Letters of Franz Liszt, Volume 1, "From Paris to Rome:
Franz Liszt; Letters assembled by La Mara and translated

Part 4 out of 9

Yours very truly,

F. Liszt

April 30th, 1853.

101. To Louis Kohler

Dear Friend,

You have again given me a real pleasure by your article on the
Romanesca (in the last numbers of the Signale), for which I would
gladly requite you. The best way to do this would be by a
performance of "Lohengrin"; unfortunately there is very little
prospect of that. Still it is not impossible that between the
19th and 26th of this month there may be a performance of this
one work by royal command; and, as you are already so kindly
disposed towards me, and have promised me to come to Weymar, do
make yourself ready, and give me the great pleasure of your
company for a few days--if possible, from the 19th to the 26th of
this month. The marriage festivities of Princess Amalie of Sachs-
Weymar and Prince Henry of the Netherlands, which will take place
then, will be the occasion of a grand court concert on the 20th,
and the performance of Marx's oratorio "Moses" on the 22nd or
24th, and probably a couple of other musical performances.
Joachim is also coming at the same time, and there will be no
dearth of entertainment for us. Once more best thanks-and a safe
journey--and a revoir--which will be a great pleasure to your
very affectionate and obliged.

F. Liszt

Weymar, May 6th, 1853

102. To Louis Kohler

Dear Friend,

A safe journey--and "auf Wiedersehen" next year in Weymar at a
chance performance of "Lohengrin"! There is now no probability of
a Wagner performance here for a week or ten days, and probably
the "Flying Dutchman" will then be chosen.

You ought to keep all my scribblings which appear henceforth.
Meanwhile I send you only the score of the Weber Polonaise, in
which the working-out section (pages 19, 20, 21) will perhaps
amuse you.

I am writing to Wagner today that he should himself offer you a
copy of the "Nibelungen." You ought to receive it soon.

You will find a little packet of Plantaja cigars in your cloak.
May it help you to recall your Weymar visit, and think with warm
remembrance of

Yours in all friendship,

F. Liszt

Weymar, May 24th, 1853

If you should stay some days in Berlin, ask Dorn why he has not
yet sent me his score of the "Nibelungen"? Perhaps he has not had
my letter in reply to his in which he mentioned that the score
was coming.

When you have half an hour to spare, ask my pupil Winterberger
[Composer, piano and organ virtuoso; born at Weimar 1834; was for
a long time a Professor at the St. Petersburg Conservatorium;
since then lives at Leipzig.] (through Schlesinger) to play you
my "Prophete" Fugue on the organ. I consider this opus as one of
my least bad productions--if you have not got a copy of it I will
send you one on the first opportunity through Hartel.

Your box and cloak are just sent off "Station restante."

103. To Louis Kohler

"Kiraschio! Plimaschio!"

[The refrain of a journeyman's song, given by L. Kohler in his
work "The Melody of Speech," in which "The cry of the natural man
gives vent to itself in unbridled pleasure."]

Dear friend! Your work [The same work, "The Melody of Speech"
(Leipzig, J. J. Weber, 1853).] has given me a refreshing draught
to quaff,--not exactly a theoretical "cure" water, such as the
people promenading past my window are constrained to take, and
which, thank Heaven, I neither require nor take; but a finely
seasoned, delightfully comforting May drink,--and I thank you
warmly for the lively, pleasant hours I have passed with you in
reading and singing your work. The objections with which the
Philistines and pedants will arm themselves against you don't
interest me in the least. You have certainly brought forth a
fresh and exciting little book, and that is a great service not
easily attained!--Be satisfied not to please the worse half of
brave musicians, among which I might count myself, and write on
cheerfully, regardless of shops and shopkeepers!--Specially do I
give you my best thanks for the "Weymarasche Zeilen," and the
very friendly quotation of my earlier songs. Later on, when I
bring out a couple more numbers, I must make a somewhat remodeled
edition of these earlier songs. There must, in particular, be
some simplifications in the accompaniment. But that you have
thought favorably and indulgently of these things, with a due
regard to the inner impulse which brought them forth (in my
"storm and stress" period), is very pleasant to me. The Lenau
concluding song is charmingly composed--only publish some more
like that, with or without comment!

I have just received a letter from Wagner for you, which he sends
to me as he does not know your address. Take this opportunity of
sending me your street and number; for I always address to Putzer
and Heimann, which is too formal. At the beginning of July I
enjoyed several Walhalla-days with Wagner, and I praise God for
having created such a man. Of my further summer projects I will
only say that at the end of September I shall conduct the Musical
Festival at Carlsruhe, and at the beginning of October shall
return to Weymar (where I shall spend the winter).

I have written to Haslinger and Spina to send you the "Hungarian
Rhapsodies" and the "Soirees de Vienne" (songs after F. Schubert,
in nine parts). The next time I pass through Leipzig I will tell
Kistner that you must not fail to have a copy of the "Harmonies
Poetiques et Religieuses." The previously mentioned pieces you
will have without delay. I have sent my Mass and Ave Maria to
Marpurg by Raff. If you approve of these compositions I will
gladly get a couple more copies in your honor. My Catalogue will
not come out till next winter, as I have not yet had any time to
revise it.

Let me hear soon from you, dear friend, and keep ever in friendly

Yours sincerely and with many thanks,

F. Liszt

Carlsbad, August 1st, 1853

Address to me always at Weymar.

104. To Richard Pohl in Dresden

[Printed in Pohl's pamphlet "The Carlsruhe Musical Festival in
October, 1853" (by Hoplit). Leipzig, Hinze, 1853.--The addressee,
a writer on music (born 1826), one of the oldest and most
faithful adherents of Liszt and Wagner, lived in Weimar after
1854, his wife Jeanne (nee Eyth) having a post there as a harp
virtuosa: after Liszt's departure he was, as he still is,
occupied as editor in Baden-Baden.]

In various accounts that I have read of the Festival at
Carlsruhe, there is one point on which people seem pretty much
agreed--namely, the insufficiency of my conducting. Without here
examining what degree of foregone judgment there may be in this
opinion, without even seeking to know how much it has been
influenced by the simple fact of the choice of myself as
conductor, apart from the towns of Carlsruhe, Darmstadt, and
Mannheim, it certainly would not be for me to raise pretensions
quite contrary to the assertion which it is sought to establish
if this assertion were based on facts or on justice. But this is
precisely what I cannot help contesting in a very positive

As a fact one cannot deny that the ensemble of the Carlsruhe
programme was very remarkably performed, that the proportion and
sonority of the instruments, combined with a view to the locale
chosen, were satisfactory and even excellent. This is rather
naively acknowledged in the remark that it is really surprising
that things should have gone so well "in spite of" the
insufficiency of my conducting. I am far from wishing to deck
myself in the peacock's feathers of the Carlsruhe, Mannheim, and
Darmstadt orchestras, and am assuredly more disposed than any one
to render full justice to the talents--some of them very
distinguished--of the members of these three orchestras; but, to
come to the point, whatever may be said to the contrary, it is
acknowledged, even by the testimony of my adversaries, that the
execution was at times astonishing, and altogether better than
there had been reason to expect, considering that I was

This fact placed beyond discussion, it remains to be seen whether
I am so completely a stranger there as they try to make out, and
what reasons there can be for thus crying down a conductor when
the execution was satisfactory, especially if, as is just, one
bears in mind the novelty of the works on the programme for
almost the entire audience. For, as every one knew at Carlsruhe,
the Ninth Symphony, as well as the works of Wagner, Berlioz,
Schumann, etc., were not well known by any one but myself, seeing
that they had never been given before in these parts (with the
exception of the Berlioz piece, which a portion only of the
Carlsruhe orchestra had played under the direction of the

Now as regards the question of right--to know whether in good
conscience and with knowledge of the matter one can justly accuse
me of being an insufficient conductor, inexperienced, uncertain,
etc.: without endeavoring to exculpate myself (for which I do not
think there is any need amongst those who understand me), may I
be permitted to make an observation bearing on the basis of the

The works for which I openly confess my admiration and
predilection are for the most part amongst those which conductors
more or less renowned (especially the so-called "tuchtigen
Capellmeister" [ Qualified conductors.]) have honored but little,
or not at all, with their personal sympathies, so much so that it
has rarely happened that they have performed them. These works,
reckoning from those which are commonly described nowadays as
belonging to Beethoven's last style (and which were, not long
ago, with lack of reverence, explained by Beethoven's deafness
and mental derangement!)--these works, to my thinking, exact from
executants and orchestras a progress which is being accomplished
at this moment--but which is far from being realized in all
places--in accentuation, in rhythm, in the manner of phrasing and
declaiming certain passages, and, of distributing light and
shade--in a word, progress in the style of the execution itself.
They establish, between the musicians of the desks and the
musician chief who directs them, a link of a nature other than
that which is cemented by an imperturbable beating of the time.
In many cases even the rough, literal maintenance of the time and
of each continuous bar |1,2,3,4,|1,2,3,4,| clashes with the sense
and expression. There, as elsewhere, the letter killeth the
spirit, a thing to which I will never subscribe, however specious
in their hypocritical impartiality may be the attacks to which I
am exposed.

For the works of Beethoven, Berlioz, Wagner, etc., I see less
than elsewhere what advantage there could be (which by-the-bye I
shall contest pretty knowingly elsewhere) in a conductor trying
to go through his work like a sort of windmill, and to get into a
great perspiration in order to give warmth to the others.

Especially where it is a question of understanding and feeling,
of impressing oneself with intelligence, of kindling hearts with
a sort of communion of the beautiful, the grand, and the true in
Art and Poetry, the sufficiency and the old routine of usual
conductors no longer suffice, and are even contrary to the
dignity and the sublime liberty of the art. Thus, with all due
deference to my complaisant critics, I shall hold myself on every
occasion ulterior to my "insufficiency" on principle and by
conviction, for I will never accommodate myself to the role of a
"Profoss" [Overseer or gaoler.] of time, for which my twenty-five
years of experience, study, and sincere passion for Art would not
at all fit me.

Whatever esteem therefore I may profess for many of my
colleagues, and however gladly I may recognize the good services
they have rendered and continue to render to Art, I do not think
myself on that account obliged to follow their example in every
particular--neither in the choice of works to be performed, nor
in the manner of conceiving and conducting them. I think I have
already said to you that the real task of a conductor, according
to my opinion, consists in making himself ostensibly quasi-
useless. We are pilots, and not mechanics. Well, even if this
idea should meet with still further opposition in detail, I could
not change it, as I consider it just. For the Weymar orchestra
its application has brought about excellent results, which have
been commended by some of my very critics of today. I will
therefore continue, without discouragement or false modesty, to
serve Art in the best way that I understand it--which, I hope,
will be the best.--

Let us then accept the challenge which is thrown to us in the
form of an extinguisher, without trouble or anxiety, and let us
persevere, conscious of right--and of our future.

F. Liszt

Weymar, November 5th, 1853

105. To Wilhelm Fischer, Chorus Director at Dresden

[Autograph in the possession of Herr Otto Lessmann, writer at
Charlottenburg. (Printed in his Allgemeine Musik-Zeitung, 1887,
No. 38.)--The addressee was the well-known friend of Wagner. (See
"Wagner's Letters to Uhlig, Fischer, and Heine."--Grevel & Co.)
Vol. I. 12]

Dear Sir and Friend,

Your letter has given me real pleasure, and I send you my warmest
thanks for your artistic resolve to bring "Cellini" to a hearing
in Dresden. Berlioz has taken the score with him to Paris from
Weymar, in order to make some alterations and simplifications in
it. I wrote to him the day before yesterday, and expect the score
with the pianoforte edition, which I will immediately send you to
Dresden. Tichatschek is just made for the title-role, and will
make a splendid effect with it; the same with Mitterwurzer as
Fieramosca and Madame Krebs as Ascanio, a mezzo-soprano part.
From your extremely effective choruses, with their thorough
musicianly drilling, we may expect a force never yet attained in
the great Carnival scene (Finale of the second act); and I am
convinced that, when you have looked more closely into the score,
you will be of my opinion, that "Cellini", with the exception of
the Wagner operas,--and they should never be put into comparison
with one another--is the most important, most original musical-
dramatic work of Art which the last twenty years have to show.

I must also beg for a little delay in sending you the score and
the pianoforte edition, as it is necessary entirely to revise the
German text and to have it written out again. I think this work
will be ready in a few weeks, so you may expect the pianoforte
edition at the beginning of February. At Easter Berlioz is coming
to Dresden, to conduct a couple of concerts in the theater there.
It would be splendid if you should succeed in your endeavors to
make Herr von Luttichau fix an early date for the "Cellini"
performance, and if you could get Berlioz to conduct his own work
when he is in Dresden. In any case I shall come to the first
performance, and promise myself a very satisfactory and
delightful result. [Dresden did not hear "Cellini" till thirty--
four years later.]

Meanwhile, dear friend, accept my best thanks once more for this
project, and for all that you will do to realize it successfully,
and receive the assurance of the high esteem of

Yours very truly,

F. Liszt

Weymar, January 4th 1841

106. To M. Escudier, Music Publisher in Paris

[Autograph (without address) in the possession of Monsieur
Etienne Charavay in Paris.--The contents show to whom it was

My dear Sir,

My time has been so absorbed by the rehearsals of a new opera in
five acts, "Die Nibelungen", by Mr. Dorn, musical conductor in
Berlin, the first performance of which will take place tomorrow,
and also by a heap of small and great local obligations which
accumulate for me in particular at the beginning of winter, that
I have never yet had a moment in which to send you my very
cordial thanks for your biographical notice on occasion of the
Alexandre Piano, which [i.e., the biographical notice had just
reached me. [A "giant grand piano" with three keyboards and
pedals and registers, made according to Liszt's own directions.]
I hope you will excuse this delay in consideration of the short
time left me, and that you feel sure beforehand how kindly I take
it of you for thus taking my part, in divers circumstances, for
the honor of my name and of my reputation--a matter in which I
will endeavour not to render your task too difficult.

With regard to the Schubert opera of which you again spoke to me
in your last letter, I have a preliminary and very important
observation to make to you--namely, that the rights of the score
of "Alfonso and Estrella," in three acts, were obtained some
years ago by Messrs. Hartel of Leipzig. As this work has not
hitherto been performed anywhere they have not been in a hurry to
publish it, and it was only communicated to me (by a copy) in
case of a performance at Weymar. Therefore, before taking any
other steps, it is indispensable that you should apply to Messrs.
Hartel to obtain their authorization, either for a performance,
or for the right to make a foreign edition of this work, and to
make conditions with that firm relative to the matter. I do not
doubt that Messrs. Hartel will be most obliging in the matter;
but you cannot neglect this first step without serious ulterior

Hartel's consent once given, you must think of adapting to this
charming music a libretto which is worthy of it,--and, if you are
fortunate in doing this, success, and a popular and productive
success, is undoubted.

Allow me to beg you once more to send me a copy of the ballet of
Gluck's "Don Juan" and of the "Dictionary of Music" which you
have just published,--I have already asked Belloni for them, but
he is a little subject to distractions in these matters,--and
accept, my dear sir, together with my best thanks, the assurance
of my affectionate regard.

F. Liszt

Weymar, January 21st, 1854

107. To Monsieur Marie Escudier, Music Publisher in Paris.

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

My Dear Sir,

Mr. Franck [Cesar Aug. Franck, born at Liege in 1822, composer
and professor at the Paris Conservatoire, teacher of Faure,
Chabrie, and d'Indy, the chief representatives of the new French
school of music.] having written to me for a special introduction
to you, I have great pleasure in fulfilling his request by
writing these few lines to you. For many years past I have had a
favorable opinion of Mr. Franck's talent in composition, through
having heard his trios (very remarkable, as I think, and very
superior to other works of the same kind published latterly).--

His oratorio "Ruth" also contains beautiful things, and bears the
stamp of an elevated and well-sustained style. If the opera which
he wants to have performed at the Lyric theater answers to these
antecedents and to what I expect of Mr. Franck, the Lyric theater
could only congratulate itself on its choice, and the best chance
of success would be assured. Being unable to judge of it at a
distance, and the score of this opera being unknown to me, I
confine myself simply to drawing your attention to the very real
talent of Mr. Franck, at the same time recommending him
affectionately to your kindness.

Pray accept, my dear Sir, the expression of my sincere regard.

F. Liszt

Weymar, January 28th, 1854

108. To Dr. Franz Brendel

Dear Friend,

I have lately been over-occupied, and in addition to that I have
been working somewhat, so that I have never had a free half-hour
for correspondence.

I send you today the score and pianoforte edition of my
"Kunstler-Chor." By next autumn I hope that half a dozen other
(longer) scores will be in print. "Ha, der Verruchte!" ["Ah, the
wretch!"] we can then say, as in "Tannhauser." Happily, however,
no journey to Rome is necessary to obtain my absolution. We only
wish to have done with so much outcry and tasteless chatter.

I shall beg David to put off my Leipzig rehearsals for a couple
of weeks, as I cannot well get away from here now, and must also
have the parts written out afresh. If David does not arrange it
otherwise I shall probably come in the latter half of March.--.

Cornelius is telling you more fully, at the same time with this,
what I have talked over with him.--Griepenkerl has been here a
couple of days, and yesterday read his drama "Ideal and Welt"
before our Grand Duke. The company was much the same as at
Schlonbach's reading.--.

About your book I am very curious, and beg that you will send it
me immediately. With regard to the opportunity for the paper I
can tell you something when I come to Leipzig. In the course of
next summer a monthly paper will make its appearance here, out of
which much might grow. This is between ourselves, for the public
will learn about it later.

Remember me most kindly to your wife, and remain good to

Your very sincere and grateful friend,

F. Liszt

Weymar, February 20th, 1854

P.S.--If you see Count Tyskiewicz please repeat my invitation to
him to come for a couple of days to Weymar. If he is free next
Thursday, that would be a good day. We have a concert here at
which the "Kunstler-Chor" and a new orchestral work of mine ("Les
Preludes"), the Schumann Symphony (No. 4.), and his Concerto for
four horns will be given.

109. To Louis Kohler

My very dear Friend,

I come late--yet I hope you have not forgotten me. I am sending
you, together with this, the score and pianoforte arrangement of
my chorus "an die Kunstler," ["To the artists."] and also those
numbers of the Rhapsodies which have been brought out by
Schlesinger. The "Lohengrin" score you have no doubt received two
months ago from Hartel, whom I begged to send it you direct--also
the "Harmonies" from Kistner, and the last number of the
"Rhapsodies" from Haslinger. At the end of the year you shall get
some still greater guns from me, for I think that by that time
several of my orchestral works (under the collective title of
"Symphonische Dichtungen" [Symphonic Poems.]) will come out.
Meanwhile accept once more my best thanks for the manifold proofs
of your well-wishing sympathy, which you have given me publicly
and personally. You may rest assured that no stupid self-conceit
is sticking in me, and that I mean faithfully and earnestly
towards our Art, which in the end must be formed of our hearts'
blood.--Whether one "worries" a bit more or a bit less, as you
put it, is pretty much the same. Let us only spread our wings
"with our faces firmly set," and all the cackle of goose-quills
will not trouble us at all.

That your article has been rudely and spitefully criticized need
not trouble you. You presuppose your reader to have refinement
and educated feeling, artistic acuteness, a fine perception, and
a certain Atticism. These, my dear friend, are indeed rare
things--and only to be found in very homoeopathic doses among our
Aristarchuses. Sheep and d[onkeys] have no taste for truffles.
"Good hay, sweet hay, has not its equal in the world," as the
artist-philosopher Zettel very truly says in the "Midsummer
Night's Dream"! Moreover, dear friend, things didn't and don't go
any better with other better fellows than ourselves. We need not
make any fancies about it, but only go onward quietly,
perseveringly, and consistently.

"Lohengrin" will be given here on the Grand Duchess's next
birthday, April 8th. Gotze is coming this time from Leipzig, and
sings the part of the Knight of the Swan. I hope that in May
Tichatschek will undertake the role; he has already been studying
the complete work for a long time past, and has had a splendid
costume made for it. Perhaps you will be inclined to hear this
glorious work here either in April or May. That would be very
delightful of you, and I need not tell you how pleased I should
be to see you among us again.--

Rafi is working hard at his "Samson," and tells me that he will
have finished it by Christmas. Cornelius, whom I think you do not
know (a most charming, fine-feeling and distinguished nature),
has likewise a dramatic work, poem and music, in readiness for
next season. We gave a good performance of Gluck's "Orpheus"
lately, and for the last performance of this season (end of June
I think we shall still give the Schubert opera "Alfonso und
Estrella," if those same theater influences which already made
themselves prominent by the "Indra" performance when you were at
Weymar do not decide against this work, so interesting and full
of intrinsic natural charm!--Farewell, dear friend, and send
speedy tidings of yourself to

Yours most sincerely,

F. Liszt

Weymar, March 2nd, 1854

110. To Dr. Franz Brendel

Dear Friend,

Herewith an article which I send you for your paper. "Euryanthe,"
which I conduct here tomorrow, is the occasion of it. Still a
more general question is aroused in it, which I am to a certain
extent constrained "to agitate" from Weymar.["Gesammelte
Scriften" vol. iii., I.] I flatter myself that our ideas will
meet and harmonize in it. At first I had prefaced it by a couple
of introductory lines, which I now erase. Will you be so good as
to introduce me yourself in the Neue Zeitschrift by a few words?
You will be the best one to make up this little preface. My name
can be put quite openly with its five letters, as I am perfectly
ready to stand by my opinion.

Tuesday morning I go to Gotha. The Duke's opera is to be given at
the end of this month, or at latest on the 2nd April, and from
the day after tomorrow till the first performance I shall be
quartered at Gotha. In consequence of this I must unfortunately
give up my excursion to Leipzig for the moment,--but I hope that
David will allow another rehearsal in the Gewandhaus in the
course of April, after the "Lohengrin" performance here with Gaze
(on April 7th and 8th), which I must of necessity conduct. The
news, which it appears some papers have published, that I was
thinking of arranging a concert in Leipzig, belongs to the
generation of ducks [geese?] who amuse themselves in swimming
around my humble self. My visit to Leipzig has no other object
than to make some of the musicians acquainted with one or two of
my symphonic works. Should they be pleased with them, they might
perhaps be given there next season. In any case, however, several
of them will appear in score next autumn.

My time is exceedingly limited, and I must see about a great many
things today which do not put one in the mood for correspondence.

Yours in friendship,

F. Liszt

Saturday, March 18th [1854]

111. To Louis Kohler.

[Weimar, April or May, 1854]

My very dear friend,

I am extremely glad that you liked my article on "Euryanthe" and
theater direction, and I thank you most truly for your warm and
very encouraging letter. For many weeks past I have been
imitating you (as you and others always set me a good example),
and am publishing several views on Art-subjects and Art-works in
the Weimar official paper. By degrees these articles will swell
into a volume, which shall then contain the complete set.

For the present I allow myself to send you my Sonata, which has
just been published at Hartel's. You will soon receive another
long piece, "Scherzo and March," and in the course of the summer
my "Annees de Pelerinage, Suite de Compositions pour le Piano"
will appear at Schott's; two years--Switzerland and Italy. With
these pieces I shall have done for the present with the piano, in
order to devote myself exclusively to orchestral compositions,
and to attempt more in that domain which has for a long time
become for me an inner necessity. Seven of the Symphonic Poems
are perfectly ready and written out. I will soon send you the
little prefaces which I am adding to them, in order to render the
perception of them more plain. Meanwhile I merely give you the

1. "Ce qu'on entend sur la Montagne" (after V. Hugo's poem in the
"Feuilles d'Automne").

2. Tasso. "Lamento e Trionfo"

3. "Les Preludes" (after Lamartine's Meditation poetique "Les

4. "Orphee."

5. "Promethee."

6. "Mazeppa" (after V. Hugo's Orientale "Mazeppa").

7. "Festklange."

8. "Heroide funebre."

9. "Hungaria."

By Christmas I intend to bring out the scores of all these--which
would make about fifteen hundred plates in octavo size.

The post affair in regard to your letter with the article on
Raff's "Fruehlingsboten" is very unpleasant to me. Neither has
come into my hands, or else I should assuredly have let you know
much sooner. What has become of it cannot now be traced; a
similar thing happened also with a manuscript sent to me from
Dresden, which was never able to be found. Excuse me, dear
friend, for the carelessness which you supposed I had shown, of
which I am in this case not guilty, as Pohl has already written
to you by my request--and continue to keep for me always your
sympathetic friendship, with which I remain, in complete
harmonious unison,

Yours most truly and gratefully,

F. Liszt

112. To Dr. Franz Brendel

Dear Friend,

Whilst you are trotting about in Leipzig aus Rand und
Band,[Uncontrolledly; a pun on the words Rand and Band (edge of
the paper and volume), Brendel being editor of a paper.] I have
been obliged to keep my bed, owing to a slight indisposition. The
reading of your article in the Jahrbuchern [Year-books] has given
me a pleasant hour, and I thank you heartily for the value and
significance which you accord to my influence and endeavour here,
both in this article and in the topographic section of your book.
As long as I remain here we will take care that Weimar does not
get into a bad way.

I hope to be quite on my legs again in a few days. My present
indisposition is nothing but an overstrain and knock-up, which a
couple of days' rest and some homoeopathic powder will easily set
right. Probably we shall see one another in the early days of
next week at Leipzig; but don't let us speak of it before-hand,
as I have already been three times prevented from making this
little trip.

The Orpheus article was sent to you yesterday. Perhaps it would
still be possible to let it appear in the next number of the
paper; if not, then it can appear the following week. The order
of succession which I gave you by letter appears to me the right
one, and begins with the Orpheus. This article is moreover as
good as new, for, as your paper allowed me more space, I profited
by it to make the earlier articles twice as long.["Gesammelte
Schriften." vol. iii., 1.]

There are several points in your writing that we will soon talk
over viva voca. I am still really very weak today, and merely
wanted to write to thank you, and to tell you of my speedy advent
in Leipzig (probably next Tuesday or Wednesday).

Yours in friendship,

F. Liszt

Wednesday, April 26th, 1854

Your commissions to Cornelius and letter to Cotta have been
attended to.

113. To Louis Kohler

Dear Friend,

I am going once more to give you a pleasure. By today's post you
will receive Richard Wagner's medallion. A friend of mine, Prince
Eugene Sayn-Wittgenstein, modeled it last autumn in Paris, and I
consider it the best likeness that exists of Wagner.

A thousand thanks for all the kind things you write and think of
me. I very much wish that you should be in agreement with my
present and my next work. If I could only dispose of my time
better! But it is a wretched misery to have to spend one's time
upon so many useless things and people, when one's head is quite
full of other things!--Well, it must be so. God grant only
patience and perseverance! I cannot remember for certain whether
I have already sent you the Avant-propos to my Symphonic Poems,
which I have in the meantime had printed on the occasion of their
performance here. In any case I send them, together with the
portrait for which you asked. I am now working at the ninth
number (Hungaria)--the eight others are perfectly ready; but it
will certainly be next spring before they appear in score.

Of pianoforte music I have nothing more to send you (until the
"Annees de Pelerinage" appear at Schott's), except the little
"Berceuse," which has found a place in the "Nuptial Album" of
Haslinger. Perhaps the continuous pedal D-flat will amuse you.
The thing ought properly to be played in an American rocking-
chair with a Nargileh for accompaniment, in tempo comodissimo con
sentimento, so that the player may, willy-nilly, give himself up
to a dreamy condition, rocked by the regular movement of the
chair-rhythm. It is only when the B-flat minor comes in that
there are a couple of painful accents...But why am I talking such
nonsense with you?--Your very perspicuous discovery of my
intention in the second motive of the Sonata--

[Here, Liszt illustrates with a 2-measure score excerpt from his

in contrast with the previous hammer-blows--

[Here, Liszt illustrates with another 2-measure score excerpt
from his Sonata, similar to the first excerpt above except the
melody is transposed and the rhythm is slightly different]

perhaps led me to it.

Farewell, my dear friend, and remain good to your

F. Liszt

Weymar, June 8th 1854

114. To Dr. Franz Brendel

Dear Friend,

I have had to alter a good deal in the "Robert" article,
especially in the division of the subjects. Do not be angry about
it. It will only make a very little trouble, and it pleases me
better like this. Ergo my present Varianten [various readings]
must be printed word for word in the next number.

If you have a couple of hours to spare, come next Saturday to
Halle. Schneider's "Weltgericht [Last Judgment] is to be given
there by the united Liedertafel [Singing Societies] of Dessau,
Magdeburg, Berlin, Halle, etc. (on Saturday afternoon at 3
o'clock), and I have promised to be there. It would give me great
pleasure to meet you at Halle; I shall put up at the Englischer
Hof there. I hope you will accept my invitation, and therefore I
shall say, Auf Wiedersehen [Au Revoir]!

Yours in friendship,

F. Liszt

June 12th, 1854

It will be easy for you to find out for certain about the
performance at Halle. In any case I shall come for the day fixed
for the "Weltgericht" (a peculiar work, written, as it were, from
a pedestal of his own!). At present it is announced for next
Saturday. Should there be any alteration, I shall arrange
accordingly, and come later.--.

P.S.--The proofs must be very carefully revised, as there are a
great many little alterations. Be so good as to revise the whole
thing accurately yourself. When the article has appeared, please
send me today's proofs back. ["Gesammelte Schriften," vol. iii.,

115. To Karl Klindworth in London

[A pupil of Liszt's, eminent both as a pianist, conductor, and
musical editor; born at Hanover in 1830, lived in London, Moscow,
and America; has, since 1882, been director of a music school in

Best thanks, dear Klindworth, for your nice letter. After the
"Lamento" it seems a "Trionfo" is now about to be sounded. That
gives me heartfelt pleasure. Your Murl-connection and Murl-
wanderings [The Society of "Murls" (Moors, Devil-boys--that is to
say, Anti-Philistines) was started at that time in Weimar. Liszt
was Padischah (i.e. King or President); his pupils and adherents,
Buelow, Cornelius, Pruckner, Remenyi, Laub, Cossmann, etc., etc.,
were Murls.] with Remenyi [A celebrated Hungarian violinist.] are
an excellent dispensation of fate, and on July 6th, the day of
your concert at Leicester, the Weimar Murls shall be invited to
supper at the Altenburg, and Remenyi and Klindworth shall be
toasted "for ever!"--[Liszt writes "for ever hoch leben lassen."]

On July 8th I go from here to Rotterdam. The days of the
performances are July 13th, 14th, and 15th. The last number but
one of Brendel's paper (June 16th) contains the complete
programme. The principal works will be Handel's "Israel in
Egypt," Haydn's "Seasons," the Ninth Symphony, and a newly
composed Psalm by Verhulst (the royal conductor of the
Netherlands, director of the Euterpe Concerts in Leipzig about
twelve years ago, and at present director of the Rotterdam
Festivals). Roger, Pischek, Formes, Madame Ney, Miss Dolby, etc.,
have undertaken the solos, and the programme announces nine
hundred members. It would be very-nice if you and Remenyi and
Hagen [Theodor Hagen, a writer, known as a witty critic of his
time under the name of "Butterbrod" [bread and butter] in the
signale; died subsequently in America.] could come; in that case
you would have to start at once, for on the 13th it begins, and
on the 16th I leave Rotterdam--and go for a couple of days to
Brussels, where I shall meet my two daughters.

A couple of Murls would look well in Rotterdam, and would make up
to me in the best possible way for a lot of Philistinism which I
shall probably have to put up with there (by contact with many
honorable colleagues and companions in Art)...So, if you possibly
can, come. We will then have a Murl-Musical Festival in my room.
(N.B.--I shall be staying with Mr. Hope, the banker.)

One has to get accustomed to the London atmosphere, and make
one's stomach pretty solid with porter and port. For the rest,
musical matters are not worse there than elsewhere, and one must
even acknowledge some greatness in bestiality. If you can stand
it, I am convinced that you will make a lucrative and pleasant
position for yourself in London, and also gain a firm footing for
the Murl propaganda ("une, indivisible et invincible") on the
other side of La Manche, "ce qui sera une autre paire de
manches." (In case you don't understand this joke, Remenyi must
explain it to you.) So be of good courage and among good things!
However things may be, never make capitulation with what is idle,
cowardly, or false--however high your position may become-and
preserve, under all circumstances, your Murldom!--

The two pieces from Raff's "Alfred" [Arranged by Liszt for the
piano.] have been brought out by Heinrichshofen (Magdeburg), and
are dedicated to Carl Klindworth. Write me word how I can send
them to you in the quickest and most economical manner--together
with the Sonata. [It bore the title, in Liszt's handwriting, "Fur
die Murlbibliothek" (for the Murl Library).] The Dante Fantasia
will appear in the autumn, with the other pieces of the "Annees
de Pelerinage," at Schott's, and I will tell him to reserve a
copy for you.

Since you went away I have worked chiefly at my Symphonic Poems,
composing and elaborating. The nine numbers are now quite ready,
and seven of them entirely copied out. Next winter I intend to
publish the scores, which ought to make about a thousand engraved
plates. Immediately after my return from Rotterdam I shall set to
work on the Faust Symphony, and hope that I shall have it ready
written out by February.

Hartel is publishing also a couple of transcriptions from
"Lohengrin" (the Festal March before the third act, with the
Bridal Chorus, Elsa's Dream and Lohengrin's rebuke to Elsa),
which I wrote lately.

A propos of Hartel, haven't you heard anything of your
arrangement of the Schubert Symphony? The matter is being delayed
rather long, and when I go to Leipzig I will inquire at Hartel's.
[The arrangement for two pianos of the C major Symphony was
brought out by them.] I have nothing new to tell you of Wagner.
Joachim and Berlioz came to see me in May. Hoffmann von
Fallersleben has settled here, and we see each other pretty
often. His last poems, "Songs from Weymar," are dedicated to me.

Mason went to London a fortnight ago, and will probably come to
Rotterdam. Laub is getting married in Bohemia, and brings his
wife here in September. Schulhoff was also with me for a day.

Of Rubinstein I will tell you more when there is an opportunity.
That is a clever fellow--the most notable musician, pianist, and
composer, indeed, who has appeared to me from among the newer
lights, with the exception of the Murls. Murlship alone is
wanting to him still. But he possesses tremendous material, and
an extraordinary versatility in the handling of it. He brought
with him about forty or fifty manuscripts (Symphonies, Concertos,
Trios, Quartets, Sonatas, Songs, a couple of Russian Operas,
which have been given in Petersburg), which I read through with
much interest during the four weeks which he spent here on the
Altenburg. [Liszt's home] If you come to Rotterdam you will meet
him there.

Now farewell, my dear Klindworth, and let me soon hear from you.


F. Liszt

July 2nd, 1854

From the 10th to the 15th of July letters will find me in
Rotterdam--Poste restante. N.B.--Remenyi gives me no reply about
the manuscript of Brahms' Sonata (with violin). Probably he has
taken it with him, for I have, to my vexation, rummaged through
my entire music three times, without being able to find the
manuscript. Don't forget to write to me about this in your next
letter, as Brahms wants this Sonata for printing.

116. To Dr. Franz Brendel

Dear Friend,

I send you herewith a long article on "Harold" and Berlioz, which
Pohl will translate, and adopt in his intended book on Berlioz.
Be so good as to see that Pohl gets the manuscript as soon as
possible, as he is probably in Leipzig now.

[The article appeared in the "Neue Zeitschrift" in 1855
(afterwards "Gesammelte Schriften," vol. iv), whereas it did not
appear in Pohl's book on Berlioz, which only saw the light thirty
years later, in 1884.]

Tonight I go to Rotterdam for the Musical Festival, and thence
for a couple of days to Brussels. On the 22nd--24th of July I
shall come to Leipzig for a few hours, before I get back to

I suppose you have given up your Rotterdam journey. If you have
anything to send for from there, write me a line immediately to
Poste restante, Rotterdam.

Two articles are ready for your paper, "Die weisse Frau" [The
White Lady] and "Alfonso and Estrella." As soon as the
"Montecchi" and the "Favorita" appear you shall receive them [the
complete "Gesammelte Schriften," vol. iii, 1]. The "Fliegender
Hollander" is also ready, but must be copied.["Gesammelte
Schriften," vol. iii., 2.] This article is a very long one, and
will take up several of your numbers.

Remember me kindly to your wife, and bear me in friendly
remembrance as your willing collaborator and attached friend,

F. Liszt

Weymar, July 7th, 1854

117. To Anton Rubinstein.

[Rubinstein (born 1830, at Wechwotynetz in Russian Bessarabia)
gave concerts as early as 1839 in Paris, and Liszt, who was
there, welcomed in the boy the future "inheritor of his playing,"
and helped him in his studies, both during his stay in Paris, and
during his stay in Vienna later on, by giving him lessons. When
Rubinstein, in 1854, after a long sojourn in Russia, came back to
Germany, Liszt gave him a most hospitable reception at the
Altenburg at Weimar.]

What are you doing with yourself, my dear Van II.? [From
Rubinstein's likeness to Beethoven Liszt jokingly called him Van
II. (that is, Van Beethoven)] Are you settled according to your
liking at Bieberich, and do you feel in a fine vein of good-humor
and work, or are you cultivating the Murrendo[This must refer to
some witty joke.] of your invention?

Your luggage van of manuscripts was sent off to you the day after
my return, and will have reached you in good condition, I think.
I acquit myself herewith of my little debt of one hundred
thalers, with many thanks for your obligingness, until the case
arises again. A propos of obligingness, will you please send me
the letter of introduction for Cornelius's sister, who is about
to begin her theatrical career in the choruses of the Italian
opera at St. Petersburg? I told Cornelius that you had promised
it to me. And I should be very glad to send it him without too
much delay. His sister is an excellent young person, not too
pretty, but well brought up, and whom one can introduce with a
good conscience. It is to be feared that she will feel herself
very isolated there, and will get "Heimweh" [homesickness]!

Let me hear from you soon. As regards myself I have very little
to tell you at this moment. Weymar is deserted, as the Court is
absent. Schade alone is radiant, for he has already got a heap of
subscribers to his "Weymar'sche Jahrbucher" [Weimar Year-books],
the first number of which is half printed and will definitely
appear on the 28th August. Mr. de Beaulieu will not be back for
three weeks; in spite of this send me your scenario of the
Russian opera as soon as ever you have finished it, for I will
see that he has it, and, if there is no political obstacle (which
is a very exceptional circumstance in these matters), your work
shall be given next November. [The opera "The Siberian Hunters"
was, in point of fact, given at Weimar through Liszt's
instrumentality.] When you have sufficiently enjoyed the charms
of Bieberich, come and see me at the Altenburg. It seems to me
that you will be at least as comfortable here as elsewhere
(Baden-Baden with Madame * * * excepted!), and Van II may be
certain of being always welcome

To his very affectionate friend,

F. Liszt

Weymar, July 31st, 1854

For the translation of your opera I again recommend Cornelius,
but you will have to pass some weeks here to hasten the work.

118. To Dr. Franz Brendel

You would have greatly deceived yourself, dear friend, if you had
attributed any sort of personal aim to my last intimation
regarding the conduct of the critical part of your paper. By no
means could that be the case, and I think I even said to you in
the course of conversation that, so long as my set of articles on
various operas, which provisionally closes with the "Flying
Dutchman", is going on in the Neue Zeitschrift, it seems to me
more becoming not to bespeak any other musical productions of
mine. None the less do I consider it desirable and quite in the
interest of our cause that, for the future, the more important
productions, especially the works of R. Schumann, Hiller, Gade,
etc., should be brought into consideration more fully and oftener
than has been the case of late years. The bookseller's views, as
regards the sending or non-sending of works, appear to me
unimportant and even injurious for the higher position which your
paper maintains.--

I send you herewith Cornelius's article on the Prize Symphony and
the "Girondistes" Overture. It is very nicely written, and will
probably suit you. If possible put it into your next number.

I cannot now undertake the discussion about the Schumann
collective writings, as I am prevented by musical work for a long
time. Still, if I write later on a couple of articles on the
work, that need not prevent you from bringing out very soon one
or more articles discussing the same work. There is much to take
in and to bring out in it, which one critic alone is scarcely
capable of conceiving. The best plan of all would be if you
yourself will undertake the discussion of the Schumann writings.
Should you, however, not have time for it, then Pohl would be the
best man for this work. His predilection for Schumann, and his
familiarity with Schumann's views, qualify him thoroughly for

My articles on the "Flying Dutchman" must not wait so long as you
propose to me in your letter. I wish explicity that the two
articles on the "Weisse Dame" and "Alfonso and Estrella" should
appear as soon as possible, and immediately afterwards the
"Flying Dutchman", so that by the end of September this series of
twelve opera discussions may have all appeared in the Neue

At the same time with the proofs of the article on the "Weisse
Dame" you will receive the "Alfonso and Estrella" article, and,
as soon as these are out, the "Flying Dutchman", which must be
published in September--for various reasons, which cannot well be
explained in a letter.

Raff's book "Die Wagnerfrage" [The Wagner Question] has arrived
here today, and I have already read it. The author is so pleased
with himself that it would be a miracle if his readers were
joined to him in the same proportion, and Raff is specially at
variance with miracles!--

This book makes on me the effect of a pedagogic exuberance. Even
the occasional good views (on harmony, for example) that it
contains are obscured by a self-sufficiency in the tone and
manner of them, of which one may well complain as insupportable.
What Raff wishes to appear spoils four-fifths (to quote the time
which he adapts so ridiculously to "Lohengrin" of what he might
be. He is perpetually getting on scientific stilts, which are by
no means of a very solid wood. Philosophic formulas are sometimes
the envelope, the outside shell, as it were, of knowledge; but it
may also happen that they only show empty ideas, and contain no
other substance than their own harsh terminology. To demonstrate
the rose by the ferule may seem a very scientific proceeding to
vulgar pedants; for my part it is not to my taste; and without
being unjust to the rare qualities of Raff's talent, which I have
long truly appreciated, his book seems to me to belong too much
to the domain of moral and artistic pathology for it to help in
placing questions of Art in their right light.

I beg you, dear friend, not to repeat this to anybody, for I
could not go against Raff in any but the most extreme case, for
which I hope he will not give me any occasion. Against the many
charges to which he has exposed himself I even intend to shield
him as far as possible, but I am very much grieved that he has
mingled so much that is raw and untenable in his book with much
that is good, true and right.

Farewell, dear friend, and give most friendly greetings to your
wife from

Yours most sincerely,

F. Liszt

August 12th, 1854

In the "Favorita" article a great error has been allowed to
remain. "No lover, no knight behaves thus"--and not "A lover
behaves thus," etc. Send me at once the proofs of the "Weisse
Dame", and in September bring the "Fliegende Hollander", which
must not wait any longer.

I am now working at my Faust Symphony. The three-keyboard
instrument arrived yesterday from Paris. It might be well to take
the opportunity of my Catalogue appearing at Hartel's to see
about a special article on it in your paper.

119. To Anton Rubinstein

[August, 1854]

My dear Van II.,

Whatever scruple I may have in making the shadow of an attempt on
the liberty of your determinations and movements,--a scruple of
which I gave you a pertinent proof by not insisting any further
on your choosing Weymar instead of Bieberich as your villegiatura
during this last month,--yet duty (and a theatrical duty!)
obliges me to snatch you from your Rhine-side leisure, to set
yourself to work afresh at your business on the banks of the

"Non piu andrai, farfalone," etc. [Aria from Mozart's "Figaro"]

We have to hunt the Siberian bear; ["The Hunters of Siberia", an
opera of Rubinstein's.] and whether it is the season or not, I
don't trouble myself about that. Mr. de Beaulieu has just
answered me in the affirmative about the proposition I made to
him to give your "Hunters of Siberia" at the beginning of
November (the 9th, a date already made famous by the "Homage to
Art" a Prologue which will be again given this season), and asks
me particularly to push on as fast as possible the copying of all
the parts. Now one must kill the bear before selling his skin--
that is to say, translate the libretto, fit it to the music, and
arrange the score for the performance at Weymar.

According to what we arranged verbally, I spoke about it to
Cornelius, who accepts the work of translator with pleasure, and
will fulfill it promptly, and, I am persuaded, to your
satisfaction. The only thing wanting is for you to come at once,
and spend a fortnight at Weymar to finish everything. I give you
then rendez-vous at the Altenburg, where your former quarters
await you. No one will bother you there, and you can give
yourself up to cultivating murrendos [La Mara thinks there was a
joke in connection with this; I cannot help thinking it is a
corruption of morendo, and that perhaps Rubinstein joked about
cultivating a particular touch or nuance.--Translator's note] to
your heart's content whenever the fancy takes you. Try therefore
not to be too long over your farewells to the Tannhausers of the
banks of the Rhine (and if by chance Madame S. is there, pack
yourself off secretly so as not to provoke a scene of too much
frenzy), so as to get to Weymar by 1st to 3rd September, for your
score must be given to be copied by the 15th to the 20th. I will
keep your three books till you come, and will give them you back
at the Altenburg, and I take great pleasure in advance in your
success on our stage.

A revoir then, my dear Rubinstein, in a week's time.

Yours ever in friendship,

F. Liszt

Write me simply a word to fix the date of your arrival, so that I
may let Cornelius know, as he is gone for a week to his mother, a
few hours away from here.

In the matter of news I will tell you that my instrument with
three keyboards is installed in the second etage of the
Altenburg, and that I have finished the first part of my Faust
Symphony (a third of the whole)--the two other parts will be
ready in November, I hope.

I shall also have a little friendly quarrel to pick with you,
which I reserve for our after-tea conversations.

A bientot!

120. To Alexander Ritter in Dresden.

[Ritter at this time joined the Weimar Hofcapelle (Court
orchestra); was afterwards music director at Stettin, and lives
now in Munich; is celebrated as the composer of the operas "Der
Faule Hans" and "Wem die Krone."]

Hearty good wishes on your marriage, dear friend. I reproach
myself for disturbing you in your honeymoon. Well, a little music
to it won't hurt anybody. So come as soon as it is agreeable to
you. The matter is not so very pressing; I only beg you to send a
few lines in reply to Herr Jacobi, the secretary of the Court
theater, who wrote to you previously, and to tell him the date of
your arrival in Weymar. As your marriage takes place on the 12th
of this month, you are quite justified in asking for a few days'
respite. If it suits you to stay a fortnight longer in Dresden,
then fix the 1st of October for your coming to Weymar. With
regard to your quarters, I am quite ready to help you in word and

In case Pohl is in Dresden you can tell him that his wife is also
engaged from the 15th of September (on which date the theater
here reopens). I wrote yesterday to Brendel, in order to get
Pohl's exact present address. I expect the answer tomorrow, and
Herr Jacobi will immediately write to Frau Pohl.

Meanwhile remember me most kindly to your wife, and dispose
entirely--without ceremony--of

Yours most sincerely,

F. Liszt

Weymar, September 6th, 1854

121. To Bernhard Cossmann, Schloss Chanceaux bei Loches in

Weymar, September 8th, 1854

Dear Friend,

Whilst you are promenading at your leisure beneath the fine oaks,
beeches, birches, horse-chestnuts, etc., of Chanceaux, I have the
sotte chance [Silly opportunity] of gaping chanceusement
[doubtfully] to the crows of Weymar, where we have certainly no
Chanceaux, but pretty well of gens sots [stupid people] im Loch
[In this hole. All plays upon words, and given therefore in the
original.] (near Loches!!). This almost attains to the height of
punning of our friend Berlioz, does not it?--I should not be able
to keep on such heights, and therefore I hasten to descend to
more temperate regions (des regions plus temperees),-"le Clavecin
bien tempere of J. S. Bach," for example, or to some "Beau lieu"
with or without marque au nez (Marconnay). [A play on words. The
name of the Intendant of the Weimar Court theater was Beaulieu-
Marconnay.] (I implore you to keep this execrable improvisation
to yourself, for, in my position as Maitre de Chapelle, I should
run the risk of being fined by the "Hofamt" [office in the royal
household] for allowing myself such an application of Berlioz's
treatise on instrumentation--but I really don't know what
tarantula of a pun is biting me at this moment!)

Mr. de Beaulieu has just done two graceful acts for me, for which
I am very grateful. Madame Pohl is engaged as harpist to the
Weymar Kapelle, and A. Ritter of Dresden--the brother of Hans de
Bulow's friend--as violinist in place of little Abel, who is
leaving us to go and probably assassinate some Cain at a second
or third desk in an orchestra, somewhere!

A. Ritter is going to marry Mdlle. Wagner on the 12th of this
month (the sister of Johanna), who has played in comedy at the
Breslau theater, and who, by her husband's orders, will not
continue playing when she has her home to keep. Let us hope so at
least! These two new engagements are a great pleasure to me, and
I shall willingly console myself for the loss of the innocent

And as Mr. de Beaulieu is just in such a good temper, I advise
you to profit by the circumstance to write him a letter,
artistically turned, to beg for a prolongation of your holiday,
which he will grant you with a good grace, I am sure.

The theater will reopen the 15th September. The 16th "Ernani"
will be given. In the course of October we shall have the
"Huguenots", with a new singer from Prague, Mdlle. Stoger, of
whom one hears wonders.

For the 9th October (fiftieth anniversary of the entry of H.I.H.
the Grand Duchess Marie Paulowna into Weymar) a rather curious
performance will be arranged:--

1st. The Homage to Art by Schiller.

2nd. One of my Poemes Symphoniques.

3rd. "The Hunters of Siberia", Opera in one Act--Music by

4th. The Finale of "Lorelei" by Mendelssohn.

For the winter season they are thinking of giving the two
"Iphigenies", "in Aulis" and "in Tauris", by Gluck, and
Schumann's "Genoveva".

Rubinstein and Wasielewski (of Bonn) have been here some days.
Raff has published his volume "The Wagner Question." I would
neither answer nor vindicate it!--My monster instrument with
three keyboards has also arrived a fortnight ago, and seems to me
to be a great success--and on your return I shall pretty nearly
have finished my Faust Symphony, at which I am working like a
being possessed.

This is all my news from here, to which I add the expression of
the old and sincere friendship of your very affectionate

F. Liszt

P.S.--I, on my side, will also write to Mr. de Beaulieu about
you, but it is the thing for you to write him a few lines. The
matter in itself will not present any difficulty.

122. To Gaetano Belloni in Paris

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

[September 9th, 1854]

My dear Belloni,

Will you do me the kindness to tell Mr. Escudier that on my last
visit to H.R.H. the Duke of Gotha I gave Monseigneur the volume
on Rossini, and spoke to him at the same [time] of the desire
that Mr. Escudier had mentioned to me in his last letter to be
admitted into the order of H.R.H., before putting himself at his
command? It goes without saying that I warmly recommended Mr.
Escudier to the Duke; but nevertheless he seemed to turn a little
deaf, at any rate with one ear, to the side of the ribbon. In the
course of this month I shall probably see the Duke again, and
will speak to him again about it. On your side do not neglect
Oppelt [a Belgian writer; translated the Duke's opera], who
frequently corresponds with Gotha, and rest assured that I shall
not fail to be agreeable to your friends on this occasion.

Yours ever,

F. Liszt

Nothing new here. The theatrical season will open with "Ernani"
on the 16th September at latest; they talk of mounting
"Rigoletto" or the "Foscari." Unfortunately the German
translations of Verdi's operas are not worth a straw, and we are
great purists at Weimar. In November the "Huguenots" will also be
given, for the first time at Weymar, the late Grand Duke never
having permitted the performance of this work on account of his
respect for Luther, whom his ancestors had specially protected.

Hartel is going to engrave several of my scores. Four or five of
them will appear in the course of the winter ("Tasso"--the
"Preludes"--"Orphee"--"Mazeppa" will be printed first) under the
title of "Poemes Symphoniques."

I won't write to Escudiers--it will be enough if you let them
know of my good intentions in regard to them. You know that I am
overdone with correspondence, and, unless it is absolutely
necessary for me to write, I abstain from it, so as not to
interrupt my work of composition, which is my first raison

123. To Eduard Liszt in Vienna

What affliction and what desolation, my very dear friend! [Eduard
Liszt, then member of the provincial Court of Justice in the
Civil Senate, had lost his wife from cholera.] Alas! in trials
such as these even the sympathy felt by those who are nearest to
us can do but little to alleviate the overwhelming weight of the
cross which we have to bear. And yet I wish to tell you that in
these days of sorrow my heart is near to yours, sympathizing with
your suffering, and trusting that "the peace of the Lord," that
peace which the world can neither give nor take away, may sustain

Ever yours,

F. Liszt

October 10th, 1854

P.S.--Try to come and see me soon!

124. To Anton Rubinstein

Weimar, October 19th, 1854

Schott makes me ashamed, my dear Rubinstein. Here come the new
proofs of the "Kamenoi-Ostrow," [Rubinstein had written a number
of short pianoforte pieces named after the Emperor's summer
residence near St. Petersburg.] which he addresses to me for you,
and I have not yet sent you the previous ones! To excuse myself I
must tell you that I am frightfully busy (especially at the
theater), and that I did not want to put the proofs in a wrapper
without writing and thanking you for your charming and clever
letter from Leipzig. Well, here is the whole packet at last,
which you can send direct to Schott. Nevertheless, I am in your
debt for the carriage (which please beg Redslob to put to my
account), and for ten crowns which I borrowed from you at the
railway. As you are coming back here at the beginning of November
we shall have plenty of time to settle these little matters.

The rehearsals of your "Chasseurs de Siberie" begin in the course
of next week. You may trust in my zeal, and be assured that your
work will be suitably prepared. I only beg you to be here about
the 4th November, in order to give us your own ideas at the final
rehearsals. If you decidedly prefer to be a spectator at the
performance, I will willingly conduct the work--but perhaps at
the general rehearsals the fancy may take you to mount the
conductor's chair, as I proposed to you at first: whatever you
definitely decide in this matter will only be agreeable to me.
Therefore just do as you generally do, I beg you, without
ceremony or bother of any kind.

How do you find yourself as regards the musical atmosphere of
Leipzig? Has your "Ocean" obtained the suffrages of the Areopagus
which must be its first judge? At which Gewandhaus Concert will
Mr. Van II. be heard? If you already know anything positive as to
your debuts in Leipzig, write it to me, with a continuation of
the commentaries which amused me so much in your former letter.
We have nothing of special news here which can interest you.
Madame Wagner returns to Weymar the day after tomorrow, and next
Sunday "Lohengrin" will be given. The Wednesday after that a new
singer (Mdlle. Stoger, the daughter of the director at Prague),
who possesses a beautiful voice and appears to be highly endowed,
will make her debut in "Lucrezia Borgia." On the 24th October I
expect Madame Schumann, whom you will already have seen and heard
at Leipzig. When you have an opportunity please tell her not to
delay her journey to Weymar, for I have made all the arrangements
with Mr. de Beaulieu, etc., from the 24th to the 26th, for the
Court Concert and for the one which will take place at the
theater in her honor.

My "Faust" is finished, and I am going to give it to the copyist
in a couple of days. I am very curious to make acquaintance with
yours, and to see in how far the beaux-esprits differ whilst
meeting on common ground! Your "murrendos" at Leipzig will have
proved favorable to your conversations with the Muse, and I look
forward to a fine Symphony. A revoir then, dear friend; on the
4th November, or the 5th at latest, we have the first performance
of an unpublished tragedy, "Bernhard von Weymar," for which Raff
has written a grand Overture and a March, and on the following
days your general rehearsals.

Yours in all friendship,

F. Liszt

125. To Dr. Franz Brendel

[Beginning of November, 1854]

Dear Friend,

Pohl's article on Lieder und Spruche, etc. (Songs and Sayings),
appears to me to be of general interest to the public--therefore
I begged you to put it in your paper.

Touching what you have reserved of Raff's, I am quite of opinion
that you should also make room for him in his critical
examinations of the Minnesingers. [The German poet-singers of the
Middle Ages.] The ground is an interesting and attractive one--
and if a rather warm discussion should ensue later on between
Raff and Pohl, the field of the Minnegesang (love-song) is by far
the most agreeable for both, as well as the more entertaining for
your readers. Ergo, put Pohl's article into your next number.
Raff can then spring his mines in honor of the Minnegesang when
he pleases. This may make a quite pleasant and harmless joke--
perchance a crown of lilies will mingle with it in the end and
shape the affair into a University concern...Your paper, in any
case, will not suffer. Therefore set to work and go through with

In Bussenius [Bussenius, under the pseudonym W. Neumann,
published the set of biographies "The Composers of Recent Times"
(Balde, Cassel).] you have rightly found the man of whom I
previously foretold you somewhat. I think that by the New Year he
will settle at Gotha, and carry on there with his firm (Balde)
greater literary and publishing undertakings. Meanwhile don't
speak of this. When the outlook is more certain, and things are
favorably settled, I will tell you more.

I gladly accept your friendly invitation to write an article for
your New Year's number. In the course of the next few days you
will receive the article on Clara Schumann, and shortly
afterwards the second half of "Robert Schumann."

Cornelius has been rather unwell for several days, which has
delayed the translation. [Peter Cornelius translated the articles
written in French by Liszt--with the collaboration of the
Princess Wittgenstein--for the Neue Zeitschrift; those which are
published in vols. iii. to v. of the "Gesammelte Schriften."]

Will you, dear friend, be so good as to give my special thanks to
Herr Klitzsch for his article in today's number? By the favorable
manner in which he enters into the intentions of my Mass, and the
artistic sympathy he shows for my endeavour, he has given me a
very great pleasure. Probably a good opportunity will present
itself, later on, for me to undertake a further work in the
religious style, as I feel and conceive it, by the composition of
a "Missa Solemnis" for mixed chorus and orchestra...For the
present I cannot, however, occupy myself with this; but
aufgeschoben soll nicht aufgehoben heissen. [A German proverb--
"Put off is not given up."]

When I come to Leipzig I shall have the pleasure of calling on
Klitzsch and giving him my best thanks in person. If you think I
ought to write him a few lines before then, let me know.

Litolff was here several days, and we have come nearer together
both from a friendly and an artistic standpoint. His fourth
Concerto (Conzert-Symphonie) is a marked advance on the previous
ones. He played this, as well as the third Concerto, the day
before yesterday, in a truly masterly and electric, living
manner. Frau Dr. Steche will have told you about it. Perhaps in
your next number you will put in a short appreciative notice of
Litolfff's appearance here.

Rubinstein left for Leipzig at midday today. The performance of
his Symphony ["Ocean"; given for the first time, November 16th,
1854, at the Gewandhaus Concert for the Poor.] is fixed for the
16th at the Gewandhaus, and later on he will also appear as a
pianist. Hartel, Hofmeister, and Schott have already taken about
thirty of his manuscripts, which is about the smaller half of his

About the Berlin "Tannhauser" affair I cannot for the moment say
more than that I have always made Wagner feel perfectly at
liberty to put me on one side, and to manage the matter himself,
according to his own wishes, without me. But so long as he gives
me his confidence as a friend, it is my duty to serve him as a
discreet friend--and this I cannot do otherwise than by giving no
ear to transactions of that kind, and letting people gossip as
much as they like. Don't say anything more about it for the
present in your paper. The matter goes deeper than many
inexperienced friends of Wagner's imagine. I will explain it to
you more clearly by word of mouth. Meanwhile I remain passive--
for which Wagner will thank me later on.

Yours most truly,

F. Liszt

N. B.--Pohl wishes his Minnesinger article not to be signed with
the name Hoplit, but with the letters R. P., when it appears in
your paper.

126. To Anton Rubinstein

Your "Dialogue Dramatique" a propos of your "Ocean" is a little
chef-d'oeuvre, and I shall keep it, in order, later on, to put it
at the disposal of some future Lenz, who will undertake your
Catalogue and the analysis of the three styles of Van II. We
laughed with all our hearts, a deux, in the little blue room of
the Altenburg, and we form the most sincere wishes that Gurkhaus,
[Principal of the music firm F. Kistner in Leipzig.] the deus ex
machine, may have come to put you out of the uncomfortable state
of suspense in which the Gewandhaus public did you the honor to
leave you. To tell the truth, this decrescendo of applause, at
the third movement of your Symphony, surprises me greatly, and I
would have wagered without hesitation that it would be the other
way. A great disadvantage for this kind of composition is that,
in our stupid musical customs, often very anti-musical, it is
almost impossible to appeal to a badly informed public by a
second performance immediately after the first; and at Leipzig,
as elsewhere, one only meets with a very small number of people
who know how to apply cause and effect intelligently and
enthusiastically to a piece out of the common, and signed with
the name of a composer who is not dead. Moreover I suspect that
your witty account is tainted with a species of modesty, and I
shall wait, like the general public, for the accounts in the
newspapers in order to form an opinion of your success. Whatever
may come of it, and however well or ill you are treated by the
public or criticism, my appreciation of the value that I
recognize in your works will not vary, for it is not without a
well-fixed criterion, quite apart from the fashion of the day,
and the high or low tide of success, that I estimate your
compositions highly, finding much to praise in them, except the
reservation of some criticisms which almost all sum up as
follows--that your extreme productiveness has not as yet left you
the necessary leisure to imprint a more marked individuality on
your works, and to complete them. For, as it has been very justly
said, it is not enough to do a thing, but it must be completed.
This said and understood, there is no one who admires more than I
do your remarkable and abundant faculties, or who takes a more
sincere and friendly interest in your work. You know that I have
set my mind upon your "Ocean" being given here, and I shall beg
you also to give us the pleasure of playing one of your
Concertos. In about ten days I will write and tell you the date
of the first concert of our orchestra.

Meanwhile your "Chasseurs de Siberie" will be given again on
Wednesday next (the 22nd). I will tell Cornelius to give you
tidings of it, unless the fancy takes you to come and hear it, in
order to make a diversion from your "Voix interieures" [internal
voices] of Leipzig.

Write to me soon, my dear Van II., and believe me wholly your
very affectionate and devoted friend,

F. Liszt

November 19th, 1854

127. To Dr. Franz Brendel

Dear Friend,

Kahnt [The subsequent publisher, for many years, of the Neue
Zeitschrift.] is only known to me by name, as an active and not
too moderately Philistine publisher. Personally I have never met
him, and therefore I cannot give a decided opinion as to his
fitness and suitability for the post of publisher of the Neue
Zeitschrift--yet, on the grounds you give me, it seems quite
right. Nothing is to be expected from Bussenius until he has made
a firm footing at Gotha, which can only come to pass in the
course of the next months; besides this, he has such gigantic
plans for his new establishment in Gotha that the affairs of the
Neue Zeitschrift might be left somewhat in the background. I
entirely agree with you on this point, that you cannot put the
Neue Zeitschrift in the market and offer it to just any publisher
who has shown himself up to now hostile to our tendencies. To do
such a thing as that could never lead to a satisfactory result. I
would, however, remark that the next few years will probably set
our party more firmly on their legs; the invalidity of our
opponents vouches pretty surely for that, apart from the fact,
which is nevertheless the principal point, that powerful talent
is developing in our midst, and many others who formerly stood
aloof from us are drawing near to us and agreeing with us.
Consequently it seems to me that it is not to your interest to
conclude at once a contract for too many years with Kahnt,
unless, which is scarcely likely, he were to make you such an
offer that you would be satisfied with it under the most
favorable conditions. If Kahnt shows the necessary perception and
will for the matter, try to get him to have a consultation with
me about it at Weymar. As he is also a music publisher I could
tell him some things, and make others plainer, which would not be
without interest to him. He need not be afraid that I shall
belabor him with manuscripts or urge him to untimely or useless
sacrifices...(I need not waste more words over the purity of my
intentions!) But I think it is desirable that, if Kahnt consents
to become editor of the Neue Zeitschrift, I should put him on his
guard about several things beforehand which do not come exactly
within the sphere of your activity, but which may essentially
help to the better success of the undertaking. A couple of hours
will be ample for it, and as I shall not be absent from Weymar
during the coming weeks Kahnt will find me any day. Perhaps it
could be arranged for you to come to Weymar with him for a day,
and then we three can make matters perfectly clear and

Although it is very difficult to me to make time for the more
necessary things, yet I am quite at your service with a short
article for the trial-number on Wagner's "Rheingold." I had
arranged the article so as to do for the New Year's number--you
shall have it in four to five days. Dispose of it as suits you
best. In case the "Clara Schumann" article does not appear in the
next number of the paper, and we do not have to wait too long for
the trial-number, it would be well perhaps to put it in there.
Possibly it might also be reprinted in the trial-number.

I am glad that you, dear friend, after some "jerks and wrenches,"
have come together again with the pseudo-Musician of the Future,
Rubinstein. He is a clever fellow, possessed of talent and
character in an exceptional degree, and therefore no one can be
more just to him than I have been for years. Still I do not want
to preach to him--he may sow his wild oats and fish deeper in the
Mendelssohn waters, and even swim away if he likes. But sooner or
later I am certain he will give up the apparent and the
formalistic for the organically Real, if he does not want to
stand still. Give him my most friendly greetings; as soon as our
concert affairs are settled here I shall write and invite him to
give one of his orchestral works here.

Do not let yourself be grieved at the ever-widening schism in
Leipzig about which you write to me. We have nothing to lose by
it; we must only understand how to assert our full rights in
order to attain them. That is the task, which will not be
accomplished in a day nor in a year. Indeed, it is as it is
written in the Gospel, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the
laborers are few!" Therefore we are not to make ourselves over-
anxious--only to remain firm, again to remain firm--the rest will
come of itself!--

I will do my utmost for Fraulein Riese, [Pianoforte teacher in
Leipzig, who for years went every Sunday to Weimar to study with
Liszt; died 1860] that she may not repent the somewhat trying
journey. It is a splendid and plucky determination of hers to
come regularly to Weymar, and I hope she will gain thereby much
pleasure and satisfaction.

Nauenburg's proposal of a Tonkunstler-Versammlung (meeting of
musicians) in Weymar is very flattering to me; the same was
written to me from several other sides. Hitherto I have always
abstained from it, because I thought it was more prudent not to
sell the bear's skin before the bear is shot. Moreover the
ordinary fine talk without deeds ["much cry and little wool"] is
very distasteful to me: let friend Kuhmstedt [Professor at a
school, and Music Director at Eisenach; died 1858] sing that kind
of philosophical fiortures in Eisenach; I have no talent for it.
None the less we can return to the Nauenburg proposition at a
convenient opportunity, and see how it could be best carried out.
According to my opinion, Leipzig would be the most suitable
place--and the summer a good time for it.

I consider Raff's polemic entirely harmless. Your readers will
get a lesson in history from it, for which they can but be
grateful to you--and we need not be anxious about Pohl. It will
not puzzle him to eat his way out suitably and wittily.

Yours ever,

F. Liszt December 1st, 1854

128. To J.W. von Wasielewski in Bonn

[Formerly Conductor of the Town Vocal-Union at Bonn (born 1822),
afterwards at Dresden; then again in Bonn as Music Director, and
living since 1884 in Sondershausen. Widely known as a literary
man through his biographies of Schumann and Beethoven, and also
through his book "The Violin and its Masters," etc.]

Dear Friend,

Owing to the somewhat long detour of the "Pesther Lloyd," in
which the friendly lines of remembrance have been reprinted which
you dedicated to the "Altenburg" in the Cologne paper, I only
heard of these a few days ago. [Written on the occasion of a
week's visit to Liszt at the Altenburg at Weimar, at which time
A. Rubinstein was also the Master's guest.] Please therefore to
excuse the delay in my thanks, which are none the less sincere
and heartfelt.

I have heard many accounts of your most successful concert
performances in Bonn, all of which unite in giving you due praise
for your excellent conducting. At the beginning of January
concert affairs here, which have hitherto been in a vacillating
and fluctuating condition, owing to various local circumstances,
will take a more settled turn; I will send you the complete
programme shortly. By today's post you will receive the "Songs
and Sayings" from the last period of the "Minnesang," arranged
for four voices by W. Stade (of Jena). It is an interesting work,
and the editors would be very much indebted to you if you would
have the kindness to give a couple of numbers of them at your
concerts. The little pieces make quite a pretty effect, and one
peculiar to themselves, which will prove still more intense with
the beautiful Rhine Voices. Perhaps you would also find time and
inclination to make the public favorably disposed towards the
work by a few lines in the Cologne paper.

How is Hiller? Has his "Advocate" [an opera, "The Advocate." It
had no success, and was publicly ridiculed at the Cologne
Carnival.] won his requisite suit, as I wish from my heart may be
the case? It would be very kind of you to let me know your plain,
unvarnished opinion of the performance. I should like to
recommend an early performance of the opera in Weymar if Hiller
has nothing against it. As you frequently have occasion to see
Hiller I beg you to ask him whether it would be agreeable to him
to send me the text-book and the score, so that I may make the
proposal to the management to give the opera here very soon.--
Should the matter be then so arranged that he himself conducts
the first performance I should be very glad indeed, and I will
write to him more fully about it.

The opera Repertoire here will be rather at a stand-still this
winter. Frau von Milde is in an interesting condition:
consequently there can be no Wagner operas from three to four
months; for Frau von Milde is for us, and for these operas in
particular, not to be replaced. Berlioz's "Benvenuto Cellini"
must also be left unperformed; all the more because Beck, the
tenor, has entirely lost his upper notes, and is less able than
ever to sing the part of Cellini. But Berlioz will come here in
January to conduct his oratorio "L'Enfance du Christ," etc.
(German translation by Cornelius), and his "Faust." I on my side
have also finished my "Faust Symphony" (in three parts--without
text or voice). The entity or non-entity has become very long,
and I shall in any case have the nine "Symphonic Poems" printed
and performed first, before I set "Faust" going, which may not be
for another year. Rubinstein's "Ocean Symphony" is to figure in
one of our next programmes. If it were not the rule to keep these
concerts exclusively instrumental, I should have begged Hiller
for his "Loreley." Probably a good opportunity will occur for
giving this work when he himself comes to Weymar, as he promised
me he would do.

Joachim sent me, together with his Hamlet Overture, which is in
print, two others--to "Demetrius" (by Hermann Grimm), and to
"Henry IV." (of Shakespeare)--two remarkable scores composed with
lion's claws and lion's jaws!--

Have you any news of Schumann? Give me some good tidings of his
recovery. "Genoveva" will be given here in April at latest.--

Once more best thanks, dear friend, for the very pleasant days
you gave us here, which the inhabitants of the Altenburg most
agreeably remember; they send you most friendly greetings. I have
not forgotten about the Weimar orchestra matter--a half-prospect
has already appeared of realizing my wish, which is in accord
with your own. I cannot help, however, always doubting whether it
will be for your advantage to exchange Bonn for Weymar, for your
position in Bonn appears to me to offer you decidedly improving
chances from year to year, and in these regions so much is
wanting...that I am constrained to be satisfied with small
things. Well, what must be will be. Meanwhile keep in kind

Yours in sincere friendship,

F. Liszt

Weymar, December 14th, 1854

129. To William Mason in New York

[A pupil of Liszt's, born 1828 at Boston, esteemed as a first-
rate piano virtuoso in America]

My dear Mason,

Although I do not know at what stage of your brilliant artistic
peregrinations these lines will find you, yet I want you to know
that I am most sincerely and affectionately obliged to you for
the kind remembrance you keep of me, and of which the papers you
send me give such good testimony. "The Musical Gazette" of New
York, in particular, has given me a real satisfaction, not only
on account of the personally kind and flattering things it
contains about me, but also because that paper seems to ingraft a
superior and excellent direction on to opinion in your country.

Now you know, my dear Mason, that I have no other pride than to
serve, as far as in me lies, the good cause of Art, and whenever
I find intelligent men conscientiously making efforts for the
same end I rejoice and am comforted by the good example they give
me. Will you please give my very sincere compliments and thanks
to your brother, who, I suppose, has taken the editorship-in-
chief of, the Musical Gazette, and if he would like to have some
communications from Weymar on what is going on of interest in the
musical world of Germany I will let him have them with great
pleasure through Mr. Pohl, who, by the way, no longer lives in
Dresden (where the numbers of the Musical Gazette were addressed
to him by mistake), but in the Kaufstrasse, Weymar. His wife,
being one of the best harpists whom I know, is, now among the
virtuosi of our orchestra, which is a sensible improvement both
for opera and concerts.--

A propos of concerts, I will send you in a few days the programme
of a series of Symphonic performances which ought to have been
established here some years ago, and to which I consider myself
in honor as in duty bound to give a definite impetus at the
beginning of the year 1855.--Toward the end of January I expect
Berlioz. We shall then hear his trilogy of "L'Enfance du Christ,"
[The Childhood of Christ] of which you already know "La Fuite en
Egypte," [The Flight into Egypt] to which he has added two other
little Oratorios called "Le Songe d'Herode" [Herod's Dream] and
"L'Arrivee a Sais." [The Arrival at Sais]--His dramatic Symphony
of Faust (in four parts, with solos and chorus) will also be
given entire while he is here.

As regards visits of artists last month which were a pleasure to
me personally, I must mention Clara Schumann and Litolff. In
Brendel's paper (Neue Zeitschrift) you will find an article
signed with my name on Madame Schumann, whom I have again heard
with that sympathy and thoroughly admiring esteem which her
talent commands. As for Litolff, I confess that he made a great
impression on me. His Fourth Symphonic Concerto (in manuscript)
is a very remarkable composition, and he played it in such a
masterly manner, with so much verve, such boldness and certainty,
that it gave me very great pleasure. If there is something of the
quadruped in Dreyschock's marvelous execution (and this
comparison should by no means vex him: is not a lion as much a
quadruped as a poodle?), there is certainly something winged in
Litolff's execution, which has, moreover, all the superiority
over Dreyschock's which a biped with ideas, imagination, and
sensibility has over another biped who fancies that he possesses
a surfeit of them all--often very embarrassing!

Do you still continue your intimate relations with old Cognac in
the New World, my dear Mason?--Allow me again to recommend you
measure, which is an essential quality for musicians. In truth, I
am not very much qualified to preach to you the quantity of this
quantity; for, if I remember rightly, I employed a good deal of
Tempo rubato in the times when I was giving my concerts (a
business that I would not begin again for anything in the world),
and again, quite lately, I have written a long Symphony in three
parts entitled "Faust" (without text or vocal parts), in which
the horrible measures of 7/8, 7/4, 5/4, alternate with C and

In virtue of which I conclude that you ought to limit yourself to
7/8ths of a small bottle of old Cognac in the evening, and never
to go beyond five quarters!--

Raff, in his first volume of the "Wagner-Frage," has realized
something like five quarters of doctrinal sufficiency; but that
is an example that can hardly be recommended for imitation in a
critical matter, and especially in Cognac and other spirituous

Pardon me, my dear Mason, for these bad jokes, which however my
good intentions justify, and try to bear yourself valiantly both
morally and physically, which is the heartfelt wish of

Your very affectionate

F. Liszt

Weymar, December 14th, 1854

You did not know Rubinstein at Weymar. [Liszt was mistaken about
this. Mason had even done the principal honors to Rubinstein at
his first visit to Weimar, in the absence of the Master.] He
stayed here some time, and notoriously cuts himself off from the
thick mass of so-called pianist composers who don't know what
playing means, and still less with what fuel to fire themselves
for composing--so much so that with what is wanting to them in
talent as composers they think they can make themselves pianists,
and vice versa.

Rubinstein will constantly publish a round fifty of works--
Concertos, Trios, Symphonies, Songs, Light pieces--and which
deserve notice.

Laub has left Weymar; Ed. Singer has taken his place in our
orchestra. The latter gives great pleasure here, and likes being
here also.

Cornelius, Pohl, Raff, Pruckner, Schreiber, and all the new
school of new Weymar send you their best remembrances, to which I
add a cordial shake hand. [Written thus in English by Liszt]

F. L.

130. To Rosalie Spohr

Pray pardon me, dear artist and friend, that I am so late in
expressing the hearty sympathy which your Weymar friends take in
the joyful event of your marriage. [To Count Sauerma.] You know
well that I am a poor, much-bothered mortal, and can but seldom
dispose of my time according to my wishes. Several pressing
pieces of work, which I was obliged to get ready by this New
Year's Day, have prevented me up to now from giving you a sign of
life--and I am employing my first free moment to assure you that
the changing date of the year can bring with it no variation in
my sincere, friendly attachment. Remember me most kindly to the
papa and sister, and write to me when you can and tell me where
you are going to live henceforth. Possibly I might happen to be
in your neighborhood, in which case I should hasten to come and
see you.

I have but little news to give you of Weymar. That Litolff has
been to see me here, and played his two Symphony-Concertos
capitally, you doubtless know. Probably he will come back after
his journey to Brussels, in the course of next month, when I also
expect Berlioz here. Our orchestra now also possesses a very
first-rate harpist, Frau Dr. Pohl, with a good double-movement
harp of Erard. It seems that poor Erard is no better, and his
"cure" at Schlangenbad has not had the desired result. I
frequently get very sad tidings of his condition through my

I thank you warmly for the friendly reception you accorded to
Herr Wolf as a Weymarer. I hope he did not inconvenience you by
too long visits. His wife brought me some weeks ago the original
sketch of your portrait, which is to become my possession.

The Frau Furstin [Princess] and Princess Marie commission me to


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