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

Part 6 out of 9




In No. 3 (in the first two bars) the F seems to me the right
sound in the bass, and that was what you had first written:--

[Here, Liszt illustrates with a musical score excerpt]

instead of:--

[Here, Liszt illustrates with another musical score excerpt]

Will you leave these little alterations to me in the proof?



164. To Dr. Gille, Councillor of Justice at Jena

[An ardent friend of Liszt's, a promoter of musical endeavors, a
co-founder and member of the Committee (General Secretary) of the
Allgemeine Deutsche Musikverein, is at the head of the Liszt
Museum in Weimar, and lives in Jena, where he is Prince's Council
and Councillor of Justice.]

Zurich, November 14th, 1856

My very dear Friend,

I am heartily rejoiced at the honorable proof of the sympathy and
attachment of our Circulus harmonicus Academiae Jenensis, which
was prepared for me for the 22nd October by your kindness, and I
give you my warmest thanks for it, begging you to be so good as
to pass them on also to our friends Stade and Herr Schafer, whose
names strengthen the diploma.

It touches me deeply that you join the Gran Basilica and my
"Missa Solemnis" in this diploma. You may be sure, dear friend,
that I did not compose my work as one might put on a church
vestment instead of a paletot, but that it has sprung from the
truly fervent faith of my heart, such as I have felt it since my
childhood. "Genitum, non factum"--and therefore I can truly say
that my Mass has been more prayed than composed. By Easter the
work will be published by the Royal State Printing Office at the
cost of the Government, thanks to the kind instructions of His
Excellency Minister von Bach, and I am looking forward to the
pleasure of presenting one of the first copies to the Circulus
harmonicus. The Mass has been given a second time at Prague since
I left, and, as Capellmeister Skraup writes, "with increasing
interest"; a couple more performances, in Vienna, etc., are
pending.

Pray excuse me, dear friend, for not having sent you my thanks
sooner. Your letter found me in bed, to which I am still confined
by a somewhat protracted illness, which will delay my return to
Weymar some weeks. Next week I am to begin to get out into the
air again, and I hope to be able to get away in about ten days.
At the beginning of December I shall be at Weymar, and shall then
soon come to you at Jena.--

I shall have a great deal to tell you verbally about Wagner. Of
course we see each other every day, and are together the livelong
day. His "Nibelungen" are an entirely new and glorious world,
towards which I have often yearned, and for which the most
thoughtful people will still be enthusiastic, even if the measure
of mediocrity should prove inadequate to it!--

Friendly greetings, and faithfully your

F. Liszt



165. To Dr. Adolf Stern in Dresden

[Poet and man of letters, now professor at the Polytechnikum at
Dresden, a member of the Committee of the Allgemeine Deutsche
Musikverein since 1867.]

Very Dear Sir and Friend,

A long and protracted illness has kept me in bed for a fortnight
past--and I owe you many apologies for my delay in sending you my
warmest thanks for the very kind remembrance with which you
adorned the 22nd of October. The beautiful poem, so full of
meaning, and soaring aloft with its delicately powerful flight,
goes deeply to my heart, and my dreams hear the charm of your
poetry through Lehel's magic horn tones! Perhaps I shall be able
shortly to tell you what I have heard, when the disjointed sounds
have united in shaping themselves harmoniously into an artistic
whole, from which a second part of my Symphonic Poem "Hungaria"
might well be formed.

Meanwhile I have ventured to send your poem to a couple of my
friends in Pest, who will delight in it like myself.

In spite of my illness I am spending glorious days here with
Wagner, and am satiating myself with his Nibelungen world, of
which our business musicians and chaff-threshing critics have as
yet no suspicion. It is to be hoped that this tremendous work may
succeed in being performed in the year 1859, and I, on my side,
will not neglect anything to forward this performance as soon as
possible--a performance which certainly implies many difficulties
and exertions. Wagner requires for the purpose a special theater
built for himself, and a not ordinary acting and orchestral
staff. It goes without saying that the work can only appear
before the world under his own conducting; and if, as is much to
be wished, this should take place in Germany, his pardon must be
obtained before everything.--I comfort myself with the saying,
"What must be will be!" And thus I expect to be also standing on
my legs again soon, and to be back in Weymar in the early days of
December. It will be very kind of you if you will not let too
long a time elapse without coming to see me. For today accept
once more my heartfelt thanks, and the assurance of sincere
friendship of your

F. Liszt

Zurich, November 14th, 1856



166. To Louis Kohler

Enclosed, dear friend, is a rough copy of the Prelude to
"Rheingold," which Wagner has handed me for you, and which will
be sure to give you great pleasure.

After having been obliged to keep my bed for a couple of weeks,
which has lengthened out my stay here, I am now making ready to
go with Wagner the day after tomorrow to St. Gall, there to
conduct a couple of my Symphonic Poems with a very respectable
orchestra (twenty violins, six double basses, etc.). Toward the
middle of December I shall be back in Weymar, and shall continue
to write my stuff!--

A thousand friendly greetings.

F. Liszt

Zurich, November 21st, 1856



167. To Eduard Liszt

St. Gall, November 24th, 1856

.--. A really significant concert took place yesterday at St.
Gall. Wagner conducted the Eroica Symphony, and I conducted in
his honor two of my Symphonic Poems. The latter were excellently
given--and received. The St. Gall paper has several articles on
the subject, which I am sending you.

By Christmas I will send you the new copies of my Mass (which I
think I have considerably improved in the last revision,
especially by the concluding Fugue of the Gloria and a
heavenward-soaring climax of the subject.

[Here, Liszt illustrates with a vocal score excerpt at the point
where the singer sings: "et u-nam sanctam catho-li-camet a-po -
sto - - - - li-cam"]

Probably the work will be ready to appear by Easter. If you write
by return of post, you can send the ministerial answer to my
letter to Bach to me here. The contents, of which you have told
me, please me much, and I reckon with confidence that the
publishing of the score will fix the sense and meaning of my work
in public opinion. The work is truly "of pure musical water (not
in the sense of the ordinary diluted Church style, but like
diamond water) and living Catholic wine."

.--. Farewell, dearest Eduard, and remain true to me in heart and
spirit, as is also to you your

F. Liszt



168. To Alexander Ritter, Music Director in Stettin

Munich, December 4th, 1856

Dear Friend,

I received your letter on a day when I again greatly missed your
presence. We were together with Wagner at St. Gall, and the
Musical Society there had distinguished itself by the production
of an orchestra of ten first, ten second violins, eight violas,
six celli and double basses. Wagner conducted the Eroica, and I
two of my Symphonic Poems--"Orpheus" and "Les Preludes." The
performance and reception of my works were quite to my
satisfaction, and the "Preludes" had to be repeated (as they were
in Pest). Whether such a production would be possible in Stettin
I much doubt, in spite of your friendly advances. The open,
straightforward sense of the public is everywhere kept so much in
check by the oft-repeated rubbish of the men of the "But" and
"Yet," who batten on criticism, and appear to set themselves the
task of crushing to death every living endeavour, in order
thereby to increase their own reputation and importance, that I
must regard the rapid spread of my works almost as an imprudence.
You desire "Orpheus," "Tasso," and "Festklange" from me, dear
friend! But have you considered that "Orpheus" has no proper
working out section, and hovers quite simply between bliss and
woe, breathing out reconciliation in Art? Pray do not forget that
"Tasso" celebrates no psychic triumph, which an ingenious critic
has already denounced (probably mindful of the "inner camel,"
which Heine designates as an indispensable necessity of German
aestheticism!), and the "Festklange" sounded too confusedly noisy
even to our friend Pohl! And then what has all this canaille to
do with instruments of percussion, cymbals, triangle, and drum in
the sacred domain of Symphony? It is, believe me, not only
confusion and derangement of ideas, but also a prostitution of
the species itself!

Should you be of another opinion, allow me at least to keep you
from too greatly compromising yourself, so near to the doors of
the immaculate Berlin critics, and not to drag you with myself
into the corruption of my own juggling tone-poems. Your dear wife
(to whom I beg you to remember me most kindly) might be angry
with me for it, and I would not on any account be put into her
bad books. Instead of conducting my Symphonic Poems, rather give
lectures at home of the safe passport of Riehl's "Haus-Musik,"
and take well to heart the warning,

"Ruckkehr zum Mass." ["A returning within bounds." A footnote by
Liszt follows: "Dabei wird naturlich das Mass der
Mittelmassigkeit als einzig massgebend verstanden." ("By this is
of course understood the bounds of mediocrity as the one
limitation.") A play on the words, "Mass," "Massigkeit," and
"Massgebend."]

On this road alone can you soon attain a conductor's post, and
the "esteem" due to you as a music director, both from musicians
and people of rank.

For the rest you would entirely misconstrue my good advice if you
thought you could see in it only a pretext for not keeping my
former promise of coming to see you at Stettin. I shall most
certainly come to you on the first opportunity, and shall be
delighted to spend a couple of days with such excellent friends.
But first of all I must stop in Weymar for a while, in order to
finish some works begun, and to forget altogether my lengthy
illness in Zurich.

I had some glorious days with Wagner; and "Rheingold" and the
"Walkure" are incredibly wonderful works.

To my great sorrow, I only saw your brother Carl [A musician, a
friend of Wagner's.] a couple of times in the early days of my
stay in Zurich. I will tell you vaud voce how this happened, so
entirely against my wish and expectation, through a provoking
over-sensitiveness on the part of your brother. I am sure you
don't need any assurance that I did not give occasion in any way
to this. But for the future I must quietly wait till Carl thinks
better and more justly of it.

Farewell, dear friend, and let me soon hear from you again.

Yours in all friendship,

F. Liszt

Bronsart is going shortly to Paris, where he will stay some time.
Cornelius is working at a comic opera [This would be the Barber
of Baghdad.--Translator's note.] in the Bernhard's-Hutle. Raff is
to finish his "Samson" for Darmstadt. Tausig is giving concerts
in Warsaw. Pruckner will spend the winter in Vienna and appear at
several concerts. Damrosch composed lately an Overture and Entre-
acte music to the "Maid of Orleans." Stor plunges himself into
the duties of a general music director. Thus much have I learned
of our Neu-Weymar-Verein.



169. To Professor L. A. Zellner in Vienna

[General Secretary of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde ("Society
of Lovers of Music") in Vienna; composer and writer on music.]

To my letter of yesterday I have still to add a postscript, my
dear friend, concerning the information in your new
Abonnement,[The Blatter fur Musik, Theater, and Kunst ("Pages of
Music, theater, and Art"), edited by Z.] in which I was struck
with the name of Bertini among the classics, which does not
seem to me suitable. As far as I know, Bertini is still living,
[He did not die till 1876.] and according to the common idea, to
which one must stick fast, only those who are dead can rank as
classic and be proclaimed as classic. Thus Schumann, the
romanticist, and Beethoven, the glorious, holy, crazy one, have
become classics. Should Bertini have already died, I take back my
remark, although the popularity of his Studies is not, to me, a
satisfactory reason for making his name a classic.--Moscheles'
and Czerny's Studies and "Methods" would have a much more just
claim to such a thing, and your paper has especially to set
itself the task of counteracting, with principle and consistency,
the confusion of ideas from which confusion and ruin of matters
arise. Hold fast then to this principle, both in great and small
things, for the easier understanding with the public, that the
recognition of posterity alone impresses the stamp of "classical"
upon works, in the same way as facts and history are established;
for thus much is certain, that all great classics have been
reviled in their own day as innovators and even romanticists, if
not bunglers and crazy fellows, and you yourself have commented
on, and inquired into, this matter many times..--.

In your number of today I read an extract from my letter to
Erkel, [A well-known Hungarian composer ("Hunyadi Laszlo")] in
which, however, the points are missing. Erkel shall show you the
letter on the first opportunity, for he has not left it lying
idle in his desk. Of course no public use is to be made of it.

Yours ever, F. L.

January 2nd, 1857



170. To Herr von Turanyi, Musical Conductor of the Town of Aix-
la-Chapelle

[Published in the Allgemeine Musikzeitung, July 11th, 1890]

Weymar, January 3rd, 1857

Dear Herr Capellmeister,

Although I am still kept to my bed by a long-continued
indisposition, yet I will not delay giving you my warmest thanks
for the active pains you have so kindly taken to place my
endeavors in the cause of Art in a better light than I could
otherwise have expected in your neighborhood.

The result of the choice of myself as conductor of the Musical
Festival at Aix-la-Chapelle this year--a result which was
notified to me yesterday by the letter of the Committee of the
Lower-Rhine Musical Festival--is a welcome sign to me of the
gradual recognition which an open and honestly expressed,
consistent, and thoroughly disinterested conviction may meet with
in different places. Whilst feeling myself especially indebted to
you for having brought about this result, I would express to you
at the same time the fact of my readiness to answer your very
flattering wishes to the best of my powers, and to put aside any
hindrances that may be in the way, in order to fulfill the task
entrusted to me, if the following remarks are brought to the
attention of the Committee, as I consider them essential to the
success and also to the importance of the Musical Festival.

My conducting in Aix-la-Chapelle can only have such significance
as attaches to the less-known and newer works, and those which
are more nearly allied to the Art-interests of today; its
justification would be strengthened by an excellent performance
of such works. I was on this account completely in accordance
with the programme you so kindly sent me (with the addition of
one or two numbers), as I am unable to be with the other
programme, received in the letter of the Committee yesterday. The
latter is as follows:--

First day: Messiah by Handel.--Second day: Mass (in D major) by
Beethoven.

The former as follows:--

First day: Mass by Beethoven (preceded by one of the shorter
works of Handel--or possibly by a Cantata by Bach [?]).

Second day: Schubert's Symphony (in C); one of the larger choral
works of Schumann (say, perhaps, "The Rose's Pilgrimage"--or one
of the Ballades), and, as I should propose, one of the longer
scenes from Berlioz' "Faust," and one or other of my Symphonic
Poems.

You will not expect of me, dear Herr Capellmeister, that I should
go off into a great panegyric about Handel and, if you caught me
doing it, you might stop me immediately with the words of the
ancient Greek who did not want any more praises of Homer--"You
praise him, but who is thinking of blaming him?" The fullness and
glory of this musical majesty is as uncontested as the pleasant,
emulating, easily attainable performance of the "Messiah," a
chef-d'oeuvre, which has been for years the "daily bread," so to
speak, of great and small vocal societies both in England and
Germany. With the exception of Haydn's "Creation" there is
scarcely a work of that kind existing which could show such
countless performances. I, for my part, chose the "Messiah" for
performance again in Weymar (in August 1850)--partly because
Herder had interested himself in the preparation of the German
text--and in the previous August they celebrated the Middle-Rhine
Musical Festival at Darmstadt with it. This latter circumstance
enhances my general consideration as to the artistic
judiciousness of a repeated performance of the Messiah, up to a
special point in regard to the Aix-la-Chapelle Festival, and
therefore I should like the question put to the Committee
"whether they consider that, in the interests of the 'fresher
life of the Musical Festival there,' it can be advantageous for
the Lower-Rhine to repeat it after the Middle-Rhine."

The sentence in the letter of the Committee, in which the hope is
cherished and expressed that "the celebrated Frau Lind-
Goldschmidt may be engaged," leads me to an almost more serious
consideration.--

Do not be alarmed, dear sir, and do not be in the least afraid
that I am going to struggle, in the usual style of our
unchivalrous Don Quixote of musical criticism, with the windmill
of virtuosity. You could not fairly expect this of me either, for
I have never concealed that, since the grapes of virtuosity could
not be made sour for me, I should take no pleasure whatever in
finding them sour in somebody else's mouth.

Frau Land-Goldschmidt stands as incomparable in her glittering
renown as a singer as Handel in his as a composer, with the
difference--which is in Frau Lind's favor to boot--that Handel's
works weary many people and do not always succeed in filling the
coffers, whereas the mere appearance of Frau Lind secures the
utmost rapture of the public, as well as that of the cashier. If,
therefore, we place the affairs of the Musical Festival simply on
the satisfying and commercial debit and credit basis, certainly
no artist, and still less any work of Art, could venture to
compete with, and to offer an equal attraction to, the high and
highly celebrated name of Frau Lind. Without raising the
slightest objection to this, I must express my common-sense
opinion that with this magnet all others would be quite
superfluous, which, however, cannot be quite so indifferent to
me; for, as Louis XIV. represented the State, so Frau Lind would
constitute the Musical Festival proper. This avowal (for which I
deserve, at the very least, stoning with the usual ingredients of
operations of that kind in our civilized age, if I did not happen
to implore grace of the divine Diva herself)--this avowal I
already made last year, on occasion of the Dusseldorf Musical
Festival, to my esteemed friend of many years, Ferdinand Hiller.
What is the use of orchestra and singers, rehearsals and
preparations, pieces and programmes, when the public only want to
hear the Lind, and then hear her again--or, more correctly
speaking, when they must be able to say they leave heard her, in
order to be able to wallow at ease in their enthusiasm for Art?
What I foresaw then was also confirmed to a hair, for it proved,
as everybody knows, that all the sympathy of the public went in
favor of whatever Frau Lind did, so that the so-called Artist-
concert on the third day was the most fully attended, because in
it there were an aria from "Beatrice di Tenda" and Swedish songs
as special attraction--for which marvels the very simplest
pianoforte accompaniment was no doubt sufficient.--Should the
Committee of Aix-la-Chapelle be minded to take to heart the motto
of Hiller's Symphony, "Es muss doch Fruhling werden," ["The
spring will surely come."] in all its artistic endeavour, and, as
you write, to steer clear towards the goal of a "fresher
rekindling of the Musical Festival," we shall be obliged, alas!
to do without the Swedish Nightingale and Europe's Queen of Song.

In short, the point of the matter of this year's Musical Festival
at Aix-la-Chapelle is, as concerns myself, as follows:-

If they decide on having the "Messiah," I must beg to be pardoned
for having to excuse myself from coming. [Liszt finally dropped
his objection to the "Messiah." He had it performed at the
Musical Festival, conducted by him.]

If the Committee accepts the programme I have drawn (Schubert
Symphony, etc., including the last numbers) for the second day,
then it will be a pleasing duty to me to accept the honor of the
invitation, always supposing that the means for a brilliant
performance of the Beethoven Mass and the other works are
forthcoming, as one cannot doubt will be the case in Aix-la-
Chapelle--if my share in the Festival does not in any way give
offence to the neighboring towns, in which case I should of
course gladly and quietly retire, in order not to occasion any
disturbance, or unsatisfactorily prepared discord in the customs
of the musical Rhine-lands. I think there is no need for me to
accentuate the fact that a musical conductor cannot blindly
subscribe to just every programme that is put before him, and I
hope that the honorable Committee will not consider that there is
any assumption in my proposition to place the Aix-la-Chapelle
programme more in accord with my own collective endeavors.

I am writing a few lines of thanks by the next post to President
Herr Van Houten for the distinction shown to me about the
consideration contained in this letter, which I beg that you will
communicate to him verbally.

Awaiting further communications from the Committee, I remain,
dear Herr Capellmeister, with warm acknowledgements and high
esteem,

Yours very truly,

F. Liszt



171. To J. W. von Wasielewski in Dresden

Dear Friend,

Your letter reached me, after some delay, in Zurich, where I had
to keep my bed for several weeks--and today I write to you still
from my bed, and sulking because the geographical change which I
have made has not brought about any improvement in my
pathological condition (which, by the way, is quite without
danger).

How are you, dear Wasielewski? Have you settled yourself
pleasantly in Dresden? Are you working at music industriously and
methodically?--How far have you got in your biography of R.
Schumann? With regard to this work, the publication of which I am
awaiting with great interest, I am sorry to be unable to follow
the wish you so kindly express. Many letters addressed to me by
Schumann in earlier years are lost, and since my residence in
Weymar (from the year 1848) we certainly wrote to one another
from time to time, but only when theater or concert performances
of his works gave a sort of business occasion for it. Weymar does
not deserve the reproach of having kept itself too much in the
background in this respect. At the Goethe Festival in 1849 I had
the great closing scene to the second part of "Faust" given,
which was, later on, repeated; at the beginning of 1852 the music
to Byron's "Manfred," with a stage performance of the drama such
as he desired, was given several times, and, as far as I know, up
to now no other theater has made this attempt. [Liszt was
actually the first.] The Weymar theater is likewise the only one
which contains in its repertoire Schumann's "Genoveva" (which was
indeed given here for the first time in April 1855). It goes
without saying that, during the years of my work here, most of
his chamber music--Quartets, Trios, Sonatas--as well as his
Symphonies, Overtures, and Songs, have been cherished with
particular preference and love, and have been frequently heard in
various concerts, with the exception of one of the most
important; but the very slight amount of public activity of our
Vocal Union has prevented, as yet, any performance of the "Peri,"
which, however, has already been partly studied, and will ere
long be given at last.

As a contribution to your biographical studies, dear Wasielewski,
I should like to tell you truly with what sincere, heartfelt, and
complete reverence I have followed Schumann's genius during
twenty years and faithfully adhered to it. Although I am sure
that you, and all who know me more intimately, have no doubt
about this, yet at this moment the feeling comes over me--a
feeling which I cannot resist--to tell you more fully about my
relations with R. Schumann, which date from the year 1836, and to
give them you here plainly in extenso. Have a little patience,
therefore, in reading this letter, which I have not time to make
shorter.

After the buzz and hubbub called forth by my article in the Paris
Gazette Musicale on Thalberg (the meaning of which, be it said in
passing, has been quite distorted), which was re-echoed in German
papers and salons, Maurice Schlesinger, the then proprietor of
the Gazette Musicale, took the opportunity of asking me to insert
in his paper a very eulogistic article on anything new that came
out in the world of Art. For months Schlesinger sent me with this
object all sorts of novelties, among which, however, I could not
find anything that seemed to me deserving of praise, until at
last, when I was at the Lake of Como, Schumann's "Impromptu" in C
major (properly variations), the "Etudes symphoniques," and the
"Concert sans orchestre" [Concerto without orchestra] (published
later, in the second edition, under the more suitable title
Sonata in F minor) came into my hands. In playing these pieces
through, I felt at once what musical mettle was in them; and,
without having previously heard anything of Schumann, without
knowing how or where he lived (for I had not at that time been to
Germany, and he had no name in France and Italy), I wrote the
critique which was published in the Gazette Musicale towards the
end of 1837, and which became known to Schumann.

Soon afterwards, when I was giving my first concerts in Vienna
(April to May 1838), he wrote to me and sent me a manuscript
entitled "Gruss an Franz Liszt in Deutschland" ["Greeting to
Franz Liszt in Germany"]. I forget at this moment under what
title it was afterwards published; the opening bars are as
follows:--

[Here, Liszt hand-writes the score for the opening bars. It is
the beginning of the second Novelette Op. 21, but not quite
correctly quoted by Liszt]

At about the same time followed the publishing of the great
"Fantasia" (C major) in three movements, which he dedicated to
me; my dedication to him in return for this glorious and noble
work was only made three years ago in my "Sonata" in B minor.

At the beginning of the winter of 1840 I traveled from Vienna
back to Paris by way of Prague, Dresden, and Leipzig. Schumann
paid me the friendly attention of welcoming me immediately on my
arrival in Dresden, and we then travelled together to Leipzig.
Wieck, afterwards Schumann's father-in-law, had at that time a
lawsuit against him to prevent his marriage with Clara. I had
known Wieck and his daughter from Vienna days, and was friendly
with both. None the less I refused to see Wieck again in Dresden,
as he had made himself so unfriendly to Schumann; and, breaking
off all further intercourse with him, I took Schumann's side
entirely, as seemed to me only right and natural. Wieck without
delay richly requited me for this after my first appearance in
Leipzig, where he aired his bitter feelings against me in several
papers. One of my earlier pupils, by name Hermann Cohen--a native
of Hamburg, who in later years aroused much attention in France,
and who, as a monk, had taken the name of Frere Augustin (Carme
dechausse [Barefooted Carmelite])--was the scapegoat in Leipzig
for Wieck's publicly inflamed scandal, so that Cohen was obliged
to bring an action for damage by libel against Wieck, which
action Hermann won with the assistance of Dr. Friederici,
barrister-at-law.

In Leipzig Schumann and I were together every day and all day
long--and my comprehension of his works became thereby more
familiar and intimate. Since my first acquaintance with his
compositions, I have played many of them in private circles in
Milan, Vienna, etc., but without being able to win over my
hearers to them. They lay, happily, much too far removed from the
insipid taste, which at that time absolutely dominated, for it to
be possible for any one to thrust them into the commonplace
circle of approbation. The public did not care for them, and the
majority of pianists did not understand them. In Leipzig even,
where I played the "Carneval" at my second concert in the
Gewandhaus, I did not succeed in obtaining my usual applause. The
musicians, together with those who were supposed to understand
music, had (with few exceptions) their ears still too tightly
stopped up to be able to comprehend this charming, tasteful
"Carneval," the various numbers of which are harmoniously
combined in such artistic fancy. I do not doubt that, later on,
this work will maintain its natural place in universal
recognition by the side of the "Thirty-three Variations on a
Waltz of Diabelli" by Beethoven (to which, in my opinion, it is
superior even in melodic invention and importance). The frequent
ill-success of my performances of Schumann's compositions, both
in private circles and in public, discouraged me from including
and keeping them in the programmes of my concerts which followed
so rapidly on one another--programmes which, partly from want of
time and partly from carelessness and satiety of the "Glanz-
Periode" ["Splendor period"] of my pianoforte-playing, I seldom,
except in the rarest cases, planned myself, but gave them now
into this one's hands, and now that one, to choose what they
liked. That was a mistake, as I discovered later and deeply
regretted, when I had learned to understand that for the artist
who wishes to be worthy of the name of artist the danger of not
pleasing the public is a far less one than that of allowing
oneself to be decided by its humors

--and to this danger every executive artist is especially
exposed, if he does not take courage resolutely and on principle
to stand earnestly and consistently by his conviction, and to
produce those works which he knows to be the best, whether people
like them or not.

It is of no consequence, then, in how far my faint-heartedness in
regard to Schumann's pianoforte compositions might possibly be
excused by the all-ruling taste of the day, but I did without
thinking of it thereby set a bad example, for which I can hardly
make amends again. The stream of custom and the slavery of the
artist, who is directed to the encouragement and applause of the
multitude for the maintenance and improvement of his existence
and his renown, is such a pull-back, that, even to the better-
minded and more courageous ones, among whom I am proud to reckon
myself, it is intensely difficult to preserve their better ego in
the face of all the covetous, distracted, and--despite their
large number--backward-in-paying We.

There is in Art a pernicious offence, of which most of us are
guilty through carelessness and fickleness; I might call it the
Pilate offence. Classical doing, and classical playing, which
have become the fashion of late years, and which may be regarded
as an improvement, on the whole, in our musical state of things,
hide in many a one this fault, without eradicating it:--I might
say more on this point, but it would lead me too far.

For my part I need not, at least, reproach myself with having
ever denied my sympathy and reverence for Schumann; and a hundred
of the younger companions in Art in all lands could bear witness
that I have always expressly directed them to a thorough study of
his works, and have strengthened and refreshed myself by them.

If these particulars have not wearied you, dear Wasielewski, I
will gladly continue them, and tell you about everything from my
second visit to Leipzig (at the end of 1841) which was brought
about by Schumann, up to my last meeting with him at Dusseldorf
(in 1851). Friendly greetings

From yours most sincerely,

F. Liszt

Weymar, January 9th, 1857.



172. To General Alexis von Lwoff in St. Petersburg

[1799-1877; in addition to his military position, he was a
celebrated violinist, and conductor of the Imperial Court-Singers
at St. Petersburg.]

Your Excellency and My Honored Friend,

Permit me to think that I am not quite effaced from your
recollection, and to avail myself of the medium of Mdlle. Martha
de Sabinin to recall myself to you more particularly. It being
her wish to find herself in pleasant relations with the chief
representatives of music in St. Petersburg, it was natural that I
should introduce her in the first instance to you, and recommend
her to you first and foremost as the protegee of Her Imperial
Majesty the Grand Duchess Marie Pawlowna, as well as of the
reigning Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weymar (in whose service she has
been for several years as Court Pianist and Professor at the
Institute for Young Ladies of the Nobility),--and, secondly, as a
clever woman and excellent musician and pianist, who, after
having gone through the most conscientious study, is perfectly
fitted to teach others in a most agreeable manner. She
especially excels in her execution of classical music and
ensemble; and, this side of music being, from what I hear, more
and more cultivated at St. Petersburg, especially through your
care, I am pleased to think that Mdlle. de Sabinin will easily
find an opportunity of coming out advantageously in this line. I
much regret that you have, as yet, neglected Weymar since I have
been settled here. It would have been a pleasure to me to place
at your disposal a musical personnel, which has been justly
spoken of with praise, for the performance of your "Stabat Mater"
and other of your compositions, which we should have great
pleasure in applauding. Let me hope that you will not always be
so rigorous towards us, and pray accept the expressions of high
esteem and respect with which I shall always be, dear and honored
friend,

Your Excellency's very obedient servant,

F. Liszt

Weymar, January 10th, 1857



173. To Johann Von Herbeck in Vienna

[Hofcapellmeister (Court conductor), and an excellent conductor
(1831-1877).--The above letter, as well as a later one addressed
to the same musician, was published in "Johann Herbeck. Ein
Lebensbild von seinem Sohne Ludwig." Vienna, Gutmann, 1885.--Date
in Herbeck's handwriting.]

[Received January 12th, 1857]

Dear Sir,

On my somewhat delayed return to Weymar I find your friendly
letter, for which I send you my

sincere and warmest thanks. I am very much pleased to learn from
you that you have succeeded, thanks to your careful and
intelligent preparation, in making such a good effect with the
"Faust" (Student) Chorus. [It was the first choral composition
which was conducted by Liszt in Vienna, and with the very same
Mannergesangverein which Herbeck conducted.] This light little
piece has been pretty successfully given several times by
Mannergesangvereinen [Vocal societies of male voices] in Cologne,
Berlin, etc., and even in Paris. When I published it fifteen
years ago, I did not think much about making allowance for any
possible laxity in the intonation of the singers; but today, when
my experience has taught me better, I should probably write the
somewhat steep and slippery passage as follows:--

[Here, Liszt illustrates with a vocal score musical excerpt at
the point where the singer sings "Die Ko-chin hat ihr Gift
gestellt, da ward zu eng ihr in der Welt, etc."]

Probably this version would also be more effective--with the
alteration in the last verse (in honor of prosody!):--

[Here, Liszt illustrates with a vocal score musical excerpt at
the point where the singer sings "ha, sie pfeift auf dem letzten
Loch."]

I shall venture shortly to send you (by Herr Haslinger), my dear
sir, a couple of other Quartets for male voices to look through.
If, after doing so, you think you may risk a public performance
of them, I leave the matter entirely in your hands.

There is not the slightest hurry about the Mass, [For men's
voices. On the occasion of the Mozart Festival in Vienna in 1856,
conducted by Liszt, he had played portions of this Mass to
Herbeck, and the latter felt himself, as he wrote to Liszt,
"electrified by the spirit of this work and its creator," and set
himself "at the same time the artistic duty of a worthy rendering
of this Song of Praise."] and I fear that the preparation of this
work will cost you and your singers some trouble. Before all else
it requires the utmost certainty in intonation, which can only be
attained by practicing the parts singly (especially the middle
parts, second tenor and first bass)--and then, above all,
religious absorption, meditation, expansion, ecstasy, shadow,
light, soaring--in a word, Catholic devotion and inspiration. The
"Credo," as if built on a rock, should sound as steadfast as the
dogma itself; a mystic and ecstatic joy should pervade the
"Sanctus;" the "Agnus Dei" (as well as the "Miserere" in the
"Gloria") should be accentuated, in a tender and deeply elegiac
manner, by the most fervent sympathy with the Passion of Christ;
and the "Dona nobis pacem," expressive of reconciliation and full
of faith, should float away like sweet-smelling incense. The
Church composer is both preacher and priest, and what the word
fails to bring to our powers of perception the tone makes winged
and clear.

You know all this at least as well as I do, and I must apologize
for repeating it to you. If the extent of the chorus allows of
it, it might perhaps be desirable to add a few more wind
instruments (clarinets, bassoon, horns, indeed even a couple of
trombones) to support the voices more. If you think so too,
please send me a line to say so, and I will at once send you a
small score of the wind instruments. [Herbeck himself undertook,
at Liszt's desire (which, as he wrote, filled him with joy and
pride), to write the instrumental accompaniment to the Mass.] You
shall have the vocal parts from Jena immediately. For today
accept once more my best thanks, together with the assurance of
the highest esteem of

Yours ever,

F. Liszt



174. To Professor Franz Gotze in Leipzig

[The celebrated singer in Leipzig (1814-88); was a pupil of
Spohr's, and was first violinist in the Weimar Hofcapelle, then
went on to the stage, and both as a lyric tenor and as a singer
of Lieder was incomparable. He was the first who publicly went in
for Liszt's songs, in which his pupils imitated him.]

Dear Friend,

In consequence of an invitation of the directors, I shall have
the honor of having several of my works performed at the concert
on the 26th February for the Orchestral Pension Fund in Leipzig,
and very much wish that you would do me the kindness to sing two
of my songs ("Kling leise, mein Lied" and "Englein du mit blondem
Haar"), and to rejoice the public with your ardent and
beautifully artistic rendering of these little things.

Fraulein Riese is so good as to bring you the new edition of my
six first songs (amongst which is the "Englein" in A major)--a
couple more numbers will shortly follow.

Grant me my request, dear friend, and rest assured beforehand of
the best thanks, with which I remain,

Yours in most sincere friendship, F. Liszt

Weymar, February 1st, 1857



175. To Dionys Pruckner in Vienna

Weymar, February 11th, 1857

From all sides, dearest Dionysius, I hear the best and most
brilliant accounts of you. Without being surprised at this I am
extremely pleased about it. To make a firm footing in Vienna as a
pianoforte player is no small task, especially under present
circumstances! If one succeeds in this, one can, with the utmost
confidence, make a name throughout Europe. It is very important
for you, dear friend, to appear often in public, so as to make
yourself feel at home with them. In production the public have
far more to care about the artist than he has to care about them,
or indeed to let himself be embarrassed by them. At home, our
whole life through, we have to study and to devise how to mature
our work and to attain as near as possible to our ideal of Art.
But when we enter the concert-room the feeling ought not to leave
us, that, just by our conscientious and persevering striving, we
stand somewhat higher than the public, and that we have to
represent our portion of "Menschheits-Wurde," [Manhood's dignity]
as Schiller says. Let us not err through false modesty, and let
us hold fast to the true, which is much more difficult to
practice and much more rare to find. The artist--in our sense--
should be neither the servant nor the master of the public. He
remains the bearer of the Beautiful in the inexhaustible variety
which is appointed to human thought and perception--and this
inviolable consciousness alone assures his authority.

Through your father I learn that you are thinking of going to
Munich in the course of the spring. I, on my side, had also the
intention of giving you a rendez-vous there. But yesterday I
definitely accepted the conductorship of the Musical Festival of
the Lower-Rhine, which will take place this year in Aix-la-
Chapelle at Whitsuntide, on the 31st May, and could not undertake
a long journey before then, in order not to break in on my work
too much.

At the beginning of September we shall have grand festivities
here in honor of the centenary of Carl August. Rietschel's
Schiller and Goethe group will then be put up, and there will be
a great deal of music on this occasion at the theater, for which
I must prepare. I hope we shall see each other before then.

Bronsart is in Paris. You shall have his Trio very soon. Bulow is
playing in Rostock, Bremen, and Hamburg. The Aix-la-Chapelle
Committee have also invited him to the Musical Festival. Singer
goes next week to Rotterdam, and on the 26th February a couple of
my Symphonic Poems will be given at the Gewandhaus (directed by
myself). I yesterday finished the score of another new one, Die
Hunnenschlacht, [The Battle of the Huns] which I should like to
bring out in Vienna when there is an opportunity.

Yours in all friendship,

F. Liszt



176. To Joachim Raff

[February 1857]

You may rest assured, dear friend, that it was very much against
the grain to me that I could not accept the kind invitation of
the Wiesbaden Concert Committee, for which I have to thank your
intervention; and your letter, in which you explain to me some
other circumstances, increases my sincere regret. But for this
winter it is, frankly, impossible for me to accept any
invitations of that kind, and I think I have told you before now
that I have had to excuse myself in several cities (Vienna,
Rotterdam, etc.). Even for Leipzig, which is so near me (although
I might appear somewhat far-fetched to many a one there!), it was
difficult to find a day that would suit me. On the 26th of this
month the "Preludes" and "Mazeppa" are to be given in the
Gewandhaus under my direction (for the Orchestral Pension Fund
Concert). Perhaps this performance will serve as a definite
warning for other concert-conducting, which might have been
thought of, to question my "incapability as a composer," so often
demonstrated (see the proof number of the "Illustrirte

Monatsheft" of Westermann, Brunswick, the National Zeitung, and
the "thousand and one" competent judges who have long since been
quite clear on the matter!).

How far are you in your Opera? When will one be able to see and
hear something of it? As far as I have heard, you intend to
perform "Samson" first in Darmstadt. If this does not happen at
too awkward a time for me I shall come.

After having twice renounced the honor of conducting the
approaching Musical Festival of the Lower-Rhine (to be held this
year at Aix-la-Chapelle) a deputation of the Committee arrived
here yesterday. In consideration of their courtesy I shall
therefore go to Aix-la-Chapelle at Whitsuntide, and perhaps you
will let yourself be beguiled into visiting me there. By that
time also the Mass [The Gran Festival Mass] will probably have
already come out, and you must have a copy of it at once. By the
many performances, which have been of great use to me in this
work, many additions, enlargements, and details of performance
have occurred to me, which will enhance the effect of the whole,
and will make some things easier in performance. An entirely new
concluding fugue of the "Gloria," with this motive:--

[Here, Liszt illustrates with a vocal score musical excerpt at
the point where the singer sings "Cum sanc-to spi-ri-tu, in
Gloria."]

may not be displeasing to you.

Very shortly I will send you also the three numbers still wanting
(1, 8, and 9) of the Symphonic Poems, so that you may again have
some (for you) light reading as a rest from your work. The "Berg"
Symphony was given, in its present form, a short time ago at
Bronsart's farewell concert. Bronsart played the same evening a
Trio of his own composition in four movements, which I esteem as
a successful and very respectable work.

Once more best thanks for the fresh proof of your friendly
attachment which your letter gives me, and don't let too long a
time elapse without sending good news to

Yours most sincerely,

F. Liszt



177. To Concertmeister Ferdinand David in Leipzig

[Printed in Eckardt's "F. David and the Mendelssohn Family,"
Leipzig, Dunker & Humblot, 1888.]

Leipzig, February 26th, 1857, 10 o'clock

[Preceding the body of the letter, Liszt illustrates with a vocal
score musical excerpt with the words "Away! Away!" written in
English by Liszt. It is a quotation from Liszt's Symphonic Poem
"Mazeppa," which he had conducted in the Leipzig Gewandhaus on
the same day as the "Preludes," and with which he had had ill-
success. David, who was present as leader of the orchestra,
"disapproved"--according to Eckardt--of Liszt's composing
tendency, but continued, till his life's end, "filled with
admiration for the incomparable artist and genial man," in the
friendliest relations with Liszt.]

Before I go to bed let me give you my most sincere and heartfelt
thanks, my very dear friend, which I owe you for this evening.
You have proved yourself anew such a thorough gentleman
[Gentleman, put in English by Liszt] and high-standing artist at
this evening's concert.

That is nothing new in you, but it gives me pleasure, as your old
friend, to repeat old things to you, and to remain ever yours
most gratefully,

Franz Liszt



178. To Wladimir Stassoff in St. Petersburg

[A Russian writer, a musical and art critic, at present director
of the Imperial Public Library at St. Petersburg.]

An illness, not in the least dangerous, but very inconvenient,
since it obliges me to keep my bed rather often (as at this
moment), has deprived me of the pleasure of replying sooner to
your very kind letter, firstly to thank you for it, and also to
tell you how delighted I shall be to make acquaintance with Mr.
Scroff's manuscripts, which you kindly introduce to me in so
persuasive a manner. Many people who have the advantage of
knowing Mr. Seroff, among others Mr. de Lenz and Prince Eugene
Wittgenstein, have spoken of him to me with great praise, as an
artist who unites to real talent a most conscientious
intelligence. It will be of great interest to me to estimate the
work to which he has devoted himself with such praiseworthy
perseverance, and thus to avail myself of the opportunity offered
to me of hearing those sublime works of the LAST PERIOD (I
purposely put aside

the inappropriate word MANNER, and even the term STYLE) of
Beethoven--works which, whatever Mr. Oulibicheff and other
learned men may say who succeed more easily in POURING FORTH in
these matters than in being well versed [A play on words--verser
and verse.] in them, will remain the crowning point of
Beethoven's greatness.

With regard to the edition of these scores of Mr. Seroff's for
two pianos, I will willingly do what you wish, though at the same
time confessing to you that my credit with the editors is not
worth much more than my credit with the above-mentioned learned
men, as these latter do their best to keep all sorts of cock-and-
bull stories going, which prevent the editors from running any
risk in mad enterprises they have so peremptorily been pointed
out to be! And, more than this, you are not ignorant that
arrangements for two pianos--the only ones adapted to show the
design and the grouping of ideas of certain works--are but little
in favor with music-sellers and very unsaleable, as the great
mass of pianists is scarcely capable of PLAYING ON the piano, and
cares very little (except sometimes for form's sake and human
respect) for the interest of intelligence and feeling which might
attach to the promenades of their fingers. In spite of all this,
please rest assured, sir, that I shall neglect nothing that can
justify the confidence you place in me, and pray accept the very
sincere regards of

Yours most truly,

F. Liszt

Weymar, March 17th, 1857

I am awaiting with impatience the parcel you promise me, and beg
you to make it as large as possible, so that I may make a
thorough acquaintance with Mr. Seroff's work. Especially be so
good as not to forget the arrangement of Beethoven's latter
Quartets.



179. To Wilhelm von Lenz in St. Petersburg

For pity's sake, dear friend, don't treat me like Moscheles;
don't think I am dead, although I have given you some little
right to think so by my long silence. But there are so many
"demi"-people, and demi-clever people (who are at least as
dangerous to Art as the demi-monde is to morals, according to
Alexandre Dumas), who say such utter stupidities about me in the
papers and elsewhere, that I really should not like to die yet,
if only not to disturb their beautiful business. You were even
complaining of one single whistling blackbird [Merle; means also
a whistling or hissing fellow.] pastorally perched on your book--
what shall I say then of the croaking of that host of ravens and
of obliques hiboux [Oblique owls; the term is repeated
afterwards, and evidently refers to some joke, or else to some
remark of Lenz's.--Translator's note.] that spreads like an
"epidemic cordon" all the length of the scores of my Symphonic
Poems?--Happily I am not made of such stuff as to let myself be
easily disconcerted by their "concert," and I shall continue
steadfastly on my way to the end, without troubling about
anything but to do what I have to do--which will be done, I can
promise you. The rest of your "Beethoven," of which you speak,
has never reached me, and for six months past I have not had any
news of B., who, I am afraid, finds that he is clashing with some
rather difficult editorial circumstances, but from which I
presume he will have the spirit to free himself satisfactorily. A
propos of Beethoven, here is Oulibicheff, who has just hurled
forth a volume which I might well compare with the dragons and
other sacred monsters in papier-mache, with which the brave
Chinese attempted to frighten the English at the time of the last
war.--The English simply replied by bombs, which was the best
mode of procedure. If I find time in the course of the summer, I
shall answer Oulibicheff very respectfully in a brochure which
may be a pretty big one. For the moment I am still pinned to my
bed by a lot of boils which are flourishing on my legs, and which
I consider as the doors of exodus for the illness which has been
troubling me rather violently since the end of October.

Mr. Stassoff, having written to me about Mr. Seroff, I wrote him
word quite lately that I should have real pleasure in making
acquaintance with the arrangement for two pianos of Beethoven's
later Quartets, etc. As soon as he lets me have them I will
examine them with all the attention that such a work merits, and
will write him my opinion, such as it is, with sincerity. As to
the question of the edition, that is not so easy to solve as you
seem to think. I wrote to Mr. Stassoff that arrangements for two
pianos, which are the only ones that give a suitable idea of
certain works, have very little currency with the public, as it
is very rare to find two instruments with most amateurs. In spite
of this, if, as I am inclined to think, Mr. Seroff's work answers
to the eulogies you pronounce on it, I shall try to find him a
publisher, and ask you only to get Mr. Seroff to let me know what
sum he expects.

Why, dear friend, don't you decide to make a trip to Germany, and
to come and see me at Weymar? I asked you this three years ago,
and I again assure you that such a journey would not be without
use to you. It is in vain for you and Oulibicheff to enumerate
the advantages and improvements of Russia in musical matters;
people who know anything of the matter will beware of taking you
literally. Art at Petersburg can only be an accessory and a
superfluity for a long time to come, in spite of the very real
distinction and, if you will, even the superiority of some
persons who work at it with predilection, and who reside there.
Proofs abound in support of this opinion, and could not be so
soon changed.

Believe me, my dear Lenz, if you wish to get to know the heart of
the musical question, come to Germany and come and see me.

Meanwhile don't trouble yourself any more than I do about either
"merles" or "obliques hiboux"; go on familiarizing yourself with
the smiles and glances of your "chimera," and believe me your
most sincerely affectionate and devoted

F. Liszt

Weymar, March 24th, 1857



180. To Eduard Liszt

Best and excellent Eduard,

At last I send you the pianoforte edition of the Mass, which I
could not get in order sooner, much as I wished to do so, partly
owing to the excess of matters, letters, and business which have
been pressing upon me, and partly also on account of my illness,
which has obliged me to keep my bed for more than three weeks
past. As regards the edition, which can be got up in two styles,
according to whether one wants it to be economical or luxurious,
I send you word of all that is necessary on the accompanying
note-sheet (first page of the score--written by my hand), and beg
you, best friend, to use your influence to get the proofs sent to
me and to get the work published as quickly as possible. [The
Gran Mass.]

Your last letter was again a great pleasure to me, owing to your
loving comprehension of my works. That in composing them I do not
quite work at haphazard and grope about in the dark, as my
opponents in so many quarters reproach me with doing, will be
gradually acknowledged by those among them who may be honest
enough not to wish entirely to obstruct a right insight into the
matter through preconceived views. As I have for years been
conscious of the artistic task that lies before me, neither
consistent perseverance nor quiet reflection shall be wanting for
the fulfillment of it. May God's blessing, without which nothing
can prosper and bear fruit, rest on my work!--

I have read with attention and interest the discussions in the
Vienna papers, to which the performance of the Preludes and the
concert gave rise. As I had previously said to you, the
doctrinaire Hanslick could not be favorable to me; his article is
perfidious, but on the whole seemly. Moreover it would be an easy
matter for me to reduce his arguments to nil, and I think he is
sharp enough to know that. On a better opportunity this could
also be shown to him, without having the appearance of correcting
him. I suppose the initials C. D. in the Vienna paper mean
Dorffl--or Drechsler? No matter by whom the critique is written,
the author convicts himself in it of such intense narrowness that
he will be very welcome to many other people less narrow than
himself. His like has already often existed, but is constantly in
demand. The musician nowadays cannot get out of the way of all
the buzzing. Twenty years ago there were hardly a couple of
musical papers in Europe, and the political papers referred only
in the most rare cases, and then only very briefly, to musical
matters. Now all this is quite different, and with my "Preludes,"
for instance (which, by the way, are only the prelude to my path
of composition), many dozen critics by profession have already
pounced on them, in order to ruin me through and through as a
composer. I by no means say that present conditions, taken as a
whole, are more unfavorable to the musician than the earlier
conditions, for all this talk in a hundred papers brings also
much good with it, which would not otherwise be so easy to
attain;--but simply the thinking and creative artist must not
allow himself to be misled by it, and must go his own gait
quietly and undisturbed, as they say the hippopotamus does, in
spite of all the arrows which rebound from his thick skin. An
original thinker says, "As one emblem and coat of arms I show a
tree violently blown by the storm, which nevertheless shows its
red fruit on all the boughs, with the motto, Dum convellor
mitescunt; or also, Conquassatus sed ferax."

When you have an opportunity I beg you to give my best thanks to
my old friend Lowy for the letter he wrote me directly after the
performance of the "Preludes." I know that he means well towards
me, in his own way, which, unfortunately, cannot be mine,
because, to me, friendship without heart and flame is something
foreign; and I cannot understand, for instance, why at the
concert in question he did not take his customary place, but kept
back in a corner, as he tells me. Pray when have I given him any
occasion to be ashamed of me? Do I not then stand up in the whole
world of Art as an honest fellow, who, faithful to his
conviction, despising all base means and hypocritical stratagems,
strives valiantly and honorably after a high aim? Given that I,
deceived by my many-sided experiences (which really cannot be
estimated as very slight, since I have lived and worked through
the periods--so important for music--of Beethoven, Schubert,
Mendelssohn, as well as Rossini and Meyerbeer), led astray by my
seven years' unceasing labour, have hit upon the wrong road
altogether, would it be the place of my intimate friend, in the
face of the opposition which is set up against me because I bring
something new, to blush, hide himself in a corner, and deny me?
You did otherwise and better in this, dearest Eduard, and your
conduct with Castelli was, as ever, perfectly right. My few
friends may take a good example from you, for they assuredly need
not let themselves be frightened by the concert which the bullies
and boobies raise against my things. I have, as usual, thought
over your musical remarks and reflections. The fourth movement of
the Concerto, [No. I, in E flat major.] from the Allegro
marziale,

[a score appears here]

corresponds with the second movement, Adagio:--

[a score appears here]

It is only an urgent recapitulation of the earlier subject-matter
with quickened, livelier rhythm, and contains no new motive, as
will be clear to you by a glance through the score. This kind of
binding together and rounding off a whole piece at its close is
somewhat my own, but it is quite maintained and justified from
the standpoint of musical form.

The trombones and basses

[a score appears here]

take up the second part of the motive of the Adagio (B major):--

[a score appears here]The pianoforte figure which follows

[a score appears here]

is no other than the reproduction of the motive which was given
in the Adagio by flute and clarinet,

[a score appears here]

just as the concluding passage is a Variante [various reading]
and working up in the major of the motive of the Scherzo,

[a score appears here]

until finally the first motive

[a score appears here]

on the dominant pedal B flat, with a shake accompaniment,

[a score appears here]

comes in and concludes the whole.

The Scherzo in E flat minor, from the point where the triangle
begins, I employed for the effect of contrast.

[a score appears here] As regards the triangle I do not deny that
it may give offence, especially if struck too strong and not
precisely. A preconceived disinclination and objection to
instruments of percussion prevails, somewhat justified by the
frequent misuse of them. And few conductors are circumspect
enough to bring out the rhythmic element in them, without the raw
addition of a coarse noisiness, in works in which they are
deliberately employed according to the intention of the composer.
The dynamic and rhythmic spicing and enhancement, which are
effected by the instruments of percussion, would in more cases be
much more effectually produced by the careful trying and
proportioning of insertions and additions of that kind. But
musicians who wish to appear serious and solid prefer to treat
the instruments of percussion en canaille, which must not make
their appearance in the seemly company of the Symphony. They also
bitterly deplore, inwardly, that Beethoven allowed himself to be
seduced into using the big drum and triangle in the Finale of the
Ninth Symphony. Of Berlioz, Wagner, and my humble self, it is no
wonder that "like draws to like," and, as we are treated as
impotent canaille amongst musicians, it is quite natural that we
should be on good terms with the canaille among the instruments.
Certainly here, as in all else, it is the right thing to seize
upon and hold fast [the] mass of harmony. In face of the most
wise proscription of the learned critics I shall, however,
continue to employ instruments of percussion, and think I shall
yet win for them some effects little known.

I hear from Paris that at all the street corners there they are
selling a little pamphlet for a sou entitled "Le seul moyen de ne
pas mourir le 13 Juin a 1'apparition de la Comete." ["The only
means how not to die on the 13th of June at the appearance of the
comet."] The only means is to drown oneself on the 12th of June.
Much of the good advice which is given to me by the critics is
very like this seul moyen. Yet we will not drown ourselves--not
even in the lukewarm waters of criticism--and will also for the
future stand firm on our own legs with a good conscience.

I had still much more to say to you, but the letter has become so
long that I should not like to take up any more of your time. It
is to be hoped that we shall see each other in the course of this
summer, when we shall be able again to talk over everything to
our hearts' content. Meanwhile I thank you again warmly for your
friendship, and remain yours from my heart.

F. Liszt

What you tell me of your idea for Daniel [Liszt's son] is very
agreeable and soothing. I must beg the Princess to correspond
with you in reference to the matter. My decision to send D. to
Vienna, in order to finish his law there, and to entrust him to
your protection, is pretty much unchanged.

Weymar, March 26th, 1857

In the next number of Brendel's paper appears a long letter from
R. Wagner on my individuality as a composer, which will be of
interest to you.



181. To Georg Schariezer, Vice-President of the Church Musical
Society at the St. Martin's Coronation Church in Pressburg

[From a copy of Herr Stadthauptmann Johann Batka in Pressburg.--
The Church Musical Society, which has been in existence since
1833, and which undertakes the performance of classical
instrumental Masses during the service every Sunday and saint's
day, performed Beethoven's Grand Mass as early as 1835, and many
times since, and has given Liszt's Gran Mass every year since
1872.]

Dear Sir,

The friendly intention of the highly renowned Pressburg
Kirchenmusikverein [Church Musical Society] to give a performance
of my "Missa Solemnis" is an uncommon pleasure to me, and I send
Your Honor my special thanks for the kind letter with which you
have honored me in the name of the Kirchenmusikverein. Much as I
should like to meet your wishes without any ceremony, and to send
you the score and parts at once, yet I am constrained to beg for
a long delay, for the reason that the score, together with the
pianoforte arrangement, is obliged to remain for some months
longer in the Royal State Printing House in Vienna, and I cannot
get the parts copied out afresh until the publication of the work
next September. The copies which were used at Gran and Prague
have been lost, and several essential alterations which I have
finally made in the score necessitate the making of an entirely
new copy.

I hope, however, that you, dear sir, as well as the K.-M.-V, will
continue your kind intention towards me, whereby I may have the
prospect of my Mass being performed by you later on. If I am not
quite mistaken, the Church element, as well as the musical style
of this work, will be better understood and more spiritually felt
after frequent performances than can be the case at first in the
face of the prevailing prejudice against my later compositions,
and the systematic opposition of routine and custom which I have
to meet with on so many sides. Thus much I may in all
conscientiousness affirm, that I composed the work, from the
first bar to the last, with the deepest ardor as a Catholic and
the utmost care as a musician, and hence I can leave it with
perfect comfort to time to form a corresponding verdict upon it.

As soon as the score comes out I shall have the pleasure of
sending Your Honor a copy; and should your present design perhaps
come to pass in the spring, I shall be delighted to be present at
the performance, and to conduct the final rehearsals myself.

Accept, dear sir, my best thanks, together with the expression of
my high esteem.

Yours most truly,

Franz Liszt

Weymar, April 25th, 1857



182. To Eduard Liszt

Dearest Eduard,

I have been thinking over the matter of supporting the voices by
some wind instruments and brass in my Mass for men's voices,
without being able to make up my mind to write out this
accompaniment. I ought properly to hear the Vienna chorus in
order to hit the right proportion, which is very various,
according to the size of the church, and also the class of
instruments, and the less or greater ability of the musicians. It
would be very agreeable to me if Herbeck, who appears to take an
interest in my work, would take the decision upon himself
according to what he thinks best, and would either keep in the
printed organ accompaniment, or write a small additional score as
support to the voices. In the latter case I think that horns,
clarinets, oboes, and bassoons cannot be dispensed with, and that
probably trombones would also make a good effect in the Kyrie and
Credo.

Remember me most kindly to Herbeck, and tell him my idea as well
as my request. In the studying of the Mass he will best ascertain
which passages most require a supplement-accompaniment.

Owing to my long-continued illness, which obliges me for the most
part to keep my bed, I have not yet been able to hear his
Quartet, which he was so good as to send me; but I shall shortly
give it over to our excellent Quartet Society (Singer, Cossmann,
Stor, Walbruhl) for a performance.

By today's post I send you an alteration in the Agnus Dei of my
Gran Mass, which I beg you to hand to the compositor. The voice
parts remain as before, but in the pauses I make the first
subject come in again in the basses, which makes the movement
more completely one whole. The compositor must work by this proof
for the whole Agnus Dei, and only revert to the general score
where the "Dona nobis pacem" (Allegro moderato) comes in.

Wagner's letter has been published in a separate form, and you
will receive several copies of it, as I believe you take interest
in it, and will make a good use of it.

The Princess has been a prisoner to her bed for more than three
weeks, and is suffering from acute rheumatism. Princess Marie has
also been poorly, so that the whole house has been very dismal.
The last few days I have pulled myself together, and have had my
choruses to Herder's "Prometheus" performed, which have
unexpectedly made a very good impression, and were received with
unusual sympathy. In the course of the summer I shall have the
whole work printed. The eight choruses, together with the
[spoken] text, which has been skillfully compiled after Herder
and Aeschylus [By Richard Pohl], and the preliminary Symphonic
Poem (No. 5 of those published by Hartel), take about an hour and
a half in performance. If I am not mistaken, the work will, later
on, approve itself in larger concerts.

About the 15th May I shall be going to Aix-la-Chapelle, to
conduct the Musical Festival there at Whitsuntide. That will be
another good opportunity for many papers to abuse me, and to let
off their bile!--If the programme which I shall put forward is
realized at the September Festival you must come here and hear it
with me.

My mother writes from Paris that Blandine has been living with
the Countess d'A. since the 20th of this month. Cosima's marriage
with H. von Bulow will probably take place before September.
About Daniel the Princess will write to you fully when she is
better.

God be with you and yours. Yours from my heart,

F. Liszt

Weimar, April 27th, 1857



183. To Frau von Kaulbach

[The letter, together with the following one, written by Kaulbach
to Liszt in the fifties, was published in the Tagliche Rundschau
[Daily Review], and afterwards in the Neue Berline Musikzeitung
[Berlin New Musical Paper] of March 19th, 1891. It is well known
that Liszt derived his inspiration to write the Hunnenschlachl
[Battle of the Huns] from Kaulbach's celebrated picture on the
staircase of the New Museum in Berlin. He intended to work up the
six pictures of Kaulbach's which are there, in a similar
symphonic manner, probably for theatrical performance in Weimar.
Dingelstedt appears also to have planned an after-poem in verses.
Kaulbach's letter to his friend is as follows: "Your original and
spirited idea--the musical and poetic form of the historical
pictures in the Berlin Museum--has taken hold of me completely. I
much wish to hear yours and Dingelstedt's ideas of this
performance. The representation of these powerful subjects in
poetical, musical, and artistic form must constitute a harmonious
work, rounded off into one complete whole. It will resound and
shine through all lands!!--I shall therefore hasten to Weimar, as
soon as my work here will let me free.--With the warmest regards
to the Princess, that truly inspired friend of Art, and to her
charming daughter, from myself and my wife, I remain, in
unchangeable respect and friendship, Your faithful, W.
Kaulbach."]

Dear Madam,

I have been encouraged to send you what indeed truly belongs to
you, but what, alas! I must send in so shabby a dress that I must
beg from you all the indulgence that you have so often kindly
shown me. At the same time with these lines you will receive the
manuscript of the two-pianoforte arrangement of my Symphonic Poem
"Die Hunnenschlacht" (written for a large orchestra and completed
by the end of last February), and I beg you, dear madam, to do me
the favor to accept this work as a token of my great reverence
and most devoted friendship towards the Master of masters.
Perhaps there may be an opportunity later on, in Munich or
Weymar, in which I can have the work performed before you with
full orchestra, and can give a voice to the meteoric and solar
light which I have borrowed from the painting, and which at the
Finale I have formed into one whole by the gradual working up of
the Catholic chorale "Crux fidelis," and the meteoric sparks
blended therewith. As I already intimated to Kaulbach in Munich,
I was led by the musical demands of the material to give
proportionately more place to the solar light of Christianity,
personified in the Catholic chorale "Crux fidelis," than appears
to be the case in the glorious painting, in order thereby to win
and pregnantly represent the conclusion of the Victory of the
Cross, with which I, both as a Catholic and as a man, could not
dispense.

Kindly excuse this somewhat obscure commentary on the two
opposing streams of light in which the Huns and the Cross are
moving; the performance will make the matter bright and clear--
and if Kaulbach finds something to amuse him in this somewhat
venturesome mirroring of his fancy I shall be royally delighted.

Through Dingelstedt, whom our Grand Duke is taking away from
Munich, you have heard the latest news from Weymar, and I have,
alas! only bad news to give you of the Princess W. For many weeks
she has been confined to bed with acute rheumatism, and it is
hardly likely that she will be restored to health before my
departure for Aix-la-Chapelle towards the middle of May. Allow
me, my dear lady, to beg you to give Kaulbach my warmest and most
hearty thanks for the wonderful sketch of Orpheus with which he
has honored and delighted me; and once more begging you to pardon
me for the dreadful scrawl of my manuscript, I remain yours with
all respect and devoted friendship,

F. Liszt

Weymar, May 1st, 1857



184. To Fedor von Milde, Kammersanger

[A singer in the service of a prince] in Weimar [An excellent
Wagner singer. The first Telramund in Lohengrin.]

Dear Friend,

I cannot refuse myself the pleasure of letting you know of the
really extraordinary success, not made up, but thoroughly
effectual and brilliant, of your wife. [Rosa, nee Agthe, trained
by Franz Gotze.] Cologne, Dusseldorf, Bonn, Elberfeld, and the
entire neighborhood agree with Aix-la-Chapelle that your wife
made the festivity of the Musical Festival; and although success
cannot as a rule be considered as a criterion of artistic worth,
yet if it be attested so truly and de bon aloi as in this case,
and follow that artistic worth, it has something refreshing and
strengthening in which we, in trio, can fully rejoice.

A speedy meeting to us, and friendly greetings and thanks from

Yours ever,

F. Liszt

Aix-La-Chappelle, Wednesday, June 3rd, 1857



185. To Johann von Herbeck

Weymar, June 12th, 1857

Dear Sir and Friend,

On my return from the Aix-la-Chapelle Musical Festival--which may
be considered successful on the whole, from the very fact that
opponents do not conceal their dissatisfaction--I find here your
kind letter, for which I send you my warmest thanks. My excellent
cousin and friend, Dr. Eduard Liszt, had already informed me of
your kind willingness to undertake the instrumentation of my
Vocal Mass: I am entirely in accord with the various sketches you
so kindly lay before me in your letter, and only beg you, dear
sir, to complete this work according to your own best judgment,
without any small considerations. I certainly should not wish the
organ to be absent from it, but it is a perfectly correct idea to
give those passages in the Kyrie, Suscipe deprecationem,
Crucifixus, and others besides,

[A score appears here]

to the wind exclusively. When I expressed to my cousin my wish to
place the instrumentation of the Mass in your hands, it was
because I was convinced beforehand of the excellence of your
work. The examples which you have given me in your letter show me
that I was not wrong, and I shall rejoice most sincerely when the
moment arrives for us to go through the whole score together.
Eduard intends to visit me here towards the end of August, and if
it is possible for you to come to Weymar at the same time with
him, and to stay a few days in my house, it will be very
agreeable to me.

On the 3rd, 4th, and 5th September the Jubilee festivities of the
Grand Duke Carl August will take place here, on which occasion I
propose to perform several of my later orchestral compositions,
and also the chorus "An die Kiinstler." ["To Artists."] Eduard
will give you a more detailed programme of the Festival later on.
Should you, however, be prevented from being present at it, it
needs no special assurance to you that your visit will be very
welcome to me any day, and I will do my best that you shall not
suffer from ennui in Weymar. [Herbeck accepted the invitation.]

May I also beg you to send me, when you have an opportunity, and
if possible very soon, the parts of your Quartet, [D minor,
unpublished] which pleases me so much, and which, both in its
mood and in its writing of the different parts, is so eminently
noble and finely sustained. In case you have not been able to
arrange for the copying of the parts, it will be a pleasure to me
to get them copied here. Our Weymar quartet, Messrs. Singer,
Stor, Walbruhl, and Cossmann, is competent for this work, and you
will, I trust, be satisfied with the performance. Unfortunately
Cossmann's illness has prevented our usual quartet-productions
for some months past, and Cossmann was also unable to take part
in the Aix-la-Chapelle Musical Festival. But yesterday he told me
that in a few days he should be able to take up his bow again,
and therefore I want them to set to work on your Quartet at once.

To our speedy meeting then, and once more best thanks from yours
in all friendship,

F. Liszt



186. To Countess Rosalie Sauerma, nee Spohr

Your letter gave me great pleasure, dear Countess and admirable
artist, and, though still obliged to keep my bed (which I have
been able to leave so little during the whole winter), I hasten
to reassure you entirely about my state of health. As a fact, I
have never done my obstinate illness the honor of considering it
serious, and now less than ever, for I hope to have entirely got
over it by the end of the week. So do not let us talk about it
any more, and let me tell you at once how sincerely I rejoice in
your projects of being, so to say, in the neighborhood of
Dresden, for it seems to me that, among the towns of Germany, it
is the one in which you will find most charm. I shall certainly
come and pay you my visit there in the course of the winter, and
I hope also that you will not altogether forget your friends of
Weymar.

When you come back here, you will find very little change, but
simply three more Weymarers--Goethe, Schiller, and Wieland--whose
statues will be inaugurated next September, on the occasion of
the celebration of the Jubilee fetes of the Grand Duke Carl
August. They are also planning music for the occasion; and I
predict to you beforehand that you will be able to read all sorts
of unflattering things on this subject, as the music in question
will be in great part my composition. However that may be, I
shall try to have always something better to do than to trouble
myself with what is said or written about me.

How delighted I shall be to hear you again, and to rock myself as
in a hammock to the sound of your arpeggi. You have not, I am
sure, broken off your good habits of work, and your talent is
certain to be more magnificent than ever. Quite lately Madame
Pohl, who played Parish Alvars' Oberon Fantaisie charmingly,
recalled most vividly the remembrance of the delightful hours at
Eilsen and Weymar, which I hope soon to resume at Dresden...Be so
kind as to present my best compliments to your husband and all
your dear ones, and pray accept, dear Countess, the expression of
most affectionate homage from yours very sincerely,

F. Liszt

Weymar, June 22nd, 1857

The Princess W. has been very seriously ill for more than two
months; she is only just convalescent, and bids me give her best
remembrances to you.



187. To Ludmilla Schestakoff, nee Glinka, in St. Petersburg

[sister of the celebrated Russian composer Glinka]

Madame,

I wish I were able to tell you how much I have been touched by
the letter you have done me the honor to address to me. Thank you
for having thought of me as one of the most sincere and zealous
admirers of the fine genius of your brother, so worthy of a noble
glory for the very reason that it was above vulgar successes. And
again thank you for the grace which prompts you to wish to
inscribe my name on one of his orchestral works, which are
certain to be valued and to obtain a sympathetic preference from
people of taste.

I accept with a real gratitude the dedication with which you
honor me, and it will be at once my pleasure and duty to do my
best towards the propagation of Glinka's works, for which I have
always professed the most open and admiring sympathy. Of this I
beg you, Madame, to receive anew my assurance, and to accept the
most respectful homage of

Yours very truly,

F. Liszt

Weymar, October 7th, 1857

I am writing by the same post to Mr. Engelhardt in Berlin to
thank him for his letter, and to tell him that I feel quite
flattered at seeing my name attached to a score of Glinka's.



188. To Carl Haslinger

[autograph without address in the possession of M. Alfred Bovet
in Valentigney--The above was presumably the addressee.]

Dear Friend,

The writing of notes [music] draws me more and more away from the
writing of letters, and my friends have already much to pardon me
in this respect. With the best will in the world to fulfill my
obligations, it is nevertheless impossible for me, owing to the
countless claims that are made on me, to find time to do so. So
do not scold me, dear friend, for having left your last letter
unanswered. I had given myself a great deal to do with some
manuscripts; the final proofs of the Faust and Dante Symphonies,
in particular, which will now soon be engraved, had occupied me
much longer than I expected. The two works are now as well
finished as I am in a position to make them, and will, I hope,
hold their POSITION.

I congratulate you most warmly on the performance of your opera.
You may safely expect various disagreeables in connection
therewith, which are inseparable from musical work. The great
thing is to remain cheerful, and to do something worth doing. The
cuckoo take the rest!--

Let me have a talk with you about the Zellner matter in Vienna,
if, as seems likely, I have to go there at the end of May for the
performance of my Mass. Meanwhile thank you very much for the
pains you have taken over the proof-sheets of this long-
protracted work, and I should be glad if the whole were ready to
come out by the time I reach Vienna.

Tausig, who is to come out in Berlin at the beginning of January,
will probably come with me. There is again a real "bravo,"
[Literally, iron-eater.] as Hummel said of me when he heard me in
Paris in the twenties.

Will you be so kind as to give the enclosed letters to
Winterberger and Rubinstein? How is our friend Winterberger
getting on in the not very suitable atmosphere of Vienna? Let me
know something about him soon. Yours ever,

F. Liszt

Weymar, December 5th, 1857.



189. To Hofcapellmeister Stein In Sondershausen.

[Autograph in the possession of M. Alfred Bovet at Valentigney.--
The addressee, a first-rate conductor (born 1818), lived from
1853 in Sondershausen; died 1864.]

Let me give you once more my hearty thanks, dear friend, for the
delightful day you gave me at Sondershausen, which continues so
brightly and pleasantly in my recollection. The rare consummation
with which your orchestra solved one of the most difficult tasks,
and brought "what one hears on the mountains" [Liszt's Mountain
Symphony] to the impressive understanding of the ears in the
valley (if not indeed under the water and worse still),
strengthens me in my higher endeavors,--and you, dear friend,
will have to bear some of the responsibility if I go on writing
more such "confused," "formless," and, for the every-day critic,
quite "fathomless" things.

Singer [A letter from this first-rate violinist is on the same
sheet with Liszt's.] needs no further recommendation from me, as
he is already known to you as an eminent virtuoso. Especially at
Court concerts his own refined and brilliant qualities are placed
in their most favorable light.

If it is possible for you to take an opportunity of bringing out
my dear and extraordinary budding genius Carl Tausig ["The last
of the virtuosi;" as Weitzmann called him; born at Warsaw 1841;
died at Leipzig 1871.] at the Court, I promise you that he will
do honor to your recommendation.

In all esteem and devotion, yours ever,

F. Liszt

Weymar, December 6th, 1857



190. To Alexander Ritter in Stettin.

Dear friend,

Your tidings sound as incredible as they are pleasant. And I must
admit, what has long been proved to me, that you are a valiant
and excellent friend, and prove your friendship splendidly by the
success of your venturesome undertaking. Specially do I give you
my best thanks for the pregnant and poetic form which you gave to
the Tasso programme. Later on, as you have broken the ice in so
happy a fashion, we can push on with

[Here, Liszt illustrates with a musical score excerpt of the
beginning of the Symphonic Poem "Festklange."

and other such corrupt things in Stettin!--

I was not able to attend to your letter about the matter of the
parts of the Flying Dutchman until after my return to Weymar.
Herr von Dingelstedt spoke to me about the idea in regard to the
fee for Wagner (from the Stettin Directors), and the reply to you
from the Secretary Jacobi will be to that effect. If, as I
presume, you can so arrange that this idea is carried out, and
that Wagner receives his fee, the parts shall be sent you from
here.

I visited your dear sisters many times in Dresden, and had some
delightful chats with them.

In Carl's Sonatas [Carl Ritter], which I have read with much
interest, there is a decidedly musical germ; only I hope that by
degrees more juicy fruit may spring from it.

Cornelius is bringing his completed opera back to Weymar at the
end of this month. [Doubtless "Der Barbier von Baghdad."] Lassen,
who is getting on splendidly with his ("Frauenlob "), has
composed several exquisite songs between whiles. "Landgraf
Ludwig's Brautfahrt" ["Landgrave Ludwig's Bridal Journey," an
unpublished opera of Lassen's.] will again be given next Sunday,
and from New Year (1858) Lassen will act as Grand Ducal Music
Conductor of Weymar. Gotze is retiring from work, and your friend
Stor undertakes his post as First Music Conductor. Damrosch, your
successor, has composed a quite remarkable Violin Concerto with a
Polonaise Finale, with which you will be pleased.

Recall me most kindly to your wife's remembrance, as one who
remains ever

Yours in all affection and devotion,

F. Liszt

Weymar, December 7th, 1857



191. To Capellmeister Max Seifriz At Lowenberg

[Autograph in the possession of Herr Alexander Meyer Cohn in
Berlin. The addressee (1827-85) was, after 1854, conductor to
Prince Hohenzollern-Hechingen at Lowenberg in Silesia, until the
latter's death in 1869, when he became Court Conductor in
Stuttgart.]

Dear Herr Capellmeister,

With my very best thanks for your friendly letter I send you,
according to your wish, the score of the "Prometheus" choruses.
For the present I am not requiring it, and send it you with great
pleasure, so that you may be able to read it through at your
ease. I fear, alas! that the difficulty of some of the intonation
in the first choruses may make the studying of it a rather
detailed matter to you. Such irksomeness unfortunately attaches
to all my works, not excepting the Ave Maria, which I might
nevertheless venture to recommend to you next, if you have any
intention of performing a vocal work of my composition. It was
published by Breitkopf & Hartel (score and parts), and has been
pretty favorably received at various performances of it.

I wrote yesterday to His Royal Highness, and expressed my special
thanks for the kind attention in inviting Herr von Bulow during
my stay at L. I rejoice immensely at the thought of these days,
in which musical matter will by no means be wanting to us.
Meanwhile remember me most kindly to your orchestra, which
preserves so well its high renown, and accept, my dear sir, the
assurance of high esteem with which I remain

Yours in all friendship,

F. Liszt

Weymar, December 24th, 1857

In the early part of April you shall hear when I am coming to
Lowenberg.



192. To Alexander Seroff

My dear Sir,

By what I said in the Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik, [1858, No. 1,
in the article "Oulibicheff and Seroff."] on New Year's Day, of
your remarkable articles on Oulibicheff, you will have seen to
what point I take your ideas into consideration, and how closely
we meet in our musical convictions. To the sincere eulogies which
I have had much pleasure in addressing to you in public, it
remains to me to add those which I owe you for the conscientious
work that you have had the kindness to communicate to me by
sending me the pianoforte score of Beethoven's Quartet in C sharp
minor. Without the least exaggeration, I don't think anything of
its kind could have been better done, as much on account of the
intelligent division of the parts between the two pianos, as by
the skill with which you have appropriated to the piano the style
of this Quartet, without forcing or disfiguring anything.

In this latter task there are without doubt some impossibilities
which one cannot fail to recognize, and, whatever effort we may
make, we shall never succeed in rendering on our instrument
either the intensity or the delicacy of the violin bow. In the
same manner the coloring, and the fine nuances of the violin,
viola, and violoncello will always escape us--but in spite of
this it is due to you in justice to recognize that your work
identifies itself as far as possible with the sentiment and
thought of the original, and that you have frequently succeeded
in supplementing the poverty and defects inherent in such an
arrangement.

About six weeks ago I sent your manuscript to Mr. Schott, the
editor, at Mainz, recommending him to publish your arrangement.
Up to the present time I have received no reply, which, however,
seems to me a good sign. As soon as ever I hear his determination
I will let you know. Possibly in the course of the summer you
will find a few weeks' leisure to make a journey into these parts
and to bring us the complete collection of your arrangements of
Beethoven's latter instrumental works. In that case let me beg of
you, my dear sir, not to forget me, and to rest assured
beforehand of the lively interest that I shall take in your work,
which it would be doubly interesting to me to go through with
you. Bearing in mind the original, we should probably find,
between us, some details to modify previous to a definite
publication.

For today allow me to thank you once more, my dear sir, very
cordially for having associated me in thought with your beautiful
work, and pray accept the expression of very sincere and
affectionate regard of

Yours very truly,

F. Liszt

Weymar, January 8th, 1858



193. To Basil von Engelhardt

[A very intelligent musical amateur, a friend of Glinka's, and
publisher of several of his works]

Sir,

Whilst giving you my very sincere thanks for so kindly sending me
the Glinka scores published by your friends, I am much pleased to
be able at the same time to inform you that the Capriccio on the
melody of the "Jota Aragonese" has just been performed (on New
Year's Day) at a grand Court concert with most complete success.
Even at the rehearsal the intelligent musicians whom I am proud
to count among the members of our orchestra had been both struck
and delighted by the lively and piquant originality of this
charming piece, so delicately cut and proportioned, and finished
with such taste and art! What delicious episodes, cleverly joined
to the principal subject (Letters A and B)! What fine nuances and
coloring divided among the different timbres of the orchestration
(Letters C to D)! What animation in the rhythmic movement from
one end to the other! How the happiest surprises spring
constantly out of the logical developments! and how everything is
in its right place, keeping the mind constantly on the watch,
caressing and tickling the ear by turns, without a single moment


 


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