Letters of Franz Liszt, Volume 2: "From Rome to the End"
Franz Liszt; letters collected by La Mara and translated

Part 4 out of 10

Germany this winter I cordially invite you to stay a little at
Weimar, in order that we may thoroughly get to know each other.

Pray receive, sir, the assurance of my sentiments of esteem and
very distinguished regard.

F. Liszt

Rome, December 29th, 1868


82. To Commerzienrath Carl Bechstein in Berlin

[Head of the famous pianoforte-manufactory; our "Beflugler," as
Bulow and Tausig called him (A play on the word Flugel, which
means both a "grand piano" and "wings.")]

Very Dear Sir,

Accept a seven-octaved chromatic scale of thanks for your
kindness in sending your magnificent piano for the Grand-Ducal
Hofgartnerei in Weimar. I hope you will on some occasion allow me
to have the pleasure of convincing you, de visu et audaitu, how
glorious the instrument looks and sounds here.

According to report we are shortly to see Tausig again in Weimar.
Tell him he may be sure of a hearty welcome from me.

With sincere esteem and grateful thanks I remain

Yours most sincerely

F. Liszt

Weimar, January 19th, 1869

P.S.--Enclosed are a few lines for Tausig, which kindly forward
to him.

83. To Johann von Herbeck

Very Dear Friend,

Fraulein Ehnn's amiable readiness to undertake the part has
greatly pleased me, and I beg you to convey my sincerest thanks
to our "Elizabeth." The part will not cost her any immoderate
effort; all possible alterations, pauses, dotted notes,
ornamentations, shall be left ad libitum and entirely to the
pleasure of the gracious singer. Do not write to me further on
this subject, and endeavor merely to get Fraulein Ehnn to feel
herself comfortably and pleasantly at home with my poor tone-

Friend Remenyi, whom I do not need now to introduce to you, will
be the bearer of these lines to you. He has delighted and
captivated every one here, the Court as well as the public, and
this is verily no small matter, for in Weimar we are accustomed
to the most distinguished violin-virtuosos. I requested him to
tell you how grateful I feel to you for your idea of a concert of
Liszt's compositions.

But, in order to avoid every appearance of indiscretion or
forwardness, I consider it well and advisable to keep exclusively
to the Elizbeth on this occasion.

Hold fast, therefore, to two points:

a. all parts of the Elizabeth to be filled by native talent.
b. Critics to be worried only with this one work.

[At the performance of the Elizabeth in the "ausserordentlichen
Gesellschafts-Concert" (Company's special concert) on April 4th,
1869, Liszt met with a genuine triumph. Herbeck writes: "After
every number, and at the end of every part, there was no end to
the calls for Liszt." The performance was repeated on April 11th,
and received with even greater enthusiasm.]

I have also requested Remenyi to ask you about the apartments I
shall require. My stay in Vienna will be limited to eight or ten
days, which I should like to spend in as quiet and peaceable a
way as possible, and not within the circle of disturbing

With sincere esteem and friendly attachment yours,

F. Liszt

Weimar, January 27th, 1869

84. To E. Repos

Dear Sir and Friend,

A thousand sincere thanks for the kind zeal and love that you
bestow upon the publication of my poor works. In order that the
edition of the "Requiem" may be entirely correct, I will beg you
to send me again proofs of the "Offertoire," "Sanctus" and "Agnus
Dei," either to Weimar before the 18th March, or to Vienna from
the 25th March to the 12th April. My address in Vienna is c/o Mr.
Herbeck, Court conductor, etc., etc. Graben, Trattnerhof. Vienna.

I shall spend two or three days at Ratisbon towards the middle of
April, in order to hear the Cathedral choir there, which has a
great reputation in Germany. There also I shall find a manuscript
of the highest interest, and one which up to now has been almost
unknown: it is the opus musicum magnum of Orlandus Lassus. It is
composed of more than five hundred pieces of music.

Are you in touch with Mr. Pustet, the most considerable publisher
of religious music at Ratisbon?--

Your visit to Rome will be extremely agreeable to me. I expect to
be back at the end of April and to pass the summer at Santa
Francesca Romana.

Your very affectionately devoted

F. Liszt

Weimar, March 3rd, 1869

Probably I shall profit by your kind proposition, and shall send
you shortly a Mass (for 4 voices, with a simple Organ

85. To Laura Kahrer, in Vienna

[Now married to Concertmeister Rappoldi in Dresden, and one of
the lady-professors at the Conservatoire there. The above note,
which was accompanied by a silver pen for composing, Liszt sent
her after having been present at her first public appearance at a
charity-concert in the Royal Opera House in Vienna. In 1870 she
became a pupil of his in Weimar, and was soon considered one of
the most distinguished lady-pianists; since 1879 she has enjoyed
the title of Kammervirtuosin (Court pianist) of Saxony.]

Dear and astounding Artiste,

Accept this small remembrance of the hour when your extraordinary
talent so joyfully surprised me, and be assured of the sincere
and friendly devotion of yours,

F. Liszt

Vienna, April 15th, 1869

86. To Franz Servais

[Composer; conducted the Wagner performances in the Theater de la
Monnaie, Brussels, in 1890-91.]

Dear Monsieur Franz,

The sincere pleasure caused me by your letter, which reached me
at Pest at the end of April, is completed by the one you have
addressed to me here. I am delighted to hear that my prophecy has
been realised and that you enjoyed yourself at Munich. At this
time you would not find anywhere else an ensemble of ideas,
works, acts and instruction so suited to your artist-nature, and,
consequently, so favorable to the full development of your fine
powers. Thanks to M. de Bulow and his prodigious activity, on a
par with his intelligence, Munich is becoming the new musical
capital of Germany. You will therefore do well to stay some time
there, in order vigorously to prepare yourself for the task which
has devolved on you elsewhere.

Perhaps I may see you again this summer, for if, as announced,
"Rheingold" is performed there on the 25th August I shall come to

Meanwhile I thank you for having so well listened to the
"Elizabeth"; that is a presage to me that we shall meet more than
once on the same path, in which I wish you the most complete
success. .--.

Believe, dear Monsieur Franz, in my very devoted affection.

F. Liszt

Rome May 21st, 1869

87. To William Mason

Rome, May 26th, 1869

Dear Mr. Mason,

Mr. Seward has given me your kind letter and several of your
compositions. These give me a double pleasure in that they prove
that you have not lost your time at Weimar, and that you continue
to make good use of it elsewhere.

The Etude de Concert (Op. 9) and the Valse Caprice (Op. 17) are
of a distinguished style and make a good effect. I shall also
sincerely praise the 3 Preludes (Op. 8) and the two Ballades, but
with some reservation. The first Ballade appears to me somewhat
cut short; it wants I know not what at the beginning and towards
the middle (page 7) of something needed to make the melody stand
out; and the pastorale of the 2nd Ballade (page 7) figures like a
too-cheap piece of "padding."... And, since I am in the vein for
criticising, let me ask why you call your "Ah! vous dirai-je,
Maman"--"Caprice grotesque?" Apart from the fact that the
grotesque style should not intrude into music, that title is
unjust to the clever imitations and harmonies of the piece, very
charming by the way, and which it would be more suitable to
entitle "Divertissement" or "Variazione scherzose."--

As to the Methode, you won't expect me to make a deep study of
that. I am much too old for such a thing, and it is only in self-
defence that I still work sometimes at the piano in view of the
incessant botherations and indiscretions of a heap of people who
imagine that nothing would be more flattering to me than to amuse

Nevertheless, in looking through your Methode I find some
exercises much to be recommended, namely, the "interlocking
passages" page 136 to 142;--and all the "accentual treatment" of
Exercises. [The italics (here in quotations) in this sentence are
written in English and in italics by Liszt.]

May your pupils and the editor obtain from them all the profit
that I wish them!

A thousand thanks, dear Mr. Mason, and count on my very
affectionate and devoted sentiments of old.

F. Liszt

88. To the Composer Heinrich Schulz-Beuthen

[Printed in Gottschalg's "Chorgesang," 1890.--Schulz-Beuthen was
born in 1838.]

Very dear Sir,

That you have dedicated your 42nd and 43rd Psalms to me I feel to
be an honor in the artistic sense, for which I am sincerely
grateful. It is long since any new composition has given me the
impression of intellectual strength and musical completeness such
as I find in yours. And this work stands even above eminent
compositions of the kind. It appears to me even more fully
rounded, pregnant and powerful than your 29th Psalm, which I
justly recognised as a distinguished work upon first reading it
through. The grand impression produced by your 29th Psalm on the
occasion of the Tonkunstler-Versammlung in Dessau confirmed my
predictions, and I am convinced that wherever the 42nd and 43rd
Psalms are heard every person with any depth of soul will feel
their sublime beauty, and offer you something more valuable than
mere ordinary applause. Do not look for word-making from me; I
never knew much about it, and I can still less try my hand at it
now in my old age. But allow me, very dear sir, to tell you quite
frankly and briefly this:--

You must not hold yourself aloof and at a distance; your splendid
works must be performed, printed and circulated. And although--
owing to the idle and impudent chatter of many leaders of the
press--my influence in musical matters has been reduced to a
minimum, still I hope shortly to arrange a performance of your
Psalms in one or two places.

With sincere esteem I remain yours very truly,

F. Liszt

Weimar, June 18th, 1869

89. To Franz Servais

Dear Monsieur Franz,

.--. Although older than you, yet my enthusiasm for "Tristan" is
not second to yours.--I am delighted that the performance has
come off so well, but I should not wish this marvellous chef-
d'oeuvre to become for you a sort of upas tree under the shadow
of which you would go to sleep.--Great manifestations of genius
ought to do the part of the sun,--to illuminate and fertilise.

Believe in my sentiments of devoted affection.

F. Liszt

Rome, July 4th, 1869

90. To Madame Jessie Laussot

Dear Maestra,

I do not know why the name of Boccherini always recalls to me the
valley of Tempe. There could be nothing more flattering and more
salutary for me than to be admitted into so fortunate an abode,
and you have certainly made the stroke of a Maestra in
introducing me there (a little bit in a contraband way!).--I hope
Mr. Delatre will be kind enough to send me under cover the first
number of the paper containing La Mara's article [The Liszt-
sketch from the first vol. of the "Musakalischen Studienkopfe,"
which the authoress had translated into Italian.]; directly
afterwards I will subscribe to the Boccherini, so that I may get
the whole of the biography regularly.

A thousand thanks for your intelligent solicitude; I entirely
approve of the word tedesco being left out on the title-page;
"tradotto dall' Autore" is evidently the better indication, and I
guarantee you that the authoress will be perfectly satisfied and
will add her thanks to mine, without thinking of making the
slightest observation or difficulty about anything whatever. When
you are passing through Leipzig I will make you acquainted with
my very amiable panegyrist.

I am certainly intending to be present at the first performance
of "Rheingold," announced for the 25th August; but I doubt
whether they will be in a position to give this work so soon. Mr.
de Bulow absolutely must take some rest after the Conservatoire
examinations; the Servais are pressing him much to settle down
with them for the months of August and September at Hal (in
Belgium); I want him to accept their invitation, and he will, I
hope, decide to do so. Now without him "Rheingold" at Munich
seems to me at least problematical. I will let you have positive
tidings, which I myself shall receive shortly. Please tell me
where to address you.

I have set to work again, and with the exception of the fortnight
at Munich, in honor of "Rheingold," I shall remain here, or else
in the neighborhood, until next spring.

Sgambati kisses your hands. Pinelli is at the baths of Lucca,
where Buonamici [Giuseppe Buonamici, pupil of Liszt and Bulow,
now one of the most celebrated pianists of Italy. Lives at
Florence] will probably join him.

Very cordially yours,

F. L.

I will write two words of thanks to Delatre and beg you to give
me his address.

In your walks at St. Gall make my salutations to the concert room
in which were heard, some 10 or 12 years ago, the "Symphonie
Heroique" conducted by Wagner, and two Symphonie Poems, conducted
by your very humble servant. Szadrowski was at that time
conductor at St. Gall; since then he is settled in the Grisons
(at Graubunden); if you should go that way do not fail to see
him; I recommend him to you as one of our friends.

Rome, July 16th, 1869

91. To Camille Saint-Saens in Paris.

[The celebrated French composer, pianist and organist (born in
Paris 1835) was, as is well known, in sympathy with the New
German School, and fosters, amongst others, the genre of
"Symphonic Poems" made known by Liszt.]

Very honored Friend,

Your kind letter promised me several of your compositions; I have
been expecting them, and, while waiting, I want to thank you
again for your second Concerto, which I greatly applaud. The form
of it is new and very happy; the interest of the three portions
goes on increasing, and you take into just account the effect of
the pianist without sacrificing anything of the ideas of the
composer, which is an essential rule in this class of work.

At the very outset the prelude on the pedal G is striking and
imposing: after a very happy inspiration you do wisely to
reproduce it at the end of the first movement and to accompany it
this time with some chords. Among the things which particularly
please me I note: the chromatic progression (last line of the
prelude) and that which alternates between the piano and
orchestra (from the last bar of page 5--repeated then by the
piano alone, page 15); the arrangement of thirds and sixths in
demisemiquavers, charmingly sonorous, pages 8 and 9, which opens
superbly on the entry of the subject fortissimo; the piquant

[Figure: Musical score excerpt of the rhythm in 6/8]

of the second subject of the Allegro scherzando, page 25.
Possibly this would have gained somewhat by more combination and
development, either of the principal subject or of some secondary
subject; for instance, a little anodyne counterpoint, it seems to
me, would not be out of place on pages 26, 27. etc., etc., and so
on. Item for pages 50 to 54, in which the simple breadth of the
period with the holding on of the accompaniment chords leaves
rather a void; I should like there to be some incidence and
polyphonic entanglement, as the Germanic Polyphemuses say. Pardon
me this detailed remark, dear Monsieur Saint-Saens, which I only
venture to make while assuring you in all sincerity that the
total of your work pleases me singularly. I played it again the
day before yesterday to Sgambati, of whom Plante [Francis Plante
(born 1839), the exquisitely refined Pianist] will speak to you,
as of an artist above the common run and even more than
ordinarily distingue. He will let the public hear your Concerto
next winter, which ought to meet with success in every country.

When is the performance of the "Timbre" ["Le timbre d'argent"
(the silver bell), an Opera] to be? I wish it to give you
abundantly all the satisfaction that you deserve, and shall only
regret that I cannot be present at the performance of it. At my
age the role of young composer is no longer suitable--and there
would not be any other for me at Paris, as I cannot continue
indefinitely that of an old disabled pianist. Thus I have
judiciously made up my mind not to trouble myself about my
compositions any further than the writing of them, without in the
least thinking of spreading them. Supposing that they have any
value it will always be found out soon enough either during my
life or afterwards. The sympathy of my friends (a very well
chosen sympathy, I flatter myself) amply suffices me; the rest of
the world may talk in its own way. As to the "Elizabeth" I do not
think it is adapted to the Parisian taste. I am moreover very
tired of that score through the performances at the Wartburg,
Pest and Vienna; and the difficult task of a suitable French
translation, plus the rehearsals with a set of artists little
disposed to take trouble, frightens me. I much prefer to employ
my time in a manner less ungrateful and more agreeable;
consequently I shall not put out anybody in Paris, which I shall
not visit; and invite you to come and see me in Rome. Here, dear
Monsieur St. Saens, we can talk and musiquer [make music] at our
ease. Try and procure me this great pleasure soon, and believe
fully in my sentiments of high esteem and devoted affection.

F. Liszt

Rome, July 19th, 1869

92. To Camille Saint-Saens

Very honored Friend,

At last your compositions have come, and I spent all yesterday in
their amiable society.

Let us speak first of the Mass: this is a capital, grand,
beautiful, admirable work--so good that, among contemporary works
of the same kind, I know perhaps of none so striking by the
elevation of the sentiment, the religious character, the
sustained, adequate, vigorous style and consummate mastery. It is
like a magnificent Gothic Cathedral in which Bach would conduct
his orchestra!

After having read your score three times I am so thoroughly
imbued with it that I venture to risk a few remarks.

In the Gloria one should, I think, preserve the literal text
entire: "Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam."--
Consequently add four or five bars.

At the beginning of the Sanctus it would be better to continue
the voices, and to complete by them the sense of the orchestra;
similarly it would be advantageous to interlace, by means of an
alto solo, the text of the Benedictus (which you have omitted) to
the Organ melody, pages 77 and 78 after the Hosanna, as well as
to add the chorus to the final phrase of the "Dona nobis pacem,"
pages 88 and 89.

You will find all these small matters carefully noted down on
your score, which I will venture to return to you, begging you to
let me have it back again soon, for I must possess this
extraordinary work, which has its place between Bach and

Bear with one more liturgical question, and, in addition, a
proposition boldly practical in the Kyrie, the spire of your
Cathedral. The inspiration and structure of it are certainly
admirable..."omnia excelsa tua et fluctus tui super me
transierunt." Nevertheless, during these 300 bars, about, of a
slow and almost continuous movement, do you not lose sight of the
celebrant, who is obliged to remain standing motionless at the
altar? Do you not expose him to commit the sin of impatience
directly after he has said the confiteor?...Will not the composer
be reproached with having given way to his genius rather than to
the requirements of the worship?

In order to obviate these unpleasant conjunctures it would be
necessary for you to resign yourself to an enormous sacrifice as
an artist, namely, to cut out 18 pages! (for church performance
only, for these 18 pages should be preserved in the edition to
your greater honor as a musician, and it would suffice to
indicate the "cut" ad libitum, as I have done in several places
in the score of the Gran Mass).

Sacrifice, then, 18 pages as I said, and put the "Christe
eleison" on page 6, instead of the "Kyrie eleison,"

[Here, Liszt illustrates with a 3-bar musical excerpt at the
point where the words "Chri-------------ste e-le------" are

concluding pp on page l0. From the musical point of view
exclusively, I should blush to make such a proposition; but it is
necessary to keep peace, especially in the Church, where one must
learn to subordinate one's self in mind and deed. Art, there,
should be only a correlative matter, and should tend to the most
perfect concomitance possible with the rite.

Be assured, dear Monsieur Saint-Saens, of the sentiments of high
esteem and great sympathy which I entertain towards you.

Your very devoted

F. Liszt

Rome, August 4th, 1869

93. To Madame Jessie Laussot

I have had to write a great many notes this last week. Pardon me
for being so late in thanking you for your friendly lines, and
kindly tell Mademoiselle Alexandrine Ritter how sincerely I feel
for her in her affliction. Her mother expressed in a rare degree
and in her whole personality the high and sweet dignity of the
human soul. Respect attached itself to her naturally,--and she
inspired the noble serenity of it.

In a few days a little surprise will reach you in the form of an
"Ave Maria" written for the Cherubim Society, and dedicated to
the society's dear Maestra. However simple these few bars may be
(in which there is not a single repetition of a word, nor
ornamenting of any kind) I hope they will not be unpleasing to
you, and I beg you to play them in the form of a prayer for

Your very affectionate

F. Liszt

Rome, October 7th, 1869

In acknowledging the receipt of the "Ave Maria" tell me when you
expect Bulow, of whom I have had no tidings since Munich.

Sgambati returned here last week.

94. To Dr. Ludwig Nohl

[The well-known writer on musical subjects (1831-1885)]

Dear Friend,

Let my best thanks for your letter be, to take it to heart--and
to comply with it. Meanwhile this much is certain--that we shall
see each other in Weimar next May, and that at the Tonkunstler-
Versammlung there you will officiate as the worthy biographer of

In spite of too modest a remark in your letter I am convinced
that you are peculiarly well qualified for thoroughly grasping,
and making others comprehend, the question of the "more modern
style of Art." Proofs of this have been gathered recently from
all the admirable things you have said in your brochure on
Wagner; for instance, in regard to the "refined, firm and proud
position held by Music," its "most expressive physiognomy," and
"that spirit of love which Music has created for itself"--and
also, if you will allow me such presumption in contrast to your
modesty, on p. 63, where you say, "The logos alone regulates the
thought and gives life to the risings and fallings of the poetic

Sic vos non vobis--

Innumerable interruptions prevent my beginning the Beethoven
Cantata today. But I have at last secured quiet: I shall remain
all the winter at the Villa d'Este (3 or 4 hours out of Rome),
and take care that I do not lose an immoderate amount of time.

With sincerest thanks and in all friendliness yours,

Villa d'Este, November 17th, 1869

F. Liszt

95. To the Princess Caroline Sayn-Wittgenstein

[According to the Weimarer Zeitung it was printed as follows,
fragmentarily, in the Leipziger Tageblatt of December 6th, 1888.]

November 27th, 1869.

.--. The death of Overbeck reminds me of my own. I wish, and
urgently entreat and command, that my burial may take place
without show, and be as simple and economical as possible. I
protest against a burial such as Rossini's was, and even against
any sort of invitation for friends and acquaintances to assemble
as was done at Overbeck's interment. Let there be no pomp, no
music, no procession in my honor, no superfluous illuminations,
or any kind of oration. Let my body be buried, not in a church,
but in some cemetery, and let it not be removed from that grave
to any other. I will not have any other place for my body than
the cemetery in use in the place where I die, nor any other
religious ceremony than a quiet Mass in the Parish Church (not
any kind of Requiem to be sung). The inscription on my tomb might
be: "Et habitabunt recti cum vultu suo.".--.

96. To Franz Servais

Your kind letter has given me very sincere pleasure, dear
Monsieur Franz. I hope your health is quite re-established, and
that you are plunging into Bach to your heart's content,--that
admirable chalybeate spring! I will bear you company, and have
given myself, for a Christmas present, the little 8vo edition of
Peters of the two "Passions," Masses and Cantatas of Bach, whom
one might designate as the St. Thomas Aquinas of music. Kahnt,
who sends me these scores, tells me of his earnest desire to get
Cornelius settled at Leipzig, in the position of editor-in-chief
of the Neue Zeitschrift, founded, as you know, by Schumann, and
bravely carried on by Brendel. It is the sole paper which has,
for thirty years past, sustained with steadfastness, knowledge
and consistency the works and the men of musical progress. If, as
I wish, Cornelius undertakes Brendel's task, I think you would do
well to follow out your project of staying again in Leipzig.--In
any case I hope to see you again this spring at Weimar; I shall
arrive there towards the middle of April, and shall stay till the
end of June. During the winter I shall abstain from all
travelling, and shall not leave my retreat at the Villa d'Este
except to stay a few days in Rome. Many people have very kindly
invited me to go to Paris; I have excused myself from doing so
for reasons of expediency which you know. Henceforth it is not
myself that I have to bring forward, but simply to continue to
write in perfect tranquillity and with a free mind. To do this
obliges me to seclude myself, to avoid the salons, the half-
opened pianos and the society drudgery imposed by the large
towns, where I very easily feel myself out of place.

Thank you cordially for your propaganda of the "Missa Choralis;"
I shall be much obliged if you will write me a couple of words
after the performance. Will you also please tell M. Brassin that
I thank him much for not having been afraid of compromising his
success as a virtuoso by choosing my Concerto? Up to the present
time all the best-known French pianists--with the exception of
Saint-Saens--have not ventured to play anything of mine except
transcriptions, my own compositions being necessarily considered
absurd and insupportable. People know pretty well what to think
by what they hear said, without any need of hearing the works.

How did the orchestra go with the piano in the Concerto? Had they
taken care to have enough rehearsals? There are several passages
that require minute care; the modulations are abrupt, and the
variety of the movements is somewhat disconcerting for the
conductor. And, in addition to this, the traitor triangle (proh
pudor!) [Oh shame!], however excited he may be to strike strong
with his cunning little rhythm, marked pianissimo, provokes the
most scandalous catastrophe...

Notwithstanding all the regrettable parleying, for in such a
matter all sensible people ought to be of the same opinion, I
presume that Mr. Godebski's bust of Chopin will shortly be placed
in the lobby of the theater at Warsaw. Certainly Chopin well
merits this mark of honor, which moreover need in no wise prevent
people from busying themselves about a larger monument to
Lemberg, and from collecting a sufficient sum for that purpose.

At Weimar we will talk of Hal and the pleasure it will be to me
to pay you a visit there. Pray present my respectful thanks to
your mother, and my affectionate remembrances to Madame
Godebski,--and believe me, dear Monsieur Franz, your sincere

F. Liszt

Villa d'este, December 20th, 1869

(Address always Rome.)

97. To Dr. Franz Witt in Ratisbon

[Like all the subsequent letters to Dr. Witt, this letter is
without date or ending, as printed in Walter's biography of Witt
(Ratisbon, Pustet, 1889).--Dr. Witt (1834-80) was a distinguished
musical scholar, also a composer, the founder and first general
president of the Cacilien-Verein [St. Cecilia Society], and died
as a clergyman in Landshut.]

[Rome, towards the end of 1869.]

Very Dear Sir and Friend,

Before I had the honor of knowing you personally the manuscript
of your "Litaniae lauretanae" aroused in me sincere interest and
religious sympathy towards you. This first impression is now
increased by my deeper knowledge of the substantial value of your
compositions and my fuller appreciation of the great services you
have rendered to Church Music. That you act as admirably in
practice as in precept is evident in other of your works, but
especially in the Mass and the Te Deum which were performed here
on the Emperor of Austria's name-day in the Church of the Anima
under the leadership of our dear friend Haberl [On the 4th
October, 1869] Both of these works are of rare value--and, what
is still more rare, both are equally devoted to Art and the
Church. The "Litaniae lauretanae" breathes also a spirit of
nobility of soul, and diffuses its pleasant aroma notwithstanding
the necessary musical limitation. The collective character of the
invocations shows uniformity; and yet the lines of melody are
very finely drawn; especially touching to me is

[Here, Liszt writes a 2-bar musical excerpt where the words "Sa--
lus infirmo---rum Refugium peccatorum, Conso-la-trix afllicto---
rum" are sung]

My hearty thanks for the dedication, my very dear friend; it
brings me justifiable and joyful pride, which your own
exaggerated modesty should dispel.--Next summer I will again come
to you for a few days on my way to Szegzard (Hungary), where my
Mass for male voices (2nd very much corrected edition,--now
published by Repos, Paris) is to be performed. A few months after
my visit you will I hope receive most satisfactory news (through
Haberl) about the Cacilien-Verein [Haberl had endeavored, through
the intervention of the Bishops assembled in Council in Rome, to
obtain the Pope's approbation of the Cacilien-Verein, and his
efforts met with success.], to which, in fullest conviction, I
remain firmly attached--as well as to its much esteemed

98. To Prof. Dr. Siegmund Lebert

Dear Friend,

The proofs of Weber's and Schubert's Sonatas were despatched to
Stuttgart in two parcels by rail the day before yesterday. This
is the cheapest and quickest way of sending things, and I beg of
you in future to send parcels in this way, as packages sent by
spediteur come slowly and cost a great deal. N.B.--The parcels
must not be too thick, and must have the address written on the
wrapper. As soon as you send me the D minor Sonata, that is still
wanting, and Weber's Conzertstuck, I will revise them at once;
ere long you will receive Schubert's Impromptus, Valses, etc.

My endeavor with this work is to avoid all quibbling and
pretentiousness, and to make the edition a practical one for
teachers and players. And for this reason at the very last I
added a goodly amount of fingering and pedal marks; kindly get
the printers to excuse this, and I trust that the trouble it
causes will not prove superfluous.--With regard to the deceptive
Termpo rubato, I have settled the matter provisionally in a brief
note (in the finale of Weber's A flat major Sonata); other
occurrences of the rubato may be left to the taste and momentary
feeling of gifted players. A metronomical performance is
certainly tiresome and nonsensical; time and rhythm must be
adapted to and identified with the melody, the harmony, the
accent and the poetry...But how indicate all this? I shudder at
the thought of it.

Also kindly excuse me from writing a preface, and write it
yourself, dear friend. For you know exactly what I should wish to
say, and you would say it much more clearly than I could, for my
very small amount of pedagogism is, for the most part, confined
to the words of St. Paul: Littera occidit, spiritus vivificat!

Your success delights without surprising me. It is only what
ought to be, that Lebert and Stark's Pianoforte Method should
meet with general acceptance, and that the Stuttgart
Conservatoire should continue to prosper. Both of these points of
merit I took the opportunity of mentioning with due honor to H.M.
the Queen of Wurtemberg--on the occasion of her visit to the
Villa d'Este here.

Best thanks for sending the Bach Fugue, the 2 Etudes (separate
edition) and the last volume of the Method, which I found to
contain many, to me, new and praiseworthy items, among others the
Etudes of Hiller and Brahms.

Ever, in all friendship, yours

F. Liszt

Villa d'Este, January l0th, 1870

I shall remain here till the end of April, and then go direct to

99. To C. F. Kahnt, the Music Publisher

Dear Friend,

The life's object of the Neue Zeitschrift remains firmly to stand
by the colors of Rheingold and the Nibelungen, and unfailingly to
represent the interests of the Deutsche Musikverein. This
embraces all essential consequences for us.

At the end of next week I will send you the piano-forte score of
the Beethoven Cantata, and write full particulars to Riedel.

By the middle of April I hope to reach Weimar. Best thanks for
sending the Ave maris stella--and in all friendliness I remain

F. Liszt

Rome, February 14th, 1870

100. To Herr Gille, councillor of justice

Dear Friend,

The best thing I have to tell you today is that we shall soon see
each other again. At the beginning of April I shall visit Bulow
in Florence, and then go direct to Weimar.

Last week I had a correspondence with Riedel about matters of the
Tonkunstler-Versammhung. The most important points are as
follows:--The utmost economy that is possible to making a
perfectly suitable orchestra and chorus. The spaces at our
disposal in Weimar (churches, theater and refreshment room) will
not allow of any great expenditure as regards the personnel. It
is to be hoped that Muller-Hartung can obtain a respectable
contingent for the Beethoven Mass, which will lessen the number
of outside co-operators; and I in like manner reckon chiefly on
the Weimar Vocal Union for the more important numbers of the
concert programme-Psalm by Schulz-Beuthen, Prometheus by Saint-
Saens, my Beethoven Cantata, etc. The arrangement of the
orchestra is to be as it was at the Carl August Festival and at
the Tonkunstler-Versammlung of '61--10 first violins, 6 to 7
double basses, etc. Riedel conducts Beethoven's Mass; Lassen the
concerts in the theater; and Muller-Hartung my Cantata.
Conzertmeister David and Director Hellmesberger will preside over
the 1st violins. Both gentlemen will also determine about the
performance of the Beethoven Quartet. Any other special violin
virtuoso would be superfluous this time. Riedel must arrange the
distribution of the solo parts of the Beethoven Mass according as
he thinks best. Milde only requires, in my Cantata,

"Dieser Brave sei verpflichtet
Das zu thun, was wir gedichtet."

["May this brave one be constrained
That to do which we ordained."]

(Schober, 49. Goethe-Feier.)

I flatter myself, by-the-bye, that Milde will also find a
pleasure in the "Sternen-Cantabile"--

[Here, Liszt illustrates with a musical score excerpt where the
words "Viel tau-send hal-ten nach-tig" ("Vide the accompanying
page") are sung. It contained the Cantabile in question for Milde
from Liszt's Beethoven Cantata.]

Riedel asks me who shall play the pianoforte?

If our meeting were at Jena I should decidedly invite Bulow to do
it; he is the veritable Beethoven player and interpreter, the one
who knows and who can do [Kenner und Konner]; but unfortunately
the shades of Dingelstedt and Gutzkow warn him from Weimar's

Meanwhile there is no hurry about the choice of a pianist (he or
she). Only arrange the principal things in a suitable manner, the
chorus, orchestra, solo singers and the Beethoven Quartet; all
the rest will soon be arranged after my arrival at Weimar in the
middle of April.

Yours most faithfully,

F. Liszt

Villa d'Este, February 26th, 1870

The piano arrangement of my Cantata must be written out again,
and cannot therefore be sent off for 8 or 10 days. The entire
work lasts about three-quarters of an hour. I am so far ready
with it, that there are only two or three more passages to be

101. To the Baroness E. M. Schwartz in Crete

[Autograph in the Liszt Museum at Weimar.--The addressee was
widely known as the writer Elpis Melena.]

My winter villeggiatura at the Villa d'Este is drawing to its
close; the day after tomorrow I return to Rome, and when you
receive these lines I shall be at Weimar. Address to me there
till the middle of June.

When will your Cretan volume, crowned [Untranslatable pun on the
words "cretois" and "crete."] with erudition and philhellenism,
be finished? Shall you return this summer for its publication? I
hope you will, and I will confess to you without any compliments
that you are among the very small number of my friends whose
absence I feel to be a privation. Now, to accustom one's self to
this kind of privation does not become easier with age.

You doubtless know the novel of your great historical friend,
published now by the "Gaulois" (if I am not mistaken) under the
title "La Domination du Moine" (or "Clelia.") I question whether
another of your friends--less historical although very
distinguished--M. St. Rene Taillandier, recently appointed
Secretary General to the Minister of Public Instruction, would
subscribe to many copies of G.'s novel for the Imperial
libraries; but he will have a fine opportunity of ministerial
revenge when the biographer of the hero of l'unita italiana (not
the "cattolica," relegated to Turin) brings out "la Crete," in
which the Cretans will at last be relieved from the anathema of
their Epimenides narrated in St. Paul's Epistle to Titus,--
"Cretenses semper mendaces, malae bestiae, ventres pigri."--In
the matter of "mendaces" and "ventres pagri" there would be a
tremendous competition with the rest of Europe.

My plans for the spring and summer remain always the same.
Weimar--from the 10th April till the 20th June--with the
Tonkunstler-Versammlung (which has the honor of counting you
amongst its illustrious members); then in the last week of May I
should be very much tempted to be present at the famous "Passion
Play" at Ober-Ammergau; at the end of August I shall go to my odd
friend August at Szegzard (Hungary), who is anxious that a new
Mass of mine should be performed on the day of the dedication of
a church (29th September); and in October I shall return to Rome.

I suppose you receive the Allgemeine Zeitung. It gives but too
much news, and little edifying, about serious things here by its
"Roman Letters," no less widespread than badly put together. If
you want to obtain complete information on these difficult
questions you must read l' Univers and the letters of Veuillot,
or at least l'Unita cattolica; but it would be exacting too much
from your impartiality. Moreover you have better things to do
than to read; your chief duty is to make yourself read,
consequently to write and to write again;--in a secondary manner
occupy yourself a little with your beautiful vines, and, above
all, don't forget to bring soon some samples of their excellent
product, which will enliven our material and intellectual
"substantials," at which, hoping to participate again in the year
of grace 1870, I am,

Your very affectionate and very devoted servant,

F. Liszt

Villa d'Este, March 15th, 1870

As handy gossip I send you the following: they say that Odo
Russet [sic] will shortly go to England for his wife's
confinement, and will not return to his post in Rome. It is also
said that Schlozer will pay a visit here in the spring;--and that
the daughter of Countess Garcia is to marry a nephew of Cardinal
Antonelli, and will bring a fortune of ten thousand pounds

Tarnowski will return to his Penates in Gallicia at Easter, and
will write to you. Wider continues to be president of the German
circle. Next door to one another, there are many concerts given
at the Sala Dante, and our friend Sgambati is acquiring more and
more the reputation of a great artist, which he merits. Remenyi
spent the winter in Hungary. I should very much like to invite
him to come to the Tonkunstler-Versammlung at Weimar; but our
programme is already over-full. In any case I shall meet Rem.
again at Szegzard.

102. To Camille Saint-Saens

Dear Friend,

The rehearsals of your "Noces de Promethee" (Marriage of
Prometheus) are proceeding well at Weimar and Jena; we shall pay
particular attention to the 4 harps, the saxophones, etc. But
what is of the greatest consequence is yourself. I have announced
your coming at the Court and in the town. A revoir then! Try to
be here on the 24th, [Saint-Saens came to Weimar for the
Tonkunstler-Versammlung of the "Allgemeine Deutsche Musik-
Verein," with which the Beethoven Centenary was simultaneously
celebrated; and for the first time, on the 27th May, 1870, Saint-
Saens' name appeared on the programme of these concerts. He also
appeared as a pianist, and Liszt played with him at a Matinee on
two grand pianos.]--and believe me yours ever in sincere

F. Liszt

Weimar, May 12th, 1870

103. To Johann von Herbeck

Very dear friend,

Being perfectly convinced of your genuine friendship I am quite
willing to follow the instructions you will briefly give me
concerning the Beethoven Festival [For the benefit of the
Beethoven Memorial. It took place in Vienna on the 18th March,
1877. Liszt played the E-major Concerto and the pianoforte
Fantasia (with chorus), and accompanied the Scotch songs sung by
Caroline Bettelheim.] in Vienna. Whether, and in what way, I may
be able to take part in it will be decided when we have discussed
the subject. Meanwhile I most modestly determine to consider
myself unusable. [There is here a play on the word bescheiden,
the German being ich bescheide mich bescheidenst, which is

About the beginning of August I shall pay you a visit in Vienna,
whence my road leads onwards to Szegzard. My earlier halting
points will be: 3rd July, Leipzig--performance of my Missa
choralis; 13th and 17th July, "Rheingold" and the "Walkure" in
Munich; and after that the Passion Play at Oberammergau.

The favorable reception accorded to the Coronation Mass [By
Liszt] is essentially due to your having conducted it. My best
thanks for this. The score is to be printed shortly, and I must
ask you to hand over to the publisher Schuberth the manuscript
which I gave you in Munich last summer. Schuberth is going to
Vienna in a few weeks.

With sincerest esteem, I remain your ever gratefully devoted

F. Liszt

Weimar, June 20th, 1870

104. To Sophie Menter

[The favorite and most distinguished of Liszt's lady-pupils, of
whom he wrote to Navratil on 29th September, 1881, that he had
"for many years past regarded her as the most brilliant and
accomplished of the lady-pianists of the day." Since 1874 she has
held the appointment of Court pianist at the Imperial Court of

Dear and Very Honored One,

A telegram from Abranyi informs me that an invitation, addressed
to Capellmeister O.B. in Salzburg, has already been sent to you
to ask you to take part in the Sangerfest in Pest. Hence, after
having triumphantly played in the Mozarteum on the 18th, your
triumphs are to be continued forthwith in Pest on the 20th. Baron
Augusz and your humble servant expect you there from the 19th.
Kindly let me know (per telegram) by which train you will arrive,
and--a few days afterwards--my rigidly adhered-to plan of
carrying you off to Szegzard shall be brilliantly fulfilled.
Here in this house you will find rest, comfort, friendly sympathy
and harmless affability, and, in addition, music too, and that
not of the worst kind, for we shall arrange it ourselves.

Your sincerely attached and devoted

F. Liszt

Szegzard, August 11th, 1870

105. To Sophie Menter

Your hearty and humorous little note closes delightfully with the
promise that you are soon coming to Szegzard. You will not find
here any vestige of all the artistic enjoyments and glories of
the Mozarteum; the whole symphonic contingent of Szegzard is
limited to half a dozen gypsies with instruments out of tune and
harmonising in pell mell fashion one with the other; the choruses
are free and performed in the open air, namely: soprano and alto-
-flocks of geese; tenor and bass--cattle;--so that a conductor
like O.B. would have nothing further to do than to pose as a
mythological figure...

Nevertheless I promise you, dear kind patroness, many pleasant
and befitting things in this restful, genial and refined home of
our mutual friend Baron Augusz.

You will be most heartily welcome to us all--especially to your
most sincerely attached

F. Liszt

Szegzard, August 29th, 1870

Between the middle and the end of September Remenyi, Mosonyi and
Mihalovich will be staying here.

106. To Kornel von Abranyi in Budapest

[Autograph in the possession of Herr E. von Mihalovich in
Budapest.--The addressee was a musician, writer and critic

Dear Friend,

The death of Mosonyi puts our hearts in mourning. [Michael
Mosonyi, the friend of Liszt, and to whose sudden death the
latter here refers, was famous in Hungary as a composer, teacher
and author.] It makes us sorrow also for Music in Hungary, of
which Mosonyi was one of the noblest, most valiant and
praiseworthy representatives. One might be proud of walking side
by side with him in the right road. In truth his name had not its
due eclat and renown abroad; but he did not trouble himself the
least about that, and possibly he did not even take enough
trouble about it,--as much by wisdom as by contempt of equivocal
and vulgar means, which were repugnant to the elevated rectitude
of his soul. He felt what esteem was due to him, and thought of
nothing but real glory; that which is attained by conscientious
perseverance in the Good and the Beautiful.

Let us honor his memory by setting ourselves to make his examples
and teaching bear further fruit!--

Many of the published compositions of Mosonyi deserve to be more
and better known; others, still in manuscript,--his last great
dramatic work "Almos" in particular--will soon be spread abroad,
I hope.

We will talk about this shortly at Pest. For today I wish merely
to share with some friend, such as yourself, dear Abranyi, the
grief at the loss which we have sustained. Yours from my heart,

F. Liszt

Szegzard, November 2nd, 1870

107. To Sophie Menter

Dear Patroness,

Your dear little notes joyfully alarm the whole household. All
beg you urgently to come as soon as possible, and I all the more
urgently as I have to go to Vienna at the end of April.

Your bewitching description of the "Ambrosia-Concerto" makes me
most inquisitive: be sure not to forget to bring the tremendous
manuscript with you; we will arrange an historically memorable
performance of it in the salon of the Town-Vicarage.

Hearty greetings, and in all friendliness yours,

F. Listz

Pest, March 22nd, 1871.

In musical matters as follows: this evening and Friday concerts
by Remenyi; next Sunday and on the Wednesday before Easter
Philharmonic concerts;--in between a grand concert at the Musik
Academie of Ofen, and on Good Friday a performance of the Stabat
Mater, etc., etc.

Our programme shall be arranged here, forthwith, by word of
mouth, at any quarter of an hour that my dear patroness Sophie
may feel disposed to appoint.

108. To Edmund von Mihalovich in Budapest

[Composer of several operas and large orchestral works (born
1842), now director of the Music Academy in Budapest.]

.--. Augusz, in his last letter, speaks of fresh proposals on the
subject of my settling in Hungary. I answer him, as before, that
I am quite disposed to show myself accommodating, devoted,
useful, obedient and grateful. The only condition that I make
relative to my return to Pest next winter is--a place to live in;
for, on the one hand, the modesty of my income forbids me to
increase my expenses, and, on the other hand, politeness demands,
as it seems to me, that if they seriously want me they will also
show me that they do, by sparing me the onerous trouble of having
to find a home. On the four occasions on which I have stayed at
Pest since 1865 Schwendtner has shown me the utmost and most
cordial hospitality. I feel a most true gratitude to him, but
should be afraid of showing it ill by taking too great advantage
of his kindness to me.

.--. Mme. de Moukhanoft [The cultivated musical friend of Liszt
and Wagner, to whom the latter dedicated his "Judenthum in der
Musik," whilst Liszt dedicated an Elegic to her memory] writes,
"Has Mihalovich received my letter of tender invectives and
entreaties to make him come to Weimar?"

It will be difficult to persuade her that walks on the shore at
Ostend ought to be preferable to the charm of the talks on the
"Goethe Platz," and even at the "Erb-Prinz," which she will again
favor with her presence towards the middle of June, I hope.
Tausig also promises me to spend a fortnight here.

Mlle. Brandt sang several songs admirably yesterday morning at
the "Hofgartnerei" I shall accompany her in yours tomorrow.

Yours in cordial friendship,

F. Liszt

Weimar, May 29th, 1871

Till the end of June address--Weimar.

109. To Marie Lipsius

Dear and kindest Biographer,

Again an excellent suggestion; follow it without hesitation and
present us ere long with a pleasantly powerful and characteristic
portrait of Tausig. [Liszt's great pupil (born in 1841) had died
in Leipzig on the 17th July, 187l.] In what year of the fifties
his father brought him to Weimar, I do not now recollect; but I
do remember how greatly astonished I was at his extraordinary
talent when I first heard him play. The intellectual claws and
pinions were already giving signs of mighty power in the youth
who was scarcely 14 years of age, and somewhat delicate in
appearance. I felt some compunction in undertaking to give him
further instruction, determined not to undertake the task, and
therefore informed the father that in the case of such a
stupendous organisation the wisest plan was to leave it free,
independent development without a teacher. However Tausig
insisted upon remaining with me. He studied immoderately; as a
rule kept very much to himself while in Weimar, and got into
various little scrapes in consequence of his quick, ironical
humor. I was accused of being over-indulgent with him, and of
thus spoiling him; but I really could not have acted otherwise,
and I loved him with all my heart. On various occasions when I
had to undertake short journeys in connection with the
performances of my works he accompanied me; among other places to
Dresden, Prague and Vienna. Subsequently he lived in Vienna for
some length of time, and got up some concerts there with the view
of having some Symphonic Poems performed which he himself
conducted--but he was unable to get a proper start. He had to
struggle on and to endure many privations before attaining the
success he deserved. His brilliant vocation did not become firmly
established till a few years ago, in Berlin, Leipzig, etc.

In the spring of '69 I met Tausig in Paris (after the
"Tannhauser" scandal), and returned with him to Weimar for the
Tonkunstler-Versammlung. Bulow conducted the Faust Symphony by
heart (at the rehearsals most accurately mentioning the
letters!), and Tausig played the A major Concerto marvellously.
Since then I have seen him only twice: last May at the
Tonkunstler-Versammlung in Weimar (where he played Beethoven's E-
flat major Concerto) and now...

Countess Krokow could give you the most reliable information
about him, and our friend R. Pohl may also be of use to you in
your work. As far as I know, no one has understood Tausig's
genius, his demoniacally ideal nature, with so quick a
perception, so refined and--I might say--with such womanly
intuition, as Frau von Moukhanoff (nee Countess Nesselrode).
Unfortunately the two letters in which she wrote me full
particulars about Tausig are in Rome. Tausig dedicated his two
lately published Etudes, Op. 1, to her, and she was ever a highly
appreciative and kindly patroness of his. Remember to mention her
specially in your delineation of his character.

Of Tausig's publications those chiefly deserving the highest
praise are his masterly transcriptions of the Beethoven Quartets,
the Toccata and Fugue of Bach (D minor), Schubert's March; the
three pieces from "Tristan and Isolde," the pianoforte score of
the "Meistersinger," of the Kaisermarsch, the "Nouvelles Soirees
de Vienne" and his two last original Etudes. Recommend also, for
the good of pianists, and as a very saleable work, an early
publication of his very admirable and well-sustained arrangement
of Chopin's first Concerto (E Minor).

Accept the expression of my sincere esteem and gratitude.

F. Listz

Schloss Wilhelmsthal, Sunday, July 23rd, 1871.

In the middle of this week I return to Weimar and remain there
till the 5th-10th of August.

110. To Franz Servais

Dear Franz,

In spite of the proverb "Every road leads to Rome" I shall not be
able to return there by way of Hal this time. Will you give my
very affectionate respects to your mother and tell her how much I
regret to be unable to be present, except in thought, at the
beautiful family fete at the time of the inauguration of the
monument to your father, on the 10th September.--Shall you not
invite the Prince de Chimay (the present governor of Mons, I
believe)? He would have a right there owing to his sincere
interest for Art and his very distinguished musical talent.

I am persuaded that Lassen will express in noble music the
inspiration of this fete intended to perpetuate the memory of an
illustrious and sympathetic artist. But however successful may be
his composition, it does not absolve you from yours, which filial
affection demands of you and will dictate to you. Write it
without delay, and afterwards take advantage of your leisure at
Hal to fulfil the praiseworthy programme indicated in your

a. To work hard at the Piano.

b. To help towards your independence by making yourself capable
of cutting a good figure as conductor.

c. To venture on the performance of your "Macbeth" sorceries and
other of your compositions, with the reservation of not hearing
yourself immediately proclaimed king by the sorcerers of

Shall you make your appearance at the composition competition
next year? I invite you to do so.

You know that H. Richter has been appointed conductor to the
National Theater of Pest, and will conduct "Lohengrin" there at
the end of September. He will find, I trust, honor and
satisfaction in more firmly implanting in his country the sublime
works of Wagner, and in making the orchestra, the stage and the
public profit by the exemplary rules and practices of M. de Bulow
at Munich. Needless to say that I shall endeavor to make
Richter's task as easy as possible to him.

Count Tyszkiewicz, in passing lately through Weimar, was kind
enough to explain to me his new system of musical mathematics,
and to show me his tables of figures honored with commendatory
letters from Mr. Gevaert and several notabilities. If, by means
of his figures and measures, Tysz. succeeds, as you claim for
him, in demonstrating that X...is a "pyramid," this will be a
more pyramidal glory even than the system.

Next Thursday I go to Eichstatt (Bavaria), where the (German) St.
Cecilia Society meets. Its founder and president F. Witt--a much
respected ecclesiastic, conductor of the Cathedral, composer and
editor of two newspapers of sacred music published by Pustet at
Ratisbon--gives evidence of a great capacity and a persevering
zeal in endeavoring seriously to improve the uses and customs of
Church music, and, by continuous publications, to propagate the
old works of repute as well as the new ones of this class that
are deserving of recommendation.--A pamphlet by Witt, which
appeared in the spring, "uber das Dirigiren der Kirchenmusik"
["about the conducting of Church music"], corrects some grievous
errors and furnishes much profitable instruction.

I shall be much obliged if you will send me a printed account of
your fete of the 10th September; on that day I shall be in Rome,
and shall not return thence till toward the end of October, to
settle at Pest for the winter.

Remember me most kindly to your brother Joseph, [The excellent
Violoncellist Joseph Servais, who died in 1885 at the age of 35]
to Godebski and his wife, and believe, dear Franz, in my
steadfast feelings of devoted affection.

F. Liszt

Wilhelmsthal, August 25th, 1871

Address Rome, Santa Francesca Romana, Campo Vaccino.

What are Joseph's and your plans for the winter?

111. To Walter Bache

Dear Mr. Bache,

Your kind remembrance of the 22nd October has given me sincere
pleasure, for which I thank you cordially. Please excuse me for
not telling you oftener by letter my constant feelings of
affection for you; the hindrance of occupations and cares drives
me, alas! into an extreme parsimony as regards letter writing
with my best friends, but I think that is my only omission
towards them. To see M. de Bulow again was a real joy to me. His
health is improving, and his prodigious maestria at its height.
He is going to make a concert tour this winter in Vienna, Pest,
Prague, Berlin, etc., and will come to London in May. I hope that
the people there will be able to appreciate his superiority in
its entirety. Bulow, more than any contemporary artist, takes the
lead in celebrity. He is not only a very great virtuoso and
musician, but also a veritable sovereign of music. Mme. Laussot,
who has the genius of nobility of the heart, also came to fete me
on Sunday. I shall see her again at Florence in a fortnight, on
my way to Pest, where, as you know, I am henceforth fixed, by
royal and national favor. Whether there or at Weimar, I hope we
shall meet again next summer, dear Bache, in perfect harmony.

Your very cordially affectionate and devoted

F. Liszt

Rome, October 25th, 1871

Bravo and thanks for your concert programmes, which I beg you to
continue sending me.

112. To Marie Lipsius

Dear Patroness,

To your .--. sketch of Tausig only a single objection could be
raised; namely, that you bestow too high praise upon me. Pardon
me if I cannot argue about it, and accept my cordial thanks for
this new tribute of your generous kindness.

Last Sunday (22nd October) I had the great pleasure of a visit
from Bulow. He is going to remain in Florence till the New Year,
and he then begins a categorical concert tour in Vienna, Pest,
Prague, Berlin, Leipzig, and at the end of April goes to London.
His perfect mastery as a virtuoso--in the finest sense of the
word--is in its zenith. To him one might apply Dante's words: "A
master to those who know."

Again my hearty thanks, and wishing you an increase of La Mara's
.--. writings, I remain with much esteem,

Yours very sincerely,

F. Listz

Rome, October 25th, 1871.

In a fortnight's time I travel to Pest.

113. To Breitkopf and Hartel

Dear Sirs,

In order justly to decide the question of plagiarism between
Messrs. Altschul and Joseffy, [Both were pupils of Liszt; the
former is now in Buda-Pest, the latter in New York.] one would
need first of all to compare the manuscripts of the two
disputants. Altschul was kind enough last winter to play me his
version in thirds and sixths of Chopin's "Valse" (in D-flat
major); the other, questionable, version by Joseffy I do not
know. If you think it advisable to send me both versions I am
quite ready to let you have my opinion on the subject. Meanwhile
I will only remark that the multifarious forms of passages in
thirds and sixths--upwards, downwards, to the right, to the left,
or crossing, split up, etc., etc.--admit of a variety of forms of
transcription in thirds and sixths of the Chopin Valse, and hence
Herr Joseffy might quite innocently, in his love of sport as a
virtuoso, have shot down his own bird even within Herr Altschul's

But whether two birds existed must be proved by the "corpus

With highest esteem I remain, dear sirs,

Most truly yours,

F. Liszt

Buda-Pest, November 22nd, 1871. (Palatingasse 20.)

P.S.--Herewith is my yearly contribution to the "Bach-

Allow me to reply, later on, to your kind inquiry in regard to a
pianoforte piece.

114. To Madame A. Rubinstein in St. Petersburg


Your talent of observation is as incontestable as your very
charming amiability. With a sagacious eye you observed my
predilection for the silent "compatriot," apparently rather
sombre, but of excellent composition at bottom. [A box of
caviare, which Madame Rubinstein had sent to Liszt.] Doubtless
the advantages which appertain to it in its own right were
peculiarly enhanced by the charm of your salon, where I hope to
see it again and often. Meanwhile, since you are good enough to
favor me with its uninterrupted company, I beg to assure you that
I shall appreciate it even beyond its specific merits, which are
moreover very real. Will you be so good as to renew to Rubinstein
the expression of my old and admiring friendship, and accept,
Madame, the most affectionate thanks and respects of your very
devoted servant,

F. Liszt

Pest, Tuesday, January 9th, 1872

115. To Edmund von Mihalovich

Very Dear Friend,

Your new Song "Du bist wie eine Blume" ["Thou'rt like a tender
flower"] is most welcome, and you have succeeded perfectly with
it. It only remains to add a ninth to this No. 8, so that the
volume may contain the number of the Muses. I hope that you will
shortly bring me this No. 9 yourself, for we want you at the
Tonkunstler-Versammlung (also the ninth), which will be held at
Cassel from the 26th to the 30th June. Your "Geisterschiff"
figures on the programme of the first concert, and Riedel (our
President) will write to you officially to invite you to fill the
post of pilot and captain of your "phantom ship," in other words,
to conduct the orchestra. At the same concert Volkmann's Overture
"Richard III.," Raff's "Waldsymphonie," Rubinstein's Overture to
"Faust" and a new Violin Concerto of Raff will be performed.
Wilhelmj will play the violin part, and I hope that other
soloists of renown will also lend us their assistance. The
programme of this year's Tonkunstler-Versammlung contains,
besides these, a new old piece of goods--the "Elizabeth;" and an
antiquated new one--"The Seven Words of O[ur]. S[aviour].,
composed by Schutz at the end of the sixteenth century, and the
manuscript of which was recently discovered at Cassel itself.

The "Elizabeth" will be given at Erfurt on the 2nd May, and on
the 8th Riedel gives Berlioz's "Requiem" at Leipzig, for the
benefit of our "Beethoven Scholarship." It goes without saying
that I shall be present at these two performances.

.--. Schuberth has been very ill at New York, and is not yet
sufficiently well to set out on his journey. I am expecting him
here towards the middle of June: he will come to Cassel, where we
will settle the little matter of your manuscripts in five

Yours in all friendship,

F. Liszt

Weimar, April 18th, 1872

My most affectionate thanks to Count Albert Apponyi for his kind
remembrance, with the assurance of my cordial reciprocity.

P.S.--Augusz would give me great pleasure if he would send me a
small provision of Hungarian tobacco (to smoke), for my old
Weimar friend Grosse, the celebrated Trombonist.

Shall you not go to Bayreuth for the 22nd May? I shall invite you
to do so.

116. To Johanna Wenzel

[The lady here addressed was a pupil of Liszt's at the time, and
subsequently married Jules Zarembski, and is at present one of
the teachers of the pianoforte at the Brussels Conservatoire.]

My Dear Young Lady,

In reply to your friendly lines I beg of you earnestly no longer
to think of having the barbarous operation performed upon your
fingers; rather all your life long play every octave and chord
wrong than commit such a mad attack upon your hands.

With best thanks, I subscribe myself yours respectfully,

F. Liszt

Weimar, June l0th, 1872

117. To Wilhelm von Lenz

Very Honored Friend,

I owe you thanks in the 24 major and minor keys for the
remembrance you keep of me, and the ardent style in which you
publish it to the world. Your pamphlet ["Die grossen Pianoforte-
Virtuosen unsrer Zeit" The Great Pianoforte Players of our Day.]
draws down upon itself a capital reproach; it is that you make me
out too grand and too fine. I am far from deserving it, and I
confess it without any false modesty; but since you have been
pleased thus to overwhelm me I can but bow in silence,--and press
your hand.

No one possesses less than myself the talent of talking with the
pen, and the necessity of receiving more than a hundred letters a
month (not counting bills, and the numerous sendings of
manuscript or printed works which I have to read) makes
correspondence again more than difficult for me. It is all I can
do to get through the necessary epistolary work imposed upon
me...Moreover the greater part of the things which are easily
said is indifferent to me, and those that I wish to say resist
ordinary language. On this subject some one well said to me:

"Words seem to me to intercept feeling rather than to express it;
and actions, alas! seem to me sometimes like a thick veil thrown
over our soul: looks even seem to be trammelled by phantom
barriers, and souls which seek one another across the sufferings
of life only find one another--such is my belief--in prayer and
in music."--

What wit, what sallies and what brilliant sparks in your "Quartet
of Pianist Virtuosi!"--Don't let us forget the etymology of the
word "Virtuoso," how it comes from the "Cicerone" in Rome--and
let us reascend to Chopin, the enchanting aristocrat, the most
refined in his magic. Pascal's epigraph, "One must not get one's
nourishment from it, but use it as one would an essence," is only
appropriate to a certain extent. Let us inhale the essence, and
leave it to the druggists to make use of it. You also, I think,
exaggerate the influence which the Parisian salons exercised on
Chopin. His soul was not in the least affected by them, and his
work as an artist remains transparent, marvellous, ethereal, and
of an incomparable genius--quite outside the errors of a school
and the silly trifling of a salon. He is akin to the angel and
the fairy; more than this, he sets in motion the heroic string
which has nowhere else vibrated with so much grandeur, passion
and fresh energy as in his "Polonaises," which you brilliantly
designate as "Pindaric Hymns of Victory."

No need to tell you that I fully share in your admiration and
sympathy for Tausig and Henselt. Do you know Wagner's epigraph
"Fur Carl Tausig's Grab"?

"Reif sein zum Sterben, Des Lebens zogernd spriessende Frucht
Fruh reif sic erwerben, In Lenzes jaherbluhender Flucht--War es
dein Loos, war es dein Wagen: Wir mussen dein Loos wie dein Wagen

[For Carl Tausig's Grave:--"Ripe for Death's harvest, The fruits
of life long tarrying, Full early to pluck them In the fleeting
bloom of spring--Was it thy lot, was it thy bourn? Thy lot and
thy destiny both must we mourn."]

Allow me to be particularly grateful to you for one very
comprehensive expression in your pamphlet (page 4)--"es war
thematisch" [it was thematic]--and accept, dear Lenz, the
expression of my old and very cordial devotion.

F. Liszt

Weimar, September 20th, 1872

In three weeks I return to Hungary, and shall stay there for the
winter. The remainder of my existence will be divided henceforth
between Pest and Weimar. When you return to Berlin (in the
summer) I invite you to come this way. Are you in touch with the
musical young Russia and its very notable leaders--Messrs.
Balakireff, Cui, and Rimski-Korsakoff? I have lately read several
of their works; they deserve attention, praise and propagation.

118. To Otto Lessmann in Charlottenburg

[Lessmann, a pupil of Bulow's and F. Kiel's, was at one time a
teacher in Tausig's School for the Higher Instruction in
Pianoforte Playing, and is now well known as editor of the
Allgemeine (deutsche) Musikseitung, representing the party of
musical progress with energy and success.]

Very Dear Sir and Friend,

My best thanks for presenting me with your admirable edition of
Bach's "Preludes." Such works are among the pleasant signs of the
musical Present; inasmuch as they will drive away the old jog-
trot style of pianoforte playing. Bulow's edition of Beethoven
outweighs in the matter of instruction a dozen Conservatoires.
And the editions by Kroll and Lebert also deserve praise and
ought to be widely circulated; and to your Bach Preludes I wish
plentiful successors in the "Suites," "Inventions" and
"Variations" (especially the 30 in G major) of grand old Herr
Johann Sebastian--of Eisenach.

Allow me also to add that reading over your Songs enables me more
and more thoroughly to enjoy them when I hear them--intelligent
singers shall be found for them--and accept, dear friend, the
expression of my sincere esteem and affection.

F. Liszt

Eisenach, September 26th, 1872

119. To Eduard von Liszt

Horpacs, November 6th, 1872

Dearest Eduard,

My stay here has been somewhat prolonged, and I shall not reach
Pest till next Sunday.

Szechenyi's [Count Szechenyi was Austrian ambassador in Berlin up
to 1892.] residence here is most decidedly pleasant and
convenient, without noise. In the chapel attached to the house,
the house-chaplain (a cultured and estimable priest) daily reads
Mass. At table an old house-physician, Dr. M., contributes a good
deal to the entertainment. Among other amusing things he said one
day: "As to the cholera, no one knows anything definite about it
yet except myself, for I have fathomed its nature. And its nature
consists solely and wholly...of nothing but cholera!"

The day before yesterday we drove with Szechenyi and Mihalovich
to Raiding, [Liszt's birthplace.] in less than two hours. A Herr
Wittgenstein (probably an Israelite), who lives in Vienna, now
rents this Esterhazy estate, and sublets it again. I found no
perceptible changes in the house where I was born since my last
visit there 24 years ago. The peasants recognised me at once,
came to pay me their respects at the inn, and rang the church
bell as we drove away.

.--. I wrote to Kahnt from here that he was to send you
immediately the 9 "Kirchen-Chorgesange" and my Mass for men's
voices ("Editio nova").

The three Patronatsscheine [tickets of membership] for the
Nibelung performance in Bayreuth (Bayern. N.B.--The King has
commanded that henceforth Baiern [Bavaria] shall be spelt with a
y), and your letter to Herr Feustel, please attend to without

All cordial greetings to you and yours--from your faithfully

F. Liszt

Augusz I shall meet in Pest-Ofen.

Give Bosendorfer my friendly greetings, and at the same time tell
him how I praise the excellent piano upon which I have been
practising a little here.

If Zumbusch goes to Vienna, commission him--as we arranged--to
make a bust of me in marble and a pedestal for Bosendorfer.

120. To Princess Caroline Sayn-Wittgenstein

[Printed by "order" in the Signale, 1873 (after the death of
Napoleon), in which form the letter is reproduced here, as the
original could not be procured. This letter does not indeed show
us Liszt as a far-sighted politician, but simply as a man of
noble impulses.]

Pest, January 10th, 1873

Napoleon III. is dead! A great soul, an all-embracing
intelligence, experienced in the wisdom of life, a gentle and
noble character--with a disastrous fate! He was a bound and
gagged Caesar, but still closely related to the Divine Caesar who
was the ideal embodiment of earthly power. In the year 1861, when
I had a pretty long interview with Napoleon, he said, "Sometimes
it seems to me as if I were over a hundred years old." I replied,
"You are the century yourself, Sire!"--And, in fact, I honestly
believed at the time, and do so still, that Napoleon's reign was
the one most in keeping with the requirements and advances of our
era. He has set noble examples, and accomplished or undertaken
great deeds: amnesties which were more complete under him than
under other governments; the protection of the Church in Rome and
in other countries; the rejuvenescence of Paris and other great
cities in France; the Crimean war and the Italian war; the great
Paris Exhibition, and the rise of local exhibitions; the earnest
attention paid to the lot and to the interests of the country
people, and of the working classes; the generosity and
encouragement to scholars and artists,--all these things are
historical facts, and are things in which the Emperor took the
initiative, and which he carried out in spite of all the
difficulties that stood in his way.

These things will not be eclipsed by the misfortunes that befell
him, however terrible these may have been, and, on the day of
judgment, France will fetch the coffin of Napoleon III. and place
it in all honor beside that of Napoleon I. It can be affirmed
without adulation that throughout life the Emperor unswervingly
practised those great virtues which are in reality one and the
same thing and are known by the names of benevolence, goodness,
generosity, nobility of mind, love of splendor and munificence.
One of the fine traits of his character that he is acknowledged
to have possessed, was his never-failing kindheartedness and his
deep gratitude towards those persons who had ever done him a
service. In all humility and lowliness of spirit I will imitate
him in this, and begin with himself by blessing his memory and
addressing my prayers for him to the God of Mercy who has so
ordered things that nations may-recover from their wounds. .--.

121. To Eduard von Liszt

Dearest Eduard,

Long since you ought to have heard from me...However, I have not
been altogether idle, and during the last weeks have been busy
blackening some sheets of music paper which you shall see in
print and hear me play. Bosendorfer heard some of it last night,
and will bring you word about it to Pest. Be good enough to pay
Zumbusch a visit, and beg him to have my bust done in good
marble, and to have it finished and ready by the 2nd April
(Franciscus di Paula). I intend to spend this name-day of mine
with you quietly, [This was an established custom of Liszt's for
many years, and one to which--even after his cousin's death--he
adhered, and spent the day with the family up to the time of his
death.] and to take the bust to Bosendorfer "in persona."

I am told that the Gran Mass is to be performed on Easter Sunday
in Pressburg. If so, we will go there together to hear it, with
your wife, Marie [Eduard von Liszt's daughter, now Baroness Saar
in Vienna.] and Franz.

As to the Bayreuth affair, I have already told you what my wish
and will is. It must remain thus. .--.

Probably Cosima will be going to Vienna in February.

God's blessing abide with you and yours. Thine, with all my

F. Liszt

Pest, January 13th, 1873

122. To Dr. Emil Thewrewk von Ponor, Professor at the University
of Budapest.

[A classical philologist who published a little Hungarian work
entitled "Die ungarische Rhythmik," the German edition of which
was to be dedicated to Liszt. The two men differed in their
opinion respecting the origin of Hungarian music; however, in
consequence of Von Ponor's contribution to the subject, Liszt did
in the end agree with the proof Von Ponor brought forward--with
this reservation, that "the gypsies did bring harmony into
Hungarian music," a point which--Ponor thinks--"may readily be

Much-Esteemed and Dear Herr Professor,

I regret that my reply to your request about the Elizabeth-motive
can only be somewhat unsatisfactory. It was sent to me together
with some others--referring to Saint Elizabeth--about 13 years
ago, by Mosonyi and Baron Augusz, and the Hungarian text is
published in the concluding notice to the score of my Oratorio. A
copy of the "Lyra Coelestis" I did not need; probably this (to me
unknown) printed work will be readily found here, and is sure to
be in the Library of the Martinsberg monastery.

If not inconvenient to you I should be glad to receive the honor
of a visit from you; it would interest me greatly to hear of and
to become acquainted with your researches concerning Hungarian
rhythmic forms.

Meanwhile I thank you warmly for your friendly lines, and for
communicating the Volkslied in the 5/4 time:--

[Here, Liszt illustrates with a musical score excerpt]

Yours with much esteem and sincerely,

F. Liszt

Pest, January 14th, 1873

123. To Dr. Franz Witt

January 20th, 1873

Much-Esteemed Friend,

At New Year I sent you a copy of the Stabat Mater by Palestrina
"for the lecture arranged by R. Wagner." The inaccuracies and
errors of this copy I have carefully corrected, for in such a
masterly and exemplary arrangement every iota is of importance.
Wagner gave me his manuscript 18 years ago in Zurich, and forgot
afterwards where it was. As regards its publication, which is
much to be desired, it is not for me to interfere in the matter
in any way, and I beg you to come to some understanding with
Wagner about it. If he should wish to correct his old manuscript
(the paper of which has become rather yellowish) I will gladly
place it at his service.

124. To Eduard von Liszt

Dearest Eduard,

Having considered the matter about the certificate of death which
Rothschild wished to have, I shall not make use of Belloni in
connection with it. If Emile Ollivier were still in Paris it
would be his place to procure the certificate. My dear good
mother died in his house (Rue St. Guillaume, Faubourg St.
Germain) at the beginning of January 1866. He looked after her
and took tender care of her for several years; and finally had
her body taken to the Church of St. Thomas d'Aquin for the
funeral service, and followed it thence to its last resting-place
in the cemetery of Montparnasse. This noble conduct and his
speech at the grave I cherish in my innermost heart.

Since the winter of 1866 I have never been back in Paris, and my
relations with trustworthy persons there are as good as entirely
broken off. Hence I yesterday went and got good advice from
friend Augusz, and have accepted his proposal, namely, to address
a request to Count Alexander Apponyi--son of and Secretary to the
Austrian ambassador in Paris--to procure the certificate of death
of my mother and to send it to you. Let Rothschild know of this
matter, which, let us hope, will soon be satisfactorily settled.

Many thanks for the trouble you are taking about the bust by
Zumbusch, and which I very much wish personally to present to
Bosendorfer in Vienna as an Easter egg. I know I can rely wholly
upon your ever faithful and incomparable readiness to do me a

Allow me one other request, which will cost you only half an
hour's time and a visit. The visit is to an extremely
interesting, learned and distinguished man--Dr. Ambros, formerly
Imperial Solicitor-General in Prague, now professor and
referendary to the Officielle Zeitung in Vienna, always an
eminent writer on aesthetics, history, the history of music, a
polygraphist, composer--in fact, a good friend of mine. Be kind
enough to tell him that I am awaiting his answer in the
affirmative, respecting a lecture by him on Robert Franz at the
extra Soiree arranged in honor of and for the benefit of Robert
Franz; Dr. Ambros was at my request respectfully invited by Herr
Dunkl ("Firma Roszavolgyi") to give us his assistance. I take
part too as pianist, collector and arranger of the Soiree, and
hope that Dr. Ambros--who is so specially competent for the task,
owing to his eloquent and valuable treatise on Robert Franz--will
give us brilliant assistance, and give us a speech there without
talking himself out. The warmest welcome and appreciation will
await him on all sides. But obtain his kind consent as soon as
possible, together with a written yea to Dunkl (Musikverlag
Roszavolgyi, Christoph-Platz, Pest).

Heartiest greetings to your wife and children, and au revoir on
the 2nd April.


F. Liszt

Pest, January 28th, 1873

125. To Eduard von Liszt

My Dearest Friend,

Zumbusch's letter seems to me pretty comforting, and if you would
have the kindness to write to him again I hope the bust will
reach Vienna by April 1st. Have you asked what it costs? If not
do so in your next letter. Of course I do not mean to bargain
with Zumbusch (that is a thing I do only in case of dire
necessity--and even then am a bad hand at it). We must simply pay
what he asks, and leave ourselves to his friendly feelings of
moderation, which will not fail...

In spite of all your endeavors and persuasive powers Dr. Ambros
is not coming to the Robert Franz Soiree in Pest. He wrote to
Dunkl that he is unusually busy in Vienna with urgent affairs
connected with the Zeitung--and hence cannot find any time to
prepare an address--and besides this is afraid of taking cold on
the journey...To all this we can raise no remonstrance, so I must
just accept this refusal of Ambros, much as I should have liked a
different answer. Some day I will tell you the preliminaries of
this business. Last week I received from Freiherr Suttner,
President of the Vienna Singakademie and Imperial Chamberlain, an


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