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[There does not seem to be any equivalent to this proverb in English: the nearest approach to it is, perhaps, “A poet is born, not made.”]

227. To Dr. Franz Brendel

Dear Friend,

It is of great consequence to me not to delay any longer the publication of my “Gesammelte Lieder.” Forgive me, therefore, if today I am somewhat troublesome to your friendship..–.

It seems to me that the best plan would be if, before you confer with Herr Schulze, you would first have a consultation with Klemm, and come to a thorough understanding on the matter with him. [Liszt evidently wished to have the songs engraved first at his own cost, and to let Klemm undertake the sale on commission.] Beg him also, in my name, to show a friendly sympathy to the work. The songs can hold their ground in their present form (regardless of the criticism of our choking and quarrelling opponents which will infallibly follow!); and if a few singers could be found, not of the raw and superficial kind, who would boldly venture to sing songs by the notorious non-composer, Franz Liszt, they would probably find a public for them.

I think I told you that a couple of them made a furore in certain salons which are very much set against me, as posthumous songs of Schubert, and were encored!–Of course I have begged the singer to carry the joke on further.

Klemm need not therefore be in the least ashamed of undertaking the publication of the work in a friendly spirit.

Best thanks beforehand for your kind trouble in this matter–and ever faithfully yours,

F. Liszt

Weymar, December 6th, 1859

P.S.–I have just received your letter. The two K.’s–Kompel and Kahnt–shall be made most welcome. Pohl had already told me of Kahnt’s coming; it will be a pleasure to me not to verlangweilen [To make the time hang heavily] his visit here (if that word is not quite German, still I consider it is comprehensible!). Julius Schuberth had also the intention of rescuing something [Namely, Liszt’s composition] from Kuehn. [Music publisher] Your idea of giving Bronsart the conductorship of the Euterpe Concerts is a most excellent one. I suppose the letter which I wrote about this to P. Fischer (to your address) came to hand (?). The day before yesterday I also let Bronsart know that possibly some favorable openings might occur for him in Leipzig, and recommended him not to neglect them. Bronsart would be just in his right post in Leipzig, and I do not doubt that he would in every respect maintain it in the most honorable manner. In addition to this, it would be especially agreeable to me to begin constant intercourse with him as my next neighbor. He is now working at his Opera, and sent me a little while ago the libretto which he has himself composed to it, and which seems to me very successful in the most important scenes, as well as in the dialogue. [It was afterwards composed by his wife (“King Hiarne”).]

Address your letters to “Herr von Bronsart, c/o Herr General von Bronsart, Commandant of Dantzig, Dantzig.”

In consequence of the performance of my Mass in Munich (on the King’s birthday, at the end of November), which, as I am told on many sides, was well given and–which seems wonderful–was acknowledged by many musicians there to be a work of importance– so that even Lachner spoke favorably of it–the “Allgemezne” Zeftung again breathes forth poison and gall (supplement of 3rd December), without forgetting therewith the “Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik.” I should like to take the opportunity of making this pack of critics, such as W., B., G., B., and whatever all the assistants’ assistants are called, understand the following thoughts as Xenie:–[Epigram]

“Ye break your staff over me, but your staff has indeed long since become rotten from all the dust and dirt that stick to it, and it scarcely serves any longer to cut the air!”

Tell this idea to Lohmann–perhaps he may be inspired with a happy rhyme for it.

I cannot say anything better to you about Pohl than what you tell me.–

Herewith, for your private delectation, is a copy of some lines from my letter to Herr Gustav Eggers (in Berlin), brother of the well-known Art-journal Eggers, now very much concerned in the Prussian paper. Gustav E. was here at the September Festival (1857), when he heard the Faust Symphony, and sent me lately a very pretty book of songs, begging me to recommend them to Hartel.–Send me the little paper back soon.

228. To Eduard Liszt

By the loving friendship which you have shown me, especially during the last decade in which so many trials have been laid on me, our close relationship in heart and character has been for ever firmly sealed, dearest Eduard. You are, and will ever be to me, a support and a courage-giving comforter in the battles and straits of my life. God grant me grace to go through them without wavering, as a faithful servant of the truth in Christ!

You have decided upon just what is most right and suitable in the arrangement of the funeral ceremony of my son. [He died in Vienna, where he was studying law.] The selection of Terziani’s Requiem was a very suitable one under the existing conditions. I thank you for everything from the depths of my soul!

I shall write a couple of lines to Herbeck tomorrow, and send him at the same time the score and parts of the “Prometheus,” as well as two Marches of Schubert which I have instrumented for him. The sending off of this parcel has been delayed by the circumstance that it was necessary to have the whole score of the “Prometheus” written out afresh, and to make some alterations in the parts. The earlier score was indeed sufficient for me–but any strange conductor would scarcely find his way through it. I hope Herbeck will be pleased with the instrumentation of the Schubert Marches. I fancy I have been successful in this little work, and I shall continue it further, as it offers much attraction to me. The four other Marches will follow shortly, which should make the half- dozen complete.

Cornelius arrived here the day before yesterday. His friendly attachment to you is a very warm and sincerely devoted one. On me Cornelius’s pure mind and thoroughly honorable disposition always have the most beneficial effect; but it is especially welcome to me just now to hear more of you from him, and thus to be more with you.

Be as good to me as you are dear to my heart!

F. Liszt

Weymar, December 28th, 1859

229. To Josef Dessauer

[Autograph in the possession of Herr Von Hannen, painter in Venice.–The addressee (“Maitre Favilla,” as George Sand named her friend) was known as the composer of refined songs (1798- 1876). Three of these Liszt transcribed (1847, Berlin, Schlesinger).]

Dear honored Friend,

It is possible that the delicacy of your perception may have brought you much trouble, but it assures you a soft place in the better region of the heart of your friends. This I again felt in reading your dear letter.

Accept, therefore, the heartfelt thanks of your old friend, whose “manly formed nature” must further prove itself; he has still many duties to fulfill and more than one battle to fight. May the Cross remain his support, his strength, and his shield!

Whatever fatality also may hang over me, be assured of the faithful attachment of your

F. Liszt

Weymar, December 30th, 1859

The crucifix from you (after the Gran Mass) has grown still dearer to me!–

When I have finished with some works which cannot be postponed any longer, Daniel shall receive his Requiena.

230. To Wilkoszewshi, Secretary of the Concerts of the “Hofcapelle” in Munich.

[From a copy in Liszt’s own handwriting (amongst the letters to Brendel)]

Dear Sir,

The performance of new works on the part of so renowned an orchestra as that of Munich must ever remain a mark of special attention for the composers. But I must rate it still higher that, in face of the strong prejudice against my name, one of my ill-famed Symphonic Poems should have been included in the programme of the concerts of the Munich Hofcapelle.

It is ill preaching to deaf ears, and it is well known that there is no worse deafness than that of people who will not hear. Hence it is that the Festklange, as well as the Mass and everything that I and others better than my humble self have been able to compose, is prejudiced. But the more unseemly and malicious factiousness may show itself against new works, the more am I laid under a grateful obligation to those who do not accept as their artistic criterion the injustice inflicted on me.

Time levels all things, and I can quietly wait until people are more occupied in learning to know and to hear my scores than in condemning and hissing them. Mean-spirited, blackguard tricks, even when played in concert-rooms and newspaper reports, are no arguments worthy of a lasting import.

I beg you, dear sir, to convey to General Music-Director Lachner my best thanks for his well-meant sentiments towards me, and I remain, with high esteem, yours very sincerely,

F. Liszt

Weymar, January 15th, 1860.

231. To Johann von Herbeck.

[Received, according to him, on January 26th, 1860]

Dear Friend,

On getting back from Berlin yesterday evening I find your letter, which has given me especial pleasure by the assurance that the “Prometheus” choruses and, the instrumentation of the “Schubert Marches” fulfill your expectations. You shall very shortly receive two more “Schubert Marches” (the “Funeral March” in E flat minor, and the “Hungarian March” in C minor out of the “Hungarian Divertissement”. [Op. 40, No. 5, and “Marcia” from Op. 54] They could be played one immediately after the other.

The “Prometheus” choruses, together with the “Symphonic Poem” which goes before them (and which has been published by Hartel as No. 5), were composed in July 1850 for the Herder Festival, and were performed in the theater here on the eve of that festival. My pulses were then all beating feverishly, and the thrice- repeated cry of woe of the Oceanides, the Dryads, and the Infernals echoed in my ears from all the trees and lakes of our park.

In my work I strove after an ideal of the antique, which should be represented, not as an ancient skeleton, but as a living and moving form. A beautiful stanza of Andre Chenier,

“Sur des pensers nouveaux faisons des vers antiques,” [“On modern thoughts let us fashion verses antique.”]

served me for precept, and showed me the way to musical plastic art and symmetry.

The favorable opinion you have formed of the work in reading it through is a token to me that I have not altogether failed–I hope that the performance will not spoil your sympathy for it. I leave the direction, with the utmost confidence, entirely in your hands.–You always hit on the right thing, and navigate satisfactorily with your entire forces the occasional difficulties of the dissonant entries, and of the pathetic delivery which is absolutely essential in several places. It would certainly be a great pleasure to me, dear friend, if I could be present at the performance in Vienna on the 26th February, to enjoy your intelligent and inspired performance, but I am prevented from doing this by various circumstances (an explanation of which would lead me too far).

I beg you therefore not to induce the directors to invite me, because I might not be in a position to make my excuses. So please do you undertake the office of unchaining Prometheus in Vienna; this labour of Hercules will become you well [Footnote below]. There are certainly no powerful eagles to hack and rend in pieces the Titan’s liver–but there is a whole host of ravens and creeping vermin ready to do it.–Once more best thanks and greetings from your most highly esteeming and very devoted

F. Liszt

[It took place on the 26th February, 1860. Herbeck notes as follows about it in his diary: “Prometheus, Symphonic Poem, pleased fairly. Chorus of Tritons pleased extremely. The Vintagers’ and Reapers’ choruses and concluding chorus pleased, but of course there was a formally organized opposition hissing. They had sworn the overthrow of this music, without even knowing a note of it.”]

232. To Dr. Franz Brendel.

So then it has happened well that the editor of the Neue Zeitschrift has also become the editor of my “Gesammelte Lieder.” Best thanks, dear friend, for the means you have taken to promote this. Kahnt has only to come to an understanding with Schlesinger; I on my side do not wish to place any limitation on his rights. Whether a transcription of this or that song may be made I do not know; if this should be the case I will only beg Kahnt to let me know of any such chance transcriptions before allowing them to appear, mainly because it would not be pleasant to me if any really too stupid arrangements should come out. This is only a matter of artistic consideration–beyond that I have neither restriction nor reservation to make to the proposed edition. As soon as Kahnt is in order with Schlesinger I am satisfied with everything. This or that song may then appear singly, or transcribed for guitar or zither; so much the better if Kahnt can thereby make it pay. N.B.–I should be glad if, in bringing out the songs singly, the same outside cover could be employed as in the complete edition, on account of the index. Probably Kahnt will say nothing against this, as the back of the cover serves as an advertisement of the entire collection of songs.

Yesterday evening Fraulein Berghaus (a daughter of the Potsdam professor) sang two numbers, Freudvoll and leidvoll and Es muss ein Wunderbares sein (out of the sixth part), at a concert given by Singer and Cossmann. I had indeed forbidden it, because this winter I will not have my name put on any concert programme at all–but her exquisite delivery of these songs, which were also received with approbation, reconciled me to it.

At the last Court concert in Berlin Fraulein Genast [A highly gifted singer, afterwards Frau Dr. Merian in Weimar] selected the “Loreley” as her concluding song, and the Frau Princess Victoria expressed herself very favorably about it, remarking that a Schubert spirit breathed in the composition. One of these days Fraulein Genast is again singing the “Loreley” at the Philharmonic Concert in Hamburg. Otten has specially begged her to do so. The same gentleman wrote about eighteen months ago to Frau von Milde that he must beg to remark “that in regard to the choice of compositions to be performed Robert Schumann is the extreme limit to whom his programme could extend!”

I cannot quite remember whether I sent Gotze a copy of my songs. Please ask him, and if I have not yet done so let me know. Gotze has a special claim to them, for in earlier years he had the courage to sing several of my nonentities–and I will see that he has a copy at once. At the same time ask Fraulein Gotze also whether she has received the copy of the Ballade Leonore. [Liszt had composed this melodrama for Auguste Gotze, and frequently performed it, as well as his later melodramas, with her.] From several places (and quite lately from Carlsruhe and Brunswick) orders for this Ballade have come to me, which–between ourselves–are not convenient to me. My copyist has already had to make at least nine copies of it, which is a pretty good expense. Nevertheless a tenth shall willingly be made, if the one which was intended for Fraulein Gotze did not reach her, of which I am somewhat in doubt, owing to the many demands which the Leonore has brought with it, and which have made me somewhat confused.

It would really be the best for me if Kahnt or Schuberth would save me the trouble of making further copies by publishing the “Leonore”. But I should not wish in any way to incommode the publisher, and certainly not to offer anything without knowing that it would be welcome. Under present circumstances a very pronounced reserve has become my rule. My business is simply to continue working unremittingly, and quietly to await the rest.

Accordingly I submit myself without difficulty to your experience as editor in regard to my Munich letter [To Wilkoszewski]– although I could maintain good grounds for publishing it. Certainly it is always the gentlemanly thing entirely to ignore certain things and people. You may therefore be quite right in putting aside all other considerations; and as I am convinced of your most sincere friendship I willingly leave you to decide whether my coming forward in such matters is of use or not. In case you had thought it advisable for my letter to be printed in the “Neue Zeitschrift” (which I left to your judgment), it would have had of necessity to be printed without the slightest alteration, because I have purposely written it thus clearly to Herr W., and any alteration in it might be taken as cowardice (which is far from me). But probably it is better to abandon the matter for a while, and to be somewhat more severe on another occasion. The pack of ragamuffins has richly deserved to be treated as ragamuffins!

This evening is Wagner’s first concert in Paris. I expect little good to him from it, and consider such a step on Wagner’s part as a mistake. In consequence of this opinion our correspondence is for the time suspended. More about this viva voce–as well as about “Tristan and Isolde.” A performance of the Opera was desired–that is to say, commanded for the 8th April (the birthday of the Grand Duchess). But Frau von Milde cannot undertake the chief part–and on that account the parts and score sent to us from Carlsruhe will be sent back again at once!

Has Wagner given his opinion more decidedly about a “Tristan” performance in Leipzig? Can you let me know the contents of his letter?

With heartfelt greetings, your

F. Liszt

Weymar, January 25th, 1860

If you should see Schuberth, tell him that I have something to communicate to him that would perhaps repay him for the trouble of coming to see me here for a couple of hours. I have no intention of coming to Leipzig for the present. Tell him that delays of this kind make me “nervos” [nervous] (He knows what the word “nervos” means with me.)

233. To Friedrich Hebbel

[Communicated by Dr. Felix Bamberg, from the original]

The words which you write to me bear the two-fold eloquence of the praiseworthy man in the fore-rank of Art, and of the friend dearly loved and highly respected by me. Accept my warmest thanks for it, and please excuse me for not having told you sooner what a strengthening and healing effect your letter made on me. Work of all sorts and a long absence from here occasioned this delay. In the interim I was often with you in thought; only the day before yesterday I read to the Princess your two glorious Sonnets an den Kunstler [“To the Artist”], “Ob Du auch bilden magst, was unverganglich”–“Und ob mich diese Zweifel brennen müssen?”[“Whether thou canst form what is imperishable”: “And whether these doubts must burn me.”]–

From Weymar I have nothing interesting nor especially agreeable to tell you. This winter will pass away pretty quietly and insignificantly at the theater, with repertoire works and pieces that will bring in money, and in society with the customary pleasures. A new drama by Rost, “Ludwig der Eiserne,” made some sensation, as is peculiar to the very popular productions of this author, who has achieved a public-house notoriety here. The nobles ought to have appeared in it yoked to the plough, but on Dingelstedt’s advice Rost toned down that scene!–A translation by Frau Schuselka (who has performed here sometimes) of the “Pere prodigue” of Dumas fils was to have come on the boards; but it appears that there are scruples about making such very ominous demands on the customary powers of digestion of our un-lavish fathers of families! Amongst other inconveniences the piece also contains logarithms, to which the respectable German Philistine cannot attain.

As regards myself, I am quietly waiting for the spring, when I shall in all probability move on further–of course not to renew my occupation of conducting, as it is said I shall do in Munich, Berlin, or elsewhere–an occupation I have gladly given up;–but in order to be able to pursue my work further than I am able to do in Weymar, which to me is a more important matter.

Remember me most kindly to your wife, and be assured that I remain ever in truest devotion yours most faithfully,

F. Liszt

Weymar, February 5th, 1860.

234. To Dr. Franz Brendel

[February 1860]

Dear Friend,

Although as a general rule I consider that it is not the business of the Neue Zeitschrift to go in for polemics, yet it seems to me that the little notice that Hanslick has put in No. 49 of the Vienna Presse, Saturday, the 18th February, is of such a kind that one must not ignore it.

The Presse is a paper with a tremendous circulation in the monarchy, and Hanslick counts among the leaders of our opponents; it would therefore be worth while to make an exception by coming forward on this occasion, unless (which I cannot as yet believe) your Vienna correspondent has been guilty of the mischievous conduct which Hanslick so severely reports. This point must first be made clear–whether in the third (or possibly an earlier) concert of Herr Boskowitz an exchange of a Schumann for a Liszt piece occurred. [Instead of the Liszt piece “Au bord d’une source,” which stood on the programme, Boskowitz had played the “Jagdlied” from Schumann’s “Waldscenen,” which did not prevent a correspondent (namely, the correspondent of the Deutsche Musikzeitung, as the Neue Zeitschrift of 24th February, 1860, gave out) from loudly carping at the supposed Liszt composition.] Possibly also your correspondent made use of the expression “The Vienna Press” in general, and did not refer specially to the paper Die Presse, [This was actually the case] or was referring to other remarks of Hanslick’s…

This is only the second time for many years past, dear friend, that I have drawn your attention to notices in the paper. On the first occasion, when the Augsburger Allgemeine gave that infamous correspondence about the venality of the Neue Zeitschrift, your striking answer gave the most convincing proof of what part the opponents were studying to play!–I hope it will be possible to despatch Hanslick’s notice (which I enclose) in a similar fashion. But it is necessary to get at the exact truth before inveighing against them–for Hanslick is no easy opponent, and if one once attacks him it must be with suitable weapons and without giving quarter. The words “denunciation proceedings,” “Gessler caps of the party of the future,” and especially the concluding sentence, “As long as Herr Brendel,” etc., are a challenge, which deserves more than a faint-hearted reproof! I would also advise you to send a duplicate of your reply to the Presse in Vienna, at the same time as it is published in the Zeitschrift. The editors of the Presse will be certain to reject it, according to the usual method of the clique impartiality of those gentlemen. But the scandalous examples of the latter will be thus increased by one more.

It is easy also to see beforehand that Hanslick will not let the matter rest at this first notice, and will continue the discussion.

Hearty greetings.

F.L.P.S.–In case your Vienna correspondent should be quite in the wrong, it would be better simply to be silent and wait for a better opportunity.

235. To Dr. Franz Brendel

[March or April 1860]

Dear Friend,

Do not blame me if this time I follow Pohl’s example and keep you waiting for the promised article. I have been working at it pretty continuously during the past week, and the sketch of it is quite ready; but I am not quite satisfied with it, and about Berlioz and Wagner I must say the right thing in the right manner. [No article of the kind by Liszt is contained in the Neue Zeitschrift for the year in question; probably it was unfinished.] This duty requires me to spend more time on it, and unfortunately I have so much on hand this week that it is hardly possible for me to busy myself with polemics. Tomorrow is again a grand Court concert; Bronsart and Fraulein Stark arrived yesterday; Frau von Bulow comes today, and I expect Hans on Saturday. Besides this, there is still more important work for me, which will take up my time entirely till the end of this month.

Well, I will see to it that, if possible, Berlioz and Wagner do not remain forgotten!–

Let me first of all answer your questions.

Whether it would be desirable to hold the second Tonkunstler- Versammlung this year, I already left it to you, at our last meeting, to decide. In my opinion we might wait till next year without injury to the affair. [This was done.] As long as I myself have not made a secure and firm footing in Weymar, I cannot invite you to convene the meeting here. If you hold to the dates of the 17th, 18th, and 19th June, we are bound to Leipzig, where I can then tell you with certainty whether Weymar will suit for the next meeting.

It goes without saying that you, dear friend, must arrange about everything that I can undertake and do for the Tonkunstler- Versammlung. Only my personal help as conductor must be excepted. At our next consultation we shall easily come to an understanding as to the desirability of one conductor or several.

I would indicate and emphasize, as absolutely necessary, the performance of new works by Bulow, Draseke, Bronsart, Singer, Seifriz, etc. I think I understand and can manage the art of programme-making in a masterly manner. When once matters have got so far, I will fix with you the programme of the three performances.

I agree with the choice of the “Prometheus,” and at the religious performance, if the latter is not filled up with one single great work, I would suggest perhaps the “Beatitudes,” or the 13th Psalm (the former last about ten minutes, the latter twenty-five).

Will you therefore decide definitely where the Tonkunstler- Versammlung shall be held this year and the date of it, about which I have nothing further to say? We will then discuss and settle the rest together.

You will find my remarks as to the statute scheme on the last page of it.

With hearty greetings, your

F. Liszt


A. The revising of the “Leonore” shall be attended to immediately.

B. I shall welcome Fraulein Brauer most cordially.

C. I recommend to you again the manuscripts of Pasque and Councillor Muller. Have you replied to Muller?

Herewith is a letter from Weitzmann (14th June, 1859), in which you will find much worthy of consideration and use.

Important! N.B.–When you convene the Tonkunstler-Versammlung, add to it at once the following: “For the foundation of the German Universal Musical Society.” This is the principal aim, toward the accomplishment of which we have to work.

[Liszt was, as Princess Wittgenstein distinctly told the editor, the actual founder of the “German Universal Musical Society.” He conceived the idea and plan of it, and it was only at his wish that Brendel gave his name to it, and undertook to be president, etc.]

236. To Louis Kohler.

My dear, excellent friend,

You have given me a rare pleasure. Your articles on my “Gesammelte Lieder” are a reproduction, replete with spirit and mind, of what I, alas! must feel and bear much more than I can venture to write down! Reviews such as these are not matters of every-day reviewers–nor must one shame you with such a title.

Accept my warmest thanks for them, and allow me to present to you herewith a couple of little singable things in manuscript. They were jotted down after reading your articles, and, if I mistake not, they spring from the melody of speech. In any case, dear friend, you have a special right to them–as well as to the sincere esteem and faithful attachment with which I remain your

F. Liszt

Weymar, July 5th, 1860

Towards the end of October the two Symphonic Poems, Nos. 10 and 11, which have still to be published–“Hamlet” and the “Hunnenschlacht” [The Battle of the Huns]–will appear at Hartel’s; and when these are out all the twelve monsters will have appeared. Shortly afterwards will follow Faust, the choruses to Prometheus, a couple of Psalms, and a new number of songs. I will send you the whole lot. But if possible arrange so that we may soon meet again–at the latest at the next Tonkunstler- Versammlung next year, at which we cannot possibly do without you.

237. To Eduard Liszt

Dearest Eduard,

You remain perpetually in the home of my heart, not at all in countless company, but all the more in picked company. When I think I have done anything pretty good I think of you and rejoice that what I have done will be a pleasure to you–and in the hours when sadness and sorrow take hold of me you are again my comfort and strength by your loving insight into my innermost wishes and yearnings! My thanks, my warmest and truest thanks, to you for all the sustaining and soothing friendship that you show to me. It is to me a special token of Heaven’s favor to me, and I pray to God that He may unite us for ever in Himself!–

Cornelius writes me word that you will probably come to Weymar towards the end of the summer. That will be a great pleasure to me; I often feel as if I must have a talk with you out of the depths of my heart–for with writing, as you know, I don’t exactly get on. I expect the Princess towards the middle of August. Meanwhile I receive good and satisfactory tidings from Rome. I hope all will turn out for the best.

In these latter weeks I have been completely absorbed in my composing. If I mistake not, my power of production has materially increased, while some things in me are made clear and others are more concentrated. By the end of October the last two of the Symphonic Poems will be out (“Hamlet” and the “Hunnenschlacht”). Then come the Psalms, which you do not yet know, and which I much want you to know-and also a new number of songs which will please you. I shall then work at the Oratorio St. Elizabeth, exclusive of all else, and get it completely finished before the end of the year. May God in His grace accept my endeavors!–

I must express myself not entirely in accord beforehand with your plan for your son, although I consider your way of looking at the present state of things by no means a wrong one. I am also convinced that, when it comes to settling definitely, the talents and capabilities, as well as the bent of mind, of your child will be satisfactory to you. If the young one has a mind for a uniform–well, let it be so. To cut one’s way through life with a sabre is indeed for the most part pleasanter than any other mode…The business paper for the Princess I will keep till her return, unless you write to me to forward it to her in Rome.

May I bother you with a commission for provisions? Forgive me for the way in which I am always making use of you, but I do so want to make a little joke for Bulow, and I have no one now in Vienna who could help me in it except just you. It is about sending a pretty considerable amount of Hungarian Paprika [Hungarian, Turkish, or Spanish pepper from Hungary] and a little barrel of Pfefferoni (little green Hungarian pepper-plants preserved in vinegar). Please ask Capellmeister Doppler where these things are to be procured genuine, and send them me as soon as possible to Weymar. I won’t hide from you that I intend to go shares with Bulow, as I am particularly fond of Paprika and Pfefferoni. So take care that there is enough sent, and that it arrives in good condition.–And as this will give you occasion to see Doppler, give him my warm thanks for the instrumentation of the Pester Carnaval (in which musical Paprika and Pfefferoni are not wanting). He has again been most successful in it, and I intend to push on in the autumn the publication of the six Rhapsodies for orchestra, for which indeed I shall have to obtain the permission or consent of three separate publishers (Schott, Senff, Haslinger)–a circumstance which may of itself occasion some delay, especially if the gentlemen behave in regard to my wish as Spina did in so unpleasantly surprising a manner in regard to the instrumentation of the Schubert Marches. To tell you this incident briefly: I wrote to Dachs and asked him to request Spina in my name either to publish the three Marches himself in score–without any remuneration for me!–or else to give me permission to bring them out through another publisher. Spina’s answer, as Dachs gave me to understand, was that he could not consent to either the one or the other of my proposals (which were certainly reasonable enough)! And thus I must wait until Spina can hit on a better plan! When I have an opportunity, I shall venture to apply to him direct.

For the present, in consideration of the fact that Paprika and Pfefferoni make one very thirsty, a barrel of Gumpoldskirchner (with a slightly sharp, flowery after-taste) would be very welcome to me, if by chance you are able to find a good kind and cheap.–Forgive me for all these Lucullian extravagances!–

I will write soon to Cornelius. Give him my heartfelt greetings. Also please remember me kindly to Dr. Kulke. I will give him my thanks by letter on the first opportunity for his Prometheus articles, as I would have already done through Cornelius, had he not started so suddenly.–

Now farewell, dearest Eduard. Spare yourself and take care of your health. Assure your dear wife of my heartfelt attachment, and kiss your children for your faithful

F. Liszt

Weymar, July 9th, 1860

238. To Ingeborg Stark

[Summer, 1860]

If a sort of idiosyncrasy against letters did not hold me back I should have told you long ago what pleasure your charming letter from Paris gave me, and what a sincere part I have taken in your late successes, dear enchantress. But you must know all that far better than I could succeed in writing it.

So let us talk of something else–for instance, Baron Vietinghoff’s [He took the noun de plume Boris Scheel, and in 1885 he performed his opera “Der Daemon” in St. Petersburg, which originated twenty years before that of Rubinstein.] Overture, which you were so kind as to send me, and which I have run through with B[ronsart] during his short stay at Weymar–too short to please me, but doubtless much too long for you!–The Overture in question is not wanting either in imagination or spirit. It is the work of a man musically much gifted, but who has not yet sufficiently handled his subject. When you have an opportunity, will you give my best compliments to the author, and give him also the little scale of chords that I add? It is nothing but a very simple development of the scale, terrifying for all the long and protruding ears, [Figure demonstrating a descending whole-tone scale] that Mr. de Vietinghoff employs in the final presto of his overture (page 66 of the score).

Tausig makes a pretty fair use of it in his Geisterschaff; and in the classes of the Conservatoire, in which the high art of the mad dog is duly taught, the existing elementary exercises of the piano methods, [Figure: Musical example; a five-finger exercise] which are of a sonorousness as disagreeable as they are incomplete, ought to be replaced by this one, which will thus form the unique basis of the method of harmony–all the other chords, in use or not, being unable to be employed except by the arbitrary curtailment of such and such an interval.

In fact it will soon be necessary to complete the system by the admission of quarter and half-quarter tones until something better turns up!–

Behold the abyss of progress into which the abominable “Musicians of the Future” precipitate us!

Take care that you do not let yourself be contaminated by this pest of Art!

For a week past it has done nothing but rain here, and I have been obliged to have fires and stoves lighted in the house. If by chance you are favored with such a temperature at Schwalbach, I invite you to profit by it to make some new Fugues, and to make up, by plenty of work for the pedals, for the pedestrian exercise of which you would be necessarily deprived.

B., to whom I beg you to give my cordial and kind remembrances, led me to hope that you will stay a couple of days at Weymar after your cure. If this could be so arranged I for my part should be delighted, and should pick a quarrel with you (even if it were a German quarrel!) if you were not completely persuaded of it!

Remember me most affectionately to la Sagesse, and do me the kindness to count, under all circumstances, on

Your very sincerely devoted

F. Liszt

239. To Dr. Franz Brendel

Dear Friend,

Your last proposition is the best. Come quite simply to me at Weymar. As I am now quite alone at home we can hold our conference and arrange matters most conveniently at the Altenburg. I am writing at the same time to Bulow at Wiesbaden (where he is giving a concert tomorrow, Friday), to beg him to arrange with you about the day on which the meeting shall be held here. You two have to decide this. Of course you will stay with me. There shall also be a room in readiness for Kahnt.

With regard to Wagner’s pardon [Wagner had been exiled from Germany for political reasons.] I am expecting reliable information shortly. It seems strange that the Dresden papers should not have been the first to give the official announcement, and that an act of pardon of H.M. the King of Saxony should be made known through the “Bohemia” (in Prague). Wagner has not yet written to me.

To our speedy meeting. Heartily your

F. Liszt

August 9th, 1860

240. To Princess Caroline Sayn-Wittgenstein.

[Portions of the above were published in the Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik of 4th May, 1887.]

Weymar, September 14th, 1860

I am writing this down on the 14th September, the day on which the Church celebrates the Festival of the Holy Cross. The denomination of this festival is also that of the glowing and mysterious feeling which has pierced my entire life as with a sacred wound.

Yes, “Jesus Christ on the Cross,” a yearning longing after the Cross and the raising of the Cross,–this was ever my true inner calling; I have felt it in my innermost heart ever since my seventeenth year, in which I implored with humility and tears that I might be permitted to enter the Paris Seminary; at that time I hoped it would be granted to me to live the life of the saints and perhaps even to die a martyr’s death. This, alas! has not happened–yet, in spite of the transgressions and errors which I have committed, and for which I feel sincere repentance and contrition, the holy light of the Cross has never been entirely withdrawn from me. At times, indeed, the refulgence of this Divine light has overflowed my entire soul.–I thank God for this, and shall die with my soul fixed upon the Cross, our redemption, our highest bliss; and, in acknowledgment of my belief, I wish before my death to receive the holy sacraments of the Catholic, Apostolic, and Romish Church, and thereby to attain the forgiveness and remission of all my sins. Amen.

I thank my mother with reverence and tender love for her continual proofs of goodness and love. In my youth people called me a good son; it was certainly no special merit on my part, for how would it have been possible not to be a good son with so faithfully self-sacrificing a mother?–Should I die before her, her blessing will follow me into the grave.

I owe it to my cousin Eduard Liszt (Dr. and Royal County Councillor of Justice in Vienna) to repeat here my warm and grateful affection for him, and to thank him for his faithfulness and staunch friendship. By his worth, his talents, and his character he does honor to the name I bear, and I pray God for His blessings on him, his wife, and his children.

Among our Art-comrades of the day there is one name which has already become glorious, and which will become so ever more and more–Richard Wagner. His genius has been to me a light which I have followed–and my friendship for Wagner has always been of the character of a noble passion. At a certain period (about ten years ago) I had visions of a new Art-period for Weymar, similar to that of Carl August, in which Wagner and I should have been the leading spirits, as Goethe and Schiller were formerly,–but unfavorable circumstances have brought this dream to nothing.

To my daughter Cosima I bequeath the sketch of Steinle representing St. Francois de Paul, my patron saint; he is walking on the waves, his mantle spread beneath his feet, holding in one hand a red-hot coal, the other raised, either to allay the tempest or to bless the menaced boatmen, his look turned to heaven, where, in a glory, shines the redeeming word “Caritas.”– This sketch has always stood on my writing-table. Near it there is an ancient hour-glass in carved wood with four glasses, which is also for my daughter Cosima. Two other things which have belonged to me are to be given as a remembrance to my cousin Eduard Liszt and to my much-loved and brave son-in-law Hans von Bulow.

Some of the members of our Union of the “New German School”–to whom I remain deeply attached–must also receive some remembrance of me; Hans von Bronsart, Peter Cornelius (in Vienna), E. Lassen (in Weymar), Dr. Franz Brendel (in Leipzig), Richard Pohl (in Weymar), Alex. Ritter (in Dresden), Felix Draseke (in Dresden), Professor Weitzmann (in Berlin), Carl Tausig (from Warsaw)– either a ring with my sign-manual, a portrait, or coat-of-arms.– May they continue the work that we have begun–the honor of Art and the inner worth of the artist constrains them to do so. Our cause cannot fail, though it have for the present but few supporters.–

One of my jewels set as a ring is to be sent to Madame Caroline d’Artigaux, nee Countess de St. Cricq (at Pau, France). To the Princess Constantin Hohenlohe (nee Princess Marie Wittgenstein) I bequeath the ivory crucifix (cinque-cento) which was given to me by my kind patron the Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen–also a pair of studs with five different stones, which form the five initials of my name.

And now I kneel down once more to pray “Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us; and deliver us from evil. Amen.”

F. Liszt

Written the 14th September, 1860, on the Festival of the raising of the Holy Cross.


To Herr Gross, a member of the Weymar Grand Ducal Royal Orchestra (trombone and double-bass player), who has for a number of years looked after the copying of my works and the arranging of the orchestral and voice parts of them in the library of the Altenburg, I bequeath a present of one hundred thalers for the faithful, devoted service he has rendered me.

To the names of my friends of the New German School is to be added one more, or rather I ought to have mentioned it first; it is that of Mr. Gaetano Belloni (in Paris).–He was my Secretary during the period of my concert tours in Europe, from 1841 to 1847, and was always my faithful and devoted servant and friend. He must not be forgotten. Moreover, whether he will or no, he belongs to the New German School, by his attachment to me, and also by the part he took later on in the Berlioz and Wagner concerts. I wish to be buried simply, without pomp, and if possible at night.–May light everlasting illumine my soul!

241. To Dr. Franz Brendel

September 20th, 1860

Dear Friend,

I send you by my friend Lassen [Born 1830, became Court music- director 1858, and Court conductor in Weimar after Liszt’s withdrawal (1861); celebrated as a composer of songs] a little parcel of songs (eight numbers), which I beg you to give to Kahnt. Of several of them I have kept no copy–and I therefore beg Kahnt not to lose them. As regards the numbering of them (the order of succession), they are to be kept as I noted down some time ago (on a bit of paper which I gave Kahnt when he was here).

I also add a Quartet for men’s voices. It is the Verein song “Frisch auf zu neuem Leben,” [“Uprouse to newer life.”] written for the New Weymar Verein by Hoffmann von Fallersleben. The passage “von Philister Geschrei;” [“Of Philistine cry.”] will probably amuse you, and the whole thing is kept rather popular and easy to be performed. If it does not make a bother let it be tried in Leipzig when you have an opportunity.

N.B.–If you think the designation on the title-page “Written and composed for the New Weymar Verein” will give offence, it can be left out, and the title can run simply, “Vereins Lied,” by Hoffmann von Fallersleben, composed for male chorus by F. L. In any case I shall be glad if Kahnt can bring the little thing out soon, and will give some sort of illustrated title-page, expressive of the sense of the poem.

The remarks which I have added in pencil are to be engraved with it. I hope the printer will be able to read my bad writing–if not will you be so kind as to make it clear to him?

I am writing to Vienna today. The “Prometheus” parts and score will be sent to you immediately.

I expect Bronsart here at the end of this month..–.

Your statute-sketch is in all essential points as judicious as it is practical. It offers a sure basis of operations for the next Tonkunstler-Versammlung, where assuredly the great majority of the members will agree with your proposals. Then the point will be to work on vigorously towards the accomplishment, and to put aside the much that is “rotten in the State of Denmark.”

Before the Euterpe concerts begin I shall in any case see you. Next Sunday I go to Sondershausen, where Berlioz’ “Harold,” a new Oboe Concerto by Stein, Schumann’s “Genoveva” Overture, the Introduction to “Tristan and Isolde,” and my “Mazeppa” will be given. The latter piece is popular to wit…in Sondershausen!–

Very sonderhauslich, [A play on the words Sondershausen and sonderbar = strange] isn’t it?

Hearty greetings to your wife from your

F. Liszt

P.S.–The ninth song by Cornelius is still wanting. [The song “Wieder mocht’ ich Dir begegnen” (“Once again I fain would meet thee”)] But in the meantime the printing can be going on. The nine numbers form the seventh part of the “Gesammelte Lieder.” If Kahnt wishes, each song can be published separately, especially the Zigeuner; Nonnenwerth, etc.

Draseke has been with me a couple of days, and is coming shortly to you. His works captivate me in a special degree, and personally I am very fond of him, which indeed I also was formerly, but this time still more. Capacity and character are there in abundance.

242. To Eduard Liszt

Weymar, September 20th, 1860

The true and loving character of your whole being, as well as of your letter, dearest Eduard, touches me always with joy, and fortifies me; but with your letter of today is mingled also somewhat of sadness. It is conceivable that the ebb of the Milanese and Hungarian Civil Service employes, with its effect on Vienna, has acted as a check upon your very justifiable and well- founded prospects of promotion. This is all the more to be regretted as, years ago, I was assured many times from a trustworthy official source that your suitability and deserts were far above the official position that you hold. Without wanting to preach to you unseasonably, let me assure you of my sincere sympathy in the disappointments you have so undeservedly to bear, and remind you also how things generally go badly in this world with the better and best sort of men. One must not let oneself be embittered by bitter experiences, and one must bear all sorts of mortifications without mortification.

I will also repeat for your amusement a droll saying of General Wrangel’s: “A man should never vex himself;–if there must be vexation anywhere, let him rather vex somebody else!”–The best way, in case of extreme necessity to vex others, is to bear imperturbably many an injury and unpleasantness–without prejudice to any defense or help that may offer, when opportunity occurs–for we were not born to sleep our lives away!–

Under the given circumstances one cannot do otherwise than agree with your resolution to let your son go into the Military Academy when he is eleven years old. May this young Franz bring you all the happiness that your older Franziskus wishes you from his innermost heart.–[He did not become a soldier, but the renowned Professor of Law now teaching at the University of Halle.]

In the expectation of this we will comfort ourselves by swallowing Pfefferoni and Paprika together with Gumpoldskirchner. Have I ever told you how excellent the latter, which you had chosen just right, tasted?

It is almost impossible to further B.’s affairs. You think it would be right to let his drama be examined by a “competent authority.” Undoubtedly; but that will not help him, so long as this competent authority, who here could be none other than Dingelstedt, is not able to help him any further. As far as I know our Intendant he will NOT condescend to perform King Alphonso; but none the less I will speak to Dingelstedt about it, and will prevail on him first of all to write a few lines to B., as the rules of courtesy demand. I scarcely hope to effect more than this, glad as I should be if it happened so, for you know that I am glad to show myself obliging. It is doubtful also whether B. will have much better chances with other Intendants– for, as it seems, the good man has decidedly bad luck. Please make my excuses to him if I do not answer his letter other than by a silent condolence (in German Beleidsbezeugung!).–It has become horribly difficult nowadays to make a footing on the boards–“which signify the world”–especially for writers of classic tragic-plays, whose lot is far more a tragic than a playing one!–Things certainly are not much better with most of the Opera composers, although that genre is the most thankful one of all. Without a strong dose of obstinacy and resignation there is no doing anything. In spite of the comforting proverb “Geduldige Schafe gehen viele in den Stall,” [The English equivalent seems to be “Patience and application will carry us through.”] there is for the greater number and most patient of the sheep no more room in the fold, to say nothing of food!–Thus the problem of the literary and artistic proletariat becomes from year to year more clamorous.

Your orchestral concert plan has surprised me very much, and I thank you from my heart for this fresh proof of your energy and goodwill. Yet for this year I think it would be more judicious to pause, for several reasons which it would lead me rather too far to explain, and which, therefore, I prefer to reserve for a viva voce talk. They relate to (A) my personal position and something connected with it socially; (B) the position of musical matters among artists and in the Press, which not only influence but intimidate the public, disconcert it, and palm off upon it ears, with which it cannot hear. This temporary very bad state of things I think I have, alas! at all times quite rightly acknowledged, and, if I do not greatly mistake, it must surely soon perceptibly modify in our favor. Our opponents “triumph far more than they conquer us,” as Tacitus says. They will not be able to hold their narrow, malicious, negative, and unproductive thesis much longer against our quiet, assured, positive progress in Art-works. A consoling and significant symptom of this is that they are no longer able to support their adherents among living and working composers, but devour them critically while the public is so indifferent. The resume of the whole criticism of the opposition may be summed up in the following words: “All the heroes of Art in past times find, alas! no worthy successors in our day.” But our time will not give up its rights–and the rightful successors will prove themselves such!

More of this when we have an opportunity. You have doubtless heard that a similar plan to yours is in progress in Leipzig. My friend Bronsart undertakes the direction of the Euterpe concerts for this winter, and there will be some rows about it. We will await the result; if it should not be satisfactory, yet the matter is so arranged that it cannot do us any great harm. As regards Vienna I think it would be wisest to let this winter pass by without troubling ourselves about it. Messrs. B., V.B., and their associates may peacefully have Symphonies and other works performed there and mutually blow each other’s trumpets.

I have still a request to make to you today, dearest Eduard. Persuade Herbeck to send the score and the chorus and orchestral part of my “Prometheus” at once to C.F. Kahnt, the music publisher in Leipzig. The work is fixed for performance at one of the Euterpe concerts, which will take place before Christmas of this year; so it is necessary that the choruses should be studied in time. Kahnt has already written to Herbeck and also to Spina– but as yet he has received neither an answer nor the parts and score of Prometheus that he wants.

Take the same opportunity of telling Herbeck that I should like once to hear the four Schubert Marches which I instrumented for him, and I beg him to send the score of them to me at Weymar.

Forgive me that I always trouble you with all sorts of commissions–but my Vienna acquaintances are so lazy and unreliable that I have no other alternative but to set you on everywhere..–.

Heartfelt greetings to your wife and children from your faithful and grateful

F. Liszt

P.S.–I have written something to Cornelius about my latest compositions, which he will tell you.

I expect the Princess here in October only. I will tell you, later on, much about her stay in Rome, some of which is agreeable.

243. To Hoffman von Fallersleben

My dear, honored Friend,

The melancholy tidings were reported to me by Grafe on Monday evening (in the New Weymar Verein). [Hoffmann, after he had obtained in May, 1860 the position of librarian to the Duke of Ratibor at Schloss Corvey, near Hoxter-on-the-Weser, lost his wife.] It came upon us all with a most mournful shock, and truly it needs no further words to assure you of my heartfelt sympathy in your grief!–Thank you for having thought of me. The Princess, who was always so attached to your dear good wife, has not yet returned from Rome–and I do not expect her till towards the end of November. Unfortunately I must remain here entirely until then–otherwise I should assuredly come at once to you…Forgive me, therefore, that only from afar can I tell you how sincerely and truly I remain your faithfully attached friend,

F. Liszt

October 30th, 1860

I have sent your charming birthday gift for October 22nd (text and music) to the Princess.

244. To Professor Franz Gotze in Leipzig

Dear, honored Friend,

Do not think me indiscreet if I say something to you about which you yourself must know best. The artistic gifts of your daughter are as rare as they are pronounced. I have heard her sing and declaim several times in the last few days, and each time with increasing interest. Will you not give her carte blanche, and grant your consent to the artistic career which is hers by nature and which can hardly be put aside? [Liszt, like others, was laboring under the mistake (for reasons which cannot be discussed here) that Gotze did not intend his daughter to pursue the career of an artiste, though he had had her educated both as a singer and dramatically.] I know that this may not be a very easy decision for you,–but, much as I usually refrain from giving advice of this kind, yet I cannot do otherwise than make an exception in this case, and intercede with you to let your daughter come out in public–because I am convinced that you will not regret having supported her with fatherly compliance in this.

Dr. Gille much wishes to gain your daughter for the next concert in Jena. I think that a debut there would in any case do her no harm. Later on I shall ask you whether you will allow Auguste shortly to appear here at a Court concert.

Excuse my interference in so delicate a matter by reason of the sincere interest I take in your daughter, and the faithful friendship with which I remain Your unalterably sincerely attached

F. Liszt

Weymar, November 4, 1860

Send a telegram to Gille in reply–if possible, “Yes,” as the concert takes place next Sunday.

245. To Dr. Franz Brendel

Dear Friend,

.–. I take a sincere interest in the progress of the Euterpe concerts–a progress which up to now has been favorable on the whole; you have the chief merit in this, just because it rests with you to neutralize difficult and opposing elements.

I rejoice much that Bronsart so thoroughly fulfills my expectations. He is a director-gentleman [“Gentleman” put in English by Liszt]. I shall hear more about the concerts through Weissheimer [A composer; was for some time second director of the Euterpe concerts], who is advertised here for the day after tomorrow; until now I have only heard something about them from Fraulein Hundt [A composer, at that time in Weimar; has since died] yesterday.

With best greetings, yours in all friendship,

F. Liszt

Weymar, November 16th, 1860

Will you be so kind as to send me at once a couple of copies of Muller’s new brochure?

.–. If it is possible to hurry the bringing out of my seventh book of songs I shall be glad. Also the “Vereins-Lied.”

Give my most friendly greetings to Gotze–and at the same time tell him that his daughter (of whose great artistic powers there is no doubt) sang and declaimed last Sunday in Jena with the greatest success. The vocal numbers were “two songs by Schumann,” one of which was encored–and at the end of the concert she declaimed the Ballade Leonore (with my melodramatic pianoforte accompaniment).

Have you heard anything of Wagner? Rienzi is being studied here, and I have undertaken to conduct the rehearsals. With regard to the performance I have at once mentioned decidedly that nothing will induce me to make an exception and conduct it–consequently Musik-director Stor will conduct it.

246. To Dr. Franz Brendel

Dear Friend,

Since I have again had a conference with respect to the Tonkunstler-Versammlung in Weymar next August, I am happy to be able to tell you that not only will there be no obstacle to it, but that we may expect that much will be done to further the matter here. In your next announcement in the Neue Zeitschrift about the Tonkunstler-Versammlung you are therefore fully authorized to intimate the readiness of the artists, both vocal and instrumental, here and in the neighborhood (Jena, Eisenach, Sondershausen, etc.), as also the favorable disposition of H.R.H. the Grand Duke, for the matter. This latter point must be mentioned with some formality, so that I can submit your article to my gracious master.

According to my opinion it would be well if, in this connection, you were to touch upon the musical antecedents of Weymar (performances of Wagner, Berlioz, Schumann), also the founding of the Academy of Painting by the Grand Duke which took place lately, and also the protectorate which H.R.H. has undertaken of the Allegemeine deutsche Schiller-Stiftung [The Universal German Schiller Scholarship] (the first place of which is to be Weymar next year).

Yours in all friendship,

F. Liszt

December 2nd, 1860

P.S.–With the next Tonkunstler-Versammlung I join three principal things:–

(1) The founding and establishing of the Tonkunstler-Vierein.

(2) That the States should take part (according to your idea) in the principal musical interests to be supported.

(3) The introduction and proposal of the projected music school. [Liszt was endeavoring at that time to found a music school in Weimar.]

247. To C.F. Kahnt, Music Publisher in Leipzig

[Kahnt was the publisher of the Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik for more than thirty years (ever since 1855); also the publisher of several of Liszt’s compositions, co-founder and for many years cashier of the Allgemeine deutsche Musikvereins, and, after 1873, Councillor of Commission in Weimar.]

Dear Sir,

I send you herewith the proof-sheets of the seventh book of my songs, and of the “Vereins-Lied” for the chorus of men’s voices. I quite concur in the new title-page, which can also be employed for each single song. It is better than the former one, only I shall be glad if there are no other advertisements on the back side, and it is left bare.

On the 17th of this month the Neu-Weymar-Verein intends to give a little Beethoven-Festival, and the “Vereins-Lied” is included in the programme. I beg, therefore, that you will send me some proof-copies by the 12th December–if it is not possible to get the edition ready so soon.–.

The three Chansons and arrangement of the three Quartets for men’s voices (published in Basle) are all completed in my head; you shall have them as a new manuscript at the end of the week. There is no hurry about the publishing of the Chansons and Quartets (probably I shall entitle them “Aus dem Zelt,” or “Aus dem Lager,” three songs, etc.). [“From the Tent,” or “From the Camp.” They were eventually entitled “Geharnischte Lieder” (“Songs in Armour”).] But as you are kind enough to place some reliance on my songs, I should like to commit to you next a little wish of mine–namely, that my Schiller Song (which appeared in the Illustrated in November last) may soon be published, and also a somewhat repaying (rather sweet!) Quartet for men’s voices, with a tenor solo–“Huttelein, still and klein.” It has been already sung with success by the Vienna Manner-Gesangverein, and by some Liedertafeln. I add the two manuscripts to the parcel of proofs–perhaps you will take an opportunity of trying both the little things in a small circle. If Herr Professor Gotze would have the kindness to undertake the solo-part in the “Huttelein” I should be very much obliged to him. Herr Wallenreiter might make a good thing of the baritone solo-part in the “Schiller Song.”

In case you should be disposed to acquiesce in my wish, and to undertake the publishing of the two or three men’s choruses, I would propose to you to bring them out as the opening numbers of a short succession of “Compositions for Male Voices,” and also, as with the Songs, to give them a title page (with a statement of the different numbers–to which the Basle Quartets might also be added; thus six numbers up to now). Do not fear, dear sir, an over-productiveness in this genre on my part! But if by chance one or other number of these Quartets should have some spread, I should not dislike to write a couple more, either secular or sacred. Among the latter I hope that the Psalm “The Heavens declare,” which will be performed next summer at a great Festival of Song, will produce a good effect.

Pray pardon my verbosity–it is not usually my way to indulge in unnecessary words; and accept, dear Sir, the assurance of the well-known sentiments with which I remain,

Yours most truly,

F. Liszt

Weymar, December 2nd, 1860

The first performance of “Rienzi” is announced for the second day of the Christmas holidays. I have engaged to conduct the rehearsals, but at the same time have positively refused to conduct the performances. Herr Musik-director Stor undertakes that. [After the opposition of a coterie that was inimical to Liszt, to which, as is well known, Cornelius’s “Barber of Baghdad” fell a sacrifice, Liszt had finally resigned his post as conductor of the theater.]

248. To the Music Publisher C.F. Kahnt

.–. With regard to the publishing of my Songs for men’s voices I do not wish in the least to hurry you, dear sir–yet I should be glad if you could advertise the things soon–and possibly on the back of the title-page of my songs (?), if that does not seem impracticable to you. The two collections (the songs and the men’s songs) have a certain connection, and that is why I make this suggestion, about which you must decide. A couple of months ago Louis Kohler wrote to me in his witty, friendly manner, “You really owed us some Quartets for men’s voices, which Bierbruder [“Beer-drinkers,” “brothers of the glass”] metamorphosed into demi-gods!” and when the songs were published, I was already intending to let the men’s songs follow shortly after. As most of these latter are tolerably short, I think that the score of the twelve will not require more than forty, or at the most fifty, plates (small size). Economy might be employed in publishing the parts by having them well copied. Of course engraving is always the best, but I do not want to precipitate you into a too ruinous outlay–and if the copying is done by an experienced copyist it looks very well, and is quite easy to read.

I am writing to Schuberth by the next post to tell him (what he might know without that) how unwillingly and how seldom I meddle with dedications–especially dedications to people and societies that I don’t at all know, as he would like me to do! In the somewhat numerous works of mine that have appeared of late years you will find very few dedications. The twelve Symphonic Poems have none. The Gran Mass is also without one–and in the Songs I have left out the earlier dedications. Therefore, before I try in America a method which I have almost given up in Europe, some time may yet elapse. Schuberth means thoroughly well by me, for which I am obliged to him–but he means well in his own way, which cannot always be mine.

May I beg another little favor of you? At the Court concert on the 1st January I should like to let the Reiter-Marsch of F. Schubert (not Julius!), which I instrumented, be performed, and I have no longer either the score or the parts. You would lay me under an obligation if you could quickly send them to me. I have never heard the piece; and as it has already been given with success in Vienna and Leipzig I may almost venture to expect that the company here may be bold enough to go half-way in the same direction!–

Possibly I shall also attempt the Mephisto Waltz the same evening, as well as a couple of my orchestrated songs. (I may mention, by the way, that I have orchestrated six songs of Schubert’s–“the Erlkonig, Gretchen, the junge Nonne, the Doppelganger, Mignon, and Abschied”–and three of my own– “Loreley, Mignon, and the three Zigeuner.” Later on, if a weak moment should come over you, I should be glad to impose these three latter upon you in score–but you shall hear them first.)

A thousand apologies for all this random talk about compositions, and best greetings from yours in all friendliness,

F. Liszt

Weymar, December 19th, 1860

249. To Dr. Franz Brendel

Dear Friend,

Your article “For the New Year” is most capital and worthy of you. In three places I would merely venture to propose some slight alterations for your consideration. You will find them marked + and with the letters A, B, C.

At + A it would suit things better to say as follows: “Concert- rooms and theaters, the scene of the most palpable speculation, personal passion, and severing struggles.” Or, if you think the word “most palpable” too strong, let us put another, such as “the commonest” or “the most mercantile speculation,” etc.

+ B, instead of opinion, “the most affected assumption” Here there is more question of assumption than of opinion. If angenommen [affected] sounds too much like Anmassung [assumption], let us put “the widespread assumption.”

+ C, instead of “outward forces,” I would rather have another word, such as “powers,” “factors,” “levers,” or any one that is better. I do not know why the “Machle” [forces] do not seem to me quite right here.

Finally, + D, I think it would be advisable ruthlessly to strike out the following short sentence: “Indeed it would not be saying too much if it were to be asserted that in many circles it takes the place of religion,”–apart from the consideration of whether it is accurate or not, because for the most part the men of the State are sure to take offence at it. “How,” they will say, “you wish us to support a movement that aims at nothing less than the doing away with religion?”–and, behold, there is a new bugbear ready, and the most healthy and just endeavors are checked for many a year!–

I am in perfect agreement with all the rest, with the exception of the parenthesis marked *–“without thereby, as has often been the case hitherto, falling into the unpractical mistake of conceding to the public things which they do not want, and diminishing the revenues.” For, by the way, let me also say parenthetically that, if I had not done this with most resolute intention for many years, Wagner could not truly have said in his letter to Villot (page 40 of the French edition of his translation of the four Operas): “Tout a coup mes relations avec le public prirent un autre tour, sur lequel je n’avais pas compte le moins du monde: mes operas se repandaient.” [“All at once my relations with the public took a fresh turn, on which I had not calculated the least bit in the world: my operas were becoming known.”

Both on this account and for other reasons I think this parenthesis dangerous, and can in no wise subscribe to it!

With friendliest greetings, your sincere

F. Liszt

December 19th, 1860

I have written a long letter to Kahnt today. In case he cannot read my writing, will you be so good as to help him with it?

250. To Felix Draseke

You have again encouraged and rejoiced me, my excellent friend, by your affectionate comprehension of my meaning and endeavors in the “Dante” Symphony.

Once more my heartfelt thanks for it. Later on, when “Hamlet” and the “Hunnenschlacht” are published, please do not refuse me the special satisfaction of publishing the whole of your articles on the Symphonic Poems in the form of a pamphlet. We will speak further of this by word of mouth, and possibly a few musical examples could be added to the earlier ones.

How far have you got with the “Loreley”?–Only take hold of the witch with tender force.–Geibel has lately brought out his opera-text to the “Loreley,” and several composers are already setting to work on it (or under it). In the present state of things there is not much to be expected from effusions and feeble attempts of that kind. On the other hand I am expecting something great, beautiful, and magical from the Symphonic form into which you will shape this story–a story which just as easily becomes dry and tedious as, on the other hand, it can be melting. Take care that we bring your work to a hearing at the next Tonkunstler-Versammlung (in July-August) here.

O. Singer’s “Entschwandenes Ideal” [“Vanished Ideal”] is full of music; noble in conception and powerfully worked out. I shall write to him shortly about it, and send him my seventh book of songs, as you told me that he rather liked the earlier ones.–

An excellent little work by our friend Weitzmann lies before us again: “The New Science of Harmony at Variance with the Old.” The “Album Leaves for the Emancipation of Fifths” as a supplement are stirring; and the “Anthology of Classical Following Fifths,” with quotations from Hiller and Hauptmann,. is especially instructive. In Harmony, as in other things, it is no longer a question of reforming what has been laid aside, but rather of the fulfilling of the law.——

On any day, my dear friend, you will be heartily welcome to

Yours very gratefully,

F. Liszt

December 30th, 1860

Towards the middle of January I am going to Paris or a couple of weeks to see my mother (who is still constantly ill).

251. To Dr. Franz Brendel.

[Beginning of January, 1861]

Dear Friend,

A thousand thanks for your letter, and still more excuses that I have delayed so long with my answer. On New Year’s Day we had a grand Court-concert–on the top of which there was a banquet at the Erbprinz, which lasted till four o’clock in the morning; on the other days perpetual dinners and suppers, at which I was also obliged to be present. Besides all this, the final revision of my second concerto (and a couple of smaller piano pieces) occupied me much. Schott had undertaken the publication of them, and I did not wish to annoy him by letting the somewhat numerous alterations which had to be made in them wait to be corrected until the proofs were printed, etc., etc.

From all the transitions and connection of the movements (which I am now most carefully working out in the Concerto), I pass at once without transition to the answering of your questions.

1. I think Bronsart’s engagement for next year at four hundred thalers is advisable.

2. If Weissheimer has really made himself impossible, Damrosch should be the next one to be thought of, as a colleague of Bronsart. There is no hurry about this affair, and we will talk over it again viva voce.

3. The remaining four hundred thalers for X. I will send you at the end of this month. If you should require them sooner write me a couple of lines.

4. The question of leave of absence is not easy to decide, so long as no definite date is fixed for the concert. Frau Pohl, for instance, had had leave once already–but then the date of the concert was altered, and in consequence of her absence it was of no use. For the rest I don’t doubt that Frau Pohl can get leave of absence once more–I only beg you to let me know definitely the day, so that I may inform Dingelstedt of it.

5. With regard to the co-operation of Messrs. v. Milde and Singer, it has its difficulties. They are both not without scruples in regard to the Euterpe, which, though they do not say so in so many words, might be summed up as follows: “If we co- operate in the Euterpe, we shut the golden doors of the Gewandhaus in our faces, and injure ourselves also in other towns, in which the rule of the Gewandhaus prevails. Ergo, it is more desirable, prudent(!), for us to act…” The rest you can add for yourself. Milde complains of the thanklessness of the part in the “Sangers Fluch,” [“The Singer’s Curse,” by Schumann] the awful cold of the winter season, all the disagreeables in connection with obtaining leave, etc. Singer does not know what piece to choose, and also the E string of his violin is not quite safe, and more of that kind.

6. Fraulein Genast is in a still worse position, for she is not quite independent of the intimidation (on classical grounds) of her father, and is, moreover, engaged for the next Gewandhaus concert (for the part of the Rose in Schumann’s “Rose’s Pilgrimage”). None the less she said to me from the beginning that she was perfectly ready to do whatever I thought advisable. In view of this surmise I must naturally be all the more cautious. She sings on the 22nd in Zwickau, on the 24th (probably) at the Gewandhaus, and on the 31st in Aix-la-Chapelle. I have therefore advised her to come to an understanding with you herself personally in Leipzig on the 23rd, and to co-operate with you by preference as a singer of Lieder (with pianoforte accompaniment) at the soiree of the Euterpe on the 29th. Yesterday evening I marked the following three songs for her, as the most suitable for the purpose:–

A. “The Pilgrimage to Kevlaar” (composed for E. Genast lately by Hiller, and still in manuscript).

B. A song of Rubinstein’s: for instance, “Ah! could it remain so for ever!” (Tender allusion to the Gewandhaus!)

C. The three Zigeuner (by me).

The three songs would make up two numbers of the programme.–

I especially beg of you, dear friend, not to make any protest against the song of Hiller. The plainly fair and just thing, which has nothing in common with the “elevated right” which is bestowed exclusively on Capellmeister Rietz and his associates (as the Leipzig University expressed it), consists simply in not shutting the door to publicity in anybody’s face, or maliciously and slyly casting stones and mud at him. Regardless of the fact that we must not expect that they on their side will deal thus with us, we must consistently and faithfully carry out and fulfill this simple justice and fairness, and thus show the gentlemen how people of a nobler mind and more proper cultivation behave. You perhaps remember the opinion which I have many times given and proved by actions–especially at the Versammlung- Versammlung, when Frau Dr. Reclam sang Hiller’s (somewhat mediocre) Psalm, and…etc. After that I vote especially for the performance of one of Rubinstein’s larger works, such as the proposed Symphony, and beg you to appoint Bronsart for it.–It would lead me too far to explain my views in detail; that I have no concessions or favoritisms in view in this matter goes without saying.

7. The co-operation of the violinist recommended by Schuberth must be considered, and even qualified, according to his talent.

8. “Tasso” can quite well be performed without the harp. A pianino will do quite well, and I beg you most earnestly not to put yourself to any inconvenience for my things. In my orchestral works I have taken the larger measure of instrumentation (Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Dresden–or, if you prefer personal names, Meyerbeer, Mendelssohn, Wagner, Berlioz); but in spite of this most of them can be performed in smaller proportions, as has been most strikingly shown, for instance, in Sondershausen. The chief thing before all else is the conductor; if he be a good and reliable musician things may then be well managed in a variety of ways–and in “Tasso” especially the harp is hardly wanted. So don’t bother yourself any more about it, and soothe Bronsart.

If I am not mistaken, I think I have now answered all the principal questions in your letter. As to what concerns personal matters we will talk about that shortly. I shall write one of these next days to Schuberth (as soon as I have finished my revisions for Schott). He has made me a proposal to which I am inclined to agree. [The rest of the letter is missing.]

252. To Dr. Franz Brendel

Dear friend,

I expressly wish that Weissheimer should accompany the songs which Fraulein Genast will sing at the Euterpe soiree. I have especially commissioned him to make the motive of this wish of mine, if necessary, still clearer to you. With regard to the choice of songs you will easily come to an understanding with the amiable singer. But I, for my part, hold to the opinion that Hiller’s “Wallfahrt nach Kevlaar” is well suited to the programme.

The “Faust” Symphony must be written out quite fresh once more before I send it to Schuberth. By the 15th February he will receive the manuscript, together with a couple of lines for Dorffel, who is almost indispensable to me as the corrector of this work. I shall be over head and ears in work the next few weeks, in order to do all that is necessary before I start on my journey to Paris, which I shall probably do on the 20th February.

Best thanks for all the information in your last letter. Some things, indeed most things, are still going very badly–upon which we cannot and must not make ourselves any illusions;–but if we are proof against these things we shall come out of them.

Before and after Lowenberg (in the middle of February) I shall come and see you in Leipzig.

Meanwhile hearty greetings and thanks from your

F. L.

January 20th, 1861

You shall have the small sum for X. in the course of the week.

253. To Dr. Franz Brendel

Dear friend.

By yesterday’s post I sent you–

A. The score of the second act of the “Flying Dutchman”–and two orchestral parts of the duet (these latter in order that the copyist, in writing it out, may guide himself by these, and may not add the terzet-ending, as it stands in the score–Weissheimer will give Thumler the exact speed). Beg Thumler to send me the score back soon, as it may possibly be wanted at Easter in the theater.

B. The last part (Mephistopheles and final chorus) of the “Faust” Symphony in score–and the complete arrangement of this same Symphony for two pianofortes.

Will you be so good as to give these manuscripts to Schuberth? I hope he will keep his promise and not delay the publication of the work. At the end of this week I will send Schuberth the score and the four-hand piano arrangement of the two Faust-episodes (“Der nachtliche Zug” “The Nocturnal Procession”)–and the “Mephisto-Waltz”). I should be glad if these two things could come out in the course of this year.

C. For Kahnt, the small score of the chorus “Die Seligkeiten” [“The Beatitudes”], which I also hope may soon be published. It has been given here a couple of times in the Schloss orchestra and the parish church, and, as I have been told many times, has been spoken of in an exceptionally favorable manner. I have written few things that have so welled up from my innermost soul.

I think I shall be ready with the revision of the “Prometheus” score by next Saturday. I have already made two arrangements (for two and four hands, not two pianofortes) of the Reapers’ Chorus, which I give Kahnt gratis. He shall get the whole packet early next Monday at the latest. Weissheimer tells me that the edition of the score shall be ready by the middle of July. If Kahnt prefers to let the Prometheus be copied, I have nothing to say against it; I only beg that in this case he will employ a very clever and exact copyist-and, as I have already told him, that he will preserve the size of the other Symphonic Poems.

N.B.–The division and distribution of the score–so that there may be as few unnecessary rests as possible, and that, where it can be done (as, for instance, at the beginning of the Tritons’ Chorus, the Reapers’ Chorus, etc), two sets of staves should be printed on one page–I beg that this may be entrusted to Herr Dorffel. I also do not wish the work to look like a conductor’s score on the outside!–and, before it is given into the hands of the engraver or copyist, it is necessary that the parts where two sets of staves come on to one page should be clearly indicated. My copyist here has made a very careless scrawl of the “Prometheus” score, and I have therefore taken other work out of his hands, and have given him a good scolding. But there is no time to have a new score written, and therefore Dorffel must largely help out with the matter.

N.B.–The piano arrangement must be put below the score, as it is in the manuscript.

Kahnt can publish the arrangement of the Reapers’ Chorus sooner or later, as he likes. The date of the Tonkunstler-Versammlung can remain fixed for the 15th August. I think it would be advisable for you to come soon to Weymar (perhaps at Easter), and to come to a direct understanding with Dingelstedt, M[usic] D[irector] Montag, and some others among those who are principally concerned in the matter.

I would propose to you Dr. Gille, in Jena, as a lawyer, and a zealous co-operator in this affair. He is very ready to help, and reliable.–

Are you really thinking of still giving the “Prometheus” at the Tonkunstler-Versammlung? It certainly would not be incompatible with the “Faust” Symphony (which I wish for in any case)–but I fear that it will bring in its train too much vexation and annoyance.

We will speak further about this.

Weissheimer will tell you some things with regard to the programmes.

Riedel ought to conduct Beethoven’s Mass.

With heartfelt greetings, your


Weymar March 4th, 1861

P.S.–Advise Schuberth once more to bring out the book of songs by Lassen immediately–as he promised me.

254. To Peter Cornelius in Vienna

Your letters, dearest friend, are ever a joy to my heart, as also this time on the 2nd April [Liszt’s name-day]. Although on that day I felt the absence of the Princess the most keenly, and the Altenburg was for me equally perturbed, yet the loving attachment of a few friends touched and filled me with comfort. Remain ever to me, as I remain to you, faithful and steadfast, trusting in God!–

Unfortunately I have been able to do but very little work this winter. Revisions and proof-correcting took up almost my whole time. The two last Symphonic Poems, “Hamlet” and the “Hunnenschlacht,” will come out directly. I will send them to you, together with a dozen Quartets for men’s voices which Kahnt is publishing. By the end of July the choruses to “Prometheus” and the “Faust” Symphony will also be out. If we should not see each other sooner, I count on you, for certain, to be here for the Tonkunstler-Versammlung (5th, 6th, 7th August), to which I give you, dearest Cornelius, a special invitation. I hope that Eduard, [Liszt’s cousin] Tausig, Porges, Laurencin, [Count Laurencin, a writer on music in Vienna] Kulke, Doppler, [Franz Doppler (1821-83), a flute virtuoso; music-conductor at the Royal Opera in Vienna. He arranged with Liszt some of the latter’s “Hungarian Rhapsodies” for orchestra.] are coming–and I beg you to give them a preliminary intimation of my invitation. The next number of Brendel’s paper will give the programme–with the exception of the third day, which cannot be fixed until later. Perhaps you will give us a fragment of your “Cid.” In any case I wish your name not to be wanting; and, if you should not have anything else ready, a couple of numbers from the “Barber Abul Hassan Ali Eber” shall be given. The charming canon at the beginning of the second act would be the best.

I am delighted to think that you have been entirely absorbed for a time in “Tristan.” In that work and the “Ring des Nibelungen” Wagner has decidedly attained his zenith! I hope you have received the pianoforte arrangement of “Rheingold” which Schott has published. If not I will send it you. You might render a great service by a discussion of this wonderful work. Allow me to stir you up to do this. The summer days allow you now more working hours; realize some of these with “Rheingold.” The task for you is neither a. difficult nor a thankless one; as soon as you have seized upon the principal subjects representing the various personages, and their application and restatement, the greater part of the work is done. Let us then sing with Peter Cornelius,–

“O Lust am Rheine, Am heimischen Strande! In sonnigem Scheine Ergluhen die Lande; Es lachen die Haine, Die Felsengesteine Im Strahlengewande Am heimischen Strande, Am wogenden Rheine!”

[Free translation,–

“O joy of the Rhine And its homelike shore! Where the bright sunshine Gilds the landscape o’er; Where the woods are greenest, The skies serenest, In that home of mine By the friendly shore Of the billowy Rhine!”]

On the 30th of this month I am going to Paris for a couple of weeks–and towards the end of May I shall meet my daughter Cosima in Reichenhall, where she has to go through the whey-cure. Thank God, she is again on the road to recovery! You can imagine what grief took possession of me when I saw Cosima last winter suffering from a similar complaint to Daniel!–

I have satisfactory tidings from the Princess from Rome. The climate is having a very beneficial effect on her nerves, and she feels herself, in that respect, far more at home than in Germany…

She writes wonders to me about the last cartoons of Cornelius, [The celebrated painter was the uncle of the addressee.] and her personal relations with the great master have proved most friendly.

What will become of me in the latter part of the summer does not yet appear. But let us hold fast to our meeting again here at the beginning of August.

Yours from my heart,

F. Liszt

April l8th, 1861

A thousand hearty greetings to Tausig.

255. To Hoffmann von Fallersleben

Dear, excellent friend,

I have received the enclosed note for you from the Princess. It comes to you with my most heartfelt greetings. Please forgive me for not having this time sent you my good wishes on the 2nd April; [Hoffmann’s birthday, and at the same time Liszt’s name- day] but as long as the Princess’s absence lasts I recognize only sorrowful anniversaries and no festivals of rejoicing. Meanwhile rest assured that I think of you always with faithful friendship, and remain ever truly devoted to you.

F. Liszt

April 18th, 1861

P.S.–I send you herewith the “Vereins-Lied”–and three other of your songs.

256. To Peter Cornelius

[Autograph in the possession of Constance Bache.]

Dearest Cornelius,

Will you quickly sign the accompanying announcement to the Tonkunstler-Versammlung with your good, beautiful name? You must not fail me on this occasion in Weymar!

And yet another request, dearest friend. Will you go and see F. Doppler and tell him that I very much wish he could arrive with you on the 4th August at latest? I hope he will not refuse me this pleasure–and if it is not inconvenient to him will he also bring his flute and undertake the part in Faust?

With regard to the travelling expenses I have already written to my cousin Eduard; he is to put a couple of hundred florins at your disposal; for it goes without saying that neither you nor Doppler will be allowed to spend a groschen out of your own purse for the journey.

You will meet Eduard here–and also Wagner, Hans, Draseke,