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Damrosch, Tausig, Lassen, and my daughter (Madame Ollivier).

To our speedy meeting then, my best Cornelius!

Bring your “Cid” with you as far as it is done, and kindly dedicate some days to your heartily devoted

F. Liszt

Weymar, July 12th, 1861

P.S.–Shortly after the Tonkunstler-Versammlung I shall be leaving Weymar for a long time.—-

256A. To Peter Cornelius

[Autograph in the possession of Constance Bache. This letter was left out by La Mara, but is inserted by the translator.]

Dearest Cornelius,

I have just been told that the score of the “Barber of Baghdad” is not in the theater library here, as I thought, but that you have kept it.

I can therefore no longer keep it a secret from you that I am intending to give the Terzet [Canon] from the beginning of the second act at the third concert (7th August) of the Tonkunstler- Versammlung, and I have not the smallest doubt as to the capital effect that this exquisite piece of music will produce.

But do send me by return of post the score of your “Barber.”

The Terzet is a necessary integral part of our programme, which will consist of the “performance of manuscript works of the present day.”–

With heartfelt greetings, your

F. Liszt

July 14th, 1861

257. To Alfred Dorffel

My dear Sir,

Whilst giving you my warmest thanks for the great pains you have taken with the “Faust” score [as corrector of the score] I have, in conclusion, one more request to make.

I wish to modify the prosody of the passage in the tenor solo,

[Here, Liszt writes a 4-measure music score excerpt of the treble portion of the piece at the point where the words, “das Ewig Weibliche” are sung.]

each time, just as I have written it on the accompanying note- sheet. If I mistake not, it would in this way be more singable and weiblicher [more womanly]. [Referring to Goethe’s words “Das ewig Weibliche” (“The eternal womanly”)]

Accept, my dear sir, the assurance of my highest esteem and most friendly gratitude.

F. Liszt

Weyar, July 18th, 1861

P.S.–The “Faust” Symphony is to be given here on the 6th August. Perhaps it would be possible to you to be present at that concert, and to give me the pleasure of a visit from you.

258. To Hofconcertmeister Edmund Singer in Stuttgart

Dear Friend,

The article in the Allgemeine Zeitung on the Tonkunstler- Versammlung (12th August) is an event, and I thank you sincerely for the part you have taken in it. [It was written by Singer.]

Although, as you know, I must on principle keep myself unconcerned as regards criticism, as I cannot allow it the first word in matters of Art, yet it has long been my wish to see the “systematic opposition” to the present incontrovertible tendency (or, better, “development”) of music not exclusively represented in the Allgemeine Zeitung. Just because this paper is not a merely local, but an European and intellectually historical one, did the local aversions and the diatribes of the island “Borneo” appear to me far more inadmissible than in other papers. The reporter of the Tonkunstler-Versammlung has taken an important step towards agreement; may he continue to work with us yet further!

The Altenburg has been closed and locked up since last Sunday– and in a few hours I am leaving Weymar for a long time. In the first place I shall spend some weeks with my patron, Prince Hohenzollern (who is musically very well disposed!), at Lowenberg. I intend to take up again there and quietly to carry on my work which has been too long interrupted. My promised contributions to Herr Stark’s Pianoforte School must also soon be taken in hand. Meanwhile remember me most kindly to Herr Lebert, [Professors at the Stuttgart Conservatorium. For the great Pianoforte School edited by Lebert and Stark, Liszt wrote the concert-studies “Waldesrauschen” and “Gnomenreigen.”] and assure him that I am most anxious to discharge the task allotted to me in a satisfactory manner.

Pohl has promised me that he will soon send you the “Prometheus” and “Faust” notices that you want. For the rest you don’t require any further explanation to enable you satisfactorily to instruct the public in these things. As I am pressed for time I must only give you for today once more my best thanks, and remain

Yours in all friendship,

F. Liszt

August 17th, 1861

My best greetings to your wife.

259. To the music publisher, C.F. Kahnt

Don’t be alarmed, dear sir! Once more a manuscript of mine is coming to you. “Ich glaube, die Wellen verschlingen, Am Ende Schiffer und…Kahnt!” [A quotation from Heine’s poem “Die Loreley,” set to music by Liszt:

“I fear me the waters engulfing
Are drawing the boatman beneath,–
‘Tis Loreley, with voice enchanting, Who lures him on to death!

Liszt makes a play on the words Kahn (a boat) and Kahnt (the publisher).]

The pianoforte transcription of the “Loreley” has cost me more trouble than I expected. But I hope therefore that it has not succeeded badly. Let a clean and correct copy be made of it by a reliable musician (Corno perhaps?) [August Horn in Leipzig, whom Liszt held up as being “very exact and reliable.”] before you give the little piece into the engraver’s hands. N.B.–The words are to be engraved with it, as in the Vienna edition of my transcription of the Schubert Songs.

As regards the publishing of the scores of my three songs– “Loreley,” “Mignon,” and the “Zigeuner”–I leave them entirely to your pleasure or the reverse, as also the size of the edition (whether larger or smaller–but in any case, not quite full size)..–.

I shall be staying at Lowenberg up to the 8th September.

I beg that you will send the final proof of “Loreley” to Herr von Bulow–and also the second edition of “Mignon” in time, which is to be engraved from the score left behind by Brendel–for voice and pianoforte accompaniment (without instrumentation) in the first place–as you were kind enough to promise me.

With best greetings, your obliged

F. Liszt

Lowenberg, August 27th, 1861

260. To Dr. Franz Brendel

Dear Friend,

A musical scribble that I had promised, and which I wished to finish here, and various little excursions in the neighborhood, have prevented me from answering your letter sooner.

The Prince [Of Hohenzollern-Hechingen] continues to show me the same amiable friendship as ever, so that it is hard to me to leave Lowenberg. Seifriz will write you word a couple of weeks beforehand to which concert your coming here would be most advantageous. The concert season does not begin till November, and, with the exception of the winter months, when the musical performances take place, a great proportion of the members of the orchestra is absent. His Highness adheres always firmly and faithfully to the endeavors of the “New German School,” and is desirous of supporting it still further. On this account I think it would be desirable to elect Seifriz as a member of the Committee of the Allgemeane Deutsche Musikverein. I also vote especially for Stein (of Sondershausen), Eduard Liszt, Herbeck, Ambros, David–without a word against the rest of the names which you have proposed.

As regards the other points of your letter I write as follows:–

1. I believe that N.’s reliability and extensive influence in the affairs of the Mozart Society are a bit hypothetical. You find out more exactly what he is likely to accomplish.

2. I will undertake with pleasure the examination of the manuscripts and the decision as to what works shall be performed at the general assembly–but please do not give me the title of President, but simply the name of Reporter or Head of the musical section.

3. I entirely agree with the intention of distributing Pohl’s [“On the Tonkunstler-Versammlung in Leipzig in 1859.”] pamphlet gratis to the members of the Society.

Of course the two speeches by yourself and Draseke must be included in it. Should it be necessary, I will gladly contribute a few thalers towards the publication.

4. According to my opinion the Society should not be placed under the protection of the Grand Duke “until everything is ready.” According to what he has said to me there is no doubt about his acceptance of it, but still it is indispensable that you should write to H.R.H. about it. Pohl and Gille will be the best to help you in composing the letter to the Grand Duke, and perhaps they will sign their names to it also. Later on we shall have to discuss in what form and fashion other German Princes are to be invited to give their countenance to the Society-or not.

5. Wagner’s photograph has unfortunately been locked up in the Altenburg against my wish. I cannot therefore be of any help with it–and can only advise you to write to Wagner himself, in order to learn which of his likenesses would be the most suitable for publication in the Modenzeitung.

.-.I shall be in Berlin by the evening of the day after tomorrow, and shall probably stay there till the 24th-26th of this month. May I also beg you to remind Pohl of his promise to send me my arrangement of the Dance of Sylphs (from Berlioz’ “Faust”)? I am now wanting this little piece, of which I did not keep any copy. It is the same with my arrangement of the “Tannhauser” Overture, which I left behind with Pflughaupt. Get Pohl to send me the Dance of Sylphs and the “Tannhauser” Overture as soon as possible to Bulow’s address in Berlin. I will then send him my thanks in writing, and will quietly wait for the catalogue of music in his possession out of my library (which he wanted to send me some days after my departure!).

How is it with regard to Damrosch’s leadership of the orchestra at Weymar? Pohl must tell me all about it.

Has Bronsart’s marriage taken place yet?

If it is not giving you too much trouble, I should be glad to receive the pamphlets, marked with red pencil, by Bronsart, Laurencin, Wagner, and Ambros, while I am in Berlin. The publication of Zellner’s brochure on “Faust” shall meanwhile be left to the geniality and munificence of Schuberth. A propos of Lassen’s songs (which Schuberth boasted that he should bring out so quickly that last evening he was with you!), the first book only–say three songs!–and not the second, has come out, although Schuberth presented me with two books, relying on my being absent-minded and preoccupied! But he has such an extraordinary talent for tricks of that kind that it would be almost a pity if he did not exercise it here and there!.-.

With friendliest greetings to your wife,

Most faithfully,

F. Liszt

Lowenberg, September 16th, 1861

[Shortly after this Liszt departed from Lowenberg. He took the road which the Princess Wittgenstein had gone before him, and went, by way of Paris, to Rome.]



This volume of “Letters of Franz Liszt” is the first volume of a 2-volume set. The letters were selected by La Mara, and translated into English by Constance Bache. The edition used was an original 1893 Charles Scribner edition, printed in America. Each page was cut out of it and fed into an Automatic Document Scanner to make this e-text; hence, the original book was fragmented in order to save it.

Some adaptations from the original text were made while formatting it for an e-text. Italics in the original book were ignored in making this e-text, unless they referred to proper nouns, in which case they are put in quotes in the e-text. Italics are not easily rendered in ASCII text, and in the original book they generally do not seem to add much to Liszt’s expression.

Also, special German characters like U with an umlaut, and French characters like a’s and e’s with various markings above them were ignored, replaced with their closet single-letter equivalents. U with an umlaut is U, A with a caret above it is A, and so on. Words altered include Gotze, Tonkunstler, Gluck, Handel and Bulow, among others.

In addition, the English spellings of words like “honour,” “colour,” “humour” and “theatre” were changed into American equivalents like “honor,” “color,” “humor” and “theater.”

This electronic text was prepared by John Mamoun with help from numerous other proofreaders, including those associated with Charles Franks’ Distributed Proofreaders website. Special thanks to S. Morrison, R. Zimmerman, K. McGuire, A. Montague, M. Fong and N. Harris for proof-reading, and also thanks to B. Schak, D. Maddock, C. Weyant, M. Taylor, K. Rieff, J. Roberts, K. Peterson and others.

This e-text is public domain, freely copyable and distributable for any non-commercial purpose, and may be included without royalty or permission on a mass media storage product, such as a cd-rom, that contains at least 50 public domain electronic texts, whether offered for non-commercial or commercial purposes. Any other commercial usage requires permission. The biographical sketch was prepared for this e- text and is also not copyright and is public domain.