of which I am sometimes sorely in need. If you should by chance see Kertbeny, who has now obtained a logis honoraire, please tell him that my book on the Gipsies and Gipsy Music is already almost entirely translated by Cornelius, and that I will send it to him by the autumn. But beg him at the same time not to write tome, as it is impossible for me to start a detailed correspondence with K.

I sent the pianoforte arrangement (with the voices) yesterday to Herr von Augusz, with the request that he would present them, when he had an opportunity, to His Eminence Cardinal Scitowsky. The Mass [Liszt’s Graner Messe.] will not take up an excessively long time, either in performance or studying. But it is indispensable that I should conduct the general rehearsal as well as the performance myself; for the work cannot be ranked amongst those in which ordinary singing, playing, and arrangement will suffice, although it offers but small difficulties. It is a matter of some not usual trifles in the way of accent, devotion, inspiration, etc.

When are you coming back, dear Singer? Only bring home with you an orderly packet of manuscripts, that is to say to Weymar, where I hope that you will feel yourself more and more at home.

The members of our Club who are still here send you the most friendly greetings by me, to which I add a cordial “auf baldiges Wiedersehen” [“May we soon meet again!”].

Yours ever,

F. Liszt

August 1st, 1855

P.S.–Joachim is going to make a walking tour in Tyrol. I hope he will come and see us on his return. Berlioz proposes to give some concerts in Vienna and Prague next December. I shall probably postpone my journey to Wagner (at Zurich) until November. I shall remain here for the next few months, in order to write several things in readiness for the winter.

142. To Bernhard Cossmann In Baden-Baden

Wilhelmsthal, August 15th, 1855

Here am I really on the road to Baden-Baden, dear friend; but that does not advance matters at all, and in spite of myself I must resign myself to remain en route. Tomorrow morning I return to Weymar, where I have promised to meet my two daughters, as well as Mr. Daniel [Liszt’s son], who has pretty well distinguished himself at the general competition. After passing ten days or so with me the girls will take up their abode with Madame de Bulow at Berlin, who is good enough to take charge of them, and Daniel will return to Paris to continue his studies there. I was hoping also to be able to spend a week or two there- -but that cannot possibly be arranged, and on reflection I was obliged to limit myself to conducting the Princess W[ittgenstein] as far as Eisenach, whence she has continued her journey to Paris with her daughter (with the special view of seeing the exhibition of pictures there); and for my exhibition I shall content myself with that to the north, which I can enjoy from the windows of my room!–This picturesque solemnity is almost up to the height of the musical solemnities of Baden which you describe to me in such bright and lively colors, but with this difference, that at Wilhelmsthal we are very much favored by the element of damp, whereas at Baden the artists who give concerts are drained dry.

At Weymar all the world is out of doors, and the town is pretty full of nothing, offering to the curiosity of travelers only the trenches and practical circumvallations in honor of gas-lighting which they are going to start in October. Singer is bathing in the Danube (at Ofen), and tells me he shall be back by the roth of September; Raff is promenading amid the rose and myrtle shrubberies of his “Sleeping Beauty” at Wiesbaden; Stor is returning with his pockets full of new nuances which he has discovered at Ilmenau, where he has composed (as a pendant to my Symphonic Poem) “Ce qu’on entend dans la vallee”! [“What is heard in the valley.” Liszt’s work bears the title “Ce qu’on entend sur la montagne” (“What is heard on the mountain.”)] Preller [Friedrich Preller, the celebrated painter of the Odyssey pictures] has found beautiful trees in the Duchy of Oldenburg which serve him as a recovery of the “Recovery” [Or a “recreation of the Recreation.” I do not know which is meant. The original is “qui lui servent d’Erholung von der ‘Erholung.'”–Translator’s note.]; Martha Sabinin [A pupil of Liszt’s, a Russian] is haunting the “Venusberg” in the neighborhood of Eisenach in company with Mademoiselle de Hopfgarten; Bronsart [Hans von Bronsart, Liszt’s pupil, now General-Intendant at Weimar] is gone to a sort of family congress at Konigsberg; and Hoffman [Hoffmann von Fallersleben, the well-known poet] is running through Holland and Belgium to make a scientific survey of them; whilst Nabich is trying to gain the ears of England, Scotland, and Ireland with his trombone!

I, for my part, am in the midst of finishing the 13th Psalm (for tenor solo, chorus, and orchestra), “How long wilt Thou forget me, O Lord?” which you will hear this winter; and I shall not leave Weymar till November to go and pay a few days’ visit to Wagner at Zurich. Don’t altogether forget me, my dear Cossmann, in the midst of your solemnities—-[The end of the letter was lost.]

143. To August Kiel, Court Conductor in Detmold

[Autograph (without address) in the possession of M. Alfred Bovet, of Valentigney. The contents lead to the conclusion that the above was the addressee (1813-71).]

I have been prevented until now, by a mass of work and little outings, from sending you my warmest thanks for your kind forwarding of the opera text of “Sappho,” and I beg that you will kindly excuse this delay. The manner in which Rietz’s composition to the Schiller dithyramb is to be interwoven with the poem I cannot venture fully to explain. I confess also that the dramatico-musical vivifying of the antique is for me a sublime, attractive problem, as yet undecided, in the solution of which even Mendelssohn himself has not succeeded in such a degree as to leave nothing further to be sought for. Some years ago “Sappho” (in three acts–text by Augier, music by Gounod) was given at the Paris Opera. This work contains much that is beautiful, and Berlioz has spoken of it very favorably in the Journal des Debats. Unfortunately it did not appear in print, and up to the present time no other theater has performed it, although it made a sensation in Paris and ensured a first-rate position to the composer. If it would interest you, dear sir, to get to know the score, I will willingly write to Gounod and beg him to give me the work to send to you.

I have repeatedly heard the most gratifying tidings of the sympathy and care which you bestow in Detmold upon the works of Wagner and Berlioz. Regardless of the many difficulties, opposition, and misunderstandings which meet these great creations, I cherish with you the conviction that “nothing truly good and beautiful is lost in the stream of Time,” and that the pains taken by those who intend to preserve the higher and the divine in Art do not remain fruitless. In the course of this autumn (at the end of November at latest) I am going to see Wagner, and I promise to send you from Zurich a little autograph from his hand. I would gladly satisfy your wish sooner, but that the letters which Wagner writes to me are a perfectly inalienable benefit to me, and you will not take it amiss if I am more than avaricious with them.

Accept, my dear sir, the assurance of my highest esteem, with which I remain

Yours most truly,

F. Liszt

Weymar, September 8th, 1855

Enclosed are Berlioz’ letter and the manuscript of “Sappho.”

144. To Moritz Hauptmann

[The celebrated theorist and cantor of the Thomashirche in Leipzig (1792-1868)]

Very dear Sir,

By the same post I send you, with best and warmest thanks for your friendly letter, the volume of Handel’s works which contains the anthems. The second of them, “Zadok the Priest and Nathan the Prophet anointed Solomon King,” is a glorious ray of Handel’s genius, and one might truly quote, of the first verse of this anthem, the well-known saying, “C’est grand comme le monde.” [“It is as great as the world.”]–

The cantata “L’Allegro, il Pensieroso,” etc., enchants me less, yet it has interested me much as an important contribution to imitative music; and, if you will kindly allow me, I want to keep the volume here a few days longer and to send it back with the two others.

I agree entirely, on my side, with your excellent criticism of Raimondi’s triple oratorio [“Joseph,” an oratorio by the Roman composer, consisting of three parts, which was given with great success in the Teatro Argentina in Rome in 1852]. There is little to seek on that road, and still less to find. The silver pfennig (in the Dresden Art-Cabinet), on which ten Pater Noster are engraved, has decidedly the advantage of harmlessness to the public over such outrages to Art, and the Titus Livius, composed by Sechter, will probably have to moulder away very unhistorically as waste-paper. Later on Sechter can write a Requiem for it, together with Improperias over the corruption of the taste of the times, which have found his work so little to their taste.

With the pleasant expectation of greeting you soon in Leipzig, and of repeating to you my best thanks, I remain, my dear sir, with the highest esteem,

Yours truly,

F. Liszt

Weymar, September 28th, 1855

145. To Eduard Liszt

I have just received your last letter, dearest Eduard, and will not wait till Vienna to give you my warm thanks for your faithful friendship, which you always prove to me so lovingly on all possible occasions. The Mozart Festival seems to me now to have taken the desired turn–that which I suggested from the beginning–and to shape itself into a festival of “concord, harmony, and artistic enthusiasm of the combined Art-fellowships of Vienna.” [Liszt was invited by the magistrate of the city of Vienna to conduct two concerts on the 27th and 28th of January, 1856, for the celebration of the centenary of Mozart’s birth.]

It is to be hoped that I shall not stick fast in my task, and shall not let this opportunity go by without attaining the suitable standpoint in Vienna.

Meanwhile I rejoice at the satisfactory prospects which present themselves for the Mozart Festival, and greet you heartily.

F. L.

Berlin, December 3rd, 1855

You will have the most favorable news from Berlin.

146. To Frau Meyerbeer in Berlin

[The wife of the composer of the Huguenots (1791-1864), with whom Liszt stood all his life in such friendly relations that it is very extraordinary that there are no Liszt letters extant among Meyerbeer’s possessions.]


Your gracious lines only reached me at the moment of my leaving Berlin, so that it was no longer possible for me to avail myself of the kind permission you were good enough to give me. Nevertheless, as it is to be presumed that neither the brilliant departure of which I was the hero a dozen years ago, nor the less flattering dismissal with which the infallible criticism of your capital has gratified me this time, will prevent me from returning from time to time, and without too long an interval, to Berlin (according to the requirements of my instructions and of my artistic experiments), I venture to claim from your kindness the continuation of your gracious reception, and thus venture to hope that the opportunity will soon arise for me to have the honor of renewing viva voce, Madame, the expression of my respectful homage.

Your very devoted servant,

F. Liszt

Weymar, December. 14th, 1855

The Princess Wittgenstein is much pleased with your remembrance, and would be delighted to have the opportunity of thanking you personally.

147. To his worship Dr. Ritter von Seiler, mayor of the city of Vienna, etc.

[Autograph in the possession of M. Alfred Bovet, of Valentigne–. VOL. I.]

Your worship and dear Mr. Mayor,

The willingness which I had already expressed, at the first mention of the impending Mozart Festival, becomes to me, by your kind letter of the 19th of December (which I only received yesterday, owing to the delay from its having gone to Berlin), a duty, which it is equally my honor and pleasure to fulfill. With the utmost confidence and conviction that the resolution of the Town Council will meet with the fullest assent and most gratifying recognition among all circles of society–the resolution is as follows: “That all undertakings in connection with the Mozart Secular Festival shall be conducted and carried out in the name of the city of Vienna,”–and in agreement with the honorable motives of the Town Council “to lend to the festivities the worthy and higher expression of universal homage,” I, for my part, undertake with the most grateful acknowledgments the commission to conduct the Festival Concert on the 27th January, 1856, and its repetition on the 28th according to your desire; and I hope to fulfill quite satisfactorily every just claim which is made on the musical director of such a celebration.

Although the excellent orchestra, chorus, and staff of singers in Vienna–long intimate with Mozart’s works–afford the complete certainty of a most admirable performance, yet I think it is desirable that I should come a couple of weeks before the concert is to take place, in order to have time for the necessary rehearsals; and immediately on my arrival. I shall have the honor of paying my respects to you, dear Mr. Mayor, and of placing myself at the service of the Festival Committee.

In the programme which has been sent to me, the music of which will take about three hours in performance, I am pleased with the prospect before us, that the glories which Mozart unfolds in the different domains of Art–Symphony, Opera, Church, and Concert music-are taken into account, and that thus the manifold rays of his genius are laid hold of, as far as is possible in the limits of a concert programme. Whilst thoroughly agreeing with the performance of the different items as a whole, I have nevertheless one request to make–namely, that you would be good enough to excuse me from the performance of the Mozart Pianoforte Concerto which has been so kindly designed for me, and that this number may be given to some other pianist of note. Apart from the fact that for more than eight years I have not appeared anywhere in public as a pianist, and that many considerations lead me to adhere firmly to my negative resolve in this respect, the fact that the direction of the Festival will require my entire attention may prove, in this case, my sufficient excuse.

Accept, Your Worship, the assurance of the high esteem with which I have the honor to remain,

Dear Mr. Mayor, yours very truly,

F. Liszt

Weymar, December 26th, 1855.

148. To Eduard Liszt

My very dear Eduard,

Scarcely had I returned to Weymar [From the Mozart Festival at Vienna.] when I again put on my travelling coat to help in Berlioz’ concert at Gotha, which took place the day before yesterday–and the whole day yesterday was spent in rehearsals of “Cellini;” followed by a Court concert in the evening (in honor of H.R.H. the Prince Regent of Baden); so that this morning is the first leisure moment I have had to take up my pen again and my position…at my writing-table. I profit by it first of all to tell you how happy I am in this earnest intimacy, as sincerely felt as it is conscientiously considered–this real intimacy of ideas and feelings at the same time–which has been cemented between us in these latter years, and which my stay in Vienna has fully confirmed. All noble sentiments require the full air of generous conviction, which maintains us in a region superior to the trials, accidents, and troubles of this life. Thanks to Heaven, we two breathe this air together, and thus we shall remain inseparably united until our last day!

I am sending you after this the document which serves as a basis to the Bach-Gesellschaft [Bach Society], from which it will be easy to make out an analogous one for the publication of Mozart’s complete works. I earnestly invite and beg you to carry out this project to its realization.

According to my ideas, the “Friends of Music in Austria” should constitute and set the matter going, and the Royal State Press should be employed for it, especially as one can foresee that special favors might be obtained from the Ministry. Probably the whole Festival Committee of the Mozart Celebration will also consent to this undertaking, in the sense that, by an edition of Mozart’s works, critically explained, equally beautifully printed, and revised by a committee appointed for it, a universally useful, lasting, and living monument to the glorious Master will be formed, which will bring honor and even material gain to all Austrian lovers of music and to the city of Vienna itself. Without doubt, if the matter is rightly conducted, it will also pay well and be pretty easy to carry through. In about twelve years the whole edition can be completed. In the composition of the Committee of Revision I stipulate to call your attention to a few names. Spohr, Meyerbeer, Fetis, Otto Jahn, Oulibicheff, Dr. Hartel–among foreigners these ought especially to have a share in the matter; and a special rubric must be given to the cost of revision. The work of proof-correcting, as well as the special explanations, commentaries, comparisons of the different editions, ought not to be expected gratis; therefore a fixed sum should be applied to it. Haslinger, Spina, and Gloggl, being Vienna publishers, ought specially to be considered, and would be the best to direct the propagation and regular sending out of the volume, which is to appear on the 27th of January every year.

At Spina’s you would find several volumes of the Bach- Gesellschaft, to which is always added a list of the subscribers and a statement of accounts for the past year.

I advise you to keep on good terms with Zellner, who was the first to air the subject in his paper (after I had invited him to do so), and to get him into the proposed Committee, if the matter be taken up in earnest. In the Committee of Revision Schmidt (the librarian) and Holz must not be forgotten. With regard to my humble self, I don’t want to be put forward, but simply to take my place in alphabetical order; but please explain beforehand that I am ready to undertake any work which they may think fit to apportion to me. I likewise undertake to invite the Grand Duke of Weimar, the Duke of Gotha, etc., to become subscribers.

The whole affair must bear the impress of an Art enterprise–and in this sense the invitation to a Mozart-Verein [Mozart Union] must be couched. (I leave you to decide whether you prefer the word Mozart-Gesellschaft [Mozart Society] or Mozart-herein for the Publication of the Complete Works of Mozart, or any other title.) Together with this I repeat that certainly there is no need to fear any loss in this matter, but that probably there will be a not insignificant gain. This gain, according to my ideas, should be formed into a capital, until the edition is completed, to be then employed, or perhaps not till later, by the Society of Austrian Lovers of Music for some artistic purpose to be decided upon.

.–. Be so good as to give Herr Krall the sum (24 florins) for the four seats kindly placed at my disposal for the two concerts of the Mozart Festival. Although I have only paid in cash six gulden of the amount, because the other gentlemen insisted on sending me several gulden, yet I expressly wish that the receipts should not be any smaller through me–any more than that the performance should suffer by my conducting!–Therefore please don’t forget the twenty-four gulden.

Berlioz arrived here yesterday evening, and I shall be over head and ears in work with Cellini, the great Court concert on the 17th, and the performance of Berlioz’ Faust in the course of next week, the preparations for which I have undertaken.

Cellini I shall conduct–with the two others I only direct the rehearsals.

In faithful friendship thy Saturday, February 9th, 1856. F. Liszt

149. To Dr. von Seiler, Mayor of Vienna. [Autograph in the possession of M. Alfred Bovet, of Valentigney.]

Dear Sir,

As it was not permitted me to see Your Worship again at home before my departure, I venture to express once more in these few lines my warmest thanks for the very great kindness shown to me during my stay in Vienna, the remembrance of which will not fade from my grateful thoughts.

The worthy example which you, dear Mr. Mayor, and the Town Council of Vienna have given on the occasion of the Mozart Festival, guaranteed and attained the desired prosperity and success of the affair. This example will doubtless bring forth fruit in other places, so that the whole artist society will owe you the most grateful acknowledgments for it. As regards myself and my modest services on that occasion, I am very happy to think from the kind letter signed by yourself and Herr Councillor Riedel von Riedenau, that what I did so gladly was well done–and I only cherish the wish that coming years may offer me an opportunity of devoting my poor, but seriously well-intentioned services in the cause of music to the city of Vienna, whose musical traditions shine forth so gloriously. Accept, dear sir, the assurance of high esteem with which I have the honor to remain

Your most obliged

F. Liszt

Weymar, February 10th, 1856

150. To Dr. Franz Brendel

Dear Friend,

Before everything else I must give you my warmest thanks for the manifold proofs of your friendship and attachment which you have given me lately; especially has the article in the last number but one of the paper, taken from the concluding chapter of your musical history, truly rejoiced me, and I should have written you at once a couple of lines in grateful acknowledgment had I not been so very much engaged, on my return here, that I have had no leisure hour until now. In Leipzig I could only stay from the time of one train to the other, and could not go to see any one except Hartel, whom it was necessary for me to see. Scarcely had I arrived here than I had to go to Gotha (where I was present at Berlioz’ concert), and the previous week we had enough to do with the preparations and rehearsals of “Cellini” and the Court concert. The performance this time was really capital. Caspari had studied his part admirably, and made a good thing of it; the opera, thanks to him, made quite a different impression from what it did formerly, when poor Beck (now the proprietor of a cafe in Prague, where I saw him lately) had to fit himself as best he could into the Cellini jacket!–Probably Pohl will send you a full account, and also mention the concert which took place the day before yesterday at the Castle. Berlioz conducted it, and Fraulein Bianchi very much pleased the nobility as well as the rest of the audience–so that she is again engaged for a small concert next Thursday.

In contrast to many other artists of both sexes, Fraulein Bianchi is well-bred, without being stupidly stuck up, and, in addition, a pleasant and well-trained singer whom one can safely recommend.

The few lines which she brought me from you were her best introduction to me–only I will beg you, another time, not to be in doubt as to “whether I still think of you with the old friendship.” Once for all, you may be perfectly certain on this point, that I shall not develop any talent for Variations towards you, but be always ready to give a proof, on every opportunity, of how highly I prize your services in matters musical, and how sincerely friendly I am to you personally.

F. Liszt

February 19th, 1856

Next Sunday “Lohengrin” will be given (with Fraulein Marx from Darmstadt as Ortrude)–and on Thursday, the 28th February, the entire “Faust” of Berlioz.

151. To Dionys Pruckner in Vienna

[Liszt’s pupil; has been a professor at the Stuttgart Conservatorium since 1858.]

Dearest Dionysius,

The joyful tidings of your success ever find the most joyful echo in Weymar, and I thank you much for the pleasant tidings in your letter. Haslinger, on his side, was so kind as to write me a full account of your first concert, as well as the Court soiree at H.R.H. the Archduchess Sophie’s–and yesterday evening v. Dingelstedt gave me also full details of your concert ravages in Munich. All this plainly shows dass man Bock-Bier trinken kann, ohne deswegen Bocke zu schiessen! [A play on words: that one may drink “Bock” beer, without thereby making blunders.]

I entirely approve of your intention of spending some months in Vienna and its charming environs–also of your closer intercourse with the Master Czerny, whose many-sided musical experiences may be of the greatest use to you practically and theoretically. Of all living composers who have occupied themselves especially with pianoforte playing and composing, I know none whose views and opinions offer so just an experience. In the twenties, when a great portion of Beethoven’s creations was a kind of Sphinx, Czerny was playing Beethoven exclusively, with an understanding as excellent as his technique was efficient and effective; and, later on, he did not set himself up against some progress that had been made in technique, but contributed materially to it by his own teaching and works. It is only a pity that, by a too super-abundant productiveness, he has necessarily weakened himself, and has not gone on further on the road of his first Sonata (Op. 6, A-flat major) and of other works of that period, which I rate very highly, as compositions of importance, beautifully formed and having the noblest tendency. But unfortunately at that time Vienna influences, both social and publishing, were of an injurious kind, and Czerny did not possess the necessary dose of sternness to keep out of them and to preserve his better ego. This is generally a difficult task, the solving of which brings with it much trouble even for the most capable and those who have the highest aims.

When you see Czerny remember me to him as his grateful pupil and devoted, deeply respectful friend. When I pass through Vienna this summer, I shall rejoice to have a couple of hours with him again. I shall probably find you still there. According to what has been written to me, the consecration of the Gran Cathedral will take place at the beginning of September, in which case I shall start from here at the beginning of August.

Excuse me for not having been willing to send you the orchestral parts to the “Turkish Capriccio.” It seemed to me, on the one hand, unsuitable to ask Hans for it–apart from the fact that the sending of the parts backwards and forwards from Berlin to Vienna is very roundabout–and, on the other hand, I could not but suppose that you would find first-rate copyists in Vienna, who would do the copying for you far better in a fortnight. Principles of economy are UTTERLY WORTHLESS in copying, and, if you will believe my experience, always choose therefore the best, and consequently most expensive, copyists for transcribing the parts that you want. Recommend them, into the bargain, to do them with great care, and to add the cues (which are a great help towards a good performance).

Bronsart wrote to you at my direction, to let you know in good time that you should get the parts copied out in Vienna yourself, and should look them over carefully with the copyist before the rehearsal–a work which I have often done in earlier years, and in which I generally make a rule of not sparing myself.

Please find out for me at Spina’s, on a convenient opportunity, how far the engraving of the Schubert Fantasia [Fantasia in C major, on the Wanderer.] (instrumented by me) has progressed, and whether he can soon send me the proofs. Bronsart played the Fantasia with orchestral accompaniment lately at Jena.

Fare you well, dearest Dionysius, and send soon some good tidings of yourself to

Yours in all friendship,

F. Liszt

Weymar, March 17th, 1856.

152. To Breitkopf & Hartel

Dear Sir,

Whatever fate may be in store for my Symphonic Poems, however much they may be cut up and pulled to pieces and found fault with through their performances and reviews everywhere, yet the sight of the beautiful manner in which these first six numbers are published and got up will always be a pleasant satisfaction to me, for which I give you my warmest and heartiest thanks..–. The two scores still wanting (Nos. 1 and 9) I will send you at the end of this month, and will request you to publish them in the same size and manner. Although there is somewhat of the SPECULATIVE in these things, yet [I] by no means seek

to make a speculation of it, and only expect your friendly favor in so far as a favorable pecuniary result may arise from it in future years. I am expecting next time the proofs of the two- piano arrangements, and you shall receive the two remaining piano arrangements at the same time as the two last scores..–.

In the matter of the Handel-Gesellschaft, [Handel Society] the scheme of which you have sent me, pray be assured of my most complete readiness. The choice of Messrs. Hauptmann, Dehn, Chrysander (Otto Jahn?), as the musical directors proper, I consider thoroughly suitable–as also of Messrs. Gervinus and Breitkopf and Hartel as members of the committee–and, as soon as the pecuniary basis of the undertaking is fixed, I shall not fail to get you some subscriptions, as I did for the Bach- Gesellschaft.

With warm thanks and esteem,

Yours very truly,

F. Liszt

Weymar, May 15th, 1856

If it is possible to you to send me soon the proofs of the five piano arrangements I shall be glad, as they make the comprehension and spread of the scores easier.

153. To Louis Kohler

Dear Friend,

After I had seen about your commission to Dr. Hartel, and he had sent me your Methode, [Systematic method of teaching for pianoforte playing and music, 1857 and 1858.] I delayed writing to you, because the result (favorable, as might be expected) of the little business had been already communicated to you through Hartel, and I wished at the same time to send you somewhat of my wares. Unfortunately, I have been hindered by multifarious occupations from getting through the proofs of my Symphonic Poems quickly; and, besides this, these proofs have taken up a great deal of my time; for although I had not omitted, in the first proofs, to have things altered in the scores many times, yet many things looked different to me in print from what I wished them to be, and I had to try them over again plainly with the orchestra, have them written out again, and ask for fresh proofs. At last the six first numbers have come out, and even if they are very badly done I can no longer do them otherwise or better. No doubt you have already received from Hartel the copy destined for you, and within a short time you will receive the somewhat freely arranged pianoforte edition–for two pianos–of the same things. I tried at first a four-hand arrangement of them, which would be much more practicable for sale, but gave up this mutilation, as I saw that in four-hand pieces the working into one another of the hands stands too much in the way of my tone-picture. The two- piano arrangement sounds passable, if I mistake not. Bulow, Bronsart, Pruckner, etc., have played it several times, and you will assuredly find in Konigsberg a partner (masculine or feminine) who will beguile you into it. I shall be very glad if the things please you somewhat. I have labored too much in order to realize the requisite proportion and harmony, for them to be able to give me any other pleasure if some sympathy, and also some understanding of the spirit of them on the part of my few friends, does not fall to my share. However that may be, tell me, dear friend, quite candidly, without any compliments, what impression the pieces have made on you. The three numbers which will appear next are still longer, worse, and more venturesome. But I cannot let matters rest there, for these nine numbers serve only as Prolegomena [Prologue, preface] to the “Faust” and “Dante” Symphonies. The former is already settled and finished, and the second more than half written out. “Away, away,” [Written in English.] with Mazeppa’s horse, regardless of the lazy hack that sticks in the mud of old patterns!

Let me soon hear from you how you dispose of your time in Konigsberg. In Frau Knopp you have got an excellent Ortrude. What have you been giving this winter? Do you keep on a good understanding with Marpurg? Is Pabst remaining in K.?

Don’t forget also to let me have your Methode (I forget the exact title) through Hartel. Although I have grown too old and too lazy to improve my piano-playing, yet I will get some good out of it for my pupils, amongst whom are two or three really brave, earnest fellows. Beyond that I have very little to tell you of Weymar. Since Berlioz’ stay here, which gave occasion for the Litolff cudgel-smashing newspaper rubbish, Carl Formes and Johanna Wagner have been playing here; the latter with well- deserved and extraordinary success in Gluck’s “Orpheus” and “Iphigenia in Aulis” (in Wagner’s translation and arrangement). This evening the “Sleeping Beauty” (a fairy-tale epic), by Joachim Raff, will be given. According to my opinion, this is Raff’s most successful and grateful work.

Farewell, dear friend, and bear in friendly remembrance

Your very sincere and obliged

F. Liszt

Weymar, May 24th, 1856

154. To Louis Kohler

My Very Dear Friend,

At last I have come out of my “Purgatory”–that is to say that I have come to the end of my symphony to Dante’s “Divina Commedia.” Yesterday I wrote the final bars of the score (which is somewhat smaller in bulk than my “Faust” Symphony, but will take pretty nearly an hour in performance); and today, for rest and refreshment, I can allow myself the pleasure of giving you my friendliest thanks for your friendly letter. The dedication of your work “Systematic Method of Teaching for Pianoforte Playing and Music” (the latter must not be forgotten!) pleases me much, and you will allow me to take a modest revanche [revenge] shortly, in dedicating one of my latest works to you. Probably Schlesinger will bring out several books of my songs next winter, in which you will perhaps find much that is in sympathy with your ideas of the melody of speech. Hence I wish that you would not refuse me the pleasure of using your name in connection with them, and of letting it precede them, as an interpretation, as it were, of the intention of the songs. Hartel will send you in a couple of days the first seven numbers of the arrangements for two pianofortes of my Symphonic Poems which have already appeared. An arrangement of that kind is not so easy to make use of as a four-hand one. Nevertheless, after I had tried to compass the score of Tasso plainly into one pianoforte, I soon gave up this project for the others, on account of the unadvisable mutilation and defacement by the working into and through one another of the four-hand parts, and submitted to doing without tone and color and orchestral light and shade, but at any rate fixing an abstract rendering of the musical contents, which would be clear to the ear, by the two-piano arrangement (which I could arrange tolerably freely).

It is a very agreeable satisfaction to me that you, dear friend, have found some interest in the scores. For, however others may judge of the things, they are for me the necessary developments of my inner experiences, which have brought me to the conviction that invention and feeling are not so entirely evil in Art. Certainly you very rightly observe that the forms (which are too often changed by quite respectable people into formulas) “First Subject, Middle Subject, After Subject, etc., may very much grow into a habit, because they must be so thoroughly natural, primitive, and very easily intelligible.” Without making the slightest objection to this opinion, I only beg for permission to be allowed to decide upon the forms by the contents, and even should this permission be withheld from me from the side of the most commendable criticism, I shall none the less go on in my own modest way quite cheerfully. After all, in the end it comes principally to this–WHAT the ideas are, and HOW they are carried out and worked up–and that leads us always back to the FEELING and INVENTION, if we would not scramble and struggle in the rut of a mere trade.

When is your Method of teaching coming out? I rejoice beforehand at all the incitement and forcible matter contained in it. You will shortly receive a circular with a letter from E. Hallberger (Stuttgart), who asks me to undertake the choice of pieces to appear in his edition of the “Pianoforte.” Do send something soon to it; it is to be hoped that the establishing and spreading of this collection will prove quite satisfactory.

Fare you well in your work, dear friend, and think affectionately of

Yours ever sincerely,

F. Liszt

Weymar, July 9th, 1856.

P.S.–In your next letter send me your exact address.

155. To Hoffmann von Fallersleben

[The well-known poet (1798-1874), who was living at that time in Weimar; was an intimate friend of Liszt, and in 1854 founded, with him, the Neu-Weimar-Verein, which, under the presidency of Liszt, was joined by all the most distinguished musicians, authors, and painters of Weimar.]

Dear Friend,

In your [The second person singular is employed in this letter] pleasant villeggiatura, where you will find no lack of the Beautiful and Good, let yourself also be welcomed by a friend of the New-Weymar

School, who is truly yours. It is true I have nothing new to tell you. You already know that the Grand Duke received your poem on the morning of his birthday, and said the kindest things about it to me later on. Most of our colleagues of the Neu-Weimar-Verein are away and scattered in various countries;–Singer in Pesth; Soupper [Eugen v. Soupper, concert singer, a countryman of Liszt’s, was in Weimar in 1855-56.] in Paris, where he is trying the solitude of a crowd (according to Chateaubriand’s expression, “the crowd, that vast desert–not dessert–of men”); Stor [Music director in Weimar; died 1889.] at the bathing-place Heringsdorf, probably drawn there by a secret affinity between his herring form and the name of the place; Winterberger in Holland, to inspect the Haarlem and other organs, which he will certainly do in a masterly way; and Preller goes today to Kiel. On the Altenburg no change worth mentioning has taken place: visits of strangers to me fail not summer or winter, and, still less, works which have become my life’s task. I might almost sing, like Hoffmann von Fallersleben,

“Hier sitz ich fest, ein Fels im Meer, Woran die Wellen toben; ‘s geht drunter, dran and druber her–Ich bleibe fortan oben”–

[“Here firm I sit, a rock sea-girt, On which the waves are dashing, But I remain above, unhurt, Nor heed the waters’ lashing.”]

if only there were more waves and less marsh!–

My travelling plans are still somewhat vacillating, because I cannot yet decide whether I shall go to Hungary or not. In any case I shall go and see R. Wagner, in the middle of September at latest, at Zurich, where Stahr at present is with his wife (Fanny Lewald). Stahr will shortly publish a new volume of Paris Letters (about the Exhibition), and is translating Suetonius for the Classical Library coming out at Stuttgart. He told me that there is a passage in Suetonius which one can quite apply to the baptism of the Prince Imperial in Paris! After this precedent, why might not everything in the Horoe belg, and the Weymar Year- Book be proved as referring to something?

Remember me most warmly to your dear Amphitrion, whom I unfortunately did not manage to see again before her departure, and, if the Mildes are in the same house as you, give them my best greetings, woven into a toast.

Fare thee well, dearest friend, and do not remain too long away.

Thine in heartfelt friendship,

F. Liszt Weymar, July 14th, 1856

156. To Wilhelm wieprecht, General Music Director of the Military Corps of the State of Prussia

[Autograph in the possession of Herr Otto Lessmann at Charlottenburg. The addressee (1802-72) was one of the inventors of the bass-tuba, and improved many of the wind instruments.]

Dear Friend, I learn from several Berliners, who have passed through here, that you have had the great kindness to instrument my march “Vom Fels zum Meer” [“From the Rock to the Ocean.”] splendidly, and have had it performed several times. Permit me to express my warmest thanks to you for this new proof of your friendship, and at the same time to remind you of a promise the fulfillment of which is very much desired by me.

It is that, in my last visit to Berlin, you were so kind as to say that the Symphonic Poem Tasso would not be amiss arranged by you for a military band, and you, with your well-known readiness for action, expressed your willingness to arrange the instrumentation accordingly. Allow me today to lay claim to half your kind offer, and to beg you to strike out forty-two pages of this long score, and so to dispose your arrangement that, after the last bar of page 5 (score), you make a skip to the second bar of page 47 (Lento assai), by this means shortening the lamento of Tasso and of the public also.

[Here, Liszt illustrates with a musical score excerpt of the last bar of page 5.]

[Here, Liszt illustrates with another musical score excerpt, from the second bar of page 47.]

By the same post I send you the score and the piano arrangement (for two pianofortes) for convenience in looking it over. If the concluding figure (Letter M., Moderato pomposo) seems to make a better effect in the instrumentation by following the piano arrangement with the simple quaver figure [Liszt illustrates with a brief musical score excerpt] instead of the triplets, according to the score, I have not the slightest objection to it, and beg you altogether, dear friend, to feel quite free to do as you like in the matter. The flattering thing for me would be just this– that the work should please you sufficiently for you to be allowed to take what liberties you wish with it.

Some years ago Dahlmann gave a lecture at Bonn upon immature enthusiasm. God preserve us rather from untimely pedantry! Certainly no one shall have to suffer from this from my side!

I am sending you, together with the “Tasso” score, that of “Mazeppa” also. Take an opportunity of looking at the concluding “March” (beginning page 89 of the score):–

[Here, Liszt illustrates with a musical score excerpt]

(N.B–It must begin with the 4/6 chord, perhaps after a couple of introductory bars roll on the drum–without any distinct tone.)

Perhaps the subject may suit for some occasion or other.

Forgive me, dear friend, for being so pressing, and behold in this only the joy which the fulfillment of your promise will give me. Next winter I hope to give you my thanks in person in Berlin.

Meanwhile accept the expression of high esteem of yours truly and with all friendly acknowledgments,

F. Liszt

Weymar, July 18th, 1856

If, as I imagine, the Finale from “Tasso” could be so arranged that moderate military bands could play it fairly well, I should of course be glad. However I leave it entirely in your hands to do with it whatever seems best to you, and give you my best thanks beforehand for your kindness.

157. To Concertmeister Edmund Singer

Dear Friend,

In consequence of the definite decision which was made known to me yesterday by T. R. the Titular Bishop and the Cathedral Cantor Fekete, my Mass is to be performed on the day of the consecration. [Of the Cathedral of Gran] I shall therefore get to Pest by the 11th or 12th August, as I had previously arranged, and shall be very glad to see you and two or three others of my friends again. I am also reckoning on you for certain as leader of the orchestra at the rehearsals and performance of the Mass. I am writing tomorrow to Winterberger, who is making a tremendous sensation in Holland, to beg him to undertake the organ part, and to be in Pest by the middle of August.

While speaking of Holland, I may add that Herr Vermeulen (General Secretary of the “Maatschappy” [“Maatschappy tot bevordering der toonkunst.”]) is coming to see me here early in August. This offers me a good opportunity of being of service to you in regard to your concert arrangements in Rotterdam and Amsterdam, etc., of which I will not fail to make use. More of this viva voce. Meanwhile, it would be better for you not to write there.

I enclose several notes of acknowledgment for E., Dr. F., B. and K., to which I beg you will kindly attend.

And now one more commission, which you can easily fulfill through Rosavoegly, [Music publisher in Budapest] with my best greetings to him. In my reply to the official letter of H. R. von Fekete yesterday I forgot to repeat that, in order to avoid loss of time, it is easy to have the voice parts (solos and chorus) written out before my arrival, and as carefully as possible, clean and clearly. I will willingly discharge the copyist’s fee, and the orchestral parts I will bring with me together with the score, so that the rehearsals may begin as soon as the performers taking part in it are assigned to me.

I confidently hope that we shall have a very fine performance, without trouble and worry, and one in which musicians as well as audience will find pleasure and edification. The length of the Mass will also fulfill the required dimensions, and yesterday I hunted out a couple of “cuts,” which could be made, if necessary, without any essential harm to the work. You know, dear Singer, that I am a special virtuoso in the matter of making cuts, in which no one else can easily approach me!–

I am simply not disposed, in spite of much prudent advice, to cut my Mass and myself altogether, all the less so as my friends and countrymen have on this occasion shown themselves so kind and good to me. I therefore owe it to them to give them active proof that their confidence and sympathy in me are not wholly undeserved–and with God’s help this shall be irrefragably proved!

For the rest I want to keep very quiet and private this time in Pest. Composers of my sort write, it is true, plenty of drum and trumpet parts, but by no means require the too common flourish of trumpets and drums, because they are striving after a higher aim, which is not to be attained by publicity.

“Auf baldiges Wiedersehen,” [“To a speedy meeting”] dear friend– I leave here by the 9th August at latest. Meanwhile best thanks for your letter,–and

Ever yours,

F. Liszt

July 28th, 1856.

158. To Joachim Raff

[Raff (1822-82) lived, as is well known, for some years in Weimar (first of all as Liszt’s secretary), and at that time joined the Liszt tendencies as a composer, afterwards going other ways.]

Dear Sir and Friend,

It is very pleasant to me to find from your letter that you have taken aright the recognition in my article on the “Sleeping Beauty,” and see unequivocally in its attitude a fresh proof of the high estimation in which I hold your artistic powers, as well as of my readiness to be of use to you as far as my insight and loyalty in Art matters will permit me. In this first discussion of a work so much thought of and so widespread, it was most important that I should draw the attention of Art-fellowship to your entire works and higher endeavors during the past six years. You will still give me the opportunity, I hope, later on, of spreading much deserved praise and of placing more in the shade any chance differences in our views. If I have not placed you this time so completely as I should have wished among the musical fellowship of the time, like a Peter Schlemihl,[The man without a shadow–German fable.] this was partly in consequence of your own oft-repeated advice that “one should not exclusively praise men and works if one wishes to be useful to them.”[Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik. Later “Gesammelte Schriften,” vol. v.]

I do not always agree with you in this view, but on this occasion I hope I have hit the happy medium.

Accept my best thanks for the friendly interest you have shown in my orchestral compositions in the concert direction of Wiesbaden. Whether I shall be able to comply with several invitations for concerts in the coming winter depends on a good many circumstances which I cannot quite settle beforehand. But in any case I shall be glad if my compositions become more widely spread, and perhaps during your present stay in Wiesbaden the opportunity may offer of conducting one or two numbers of the Symphonic Poems, in accordance with your previous intentions.

At the end of next week at latest I set out for Gran, to conduct my Mass on the 31st of August (in celebration of the consecration of the Basilica). Toward the middle of September I go to Zurich, where, if I am not prevented by any special hindrances, for which I always have to be prepared, I think of spending a couple of weeks with Wagner.

Fare you well, dear Raff, and send soon some tidings of yourself to

Yours most truly,

F. Liszt

Weymar, July 31st, 1856.

Hans von Bulow has been with me a couple of days, and goes to Baden-Baden the day after tomorrow. Winterberger is scoring an extraordinary triumph by his organ-playing in Holland, and played the Prophete and BACH Fugue [Fugue on the name of Bach] before an audience of two thousand people with immense success.

Do not forget to give my friendly greetings to Genast [the celebrated Weimar actor, afterwards Raff’s father-in-law] and my homage to Mademoiselle Doris [Afterwards Raff’s wife, an excellent actress].

159. To Anton Rubinstein

It is a very great regret to me, my dear Rubinstein, to have to miss your visit the day after tomorrow, of which you sent me word by Mr. Hallberger. You know what a sincere pleasure it always is to me to see you again, and what a lively interest I take in your new works. This time in particular I am at high tension about the completion of your Paradise Lost. If the continuation and the end correspond with the beginning which you showed me, you have reason to be really and truly satisfied with yourself, and you may sleep in peace conscious of having written a grand and beautiful work.

Unfortunately, whatever curiosity I have to be quite assured of this, I cannot stay here any longer, and must start tomorrow morning for Gran, where, in spite of a lot of useless talk, the thread of which you have perhaps followed in the papers, they will end after all by giving my Mass on the 31st of August (the day of the consecration of the Basilica). You see that I have only just time to set the thing on foot, and cannot, without the risk of unpleasantness, defer my arrival beyond the day which, moreover, I officially fixed about a week ago.

Please excuse me then, my dear Rubinstein, for my involuntary fugue, and allow me to make up for it without too much delay. On my return from Hungary I shall come through Stuttgart (towards the middle of September). Perhaps I shall find you still there, which would be a very great pleasure. We would sing together the choruses, solos, and orchestra of your new score with all our might! And Winterberger (who has just had a fabulous success at Rotterdam, Haarlem, etc., where he has given several organ concerts largely attended) might also be one of the party, for I expect to make the journey from Zurich with him, and on our way we shall explore the organs of Ulm, Stuttgart, Friburg, and Winterthur.

Will you let me know by a few lines what your plans are for the end of the summer and autumn? Shall you return to Leipzig? Will it suit you to try your Oratorio first at Weymar? In this latter case, which you may be sure will be the most agreeable to me, I will try to facilitate the arrangements that have to be made as regards copies, and to save you the expense of copying. Toward the end of October, at latest, I shall be back here; and, if we do not meet before, I count on your not letting this year elapse without coming again for a few days to your room at the Altenburg, where you are certain of being always most cordially welcome, for we shall make no changes.

If you have a quarter of an hour to spare do write a piece of a few pages for Hallberger, without making him wait any longer, for I especially want one of your loose works to appear in the first copy of the “Pianoforte.”

The Princess bids me give you her best compliments, to which I add the expression of frank and cordial friendship of your very devoted

F. Liszt

August 6th, 1856.

Have you received my things in score? Continue to address me at Weymar.

160. To Joachim Raff

You would be making a great mistake if you put any mistrust in my conduct, and I can assure you with a perfectly good conscience that to me there is nothing more agreeable and more to be desired than to rely entirely on one’s friends. With regard to the Wiesbaden affair, I must necessarily await a definite invitation from the concert directors before I can give a definite answer. I think I have too often shown that I am ready and willing, for it to be necessary for me to say more on that point. I was again at Sondershausen last Sunday, and promised to go there again in the course of next winter. The orchestra there, under its conductor Stein (whose acquaintance I had not made until now), has performed two of my Symphonic Poems–“Les Preludes” and “Mazeppa”–with really uncommon spirit and excellence. Should there be a similar willingness in Wiesbaden, it will of course be a pleasure to me to accept the invitation of the concert directors; so also I am greatly obliged to you for being so helpful toward the spread and sympathetic understanding of my works. But from your letter I see that you will not be staying much longer in Wiesbaden, and as I am not acquainted with the present circumstances there I cannot reckon beforehand on the friendly reception without which public performances always prove very unfruitful for composers. According, therefore, to whether these circumstances show themselves favorable or unfavorable to my honest endeavors, I will come, or I will remain at home.

I give you my heartiest good wishes for the performance of your “King Alfred” [an opera of Raff’s]. Your two “Tanz-Capricen” (bolero and valse) have been sent me by Hallberger, and I have already recommended a speedy edition of both.

This afternoon I start for Gran. In the middle of September I shall get to Stuttgart and go to Zurich. Letters can be always addressed to me at Weymar, and before the end of October I shall be back here again.

With best greetings and thanks, yours very truly,

F. Liszt

Weymar, August 7th, 1856

161. To Anton Rubinstein

I much regret, dear Rubinstein, to have missed your visit to Weymar, and, while thanking you most sincerely for your kind intention, I am going to beg you to grant me full reparation by a second visit when I return.

By the news which reaches me from the Altenburg I learn that you think of spending part of the winter in Berlin, and will there give your “Paradise Lost,” which will doubtless be a piece well found, and from which you will derive benefit. Please do not fail to let me know in good time which day it is to be performed, for I am set upon being present at this first performance, and shall certainly come to Berlin unless anything absolutely unavoidable prevents me.

I expect to be back at Weymar towards the end of October, and to set seriously to work again, a thing which is not possible elsewhere. The rehearsals of my Mass are going on here admirably, and I expect we shall have a very fine performance at Gran on the 31st, where, moreover, there will be so many other things and people of quite a different importance to be seen and heard, that they will scarcely hear three bars of my Mass. Happily my work has the good luck to have two general preliminary rehearsals, public ones, at Pest next week, and a final rehearsal at Gran itself. Zellner will probably be there, and you will hear about it from him. Possibly also the same Mass will be given on the 28th September (the day of St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia) at Prague, whence they have just written to me to that effect. You will give me great pleasure, my dear Rubinstein, if you will write me something about your autumn and winter plans; and if by chance I can be of use to you in any way show me the friendship of disposing entirely of me, as of one who is your very sincerely affectionate and devoted

F. Liszt Pest, August 21st, 1856

Address always to Weymar.

I am still expecting to go by Stuttgart to Zurich towards the middle of September, but it is possible that Prague may occasion me a fortnight’s delay.

162. To Eduard Liszt

[Pest,] Friday, September 5th, 1856

Dearest Eduard,

Yesterday’s performance of my Mass was quite according to my intentions, and was more successful and effective by far than all the preceding ones. Without exaggeration and with all Christian modesty I can assure you that many tears were shed, and that the very numerous audience (the church of the Stadtpfarrei [I.e., the parish church] was thronged), as well as the performers, had raised themselves, body and soul, into my contemplation of the sacred mysteries of the Mass…and everything was but a humble prayer to the Almighty and to the Redeemer!–I thought of you in my heart of hearts, and sought for you–for you are indeed so very near and dear to me in spirit!–Next Monday, the 8th September, at the consecration of the Hermine-Kapelle (which the Cardinal Prince Primate of Hungary will consecrate), my Mass for four men’s voices will be sung. Winterberger will accompany it on a Physharmonica of the organ genus. On the same evening (Monday) the concert for the benefit of the Pension Fund will take place at the theater: Singer and Pruckner will play at it, and two of my Symphonic Poems–“Les Preludes” and “Hungaria” (Nos. 3 and 9)- -will be given.

On the 14th September at latest I shall get to Vienna, and I will write to Haslinger more definitely about it. Meanwhile will you please tell Haslinger, as I cannot write to him until the concert in the Hungarian theater is over.

.–. I expect to leave here before the end of next week.

God be with you and with your

F. L.

At the rehearsal this morning I was told that you have got such an excellent article on the Mass in the Wanderer. I suppose you sent the number to Weymar? If possible let me have one here also.

163. To Louis Kohler

Bravo, dear friend, for the three very graceful and charmingly conceived melody-dialogues! I have pleasure in them, and am certain of the success of this charming selam. [Meaning a musical bouquet.] As an old laborant [Worker in a laboratory] at piano music allow me merely to lay before you a slight alteration in the two bars before the return of the motive (No. I). According to my conception one bar more would have a beneficial effect there, thus:–

[Here Liszt writes out a 5-measure excerpt of piano music]

If you agree with this version, write me simply Yes to the address of Richard Wagner, Zeltweg, Zurich. I shall get there next Sunday, and stay some days with our great friend. At the beginning of November I shall be back in Weymar.

Hearty greetings from yours in all friendship,

F. Liszt

Stuttgart, October 8th, 1856.