The Cambridge companion to Liszt 9780521644624, 0521644623

This Companion provides an up-to-date view of the music of Franz Liszt, its contemporary context and performance practic

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The Cambridge companion to Liszt
 9780521644624, 0521644623

Table of contents :
Liszt : the Romantic artist / Katharine Ellis --
Inventing Liszt's life: early biography and autobiography / Alexander Rehding --
Liszt and the twentieth century / James Deaville --
Liszt's early and Weimar piano works / Kenneth Hamilton --
Liszt's late piano works: a survey ; Liszt's late piano works: larger forms / James M. Baker --
Liszt's piano concerti: a lost tradition / Anna Celenza --
Performing Liszt's piano music / Kenneth Hamilton --
Liszt's Lieder / Monika Hennemann --
Liszt's symphonic poems and symphonies / Reeves Shulstad --
Liszt's sacred choral music / Dolores Pesce.

Citation preview

The Cambridge Companion to Liszt This Companion provides an up-to-date view of the music of Franz Liszt, its contemporary context and performance practice, written by some of the leading specialists in the field of nineteenth-century music studies. Although a core of Liszt’s piano music has always maintained a firm hold on the repertoire, his output was so vast, influential and multi-faceted that scholarship too has taken some time to assimilate his achievement. This book offers students and music lovers some of the latest views in an accessible form. Katharine Ellis, Alexander Rehding and James Deaville present the biographical and intellectual aspects of Liszt’s legacy; Kenneth Hamilton, James Baker and Anna Celenza give a detailed account of Liszt’s piano music, including approaches to performance; Monika Hennemann discusses Liszt’s Lieder; and Reeves Shulstad and Dolores Pesce survey his orchestral and choral music. ken n et h h a m i lto n is pianist-in-residence and senior lecturer in music at the University of Birmingham, UK. A virtuoso pianist with an international reputation, he is also an authority on Liszt and has a special interest in nineteenth-century performing techniques. He is the author of the Cambridge Music handbook Liszt: Sonata in B Minor.

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The Cambridge Companion to

LISZT ............

edited by Kenneth Hamilton

c a m b r i d ge u n iver s i t y pre s s Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, S˜ao Paulo Cambridge University Press The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 2RU, UK Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York Information on this title:  C

Cambridge University Press 2005

This book is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published 2005 Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication data The Cambridge Companion to Liszt / edited by Kenneth Hamilton. p. cm. – (Cambridge companions to music) Includes bibliographical references and indexes. ISBN 0 521 62204 2 – ISBN 0 521 64462 3 (pb.) 1. Liszt, Franz, 1811–1886 – Criticism and interpretation. I. Hamilton, Kenneth, 1963– II. Series. ML410.L7C25 2004 780 .92 – dc22 [B] 2004040793 ISBN-13 978-0-521-62204-2 hardback ISBN-10 0-521-62204-2 hardback ISBN-13 978-0-521-64462-4 paperback ISBN-10 0-521-64462-3 paperback Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this book, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.


List of illustrations [page vi] Notes on contributors [vii] Preface [ix] Acknowledgements [xi] Chronology [xii] 1 Liszt: the Romantic artist Katharine Ellis [1] 2 Inventing Liszt’s life: early biography and autobiography Alexander Rehding [14] 3 Liszt and the twentieth century James Deaville [28] 4 Liszt’s early and Weimar piano works Kenneth Hamilton [57] 5 Liszt’s late piano works: a survey James M. Baker [86] 6 Liszt’s late piano works: larger forms James M. Baker [120] 7 Liszt’s piano concerti: a lost tradition Anna Celenza [152] 8 Performing Liszt’s piano music Kenneth Hamilton [171] 9 Liszt’s Lieder Monika Hennemann [192] 10 Liszt’s symphonic poems and symphonies Reeves Shulstad [206] 11 Liszt’s sacred choral music Dolores Pesce [223] Notes [249] Select bibliography [271] Index of Liszt’s musical works [272] General index [276]




1.1 Josef Danhauser, Liszt am Fl¨ugel (1840), oil. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Nationalgalerie/F.V. 42. Photo: J¨urgen Liepe [9] 7.1 ‘The Equality of Death’ from Hans Holbein’s Todtentanz [165] 7.2 Trionfo della Morte, by Orcagna [sic] (Francesco Traini or Bonamico Buffalmacco) [166] 7.3 First page of Liszt’s 1849 version of Totentanz (New York), Pierpont Morgan Library, Lehman Collection [168] Examples

2.1 5.1a 5.1b 5.2a 5.2b 5.3a 5.3b 5.4a 5.4b 5.5a 5.5b 5.6a 5.6b 5.7a 5.7b 5.8a 5.8b 8.1 10.1 10.2

Liszt, Beethoven Cantata no. 1. Andante religioso [24] Feuillet d’album No. 2, introduction [92] Elegie, ‘Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth’, introduction [92] Feuillet d’album No. 2, bars 26–30 [93] Elegie, bars 31–53 [94] Feuillet d’album, bars 64–7 [95] Elegie, bars 101–13 [95] Feuillet d’album No. 2, bar 108 to end [96] Elegie, bar 128 to end [96] Toccata, bars 1–20 [104] Toccata, bars 65–94 [105] Ungarischer Geschwindmarsch, bars 23–7 [108] Ungarischer Geschwindmarsch, bar 114 to end [108] Cs´ard´as macabre, bars 49–57 [109] Camille Saint-Sa¨ens, Danse macabre, bars 655–65 [109] Bagatelle ohne Tonart, bars 1–22 [117] Bagatelle ohne Tonart, bars 57–85 [118] R´eminiscences de Lucia di Lammermoor (Henselt Edition), bars 1–16 [180] Tasso, bars 1–7 [207] Faust, movement 1, bars 1–5 [218] Figures

5.1 Liszt, Cs´ard´as macabre, Form (harmonic functions expressed in terms of D minor) [110] 7.1 Outline of Liszt’s Totentanz [164] Tables


5.1 Franz Liszt, late music for solo piano (1869–86) [100] 7.1 Chronology of Liszt’s piano concerti and related works for piano and orchestra [155] 10.1 Prometheus: Musical analysis and relationships between the symphonic poem and the choruses [211]

Notes on contributors


James M. Baker is Professor of Music at Brown University. His current research interests include analysis and performance, chromaticism in tonal music, and tonal implication in twentieth-century music. Anna Celenza, an Associate Professor of Musicology at Michigan State University, published her first book, The Early Works of Niels W. Gade: In Search of the Poetic, in 2001. Since then she has published several articles on Liszt, the most recent appearing in 19th-Century Music, and completed the manuscript for a second book entitled Hans Christian Andersen and Music: The Nightingale Revealed. James Deaville is Associate Professor in the School of the Arts at McMaster University, Canada. He has published articles about Liszt in The Liszt Companion (Greenwood Press) and the Journal of Musicological Research, Canadian University Music Review and Notes, entries about Liszt’s New-German colleagues in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, revised edition and Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, revised edition, and has co-edited (with Michael Saffle) Analecta Lisztiana II: New Light on Liszt and His Music. Katharine Ellis is Reader in Music at Royal Holloway, University of London. She has published widely on aspects of musical culture in nineteenth-century France, including its music criticism, its performance traditions and questions of repertory and canon. She is currently finishing a monograph on the early music revival in nineteenth-century France. Recent and forthcoming articles focus on the Palestrina revival, issues in music education, and Berlioz’s critical rhetorics. Katharine Ellis is a former editor of Music & Letters and now edits the Journal of the Royal Musical Association. Kenneth Hamilton is a concert pianist and Senior Lecturer in Music at Birmingham University. His previous publications include Liszt: Sonata in B Minor (Cambridge University Press), and he has particular research and performance interests in nineteenth-century piano music and performance practice. Monika Hennemann has been a member of the Musicology Faculty at Florida State University, the German Faculty at the University of Rhode Island, and most recently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Musicology at the College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. She has written extensively on Mendelssohn and also published articles on Webern and on nineteenth-century reception history. Dolores Pesce is Professor of Music at Washington University in St Louis. Her writings on Liszt have appeared in 19th-Century Music and in Nineteenth-Century Piano Music, ed. R. Larry Todd (Schirmer, 1990). Alexander Rehding is Assistant Professor of Music at Harvard University. He is the author of Hugo Riemann and the Birth of Modern Musical Thought (2003) and co-editor of Music Theory and Natural Order from the Renaissance to the Early

viii Notes on contributors Twentieth Century (2001). He is currently working on a study of monumentality in nineteenth-century music. Reeves Shulstad is the Director of the School of Music and Assistant Professor at Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC. Her doctoral dissertation, ‘The Symbol of Genius: Franz Liszt’s Symphonic Poems and Symphonies’, an interdisciplinary study of a selection of Liszt’s orchestral works within the context of the nineteenthcentury definition of genius, will be published by Scarecrow Press, and she has presented numerous papers on topics concerning the relationship between music, philosophy and literature.



The Cambridge Companion to Liszt presents a survey and contextualisation of his music by some of the leading writers in the field. Few composers have benefited more than Liszt from the upsurge in interest in Romanticism over the last few decades, and the centenary of his death in 1986 gave extra impetus to re-evaluation of his importance. A volume such as this is very different from one that could have been written even twenty years ago. In the first place, a greater quantity of Liszt’s music is now in print. The New Liszt Edition (Editio Musica, Budapest) is gradually progressing through what must be one of the most dauntingly large work-lists of any composer, and many formerly overlooked or unpublished pieces are now easily available for study. In the second place, and at least as importantly, much more of Liszt’s music is actually being played and heard. If a central core of his achievement – mostly some piano pieces and a handful of symphonic poems – has always been in the standard repertoire, the rest has until recently remained on the periphery. Although it is still true that several masterpieces – the Gran Mass and Psalm XIII come immediately to mind – deserve much more frequent performance, artists are now including pieces on concert programmes or recordings that have hardly been heard since their creation. One pioneering project that must be mentioned specifically in this context is Leslie Howard’s astonishing achievement in committing all of Liszt’s piano music to disc (on the Hyperion label), including all significantly different versions and all available extant unpublished works. Owing to the success of this monumental undertaking, even the most obscure transcriptions or historically important ‘first attempts’, like the early versions of the Dante Sonata, need no longer be only references on a page, but can be experienced directly by any interested music-lover, however shaky or non-existent their piano technique. Gradually more of Liszt’s output in other genres is also being recorded, and this will no doubt prompt further re-evaluation of his legacy. After all, even Wagner declared that he found it virtually impossible to judge Liszt’s symphonic poems from the printed page – he needed to hear them played. Many late twentieth-century landmarks in Liszt scholarship have also made this Companion more timely, accurate and easier to write. Fair mention of all of these would take up several pages, and would certainly include work by M´aria Eckhardt and Detlef Altenburg, but only a few more general items can be cited by name here. Alan Walker’s magisterial three-volume

x Preface

study of Liszt’s life and work (New York: Knopf, 1983–96) has unearthed much new material and provided a strong stimulus for further research. His other publications, including the recent The Death of Franz Liszt (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2002), an edition of the diary of Liszt’s pupil Lina Schmalhausen, who helped to nurse the composer through his final illness, are also thought-provoking reading for Liszt specialists and enthusiasts. Michael Saffle’s essential Franz Liszt – A Guide to Research (New York: Garland, 1991, revised edition, 2004) is no doubt on every Liszt scholar’s writing-desk, as should be Adrian Williams’s splendid Portrait of Liszt by Himself and His Contemporaries (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), which gathers together a vast number of judiciously chosen and important primary sources, presented chronologically with extensive annotations. Williams’s other collection Franz Liszt: Selected Letters (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998) is scarcely less useful. Finally, Derek Watson’s perceptive and concise Liszt (London: Dent, 1989) shows that it is possible to condense a vast subject into a single volume without jeopardising either accuracy or an elegant prose style. The first three chapters of this Companion help to place Liszt in the context of his own time and of twentieth-century reception history. A chronology gives a brief run-through of the most important events of his life, but with so much fine biographical writing on the composer already existing (some of it mentioned above) there seems little need for another straightforward re-telling of a well-known saga. The chapters that follow survey the major genres of Liszt’s music, and attempt to balance range of reference with depth of discussion, always a problem with a composer like Liszt, who simply wrote so much. To the sacrificial altar have gone some of the organ music (although the most important pieces are touched upon in my chapter ‘Piano Music: Early and Weimar Periods’), the small amount of chamber music (much of which consists of arrangements of piano pieces, and the rest of which is simply not very good) and the few melodramas. Liszt’s own writings are left to speak for themselves in the quotations that abound throughout this volume. As will be obvious, all the contributors to the Companion discuss their allotted areas in their own style and in their own way. I see it as no part of an editor’s duty to impose uniformity on a subject teeming with such richness and variety.


To save Penny Souster having to read any more of this book, the first sentence is entirely devoted to singing the praises of her legendary patience as a commissioning editor, and to wishing her a long and happy retirement. I should also like to thank the copy-editor, Sue Dickinson, whose deft eye for detail has considerably improved both the layout and the readability of this volume. Music examples have been taken from: New Liszt Edition, Edito Musica Budapest, reproduced with kind permission of the publisher. Copyright permission to reproduce the Plates is gratefully acknowledged as follows: Plate 1.1, Josef Danhauser, Liszt am Fl¨ugel (1840), Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Nationalgalerie/F. V. 42, photo: J¨urgen Liepe; Plate 7.1 Hans Holbein, The Equality of Death, woodcut from Todtentanz, Library of Congress, Washington, DC; Plate 7.2, Orcagna, Trionfo della Morte, fresco, Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo, Pisa; Plate 7.3, first page of Liszt’s 1849 version of Totentanz, Piermont Morgan Library, Lehman Collection, New York.



1811 – Liszt born on 22 October in Raiding, in a largely German-speaking part of Hungary. His father, Adam Liszt, is a superintendent of sheep on the Esterhazy estates, his mother, Maria Anna Lager, is a former chambermaid. 1818 – Begins piano lessons with his father, and soon shows signs of prodigious musical talents. 1819 – Visits Vienna with his father and plays to Czerny, who agrees to accept him as a pupil. 1820 – First concerts in Oedenburg and Pressburg. After the latter a group of Hungarian noblemen offer an allowance to enable him to move to Vienna for lessons with Czerny. 1821 – Move to Vienna delayed as his father seeks permission for leave of absence from the Esterhazy estates. 1822 – The family arrive in Vienna, where Liszt takes composition lessons from Salieri, in addition to his piano studies with Czerny. His first published composition: a variation on a waltz by Diabelli. 1823 – Liszt meets Beethoven. Concerts in Vienna, Pest and several German towns. The family travel to Paris hoping to enrol Liszt in the Conservatoire there, but he is refused admission on the grounds that he is a foreigner. 1824 – Studies composition privately with Paer, and makes a successful Paris debut. Begins his association with the Erard family, who organise a tour of England for him, and their pianos. 1825 – Tours England for a second time, and gives concerts in southern France. The opera Don Sanche – written in collaboration with Paer – is premiered in Paris. 1826 – Tours France and Switzerland. Composition lessons with Reicha. Etude en douze exercises published. 1827 – Death of Liszt’s father. 1828 – First love, with his piano-pupil Caroline de Saint-Cricq. After the relationship is forcibly ended by her father, Liszt becomes depressed. He abandons public performance, and immerses himself in Romantic literature and the Catholic religion. 1829 – Teaches and reads voraciously. Nurtures thoughts of entering priesthood. 1830 – The revolution in Paris shakes Liszt out of his melancholy. Meets Berlioz, Lamartine, Hugo and Heine. 1831 – Liszt hears Paganini, and is astonished by his mastery of the violin. This spurs him to obsessive study of the technique of his own instrument. 1832 – Friendship with Chopin, whose Paris debut is made this year. 1833 – Begins relationship with Marie d’Agoult. Transcribes Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique for the piano.


xiii Chronology 1834 – Composes Harmonies po´etiques et religieuses, three Apparitions and an essay ‘On the Future of Church Music’. 1835 – Elopes with Marie d’Agoult to Switzerland, where he takes up a position teaching piano at the Geneva Conservatoire. Their first child, Blandine, is born in December. Writes essay ‘On the Position of Artists’. 1836 – Composes several opera fantasias. Returns twice to Paris, where rivalry develops with Thalberg. 1837 – Several Paris concerts, including famous ‘duel’ with Thalberg in the salon of Princess Christina Belgiojoso. Composes 12 Grandes Etudes. Travels with Marie d’Agoult to Italy, where their second child Cosima is born. 1838 – Concerts in Vienna, partly in aid of Pest flood victims. Arranges Etudes d’apr`es Paganini. 1839 – Gives first ‘musical soliloquy’ – a concert entirely without supporting artists – in Rome. Son Daniel born. Beginning of regular tours as a virtuoso. Slow decline of the relationship with d’Agoult. 1840 – Presented with Hungarian sword of honour in Pest, where he also makes his debut as a conductor. First meetings with Schumann and Wagner. Tours of Germany and England. 1841 – Feverish round of concerts, both in Britain and continental Europe. Composes fantasies on, among other operas, Don Giovanni, Norma and Robert le Diable. 1842 – Visits Russia. Given post of honorary Kapellmeister in Weimar, a position that allows him to continue his concert tours. 1843 – Debut in Breslau as an opera conductor. First songs published. 1844 – Final separation from Marie d’Agoult. 1845 – Conducts his First Beethoven Cantata at the unveiling of the Beethoven Monument in Bonn. 1846 – Tours of France, Germany and Eastern Europe. Increasing disillusionment with his virtuoso career. 1847 – Meets Princess Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, and sojourns at her Woronince estate. Soon after his trip to Constantinople, where he plays before the Sultan, Liszt abandons his concert tours to concentrate on composition. He thereafter refuses all offers of fees for public performances. 1848 – Settles in Weimar, where he is soon joined by Carolyne. Devotes most of his time to duties as Kapellmeister, and begins to work on what will later become his series of Symphonic Poems. 1849 – Conducts Tannh¨auser, and gives brief shelter to Wagner, who is fleeing Germany after the failure of the Dresden uprising. Completes Italian volume of Ann´ees de P`elerinage, and makes sketches for an opera, Sardanapale. 1850 – Composes the Fantasia and Fugue for Organ on ‘Ad nos, ad salutarem undam’, and conducts premiere of Lohengrin. 1851 – Completes several orchestral works, including Mazeppa, and makes final versions of his two sets of piano studies. Book on Chopin, and some articles, all ghost-written by Carolyne. 1852 – Conducts premiere of revised version of Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini.

xiv Chronology 1853 – Sonata in B Minor, Ballade in B Minor and Festkl¨ange completed. Brahms visits Weimar. 1854 – Finishes initial version of Faust Symphony. 1855 – Gran Mass and Psalm XIII completed. First performance of Piano Concerto in E, conducted by Berlioz with Liszt as soloist. 1856 – Completes Dante Symphony. Premieres of the Gran Mass and Hungaria. 1857 – Premieres of Piano Concerto in A Minor, Ce qu’on entend sur la montagne (final version), Sonata in B Minor, Faust Symphony, Die Ideale, Dante Symphony, H´ero¨ıde fun`ebre and Hunnenschlacht. 1858 – Hamlet completed. Following vociferous opposition to the performance of Cornelius’s Barber of Baghdad in Weimar, Liszt resigns from his post as Kapellmeister. 1859 – Writes, in collaboration with Carolyne, the book The Gypsies and their Music in Hungary. Liszt’s son Daniel dies at the age of 20. 1860 – Carolyne leaves Weimar for Rome, where she will remain for the rest of her life. Two Episodes from Lenau’s Faust composed. Liszt’s first grandchild Daniela von B¨ulow born. 1861 – First Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein festival in Weimar. Liszt’s planned marriage to Carolyne in Rome thwarted at the last minute by opposition from the Vatican. 1862 – Oratorio St Elisabeth finished. Liszt’s daughter Blandine dies after complications following the birth of her son, Daniel. 1863 – During Liszt’s stay at the monastery of the Madonna del Rosario, a visit from the Pope prompts him to think once more about a role in the Catholic church. 1864 – Sojourn at the Villa d’Este in Tivoli, which he will subsequently visit repeatedly. Trip to Paris, where he sees his mother for what will be the last time. 1865 – Premieres of Totentanz, St Elisabeth and Deux L´egendes. Liszt takes minor orders in the Catholic church. 1866 – Death of Liszt’s mother. Last meeting with Marie d’Agoult. 1867 – Premiere of Hungarian Coronation Mass. Completion of oratorio Christus. 1868 – Cosima now openly leaves her husband Hans von B¨ulow to live with Wagner, causing a breach in relations with Liszt. 1869 – Begins his ‘vie trifurqu´ee’ where he spends parts of the year respectively in Weimar, Rome and Budapest. 1870 – Cosima marries Wagner. 1871 – Estrangement from Wagner and Cosima continues. Scandal involving Liszt and his pupil Olga Janina. 1872 – Rapprochement with the Wagners. Liszt visits Bayreuth. 1873 – Premiere of Christus. 1874 – Completes The Bells of Strassburg Cathedral, and begins the oratorio St Stanislaus. 1875 – Liszt made president of the Budapest Academy of Music. 1876 – Premiere of Hamlet. Liszt present at first Bayreuth festival.

xv Chronology 1877 – Completes the third book of Ann´ees de p`elerinage. Plays Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto and Choral Fantasia at a concert in Vienna marking the fiftieth anniversary of Beethoven’s death – the young Busoni is among the audience. 1878 – Composes Via Crucis. 1879 – Ossa arida composed, and several transcriptions. 1880 – Attends various concerts of his music. Continues work fitfully on St Stanislaus. 1881 – Premiere of Second Mephisto Waltz. A fall down stairs in Weimar precipitates the decline of Liszt’s health. 1882 – Composes final symphonic poem – From the Cradle to the Grave. Attends premiere of Parsifal in Bayreuth. 1883 – Death of Wagner sends Liszt into increasing despondency. 1884 – Premiere of Salve Polonia. Attends Parsifal performances in Bayreuth. 1885 – Debussy visits Liszt in Rome. Various piano pieces composed, including completion of Hungarian Historical Portraits. 1886 – Liszt received with great enthusiasm on visit to England. Gives last concert in Luxembourg before travelling to Bayreuth, where he hears Tristan and Parsifal. Dies at Bayreuth on 31 July.

1 Liszt: the Romantic artist kat h a r i n e e l l i s

It is one of the ironies of French history that the revolution which brought with it the bourgeois king, Louis-Philippe, and a ‘middle-of-the-road’ official attitude to both culture and government policy should also have marked the beginning of the headiest decade of French Romanticism: the 1830s. Extremism and compromise coexisted in the form of several philosophies – artistic, religious and social – competing for attention. Added to which, the nature of Romanticism itself as a self-conscious movement defined as much by internal contradiction as anything else meant that living in Paris during the 1830s offered unparalleled intellectual and artistic stimulation.1 For a young man of Liszt’s intellectual curiosity such bounties were not to be scorned. The city was effectively his university.2 Salon culture was buoyant, populated by the major figures of French Romanticism: Delacroix, Sand, Vigny, Hugo, Musset, Lamartine, Berlioz, Chopin, Heine and Balzac. To this constellation of friends and acquaintances, Liszt could add his connections with Maurice Schlesinger’s Revue et Gazette musicale (a mouthpiece for German Romantic ideas in France), his enthusiasm for the Saint-Simonians and for the Liberal Catholic philosophies of the Abb´e Robert F´elicit´e Lamennais and the writer and social philosopher Pierre-Simon Ballanche. Voracious reading extended from the Bible and the writings of St Augustine and Thomas a` Kempis to Goethe, Byron, Montaigne, Voltaire, Hugo, Chateaubriand and the work of historians such as Michelet and Quinet. Liszt’s experiences of the 1830s largely defined both his outlook and his behaviour, and, consequently, the manner in which he was perceived as an artist. His openness to different ways of thinking – not all of them compatible – caused Heine to remark: ‘Heaven only knows in what philosophical stable he will find his next hobbyhorse.’3 Yet even the usually acerbic Heine tempered his comment by acknowledging the breadth of Liszt’s humanism and his ‘indefatigable thirst for enlightenment and divinity’.4 That quest had its roots in Liszt’s religious soul-searching following his father’s death in 1827, and the depression occasioned by his first major romantic disappointment – the abrupt and class-driven termination of his relationship with Caroline de Saint-Cricq by her father, Count Pierre de Saint-Cricq, in 1828. Such experiences – sometimes dismissed simply as a case of mal de Ren´e 5 – were [1]

2 Katharine Ellis

nevertheless the bedrock on which a lifelong spirituality and sense of social justice were formed. Liszt’s identification with the Romantic movement was intimately linked with his aspiration to be accepted as an artist rather than as a mere virtuoso. Acutely aware of new fracture lines within artistic criticism which led to the denigration of instrumental technique as an end rather than a means, he had to negotiate a fine line between maintaining public popularity (and thus ensuring material success) and securing the respect of those elite artists whom he admired. In the wake of Schlesinger’s excoriating attacks on the operatic fantasies and concertos of Heinrich Herz in the Revue et Gazette musicale of 1834–6, mirrored in Schumann’s Neue Zeitschrift f¨ur Musik, he suffered the ‘guilty conscience’ of a man whose overwhelming technical skill became a burden because it was too easily allied to ignoble music demanded by an undiscriminating public. In addition, he found himself trapped in the middle of a debate, sparked by enthusiasm for the notion of what we would now call musical canonicity and the Romantic cult of genius, about the ownership of great musical ‘works’ (increasingly defined as their texts), and the extent of interpreters’ freedom to adapt them for their own purposes.6 Terminology was important: as the concept of the Romantic virtuoso slid further into self-contradiction (predicated as it was on an uneasy relationship between poetry and effect, between artist and entertainer), so Liszt aspired to be a Romantic artist. This chapter, then, concentrates on the elements of that journey as they appear in Liszt’s life (and representations thereof) before his move to Weimar, with a brief coda on his continuing fidelity, even after the disillusion of failed liberal revolutions in 1848/9, to Romantic ideals of the artist’s duty to society.

The artist as alienated wanderer The brand of musical Romanticism with which Liszt had closest contact during the 1830s was that expounded in the Revue et Gazette musicale, a specialist weekly journal to which he contributed articles during his years of travel, from 1835 to 1841. Maurice Schlesinger’s journal, which included Berlioz, Wagner, Sand, Dumas and Balzac among its contributors, was intended to provide a beacon of Romantic idealism in a world tarnished by materialist concerns and the politics of compromise (though its ultimate rationale was, of course, advertisement). From the outset its contents were imbued with the spirit of E. T. A. Hoffmann, whose eccentric and undervalued kapellmeister Johannes Kreisler7 formed the prototype for several portrayals of instrumentalists and composers in short stories which Schlesinger commissioned. The theme of misunderstood genius as the precariously close neighbour of

3 The Romantic artist

insanity was almost ubiquitous. Balzac developed it in his short story Gambara of 1837, in which the composer of the title explained his predicament as a victim of his own superiority: ‘My misfortune comes from having heard the concerts of angels and having believed that men could understand them.’8 His words found a counterpart in Liszt’s open letter (published in the Revue et Gazette) from Lake Como, written in September of that year: How wretched, how truly wretched we artists are! We experience momentary flashes when we seem to have an intuitive grasp of the divine, when we can sense its presence within us, like a mystical insight, a supernatural understanding of the harmony of the universe; but as soon as we want to flesh out our sensations, to capture these evanescent flights of the soul, the vision vanishes, the god disappears, and a man is left alone with a lifeless work, one that the crowd’s gaze will quickly strip of any last illusions it held for him.9

The previous January, Liszt had written in similar terms to George Sand, the ‘poet-voyager’, calling artists ‘men who have no brothers among men, . . . children of God, . . . exiles from heaven who suffer and sing and whom the world calls “poets” ’.10 A second Lettre d’un bachelier to Sand, dated 30 April 1837, linked the idea of alienation from the world with that of the Wanderer, an image of themselves which both Liszt and Marie d’Agoult cultivated in their writings and travels: ‘It behooves an artist more than anyone else to pitch a tent only for an hour and not to build anything like a permanent residence. Isn’t he always a stranger among men? Whatever he does, wherever he goes, he always feels himself an exile.’11 In September of the same year Liszt reiterated the point by quoting lines from Goethe’s Letters from Italy, providing a self-portrait of a man ‘exiled by his own decision, wandering on purpose, knowingly imprudent, everywhere a stranger and everywhere at home’.12 In Italy and Switzerland the couple acted out a personal drama in the spirit of a Caspar David Friedrich painting, retaining the isolation of anonymity, avoiding the crowd and seeking meaning in the mystery and grandeur of the natural world. That journey helped fix many aspects of Liszt’s Romantic persona, detectable in the series of Lettres d’un bachelier which were themselves inspired by George Sand’s series of Lettres d’un voyageur. The very act of preparing essays for publication further encouraged Liszt’s propensity to reflection on matters artistic, cultural and spiritual. Moreover, whether or not we view the final texts of these letters as the work of d’Agoult, rather than Liszt, the enterprise was itself a manifestation of the metaphysical fusion of the arts which the Romantics prized so highly. Travels to Italy had a similar effect on Liszt as they did on Berlioz, inducing depression at the decadence of the contemporary operatic school and the lack of ‘serious’

4 Katharine Ellis

instrumental music, and thereby intensifying his allegiance to German music and German modes of thought. Equally, though, Liszt’s travels in Italy heightened his awareness of the country’s rich cultural heritage, especially in the graphic arts, which he now viewed in Romantic vein as more important for the underlying principles they shared with music than for the technical differences that separated them from it: Day by day my feelings and thoughts gave me a better insight into the hidden relationship that unites all works of genius. Raphael and Michelangelo increased my understanding of Mozart and Beethoven; Giovanni Pisano, Fra Beato, and Il Francia explained Allegri, Marcello, and Palestrina to me. Titian and Rossini appeared to me like twin stars shining with the same light. The Colosseum and the Campo Santo are not as foreign as one thinks to the Eroica Symphony and the Requiem [Mozart’s]. Dante has found his pictorial expression in Orcagna and Michelangelo, and someday perhaps he will find his musical expression in the Beethoven of the future.13

It was in this same spirit that French critics wrote appreciatively of Liszt’s playing: the fact that he so obviously understood the greatness of Shakespeare, Goethe, Schiller, Byron, Hugo and Hoffmann set him apart from other, unidimensional and therefore less Romantic, musicians. He was becoming that which he aspired to be: a ‘poet’.14 In this celebrated passage from the Lettre to Berlioz, he displayed a second Romantic tendency: reverence for a distant, idealised, past which collapses into the present just as different art forms collapse into one another.

Liszt and Hoffmann: the divided self For all his idealisation of painting, though, it was literature that inspired Liszt most. His request to stop at Newstead Abbey, Byron’s ancestral home, while on a British tour in 1840 is unsurprising when we read his letters of the period, in which he stresses his feelings of affinity with the poet.15 But the importance of his literary enthusiasms of the 1830s and 40s to his musical personality seems to have been all but invisible to onlookers seduced by surface impressions, not least a public demeanour and mode of behaviour which encouraged interpretations of Liszt’s own life as novelistic. Comparisons with Hoffmann’s Kreisler became inevitable; the only wonder is that they did not appear earlier. It was entirely fitting that Liszt’s debut as a literary creation should have been in a conte fantastique in which he was evoked variously as Hoffmann’s son, as Kreisler’s brother, and as a ‘tale’ of Hoffmann.16 Th´eophile de Ferri`ere’s Brand-Sachs was published in the Revue et Gazette in April and May 1836. The story centres around the idea of the Doppelg¨anger. Hoffmann

5 The Romantic artist

and a learned friend decide to create twin images: Hoffmann creates Kreisler; his friend has a son whom he brings up as a Romantic artist steeped in the reading of Hoffmann’s tales – the pianist-composer Wilhelm Brand-Sachs. In a clear reference to the death of Adam Liszt, Hoffmann’s friend dies when Brand-Sachs is aged 16, in Paris, and already the ‘finest pianist in the world’.17 Introduced as a figment of their imaginations, this phantom – ‘blond, thin, agile, [who] uttered other-worldly things about music’ – comes to embody Romanticism itself.18 De Ferri`ere portrays Brand-Sachs as an ‘extravagant’ character – ‘one of those men whose intellect and feeling have acquired immense proportions, to the detriment of common sense’.19 In a move which implicitly links this Lisztian character with Berlioz, BrandSachs is a fervent admirer of Beethoven, Weber and Gluck: at the mention of Beethoven while playing to friends, ‘his face took on a sublime expression, his eyes shot darts of lightning, and his inspired forehead seemed encircled with a halo’.20 However, where Hoffmann’s portrayal of Kreisler suggested an element of poetic madness, de Ferri`ere’s of Brand-Sachs/Liszt treated him as an incurable case: the story ends with a graphic scene in which the hero raves incoherently on his deathbed.21 A few years later, Liszt came to recognise some of the weaknesses of Romanticism which de Ferri`ere’s story lampooned as comprising an unhealthy concentration on the morbid, the sickly and the hyper-sensitive, combined with an extravagant degree of self-belief: You know this sickness of our time; it disturbs even the finest minds and damages even the best natures. It is a kind of solemn, moral vanity, a religion of the self that fills the hearts of these poor children with a host of silly and foolish desires. They intoxicate themselves with these notions, sometimes even to the point of death when the realization of their own uselessness, which they disguise as the injustice of fate, succeeds in becoming the mistress of their misguided imagination.22

Alongside clear references to Liszt’s early touring career and his Parisian lifestyle, it is the contradictions and ambiguities in Brand-Sachs’s personality which mark him out as the pianist’s literary counterpart. As Jacqueline Bellas notes, ‘The characteristic of Brand-Sachs is to find definition only in ambiguity. He is never exactly what he appears to be.’23 And Liszt did indeed contain within himself all the contradictory extremes that helped defy convenient categorisation: the artist who immersed himself in Beethoven’s piano music in the company of friends was also the showman determined not to be outdone by a pianistic rival such as Sigismund Thalberg; the man who prized religious devotion and attached himself to the Abb´e Lamennais was at the same time engaging in a spectacular adulterous relationship in which he was also openly unfaithful; the Hungarian nationalist who set

6 Katharine Ellis

such store by the jewelled sword of honour presented to him in Pest in 1840 was a non-Hungarian-speaking cosmopolitan who shared most of his life between Paris and Weimar; the anonymous and unrecognised Wanderer of the late 1830s was also the most fˆeted of all travelling virtuosi. That Liszt recognised his divided self is not in doubt. In a lighter (and unusually ironic) moment he was able to refer to the problem as that of ‘very cleverly steering a course between the Ideal and the Real’.24 It was not a juste milieu in respect of which he was conspicuously successful; he remained a man of extremes. As Eva Hanska wrote in her journal in 1843: ‘He is an extraordinary mixture . . . There are sublime things in him, but also deplorable ones; he is the human reflection of what is grandiose in nature – but also, alas, of what is abhorrent. There are sublime heights, the mountains with dazzling peaks, but also bottomless gulfs and abysses.’25

The rhetoric of the sublime Like so many other writers, Hanska used the imagery of the Romantic sublime to describe Liszt, just as Liszt and d’Agoult found ways of writing it into their musico-literary travelogues, including the Ann´ees de P`elerinage and their joint journal. Germanic writers brought up on Kant and Schlegel, and through Kant’s discussion of his writings, Edmund Burke, found such references unavoidable, thereby creating a critical rhetoric in which Liszt was defined as an awesome and irresistible power. Burke’s discussions of the sublime and its effects in his A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful (1757) were of long-lasting influence, and are of central importance to our understanding not only of Liszt’s reception as a performer, but also of Romantic criticism in general. Ironically, only the British, during his tours of the 1840s, seemed largely impervious to a tradition of associating Liszt’s pianism with this intellectual and artistic concept. The English critic Henry Chorley’s comment that Liszt was incomprehensible except in the context of ‘newer schools of European imagination’26 reveals much about his sense of distance from a movement in which his own countrymen had nevertheless played an inaugural part. Burke’s definition centred on the distinction between the sublime as evidenced by feelings of pain, terror and awe in the face of the rugged, vast and elemental, as opposed to the pleasurable serenity of appreciation which characterised perception of the beautiful – all grace and polish but also diminutive weakness. Perception, in both Burke and Schlegel, was paramount: the sublime was perceived in external phenomena but then internalised as an emotional experience which in turn craved expression in the form of ‘enthusiasm’ (Schlegel’s word, later taken up by Berlioz, as we shall see).27 In addition,

7 The Romantic artist

in a move which Hoffmann was to emulate in his famous comparison of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven of 1810, Burke characterised the beautiful as light, the sublime as dark and gloomy.28 The phenomenon is best revealed in three famous accounts (two closely related versions by Berlioz, one by the playwright Ernest Legouv´e) of Liszt’s impromptu playing of the opening Adagio of the ‘Moonlight’ Sonata in the darkness of Legouv´e’s salon in 1837. In these accounts the opposition of dark and light, and the elements of pathos, emotion of religious intensity, and physical paralysis induced by the artistic experience, parallel Burke’s definition of sublimity to an uncanny degree.29 Berlioz and Legouv´e disagree as to whether Liszt was involved in having the lights turned down and putting out the dying fire, thereby plunging the already dark room into near-blackness; in other respects, the accounts are similar. As Legouv´e told it: There were no lights, and the fire in the grate had burned very low. Goubaux brought the lamp from my study, while Liszt went to the piano and the rest of us sought seats. ‘Turn up the wick’, I told Goubaux: ‘we can’t see clearly enough’. But instead, he turned it down, plunging us into blackness, or, rather, into full shadow; and this sudden transition from light to dark, coming together with the first notes of the piano, had a moving effect on every one of us . . . [We] remained rooted to the spot where we happened to be, no one attempting to move . . . I had dropped into an armchair, and above my head heard stifled sobs and moans. It was Berlioz.

According to Berlioz, who was writing much closer to the event, it was he himself who prevented the lamps being brightened, and Liszt who insisted that they be extinguished, along with the fire. And while such a gesture has its own flamboyance, it is equally plausibly related to the ideas of the interpreter disappearing anonymously behind the greatness of the composer’s artwork (Berlioz assures us that Liszt added no extra notes, as had been his wont – indeed, this purification of his playing is the rationale for the anecdote), and of the new value of music as an abstract, disembodied art free not only from fixed semantics but also, in idealised form, from the distractions of visible performers and machines.30 Liszt’s associations with the Romantic sublime took two primary forms in Liszt reception: the presentation of the pianist as its embodiment, evidenced by his facial expressions, gestures at the piano and a musical interpretation of overwhelming expressive power; and descriptions of a sublime effect of ‘enthusiasm’ on the listener or writer, in the manner of the paralysis which Legouv´e depicted and which Berlioz described graphically as an uncontrollable tensing of the nerves leading to a half-faint. And while Berlioz’s story Le suicide par enthousiasme (1834) has his hero ‘nearly fainting with emotion’

8 Katharine Ellis

during La vestale and finally committing suicide because he has experienced the ultimate,31 there are no accounts of Berlioz the conductor falling victim to his own sublimity in the manner of Liszt’s onstage fainting fit at a Paris concert of April 1835, when he had to be carried from the platform, thereby bringing a concert involving over seventy musicians to a premature end. Presentations of Liszt as the embodiment of the sublime frequently emphasised a demonic character combined with an ecstatic religiosity, providing another set of defining contradictions. In his A Poet’s Bazaar, Hans Christian Andersen described Liszt’s countenance as moving from demonic possession to angelic nobility within a single piece; Schumann, writing for his Neue Zeitschrift f¨ur Musik in 1840, compared his demonic power with Paganini after a concert in Dresden in which he had held his public in thrall; for Th´eophile Gautier, writing in 1844, Liszt’s demonic aspect was Hoffmannesque;32 for Heine, the pianist appeared ‘possessed, tempestuous, volcanic, and as fiery as a titan’.33 In the reports of those who described their own reactions to Liszt’s playing, we glimpse another side of the demonic: the ability to control the listener by inducing psychological and physiological symptoms of suffering mixed with pleasure – the agony of ecstasy portrayed in Berlioz’s reaction to the ‘Moonlight’ Sonata. Caroline Boissier’s response of January 1832 (before she became scandalised at Liszt’s lifestyle in Geneva) also fits the paradigm: ‘When listening to Liszt, I feel what no other artist has made me feel; it is not only admiration, it is ecstasy and fatigue together, which at one and the same time consume and enchant me.’34 She, too, called Liszt ‘sublime . . . a musical demon’.35 That competitive element of control, the polar opposite of the sublime faint, is most strikingly characterised in a diary entry of 9 August 1836, in which Albertine de la Rive-Necker linked Liszt’s playing to the eruption of a sudden storm, the ferocity of which he proceeded to challenge via the family piano: No one notices that the storm has grown more violent; the sounds that he draws from the piano muffle those of the thunder, and, frail though they look, his fingers possess a strength capable of stifling the noise of the tempest. He ‘plays a storm’. On hearing a roll of thunder, he murmurs to Albertine: ‘I shall hold my own.’ And indeed he confounds and enraptures us, putting us into a state of ecstasy such as we have never known before. ‘I win, I am the master’, he seems to say.36

Whether or not the storm occurred as de la Rive-Necker described it, the ploy of placing Liszt in competitive alliance with the tempestuous and elemental was common. One of the most famous images of the pianist, Josef Danhauser’s Liszt am Fl¨ugel (1840), features him playing to a collection of rapt artist-listeners, in a room (supposedly his own) containing a portrait of

9 The Romantic artist

Plate 1.1 Josef Danhauser, Liszt am Fl¨ugel (1840), oil. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Nationalgalerie/F.V. 42. Photo: J¨urgen Liepe

Byron but dominated by a bust of Beethoven (in whose general direction he gazes upwards, completing the dramatic diagonal that extends right across the picture). Through a seemingly glassless window a distinctly stormy sunset is visible. But there is more. The grand piano itself appears to be half inside the room and half outside, collapsing the distance between the here-andnow and infinity; likewise, the outsize bust of Beethoven, which seems at first sight to be placed on top of the piano, actually inhabits an ambiguous space above it – a floating vision for the viewer, framed by, and existing beyond, the window opening.37 If Beethoven exists in this painting at all, it is in the mind’s eye. Hence, perhaps, the composer’s out-of-scale portrayal. Moreover, in the context of a twilight scene, the startling whiteness of his marble form draws attention to the pool of light in which the right-hand side of the canvas is bathed and which touches the faces of Liszt, Berlioz and Sand especially. The narrative description of Beethoven’s symphonies by Hoffmann and Berlioz, especially those of the Fifth Symphony as a progression from symbolic darkness to light, are close cousins of this picture. Danhauser’s composition invites us to ‘read’ the image as an upward progression from the predominantly dark browns, russets and reds of the left-hand side to the tans, golds and creams on the right, where the piano and its cascades

10 Katharine Ellis

of sheet music lead us to Beethoven’s world of the infinite. In this fusion of meticulous detail and visionary symbolism Danhauser encapsulated the ideal of the Romantic sublime towards which Liszt strove, and placed him at its epicentre.

Religiosity and social vision: the artist as priest With very few exceptions, contemporary accounts of Liszt’s playing cast him as a hero, demon, god or magician. However, Liszt’s own aspirations, inspired by early exposure to Saint-Simonism and the teachings of Lamennais, centred on the idea of the artist as priest: a regenerative force leading his community away from decadence. Balzac lampooned what he considered to be Liszt’s self-delusion in a notorious passage of his B´eatrice: ‘He affects to be an artist whose inspiration comes from on high. To hear him talk, art is something holy, sacred . . . The artist, he declares, is a missionary; art is a religion with its priests and must have its martyrs.’38 Such ideas were not only rooted in the French religious philosophies of the 1830s, but were also implicit in Romantic writings, where the idea of the sanctity of art brought with it a clear division between the initiated and the philistine, resulting in a modernist elitism which characterised avantgardism well into the twentieth century.39 It was in France alone, however, that it formed the basis of a socio-political movement. That such elitism was pursued in music journals whose ostensible aim was to educate the public was just one of the many paradoxes of Romanticism. Liszt, however, subscribed to it in only diluted form, emphasising instead the democratising and morally uplifting potential of music. In so doing he allied himself with a diverse subculture within the French Romantic movement – that of the Catholic and socialist reformers; he also joined the ranks of European artistreformers, Wagner included, whose socially engaged Romanticism in the years before 1848 still predominated over a sense of art for art’s sake, which was to be a driving force in artistic movements of the next half century, but which Liszt studiously ignored. Liszt’s first taste of such revolutionary social ideologies came through the aesthetician Emile Barrault, who introduced him to a vision of SaintSimonism shared by Prosper Enfantin, one of the movement’s P`eres Suprˆemes, in which the arts – with music at their apex – were to act as humanity’s guiding light. Barrault and Enfantin’s musical preferences accorded closely with those of Liszt in his idealist mode: they disdained the trivialities of the modern Italian school, and with it the cult of virtuosity in general, instead elevating the seriousness of German sacred and instrumental music from Handel onwards.40 Like Hoffmann, Barrault viewed

11 The Romantic artist

music as the most emotionally powerful of the arts because of its liberating effect on the listener’s imagination. It was the only universal art: a ‘vague and mysterious language, which responds to all souls and receives a special translation according to each person’s situation’.41 In addition to such Romantic ideas concerning the nature and artistic supremacy of music within Saint-Simonian doctrine, the allure of a movement in which the artist immediately gained the nobility of leadership after generations of servitude in aristocratic households proved irresistible to Liszt. In Aux artistes, Barrault seemed to write a rallying cry, exhorting artists to stop behaving like caged birds singing tunes their masters have taught them, and instead to give their prophetic voices free rein. Only the artist, wrote Barrault, ‘through the force of that sympathy which allows him to embrace both God and society, is worthy of leading humanity’.42 Two later influences on Liszt – Ballanche and Lamennais – also promulgated the heady idea of the artist as priest. Liszt’s concern for the masses or, more idealistically described, ‘the people’, stemmed partly from the involvement of the lower classes in SaintSimonian doctrine – which led to particular emphasis on music-making in which all followers could be actively involved – and the principles espoused by Lamennais in his Paroles d’un croyant of 1834, in whose intoxicating mix of egalitarian sentiment and evangelism, clothed in biblical rhetoric, Liszt found an overwhelming work of revelation.43 The work’s dedication, ‘To the People’, was significant. By the time of its publication, Liszt was already convinced of the value of Lamennais’s revolutionary Liberal Catholicism and admiring of his dedication to ideals of social regeneration; hence his own dedication to Lamennais of the piano piece Lyon (1834) – a gesture of solidarity with the city’s rioting silk weavers. In a Lettre d’un bachelier of 1837 to Adolphe Pictet, Liszt lamented the traditional ties of musicians to the aristocracy: ‘For too long they have been regarded as courtiers and parasites of the palace. For too long they have celebrated the affairs of the great and the pleasures of the rich. The time has come for them to restore courage to the weak and to ease the suffering of the oppressed.’44 The first official Lettre, written to George Sand, contained a utopian scene of artistic dedication centring on Joseph Mainzer’s choral singing classes for working men, part of a French orph´eon tradition whose tenets Mainzer brought to London and Edinburgh in 1841. Liszt’s interpretation of such music-making was pure Lamennais: He [Mainzer] imparts the benefits of music to these half-tutored, uncultivated minds and introduces these men – fatally brutalized by the coarse and only pleasures possible for them – to sweet and simple emotions that elevate them without their being aware of it and return them by an indirect but non-threatening path to the thoughts of a lost God.45

12 Katharine Ellis

It was undoubtedly with similar ideas in mind that Liszt wrote the section on sacred music in his first piece of musical journalism, entitled ‘On the Situation of Artists and on Their Condition in Society’ (1835). Here, the populist message was rammed home with revolutionary fervour by a man for whom the influence of Mennaisian religious thought had recently become intertwined with Saint-Simonian ideas of social reconstruction. He imagined a people’s music of religious patriotism ‘bursting from the fields, the hamlets, the villages, the suburbs, the workshops, and the cities’. Ultimately, he wrote, ‘all classes of people will be joined together in a common, religious, grand and sublime feeling’.46 And although Saint-Simonian doctrine merely served to replace one kind of hierarchy with another, it was one founded on social cohesion of a kind Liszt found sadly lacking in Parisian high society. His attraction to the ‘principle of association’ espoused by the Saint-Simonian movement formed a counterpoint to his own sense of artistic isolation in the late 1830s, revealing him ultimately as a reluctant Wanderer. Thoroughly disillusioned by the musical poverty of contemporary Italy, he wrote another Lettre d’un bachelier to Maurice Schlesinger in early 1839: ‘In music, as in everything else, associating with others is the only principle that produces great results . . . One person is not really effective unless he can gather other individuals around him and communicate his feelings and thoughts to them.’47 As Charles Suttoni points out, such a vision accorded almost exactly with the character of the semi-monastic Saint-Simonian community at M´enilmontant, just outside Paris.48 In some ways, Liszt practised what he preached. More populist than other Romantics such as Berlioz, whose vision of the ‘people’ was limited strictly to those who had already proved themselves worthy artistic souls,49 or Wagner, whose Bayreuth Festival (supposedly intended for an open community of pilgrims) served as a shrine to himself, Liszt championed the democratisation of music through piano reductions,50 viewed music criticism as nothing less than ‘a widely available form of [music] education’,51 and, on realising the decadence of Weimar’s cultural traditions in the early 1840s, set out – as composer and conductor – to rebuild them for the benefit of its citizens.52

The Romantic afterburn It seems to have occurred to few friends and onlookers of the 1830s and 1840s that within Liszt there was more than just a transcendent performer and a composer with a remarkable capacity to inscribe his own technical abilities into music of transcendent difficulty. Berlioz is one honourable exception; F´etis, another. Yet Liszt aspired to Romantic status as a complete artist through the translation of such ideals into his own music. The curiosity and

13 The Romantic artist

audacity which characterised his intellectual and performing lives during this time were gradually transmuted into a compositional adventurousness in which he ceased to be an intellectual follower and became a leader. As such, however, he attracted derision of a kind he had never experienced in his performing career: in middle age he became the very po`ete maudit with whom he had (partially) identified in his youth. Works of the 1850s such as the B Minor Sonata caused consternation for putting into practice the Romantic tradition of experimentation with form; the symphonic poems likewise. Moreover, the late piano pieces reveal Liszt reinterpreting, through a new harmonic language, a vein of avant-gardism – the exploration of terse and fragmented gestures – present in lesser-known piano works of the 1830s such as the two Apparitions of 1834.53 The influences which shaped him as a young man are still detectable in his old age, and ever closer contact with Wagner, the ultimate self-promoting Romantic, did not materially change anything: it is to Liszt, not to Wagner, that we owe the New German School. The influence of Lamennais never left him. Not only because he became, in the most obvious sense, the artist–priest, or because his enthusiasm was shared by Carolyne zu SaynWittgenstein, his partner from the late 1840s, but because the late sacred pieces embody Mennaisian principles. Among them, the unfinished oratorio St Stanislaus, on which Liszt was working in the mid-1880s, is an important act of homage, containing a large dose of Polish nationalism and a call for the separation of Church and State, in which the Church would be the dominant partner.54 In 1847, when Liszt gave up his performing career, he was only on the threshold of the second part of his life’s project: turning the Romantic performer into the Romantic artist. He became, even more than Verdi, the nineteenth-century composer whose technique developed most in the course of his career, the futuristic language of his late works pushing beyond anything the rest of his generation could imagine. Yet there are innumerable tensions in Liszt’s artistic path from the Weimar years onwards, not least in the combination of a continuing adherence to elements of French Romanticism and social idealism (which Dahlhaus dismissed as ‘pass´e’) and dependence on aristocratic patronage in a bourgeois town, and a position as a ‘forerunner of the avant-garde’ who nevertheless allowed the introduction of ‘anachronisms and banalities’ into his music.55 Such contradictions, of course, only bring into sharper focus the paradox that throughout his life Liszt’s consistency lay in his being a divided self.

2 Inventing Liszt’s life: early biography and autobiography a l e x a n d e r re h d i n g

In what has become a famous letter to Princess Carolyne zu SaynWittgenstein, dated 13 August 1856, Liszt described himself as ‘one half gypsy, the other Franciscan’.1 In a sense, he was being modest. One can easily expand the hallmarks of his scintillating public persona into an array of conflicting images: the flashy virtuoso versus the profound symphonic composer, the irresistible sex god versus the ascetic Catholic priest, the Hungarian nationalist versus the European cosmopolitan. All the facets in this kaleidoscope of images seem to sit side by side in peaceful coexistence, in spite and because of their apparently contradictory nature. In this situation it goes without saying that modern Liszt biographers have habitually bemoaned the sheer impossibility of the task of painting an authentic picture of the charismatic musician: his character simply seems to be too complex, too evasive to be captured by biographical methods. Thus Alan Walker, Liszt’s most authoritative modern biographer, opens his three-volume work with a sigh: The normal way biography is written is to allow the basic materials – letters, diaries, manuscripts – to disclose the life. And if those materials are missing, one goes out and finds them. That did not happen with Liszt. Because of the unparalleled fame, even notoriety, enjoyed by Liszt during his lifetime (eclipsing by far that of all his musical contemporaries), a complete reversal of the ‘normal’ process took place. People clamoured for literature about him. And so the biographies came first; the hard evidence turned up later.2


In fact, one might well say that biography determined Liszt’s life right from the beginning of his professional life. The fascination with Liszt’s character was such that biographers hardly allowed Liszt to live his life before it was turned into a text. The first ‘biographical study’ was published as early as 1835, when Liszt was all of twenty-three years old.3 And by the time he died, in 1886, the number of biographies had already swollen to extensive proportions: besides a number of more or less scholarly books that addressed themselves strictly to biographical matters, the market was flooded with reminiscences, memoirs and romans-`a-clef surrounding Liszt. It was those latter accounts, highly personal and often sensationalist, that invariably set the tone for Liszt biography and contributed to the complexity

15 Inventing Liszt’s life

of Liszt’s public image. His former mistress Marie d’Agoult published her memoirs of Liszt in 1846 under the title N´elida (a re-feminising anagram of the Christian name of her male nom de plume Daniel Stern), while the hotblooded, self-styled ‘Cossack Countess’, known as Olga Janina, published her suitably melodramatic reminiscences under the title Souvenirs d’une cosaque (1874). This was followed by a sequel, which was supposed to appear as though written as a response by Liszt himself, entitled Les m´emoirs d’un pianiste. Janina’s first pseudonym, Robert Franz, was an unfortunate choice, since it also happened to be the name of a composer in the circle around Franz Liszt, which must have caused some confusion; for a further sequel, Les amours d’une cosaque par un ami de l’Abb´e ‘X’ ou le roman du pianiste et de la cosaque, she assumed the name of Sylvia Zorelli. Many a Liszt biographer has regretted that the best-known examples of Liszt biographies stemmed from the quill of his spurned lovers; the image drawn in these works seems surprisingly resilient to revisionist attempts. While the partly mystifying, partly slanderous accounts presented in these romans-`a-clef paint a somewhat manipulated picture of Liszt – thus ‘tainting’ his image, as Walker has it4 – it would be erroneous to claim that they have nothing to do with Liszt and his biography. For, at the very least, these sensationalist and personal views, which helped to sustain an interest in Liszt, suggested the tantalising possibility not only that this very public artist had a private side, but also that this private side might just be available. No one has captured this better than Ken Russell, in whose film Lisztomania – which takes its title from a genuine nineteenth-century term coined by no less a figure than Heinrich Heine to describe the fanatic cult surrounding Liszt – the pianist transforms into a scintillating nineteenthcentury rock star (and one strangely scintillating in the style of the 1970s at that). What would seem to be missing in this flood of accounts of Liszt’s life is any sign of his own authoritative voice. Lina Ramann’s epochal biography, Franz Liszt als K¨unstler und Mensch (1880–94), was, in its own way, an attempt to set the record straight. In doing the research for her biography, she applied a rigorous scientific apparatus: she sent out a series of questionnaires to Liszt directly, to obtain what she considered to be the most authoritative answers possible. In this way she hoped to arrive at an objective picture of the great man’s life and, ideally, to dispose of any such speculations as might have been fanned by the insinuations of previous biographers. A diary entry of 12 June 1875 reads: I have many biographical things to overturn and to correct: Gustav Schilling [author of an 1844 biography] has committed many a sin – writing a story instead of history. I had based my own work on his in several places, now

16 Alexander Rehding my work is a mess, and have to cut out whole passages on which I had spent great effort.5

This latter part of Ramann’s project, to dispel the myths surrounding Liszt, was perhaps the least successful, despite the rigour and scientific objectivity she apparently brought to bear on her project. This was, in no small part, due to the long-living nature of legend, which is often so much more seductive and engaging than real life. But what is more, Ramann in turn added her own brand of hero-worship – though by no means out of the ordinary in nineteenth-century biographical style – in describing Liszt’s achievements and character in the most glowing terms. It is not surprising that Ramann’s work has long been criticised in turn for myth-making, and she herself has only recently begun to be reappraised as a scholar and biographer.6

I Liszt is reported to have been angered by biographical inaccuracies. For most of his life, he was in the habit of correcting his biographies in the margins of the copies he read.7 However, one must ask nonetheless, if Liszt was bothered by this to such an extent that he would correct errors in private, why he kept these corrections to himself. Indeed, one might even ask, why did he not write an autobiography himself in order to end the myths and rumours once and for all? He would have had every opportunity and incentive to do so. Liszt’s publishers, in any case, would have been all in favour of it, not least because they were only too aware that his autobiography would easily be a bestseller. In fact, so vehement was their insistence that Liszt complained in a letter in 1882: ‘I have often been asked by publishers to write my memoirs. I refused them, saying that it was quite enough for me to live my life, let alone to commit it to paper.’8 This might seem like a good enough answer for refusing to write an autobiography. But if we ponder his position a little longer, it turns out that this position does not quite add up. True, we might well agree that by 1882, as a septuagenarian, Liszt was too old to write himself – he had all but ceased his publishing activities by 1859. However, Liszt’s letter continues by pointing out that the situation would be different if he were married: in that case, he would happily ask his wife to support him in such an enterprise.9 (This practice would not have been entirely new to him, given that most of his prose works seem to have been ghost-written by, or at least dictated to, whoever was his girlfriend at the time.10 ) Again, this seems like a reasonable

17 Inventing Liszt’s life

argument until one probes it a little more: there is no real reason why he should not entertain the notion of using anyone else’s secretarial services – all the more so if we consider that at the same time Liszt had no objections to having his biography written by someone else, namely Lina Ramann. And, as noted before, Ramann’s exuberant style and obvious devotion to Liszt in turn introduced a number of deviations from the objective account that she had set out to write – some of which Liszt proceeded, as was his wont, to correct in the margins of his own copy. With this point we have arrived back at square one, and the insight that if Liszt indeed wanted a reliable biographical account that would satisfy his apparent dislike for factual errors, he would have to write one himself. However, this circuitous route opens up an alternative scenario for Liszt’s factual corrections: it is notable that the corrections he made tended to be in his private copy and – even in Ramann’s case – not in the published version that was circulated and would have been read by the public. Is it possible that while Liszt wanted to distinguish between the truth and fiction, he was happy for the public to live in a state suspended in between? To these observations regarding his refusal to write an autobiography, a further query can be added if we take seriously Liszt’s artistic motto g´enie oblige, with which he concludes his article on Paganini and which became something of a personal motto for him.11 For one of the key obligations of the genius in the later nineteenth century was in fact to write an autobiography. Witness the important 1881 article on ‘autobiography’ by Virginia Woolf’s father Leslie Stephen. He begins his argument with a good dose of Victorian common sense: Nobody ever wrote a dull autobiography. If one may make such a bull, the very dullness would be interesting. The autobiographer has ex officio two qualifications of supreme importance in all literary work. He is writing about a topic in which he is keenly interested, and about a topic upon which he is the highest living authority.12

At the same time, however, Stephen’s Victorian ebullience about the inherent excellence of autobiography had to be taken with a pinch of salt. Following other contemporary views, it is not up to just anybody to write their autobiography. Thus, the author of an article on ‘Famous Autobiographies’, published anonymously, as was common, in the Edinburgh Review of 1911, added a note of caution: ‘No man, but the greatest, can write a thoroughly good autobiography.’13 These two positions would appear to be at loggerheads with one another, but it is actually possible to combine their respective points. Put together, they present us with what amounts to a tautology of

18 Alexander Rehding

greatness and autobiography in the later nineteenth century, which can be summed up in the following syllogism: 1. Autobiography is invariably a good read. 2. Only a truly great person can write a good autobiography. 3. Therefore everybody who writes an autobiography must be a truly great person.

In this concise form, such a view would of course be absurd, but there is something to be said for the self-sustaining nature of autobiography and greatness, especially in the context of the genius cult during the late nineteenth century. In an intellectual climate that holds, in one way or another, that history manifests itself in the deeds of great individuals – heroes indeed – autobiography has a very particular role to fulfil. Stephen holds up the belief that the genius in particular needs to convey the story of his life to the wider public, as his example forms, in Stephen’s view, the very basis of the social fabric. Or, in the words of a recent commentator: ‘The autobiographies of “great men” become the authentic data which shores up cultural certainties and provides the points between which the map of Western civilisation is drawn.’14 This strand of thought, that great individuals have the right and indeed the duty to inform posterity about their exceptional lives, pervades the entire history of modern autobiography, at least from Benvenuto Cellini onwards. In fact, the Victorian confidence in autobiography is fostered, on the one hand, by a Spencerian faith in the progressive perfectibility of mankind, and on the other, by the belief that autobiography allows pure and unmediated access to the thoughts of the great man. In a word, the later nineteenth century perceived autobiography as pure authenticity, as unmediated access to the truth about greatness for the benefit of all of mankind.15 All the more reason, then, to wonder why Liszt shied away from this obligation of genius. In fact, his own views on the possibilities of biography – and by extension, autobiography – turn the circularity of our model into its vantage point. In other words, while Stephen’s insistence on the authenticity of autobiography confidently assumed a one-on-one mapping of life onto autobiographical text, it is also possible to take the opposite stance and consider the crevices between the two layers of life and biography. However, as soon as life and biography no longer match each other, this would lead us down the road of fiction. There is, of course, a great autobiographical tradition of doing just that, which was particularly associated with the Romantic movement of the earlier part of the century – witness works such as Goethe’s Dichtung und Wahrheit (Fiction and Truth), Jean Paul’s somewhat obscure Conjectural Autobiography, which, rather than looking back, outlines the following forty years

19 Inventing Liszt’s life

of his future life, or indeed Thomas Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus. All of these works – all by favourite authors of Liszt – deliberately blur the boundaries between fact and fiction. The title of Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus, or ‘The Tailor Redressed’, even makes reference to the enormous scope for self-refashioning and self-reinvention that autobiography offers. All these works effectively question the assumptions that Stephen made about the significance and function of autobiography. In particular, they pick up on this chasm between those two strata of life and autobiography, and in this way explore the precarious position of the genre on the borderline between authenticity and fiction.16 The commonplace relationship between life and autobiography, namely that life engenders the autobiography, would have to be rethought.17 As Jean Paul’s conjectural autobiography suggests above all, the opposite may also be true: the autobiographical project may in turn produce and determine life. Perhaps, pace Walker, this reversal is the ‘normal’ way for Liszt’s biography after all?

II It is in this context that we have to consider Liszt’s own views of biography and life. In an astonishing letter to his official biographer Lina Ramann, Liszt effectively gave her licence to let her imagination run wild. He wrote: ‘My biography is more to be invented than to be written after the fact’ (‘Meine Biographie ist mehr zu erfinden denn nachzuschreiben’).18 Liszt’s acknowledgement that life and biography are not identical, and need not be so, makes no claims to authenticity – at least not in Stephen’s sense – but rather resonates with the full possibilities of re-fashioning and redressing. In this situation, where the commonplace link between life and biography is questioned and biographical access to ‘life’ proper is effectively denied, Liszt biographers have occasionally tried to revert to his compositions as the backbone of his biography. This idea, whose origin clearly hails from romantic music aesthetics, dwells on the notion that a higher authenticity can be found in Liszt’s musical utterings, and has become something of a trope in Liszt scholarship: [A]n enormous amount of his music was confessional – in a way, the autobiography he didn’t write. It all seems to be there: landscapes observed, airs overheard; erotic and religious experience, poetry and history, treasures and trash. It wouldn’t be difficult to draw a picture of his life from his music alone.19

The idea that music should provide some sort of stability in light of the biographical licence Liszt gave to Ramann may be comforting; yet it is at

20 Alexander Rehding

least debatable how successfully such a purely musical biography could be conveyed. At the same time, the idea of using Liszt’s music, as a kind of public statement with which he would like to see his audiences engage, might prove a fruitful starting point for a form of autobiography – as a decidedly confessional and public act. The particular notion of autobiography that I want to explore in this essay shares a few features with this romantic notion of a ‘biography-insounds’ insofar as it would also not take the conventional form of a book. Beyond that, however, the two part company: it would not seek biography as immanent in compositions, but rather in the circumstances in which these compositions might function as autobiographical acts. This form of autobiography manifests itself much more in an abstract relationship between Liszt, as he choreographs his own life in and through his music, and his audience, which ‘reads’, in a broad sense, these events and may interpret them as biographically relevant. In other words, certain events may obtain autobiographical significance if the audience acknowledges the identity between two personae – Liszt (1), the author, and narrator of his own life, and Liszt (2), the composed subject of this narration – and in this way authenticates the autobiographical significance of this event. What I have in mind here are certain autobiographical moments, events around Liszt’s person, that attained autobiographical status. Liszt undeniably lived those moments, experienced them, but seemed at the same time to have been anxious to choreograph them so that they would be received by his adoring audience in the correct spirit. Indeed, this concept of autobiography – as a relationship between Liszt and his ‘readers’, the concert-going public – might go a long way to explaining why he so adamantly refused to write down his memoirs: ‘It is enough for me to live my life, let alone to commit it to paper.’ With our sharpened sensitivities to the precarious nature of the phrase ‘my life’, which has become detached from what may be committed to paper, we should prick up our ears at this statement. (The literal translation from the German ‘to live through my life’, or ‘mein Leben zu durchleben’, is more emphatic than the English.) We are now in a position to understand that Liszt had no interest in writing down his life; in a way, he had done this already in this performative fashion of autobiography, and therefore needed no longer to ‘commit it to paper’. Although an exhaustive analysis would be beyond the scope of this chapter, I would suggest that it was only thanks to this performative mode of autobiography, suggesting an incontestable immediacy and authoritative authenticity, which is at once fiction and fact, that Liszt succeeded in portraying the many biographical images of himself – priest and Don Juan, shallow virtuoso and deep thinker – without tripping up in their inherent

21 Inventing Liszt’s life

contradictions. In short, that which would be too incredible for fiction becomes possible ‘in life’.

III The autobiographical moment I want to discuss here, by way of illustration, is the moment of transformation from his virtuoso career to his second career as a self-consciously great composer. This event was the unveiling of the Beethoven monument at Bonn on 10–13 August 1845, which was among the first public statues dedicated to a composer in Germany.20 In 1845 Liszt enjoyed European-wide fame as a piano virtuoso. It was no doubt on account of his celebrity status that Liszt was invited to participate in the celebrations for the unveiling of the monument, although some cynics were quick to point out that Liszt’s donation of 10,000 francs might have also had something to do with it. The donation covered almost a quarter of the overall cost and ensured that Liszt was constantly in the limelight of the four-day celebrations.21 In the end, Liszt performed in no fewer than five functions: he was the chief donor; he was appointed an honorary member of the organising committee; he was commissioned to play the solo part of Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto; was commissioned to conduct part of the festival’s concerts; and last but not least, was commissioned to compose a festival cantata. This cantata was one of only two commissioned compositions for the celebrations – the other being a Festival Ode by the president of the committee and university director of music, Heinrich Karl Breidenstein. It must be remembered that the sheer size of the celebrations, involving almost three thousand guests, was no mean feat in the mid-nineteenth century: the most famous musicians of Europe, not to mention the international press – all would be present in provincial Bonn to celebrate the dead composer. In short, everybody knew that the unveiling of the Bonn monument to the great man was an occasion to make (or break) a musical career.22 In this competitive, sometimes outright hostile climate, Liszt’s involvement was not universally appreciated. He was, after all, only a piano virtuoso – a position which for all its glamour always smacked of charlatanism, superficiality and immorality – while he had virtually no reputation as a conductor or composer. Anton Schindler, for instance, always intent on protecting Beethoven’s heritage from the meddling of others, engaged in a veritable media war against Liszt: Far be it from me, neither to the pleasure of some nor the displeasure of others . . . to put a sordino, that is: a damper on to the excessive racket about

22 Alexander Rehding Mr. Liszt. The truth must in any case be weightier than ten thousand francs . . . However, some gentlemen in Bonn bow their knee before [this sum of money], because its sound is just the kind that affixes itself best to their aural nerves.23

One particular event surrounding Liszt must have irked Schindler: in 1823, the 11-year-old Liszt had been introduced to Beethoven by none other than Schindler himself and played the piano before the composer. Beethoven had apparently been so enraptured by the performance that he had stormed onto the stage and had kissed the young Liszt on the forehead.24 Liszt is known to have attached great significance to Beethoven’s ‘kiss of consecration’, or Weihekuß, which was soon stylised into a symbolic act. Schindler felt threatened, and tried to undermine Liszt’s position. He even sank so low as to forge Beethoven’s conversation books to evoke the impression that Beethoven had disliked Liszt.25 (A forgery, by the way, that was not discovered for 120 years.) The cherished and well-documented event in the biography of Liszt was the key to this ‘autobiographical moment’, as it allowed him to consolidate his reputation as Beethoven’s consecrated heir. This famous episode was particularly played out in the events surrounding the commissioned festival cantata. Such a festival commission was a delicate task, as the spectacular failure of Breidenstein’s Ode shows. The critic of the Wiener Allgemeine Musik-Zeitung, which may count as representative of the international press in this instance, did not mince his words when he gave the work the thumbs down: Even though Herr Breidenstein may have had the understandable wish, as the president of the committee, as the local director of music, to occupy himself during the festival, he should never force his compositions on us, where [famous composers such as] Spohr, Lindpaintner, etc. were present at the festival. As surely every modest man would have done when asked to compose a festive chorus, Herr Breidenstein would have done well to refuse the honour, which ought only to be made available to the oldest of the foremost living German composers.26

It should be added, in all fairness, that Breidenstein had greatly annoyed the journalists by refusing to hand out free tickets to the international press, which would certainly have added to the negative impression of Breidenstein’s composition. Yet the Viennese critic is making an important point: it is not up to just anyone to honour Beethoven, the person doing the honouring is by implication valorised as worthy of fulfilling such an office. There is a certain reciprocity at work, which could be described concisely with a slightly changed version of a Goethean bon mot: ‘He who commends,

23 Inventing Liszt’s life

condescends.’ (In fact, Goethe himself is more lenient: ‘Wer lobt, stellt sich gleich.’) Liszt’s festival cantata, by contrast, won almost unanimous praise. Here is our Viennese critic again: Even though the composition on the whole lacks some unified form, as well as some unified idea, it is still possible to discern something extraordinary in the totality of the composition . . . I consider this work not only as one of the most interesting in Liszt’s oeuvre, but in the field of contemporary composition on the whole. With this work, Liszt has raised great expectations for the future.27

What had happened? How come Liszt was worthy where Breidenstein had been blasphemous? As we have already seen, from Liszt’s perspective, the Beethoven commemoration offered a unique opportunity to round off and consolidate his reputation as Beethoven’s consecrated heir,28 which allowed him to build on his international fame as a brilliant virtuoso to become a serious (that is: great) composer. However, this only explains half of the story. There is also a specific musical reason that his cantata was accepted where Breidenstein’s had failed. Liszt had in fact employed a very clever compositional device: he had used a quotation from Beethoven’s very popular ‘Archduke’ Trio in B major. Liszt’s version first introduces it as a chorale, a kind of ‘secular Sanctus’,29 in praise of Beethoven, and follows some of the variations that Beethoven himself composed. However, finally he monumentalises the theme in a concluding apotheosis: where the original is an intimate piece of chamber music, Liszt’s final version, significantly marked Andante religioso, blows the theme up into gigantic proportions, played fff by the grand symphony orchestra with chorus, to the words ‘Hail, hail, Beethoven!’ It is of course more than a coincidence that the orchestral and vocal forces of the Cantata for the Inauguration of the Bonn Beethoven Monument are virtually identical with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. With this artistic ploy, Liszt was not put in the awkward position of condescending to praise Beethoven. On the contrary, audience and critics registered it as a graceful bow towards the master. Liszt let Beethoven speak for himself, and praise himself. Or so it would seem, because – as in Breidenstein’s failed attempt earlier – the praise is always reciprocal. It is none other than Liszt’s later biographer Ramann who best captures the inherent ambiguity, when she writes: ‘With this device, he had characterised the essence of the genius of Beethoven and glorified it as though through himself.’ Through Beethoven’s genius or Liszt’s, one should ask – which would seem precisely the point. Liszt may have appeared to let Beethoven speak for himself, but what really

Example 2.1 Liszt, Beethoven Cantata no. 1. Andante religioso

25 Inventing Liszt’s life

happened was that Liszt cleverly used Beethoven’s voice from beyond the grave to let the dead composer speak out for him. What makes this event an autobiographical moment is not the simple fact of the quotation from Beethoven. It would certainly be misguided to claim that any musical quotation is automatically an act of autobiographical self-refashioning. Rather, what is crucial about the autobiographical moment is the context in which it occurred, which allowed the split into Liszt (1) the composer, that is the narrator of his biography, and Liszt (2) the composed self, the subject of his own narration. The audience is encouraged to assume that these two are the same person, as we have seen is common in autobiography, but we can only understand the underlying mechanisms if we finely distinguish between the two. What in fact happened at the unveiled Beethoven memorial was that Liszt (1), the composer-narrator, assumed Beethoven’s voice, to allow Liszt (2), the subject of the narrative, to enter the Beethovenian lineage. This autobiographical split was possible only in this particular situation. (In this sense, a subsequent performance of the same work in Paris under Habeneck had practically no autobiographical interest.) If it were possible to pinpoint a moment in Liszt’s life that was the starting point of his career as a self-consciously great composer, it would be this day, 13 August 1845. With this moment, Liszt consciously stepped into the sublime symphonic tradition for which Beethoven was remembered in the mid-nineteenth century.30 With the cantata of 1845, with this autobiographical moment, then, Liszt had transformed his career from the image of the flashy virtuoso to that of the serious composer, apparently anointed by Beethoven himself.

IV But if the cantata was instrumental in Liszt’s autobiographical re-fashioning, it should be examined in a little more detail, as it can tell us more about the biographical status of this work. We should therefore return to Liszt’s motto g´enie oblige. The libretto of the cantata was written by the now all-but-forgotten Jena poet O. F. Bernhard Wolff, to whom Liszt had been introduced in Thuringia a few years previously. Liszt was quite interested in the text and commented on it in a letter of 1845: At least the text [of the Bonn Beethoven Cantata] is rather novel; it is a kind of Magnificat to the human genius seized by God in eternal revelation across time and space. The text could just as well be applied to Goethe, or Raphael, or Columbus as to Beethoven.31

26 Alexander Rehding

However, if the precise name of the genius is unspecified, his list might also be extended to include Liszt himself. This would be of considerable significance, as it became more and more apparent in mid-nineteenth-century culture – and nowhere more so than in music history since Beethoven’s death – that the rise of the genius also implied, as its negative counterpart, the epigone.32 At the same time, the public discourse about the genius had changed substantially over the course of the nineteenth century. As our Victorian commentators initially underlined, the genius came to occupy a more and more public position in the national imagination. In fact, the second movement of Liszt’s Beethoven Cantata spells out the particular demands on the genius in nineteenth-century nationalistic historiography: If the Prince represents his people In subsequent annals, Who represents their pain, Who announces how they suffered? Who rises up for them in the book of World History? Makes their name radiate across the course of times? Poor Mankind, cruel fate! Who is sent out by you at the end of the day? The Genius! Eternally great in his works!33

It is important to note that Wolff’s text withholds Beethoven’s name until the very end of the work. In Liszt’s setting, by contrast, all these pressing questions are answered by the quotation from the ‘Archduke’ Trio, which succeeds the chorus’s lengthy extolments of the genius. In this way, Liszt’s setting specified the answer that the libretto had left open in this general way, and made explicit reference to Beethoven. However, since he had composed himself into the Cantata, as we have seen, the work also made reference to himself. The carte blanche that the cantata text offered was now doubly filled with Liszt the new genius-composer, besides Beethoven the dead genius. In this way, Liszt was able to fulfil his self-imposed obligation, expressed in his motto g´enie oblige. He had written an autobiography, and a very public one at that. In doing so, he had not only established his position as a great composer, not an epigone, but had also assumed the public responsibilities of the genius. In other words, with this autobiographical moment, constructed by and for the public, Liszt had written himself into the hall of fame of musical geniuses, alongside Beethoven. It is perhaps no coincidence that in the only strictly autobiographical document of Liszt that has come down to us, an entry for a biographical encyclopedia of 1881 – the year before Liszt explained his refusal to write an

27 Inventing Liszt’s life

autobiography – the Beethoven statue plays a prominent role. In fact, when Liszt was sent the proofs, he corrected them in his usual fashion; Liszt’s first substantial addition to the text is: ‘He has notably contributed to the monument for Beethoven erected at Bonn in 1845.’34 It is one of the rare moments in Liszt’s biography when he confirms in writing, and expressly lets the public know, that this event had a particular significance for him. Whether it was the significance ascribed to this event in this essay, we can – and should – but guess.

3 Liszt and the twentieth century1 ja m e s d e av i l l e

Introduction: the problem of Liszt


At the turn of the nineteenth century, less than two decades after his death, Franz Liszt’s claims to immortality seemed built on rather shaky ground. True, his name remained associated with the greatest career of pianistic virtuosity of all times, yet that type of notoriety was in many ways antithetical to a place within the pantheon of music history.2 Of his musical works beyond those for the piano, only the two concertos, Les Pr´eludes and the Faust Symphony were being performed at the time in Europe and North America with any regularity, and it was primarily popular piano works like the Liebestr¨aume and the Hungarian Rhapsodies that appeared in anthologies of piano music. This marginal position for Liszt is all the more surprising since during his lifetime, above all before his departure from the concert stage in 1847, he was one of the best-known musical personalities in Europe, indeed, a leading figure within the culture of the times. Publication figures provide concrete evidence for his tremendous popularity during the 1840s (see below, ‘Publishing’), as do reports in the newspapers about the raging ‘Lisztomania’ in his concert cities.3 In later years, Liszt’s lingering notoriety as performer ensured that his activities would attract interest in the musical and daily press. So what happened to diminish Liszt’s fame? As virtuoso, Liszt not only participated in what was generally considered to be a shallow or superficial artistry, but also positioned himself first and foremost as a recreative musician, who excelled in presenting the works of others. When he did turn to composition away from the keyboard, in Weimar, the critics and public by and large did not take the results seriously or considered them to be too experimental.4 If anything, these criticisms intensified after his death, when his music was neither in the canon nor considered ‘avant-garde’. Thus throughout the twentieth century, we find the dual stereotype of shallow composition on the one hand and historically rather than aesthetically satisfying music on the other, which would render Liszt’s place in the teaching studio and on the concert stage rather difficult. As Sacheverell Sitwell wrote in 1934, ‘there have been so many attempts to demolish his reputation, so many assurances that we must have a natural antipathy to his music and

29 Liszt and the twentieth century

need not, for that reason, take any trouble to increase our knowledge of him’.5 The ‘problem of Liszt’ in the twentieth century extended further: Bayreuth under Liszt’s daughter Cosima had little interest in carrying on his legacy (even though he was buried there). Thus, the major Liszt commemoration of the year 1936 took place in Bayreuth, and yet, according to Walter Abendroth, both the sixty-year anniversary of the Ring premiere and the fifty-year observance of the death of Ludwig II took precedence for the festive occasion.6 Liszt came to be seen as a helper of Wagner, heroically promoting and defending his friend and enabling the Master to fulfil his destiny, but whose own independent creative activity, whether as composer or writer, did not bear comparison with Wagner’s work. This was reinforced during the 1930s by the National Socialists, who unproblematically appropriated Liszt as German Vork¨ampfer for their political, cultural and social ideas, despite his attachment to other, especially Hungarian and French, cultures, his grounding in French socialist thought and his ongoing support of Jewish musicians. Again, Liszt’s own original work was ignored, in favour of his activities to support Wagner and other musicians as conductor, teacher, writer, friend and – to use Liszt’s own modification of noblesse oblige – g´enie oblige. We must also consider Liszt’s ultimate identity in the twentieth century as ‘international’, ‘supranational’ or ‘European’ composer (to use the various terms applied to him): while nations were eager to appropriate him as one of their own, this could not and did not occur at the cost of composers who were squarely situated within that particular musical culture. Of the nations that laid claim to Liszt, only Hungary promoted him as a composer who was essential to the national canon, and, as a result, Liszt never really became a problem for the Hungarians. Still, Liszt was more than a national composer, and his music had an impact, a significant impact, upon the twentieth century that extends beyond national boundaries. The following discussion investigates Liszt in the twentieth century by looking at the different ways in which Liszt came to influence specific groups of consumers, whether composers, performers, scholars or general public: publishing, performance/recording, composition and scholarship.

Issues The major issue behind such a study is that of determining influence, since any attempt to assess Liszt’s ‘afterlife’ in the twentieth century necessarily involves uncovering the manifestations of his life, thought and work as

30 James Deaville

they had an impact upon individuals and groups of individuals. Harold Bloom’s theory of influence works well for literature and specific pieces by a given composer,7 as does Julia Kristeva’s concept of intertextuality,8 yet these theoretical approaches do not assist much when dealing with a musician’s influence over future generations, which is often reduced to traces, the further removed we are from his/her sphere of immediate efficacy. While a purely linear, chronological approach would illustrate how ‘Liszt’ responded to social and political change in the twentieth century, that model of transmission denies the possibility of the ‘multi-voicedness’ of the original work, of the ability of a composition (or idea, biographical detail, myth, etc.) to speak variously to recipients at different times, as argued by Mikhail Bakhtin.9 Our focus on modes of production, which derives both from Hans-Robert Jauss’s theory of reception and Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology of ‘symbolic goods’,10 will enable us to focus on the various aspects of Liszt’s personal and musical legacy as they worked their way into culture. Subordinate issues and problems for uncovering Liszt’s influence in the twentieth century cluster themselves according to the individual fields of production/consumption. For publications, information about which works were available is crucial, as supported by date of publication, size of print-run and format of publication. Unfortunately, the unavailability or destruction of publishers’ archives during the twentieth century has made such research quite difficult. Above all, it is hard to ascertain which works and how many copies of them were in circulation, and how many were in the hands of amateurs or non-performing music lovers. Concert and recorded performances are more readily quantifiable, and certain performers have made careers through promoting the music of Liszt, up to the present, yet there exists no study of Liszt in performance during the twentieth century other than in discographies (recordings of ‘live’ performances). The first generation of composers may have studied under Liszt pupils, based works on specific pieces of his, or written about his legacy – these sometimes elusive influences need to be tracked down in personal correspondence, collections of essays, or in individual compositions. However, as we shall see, what a composer writes about Liszt may or may not be a truthful representation of his/her feelings. Later in the twentieth century, the compositional influence becomes more elusive, as it moves from use and choice of programme, thematic material and form to texture, harmonic details and motivic set. Here the fragments of Lisztian influence are hard to identify indeed, if they can be isolated from other elements. The one group of exceptions are compositions written in homage to Liszt, where the connection is foregrounded and thus intended to be heard. Finally, scholars have uncovered and clarified much about Liszt by making available unknown primary sources (autograph letters, documents including memoirs from

31 Liszt and the twentieth century

his circle of acquaintances, contemporary reviews and reports in the press), and basing new insights into his life and work upon them, yet the interpretation of these sources has varied widely, depending on the scholar and his/her historical, cultural and social context. These factors must be taken into account when considering Liszt scholarship in the twentieth century, although they should not be grounds for necessarily dismissing any research out of hand. This dissemination of Liszt’s influence occurred to such a degree that we can comfortably maintain at the outset that few composers of the nineteenth century, except possibly Wagner, had the same influence upon succeeding generations as Liszt did. Indeed, one is hard-pressed to think of an innovative composer of the early twentieth century who was not influenced by Liszt’s music, especially in its departures from traditional harmonies and novel approaches to form and formal unity (but contrary to musicological myth, the experimental late works were not known until 1927, and thus could not have influenced early twentieth-century innovators like Schoen´ 11 Beyond the notes themselves, at least four other factors berg or Bartok). ensured Liszt a lasting legacy: (1) His commitment to pedagogy meant that a host of students (400, by one count) carried the legacy of Liszt to all corners of the world, passing it on through live and recorded performance and teaching. (2) He encouraged the development of national schools of composition, in France, Russia, Bohemia, Hungary and the Scandinavian countries, through friendships with the composers and his own model of nationalist composition. (3) The ongoing public love affair with the piano meant that Liszt’s piano music would remain in circulation and continue to serve as a living part of the European cultural legacy. (4) Finally, Liszt was a fascinating person, one of the most paradoxical and complicated figures of the nineteenth century, and as such he has consistently attracted considerable interest from the general public and scholars.

General chronology Despite previous arguments against pure chronology, it is important to recognise that the role of Liszt in the twentieth century cannot be divorced from those historical events, political movements and socio-cultural developments that shaped the century. Indeed, as occurred with other artists from the past, he was used to support or legitimate political ideologies ranging from fascism to communism. Most recently, Liszt has come to represent an early advocate of internationalist ‘Europeanism’, of the ideals manifested in the European Union.12 However, as Oliver Rathkolb has observed, ‘every regime had attempted in its way to develop a diverse national image of Liszt,

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in order to fit him into the realm of the political propaganda of that time’.13 And these appropriations of Liszt would influence concerts and publications of Liszt’s music, scholarship about him and even the composition of music. Liszt’s inherent ambiguity and heterogeneity in so many aspects of his work and life made him particularly vulnerable to such interpretations and uses, whereby we could say that the musical landscape of the twentieth century is littered with ‘Liszts’, each purporting to be the ‘authentic’ Liszt and yet participating in the most varied cultural work. This last point is worthy of some elaboration. Time and again recent authors have pointed to the heterogeneity in Liszt’s work, the ‘juxtaposing of significant and banal [elements] . . . of harmonic excessiveness and sonorous simplicity’,14 which has hindered the acceptance of those pieces. However, we can easily extend the oppositions to his life and activities: German or Hungarian (or French) identity, ‘demon’ of the keyboard or cleric of the Catholic Church, musical charlatan or genius. Liszt was a complex person and composer, and it is these inherent, patently irreconcilable contradictions in his life and creative activity that have served at once to hinder the work of biographers and analysts who would seek to bring order and clarity in the service of ‘objective truth’ and to encourage the work of those who would seek to enlist him to enable some political, social or cultural goal. Turning to general history, as Liszt entered the twentieth century, the world that he knew was about to change drastically, the optimism and belief in progress that characterised the late nineteenth century would be shattered artistically and politically. Liszt’s principles of humanism had little place in the new world order, and his best-known music, that for piano, seemed out of place in modern Europe, even though it was through the performances and recordings of his piano pupils that the memory and legacy of Liszt were best kept alive in the first decades of the twentieth century. The most notable Liszt achievement of the early twentieth century was the collaborative work on the first collected edition of the musical works (1907–36). The jubilee of his birth in 1911 was recognised in various German locations, but any lasting after-effects were hindered by the war. In the 1930s, Liszt became the focus of national-political debates over national identity. Even before the Liszt year of 1936, which was a major year for publishing about him, Liszt had been (surprisingly) appropriated by the Third Reich as a banner bearer for National Socialism,15 at the same time as he was the subject of ‘Magyarising’ in Hungary.16 The years after the Second World War brought a significant change to Liszt’s position within Europe: the historical cultivation of Liszt in Eastern Europe led to a special status under Socialism, in comparison with Western Europe. For example, the German Democratic Republic significantly promoted Liszt as harbinger of their political system and its aesthetic principles (as the National Socialists did), whereby the GDR

33 Liszt and the twentieth century

mounted the major German commemoration for Liszt in 1961. Characteristic of the Eastern European cultivation of Liszt was an emphasis upon performances in festivals and competitions. As Liszt scholarship dramatically increased during the 1970s and 1980s, the political boundaries became more permeable, although the proliferation of national Liszt societies, periodicals and research centres may have also led to a fragmenting of Liszt along national lines. Indeed, it is indicative that one of the major conferences from 1986 (Eisenstadt) centred on Liszt as received in the individual European countries and North America. The centenary of Liszt’s death also was the occasion for the highlighting of several new Liszt projects, including the thematic catalogue and the collected writings. The rise of the European Union and the downfall of Socialism resulted in a significantly greater mobility for performers and scholars and greater access to sources. However, throughout the twentieth century, regardless of political system, there was always a basic level of ongoing interest in Liszt on the part of individual composers, performers and scholars that maintained and disseminated the legacy of Liszt.

Publishing Arguably, Liszt was one of the most published piano composers of the nineteenth century: for example, the print-runs for his virtuoso keyboard works published by important Leipzig house Friedrich Hofmeister surpass those for such illustrious colleagues as Robert Schumann and Chopin.17 That same distinction, however, does not apply to his late piano compositions, some of which were not published until the later 1920s. While the great majority of Liszt’s works appeared in print during his lifetime, sometimes in multiple editions, the non-keyboard music was no longer readily available soon after his death. Some of this neglect may be attributed to ignorance caused by the obscuring ‘myth’ of Liszt as primarily a keyboard composer,18 some of it to the complexity of the source situation (the multiple versions of many Liszt pieces), some of it to a general disinterest in, if not disinclination toward, Liszt and his music, at least in the early to mid-twentieth century.19 The need for a collected edition of his music was identified soon after Liszt’s death, and indeed, one of the great tasks of twentieth-century Liszt scholarship has been to arrive at a definitive edition. A monumental effort in the first half of the century (specifically, from 1907 to 1936) was the incomplete 34-volume edition of Liszt’s collected works – undertaken by the Franz-Liszt-Stiftung and published by Breitkopf und H¨artel – which boasted ´ Ferruccio the collaboration of such illustrious musicians as B´ela Bartok, Busoni, Eug`ene d’Albert and Jos´e Vianna da Motta, as well as important

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scholars like Peter Raabe and Berthold Kellermann.20 The significance of this edition cannot be overestimated, for it brought a number of littleknown or unknown works to light, revealed the complexity of sources for many of Liszt’s compositions and provided the scholar, performer and public with both generally reliable editions and an overview of Liszt’s diverse oeuvre. In particular, Vianna da Motta’s publication in 1927 of the last volume of Verschiedene Werke f¨ur Pianoforte zu zwei H¨anden was a revelation for the musical world,21 since it contained such remarkable late pieces as ‘Nuages gris’, ‘Unstern’ and ‘Schlaflos’. Liszt could definitively take his place as one of the pioneers of experimental composition, as an innovator who anticipated the discoveries of early twentieth-century composers, above all in the dissolution of tonality. This edition nevertheless suffered from a number of flaws:22 it did not publish groups of compositions, such as the oratorios Christus and Die Legende von der heiligen Elisabeth, the organ music and most of the piano transcriptions and paraphrases; many of the sources were not consulted; editors, among whom were Liszt pupils, took the liberty to change or improve on the music, based on their recollections of Liszt’s performance; the editors even made changes to the music itself when it seemed too experimental (such as the second ending of the orchestral version of the Mephisto Waltz No. 1). The war brought a cessation of publication activity, cutting short the completion of the edition. As early as 1958, however, discussions were under way between Editio Musica in Budapest and Deutscher Verlag f¨ur Musik in Leipzig regarding the completion of the collected edition. Given the problems stated above, it quickly became apparent that a completely new edition was required. Discussions were so far along that the editorial principles were already in place by 1961, the 150th anniversary of Liszt’s birth.23 The East German publisher pulled out in 1966, but Editio Musica continued preparations on its own,24 and in 1970 could publish the first volume of the New Liszt Edition (Neue Liszt-Ausgabe), consisting of part of the e´ tudes. During the twentieth century, over thirty volumes were published by such distinguished Hungarian scholars as Imre Sulyok (editor-in-chief) and M´aria Eckhardt. This collected edition was also not without its questionable editorial policies, in particular to publish only the final version of a work, under the assumption that the changes represent Liszt’s corrections and final thoughts.25 Other large-scale twentieth-century publications of Liszt’s music contributed to the availability of the music to performer and scholar, although the majority of these editions were of the piano music. The British Liszt Society published eleven volumes of piano music, songs and chamber music between 1950 and 1996, in editions that were well suited to performance.

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Emil von Sauer edited twelve volumes of Liszt’s most familiar and popular piano music, which appeared under the C. F. Peters imprint in 1917 (as an alternative to the Breitkopf edition). In its tradition of producing ‘Urtext’ editions for pianists, Henle in Munich published eight volumes of the leading sets of works by Liszt from 1975. But perhaps the most impressive editorial achievement of the late twentieth century, apart from the new collected edition, was Martin Haselb¨ock’s ten-volume edition of the organ music (1985–99, Universal in Vienna), which is exemplary for its editing, printing and commentary. Among various ‘national’ editions of Liszt’s music, particularly valuable is a Russian seven-volume ‘complete’ edition of the operatic transcriptions, from 1958 to 1968.

Performance/recording As already mentioned, the dissemination of Liszt’s music and influence in the twentieth century had much to do with the large number of his piano students who pursued successful performing careers throughout the world, and passed on the Liszt legacy in turn to their own students. And Liszt students were greatly in demand as teachers: the importance of pedigree in the performing world meant that pupils of Liszt and, later, their pupils would be sought by aspirants to pianistic greatness. By some estimates, Liszt taught over 400 students throughout a life that in all of its stages valued the training of the future generation. Liszt held regular ‘master classes’ in his Weimar residences, in the Altenburg during the 1850s and in the Hofg¨artnerei during the 1870s and 1880s. The first generation brought such talented pupils as von B¨ulow, Tausig, Klindworth, Hans and Ingeborg von Bronsart and Mason (several of whom lived into the twentieth century), while in the later years Liszt taught Friedheim, G¨ollerich, Lamond, Joseffy, Menter, Timanoff, Ansorge, Vianna da Motta, Reisenauer, Rosenthal, Sauer, Siloti, Stradal and Thom´an (among many others, most of whom were active also in the twentieth century). As a sampling of dissemination, ‘Liszt’ was spread in the United States by Mason, in Hungary by Thom´an, in Russia by Siloti, in Italy by Sgambati, in France by Ja¨ell and in Portugal and South America by Vianna da Motta. Of Liszt’s students, at least fifty became noted as performers in their own right, and nineteen of them left behind recordings of their playing eighty-five of his works.26 It is this performing and recorded legacy of Liszt’s music, once removed from him yet with strong claims to authenticity, that would carry not only the piano compositions but also his performance practice into the twentieth century.27 Of course, some late-nineteenth-century pianists did not study with Liszt but played his music (Paderewski and

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Hofmann, for example), yet the pupils could lay claim to ‘authenticity’, which interested the twentieth century to the extent that the students could give an idea of how the ‘world’s greatest virtuoso’ himself performed. Of course, the Liszt ‘family’ exponentially increased as his students took up teaching in their respective countries and cities. Among the next genera´ (taught tion are such pre-eminent twentieth-century performers as Bartok by Thom´an) and Rachmaninov (taught by Siloti). It is not necessary to trace the careers of all the pianists and their students to confirm how they kept the music of Liszt alive during the twentieth century, even at times when his popularity was at a low point within the musical community in general. However, studying the life, career and works of a leading ‘Liszt pianist’ of the early twentieth century (whose Liszt interpretations were also recorded) does provide insights into how a performer could keep Liszt in the public’s eye through a broad range of activities (including composition). Probably the most open and enthusiastic Liszt exponent in the early twentieth century, and some would say the musician who most closely modelled himself and his work on Liszt, was the Italian (–German) piano virtuoso and composer Ferruccio Busoni.28 Indeed, contemporaries recognised him ‘as the true successor to Liszt, with whom no Paderewski or Rachmaninov could seriously be compared’.29 Both his parents were musicians, and his father encouraged him along the path of prodigy, which he initiated with a public performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C Minor at the age of 8. In 1877, Busoni heard Liszt play and was introduced to him; this encounter with Liszt was followed by Martin Wegelius’s encouragement of a serious interest in Liszt (1888–90, while Busoni was a piano teacher at the Musikinstitut in Helsinki), which then grew from year to year. In 1894, Busoni decided on a performing career, and to facilitate that he ‘began the study of the piano again by taking as his guide the works of Liszt’.30 Liszt would eventually become one element of an ‘elective ancestral triumvirate which lies at the root of all his mature works: Bach – Mozart – Liszt’.31 Busoni presents one of the most complex and richest instances of Lisztrezeption in the twentieth century: on the one hand, he actively promoted the cause of Liszt by playing his music throughout a long career as virtuoso (he liked to perform the Transcendental Etudes and the Ann´ees de p`elerinage as sets);32 producing twenty-two transcriptions and arrangements of music by Liszt, including the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 19 and the ‘Heroic March in Hungarian Style’;33 authoring four essays about Liszt;34 and planning a collected edition of Liszt’s works and editing the Liszt Etudes for publication in that undertaking.35 But on the other hand, as a result of this intense preoccupation with Liszt, Busoni’s original music carried key components of Liszt’s musical legacy forward into the twentieth century – most broadly speaking, thematic transformation, transcription, virtuosity – in such compositions as

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the Piano Concerto, the Indianische Fantasie, and the ‘Zigeunerlied’. Sitwell provides a fascinating insight into the wide-ranging, restless genius of Liszt and Busoni when he writes that ‘both of them, with their exceptional, magical powers, were forever searching for a secret that was never revealed to them, or was only suffered to live in flashes before their eyes for the space of a few moments’.36 Busoni moreover perpetuated Liszt’s legacy through his teaching. A number of his pupils and friends formed a closely knit group of pianists, called the ‘Busoni network’ by Marc-Andr´e Roberge.37 The other major figure in this network was Kaikhosru Sorabji, who championed the music of Liszt and Busoni in his own compositions and writings.38 For example, between 1940 and 1944, Sorabji published 100 piano studies under the title Etudes transcendantes: as Michael Habermann noted, ‘the dazzling virtuosity of composer-pianists in the Lisztian tradition, such as Ferruccio Busoni and Leopold Godowsky, further inspired Sorabji to write music that would make the utmost technical and musical demands upon the interpreter’.39 Sorabji’s Fantaisie espagnole from 1919 also clearly harks back to the tradition of ostensibly ‘Spanish’ works like Liszt’s Rhapsodie espagnole. Other members of this Busoni network of pianist-composers who as his friends or students brought the Liszt legacy well into the twentieth century were Leopold Godowsky, Percy Grainger, Gunnar Johansen, Egon Petri and Ronald Stevenson. Here we observe a clear series of lines for the dissemination of Liszt, inspired by a particularly active enthusiast (Busoni). A certain bifurcation occurred within Liszt performance in the second half of the twentieth century, as virtuosity regained a respectability in the eyes of the public and musicians. While a Liszt pianist like Alfred Brendel would provide solid, well-considered renditions of the music, Earl Wild and others worked to restore the flamboyance of performer and performance, in the spirit of Liszt’s own physical, highly charged presentations of the late 1830s and the 1840s. And even for less ‘extravagant’ players, works like the Schubert or Chopin song transcriptions or selections from the Ann´ees de p`elerinage or the Concert Studies would fill out a programme. Festivals provided the opportunity for all-Liszt concerts, which might exclusively feature works from one of the larger sets and as such became a ne plus ultra for pianists (and audiences). It was not uncommon that concerts associated with Liszt would involve more than one pianist, whereby the experience of the concert as an extravaganza would be created,40 in emulation of Romantic virtuoso practices. In the last decades of the century, a new type of Liszt performer emerged, who was equally proficient and knowledgeable as performer and scholar. The two leading exponents of this approach to Liszt are Kenneth Hamilton and Leslie Howard, both from Great Britain. Concert pianist Hamilton

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produced a valuable study of the Sonata in B Minor,41 while Howard – whose 95-CD complete recording of Liszt’s piano music is one of the great musical achievements of the twentieth century42 – edited the Liszt Society Journal and published unknown works of Liszt. Of course, the piano music was not the only part of Liszt’s compositional oeuvre performed and recorded in the twentieth century (although it made up the great majority of performances). Above all, the piano concertos and orchestrated versions of the Hungarian Rhapsodies were able to maintain themselves in orchestral repertoires. However, with the exception of Les Pr´eludes and possibly the Faust Symphony, the other orchestral music did not enter into repertoires,43 and in fact declined in performance frequency into the 1950s.44 Dani`ele Pistone surveyed the Parisian concert scene for 1929 to 1930, and discovered that compared with 126 performances of Beethoven, Liszt’s name appeared only thirty times, eleven for Les Pr´eludes, six for the Piano Concerto in E Major, and five for the Hungarian Fantasy.45 Early in the century, Peter Raabe distinguished himself as a conductor of the symphonies and symphonic poems in his capacity as principal conductor in Weimar between 1907 and 1920 and the Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein maintained a policy of performing larger works by Liszt until its temporary cessation of activity in 1914 owing to the war.46 Unfortunately, some of Liszt’s most effective works, namely the choral music and Lieder, did not become standard repertoire in either concert or recorded venues.

Composition The influence of a given composer upon composers of succeeding generations is perhaps the hardest to trace, for (when positive) it ranges from direct quotation (most often in paraphrases or homages) to formal, motivic and harmonic concepts or practices, in other words from the obvious to the hidden. Of all composers of the early twentieth century to fall under ´ were arguably the most Liszt’s influence, Richard Strauss and B´ela Bartok significant and the most indebted to him. Even here, however, where they seem most obvious, questions arise about the nature of transmission and the extent of influence. On the one hand, Strauss readily acknowledged his debt to Liszt’s aesthetics and music:47 I feel so completely at one with the symphonic poems, at least, and they correspond to my nature so completely that I really believe that, without ever having known the great master, I am capable of expressing the poetic content of his works in a mode that at least ‘corresponds’ (according to (1892)48 A[lexander] R[itter]).

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On the other, Strauss himself repeatedly attributed his knowledge of Liszt to the mediation of mentor and Liszt pupil Alexander Ritter, in autobiographical statements that scholars have attributed more to sentimentality for a dear teacher than to documentation of an actual relationship.49 Whatever the actual nature of sources for Strauss’s devotion to Liszt, which must be reinforced by Strauss’s own conducting activities – the first performance was H´ero¨ıde fun`ebre at the annual festival of the Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein in 188950 – there is no question that Strauss fashioned himself as a latter-day Liszt (‘Liszt redivivus’). His activities as Kapellmeister in Weimar (1889–92 and 1893–4) reveal parallels with Liszt’s own roles in Weimar during the 1850s, including the ‘exemplary’ performance of Wagner, promotion of music by promising contemporaries and the general reform of musical life in the city.51 Later, when he had acquired a position as a leading figure in German music, Strauss availed himself of a broader platform for the reform of German musical life: in 1901, he successfully engineered his election to the presidency of the Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein, the primary German society for the performance of new music, founded by Liszt in 1861.52 During his term, Strauss established himself as Liszt’s successor: he prominently featured Liszt’s larger compositions next to new works above all by Gustav Mahler, supported the careers of younger composers like Schoenberg and promoted the cause of his composer colleagues by advocating copyright reform. By doing so, Strauss not only drew upon Liszt’s model, but also realised his specific Weimar-based plans for advancing German music, which had led to the creation of the ADMV in the first place.53 Despite significant differences in approaches to programmes, texture and instrumentation, Strauss’s tone poems were regarded as carrying on the ‘Musik als Ausdruck’ aesthetic as initiated by Liszt in his writings and symphonic poems and codified by Friedrich von Hausegger in his 1885 book, Musik als Ausdruck. In contrast with Liszt’s symphonic poems that, in their experimental qualities and inconsistent inspiration, remained largely unknown and unperformed, however, the tone poems of Strauss almost immediately entered the orchestral repertoire and came to represent one face of musical modernity at the turn of the century. Strauss in turn served as model for a number of composer-epigones, the most prominent of whom in Germany belonged to the so-called Munich School of composers around the year 1900, who in their dedication to the principle of programme music saw themselves as maintaining the principles of the New-German School.54 Chief among them were Max von Schillings and Friedrich von Hausegger, with such tone poems as Meergruß and Seemorgen (Schillings) and Barbarossa and Wieland der Schmied (Hausegger). Outside Germany, composers wrote quite significant orchestral programme music in the first two decades

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of the twentieth century, but their inspiration generally came directly from Liszt rather than filtered through Strauss (see below). ´ wrote and/or spoke about Liszt throughout his life, Like Strauss, Bartok ´ came to although he was not as uncritically favourable.55 However, Bartok know Liszt through a different set of circumstances: his early training was as a pianist, and at that time it stood to reason that a Hungarian pianist would study and perform Liszt.56 Moreover, as a student at the Academy of Music ´ was surrounded by the legacy of Liszt.57 Bartok’s ´ son in Budapest, Bartok reminisced in 1977 how his father ‘highly respected [Liszt] since his youth’.58 ´ performances of the Sonata in B Minor and the Spanish Indeed, Bartok’s Rhapsody before the age of 20, which earned critical acclaim, testify to his ´ most noted comments early preoccupation with Liszt.59 Perhaps Bartok’s about Liszt appeared in print in the commemoration year 1911.60 There, as in later articles and lectures, he tried to come to grips with the ‘Liszt problem’, which he considered to be Liszt’s juxtaposition of the trivial or hackneyed with the sublime or new (and the public’s inability to distinguish ´ also had difficulties the two caused its ongoing ‘rejection of him’).61 Bartok with the unauthenticity of the Hungarian element in Liszt’s music and writings, yet refused to lay the blame at Liszt’s feet, but rather at his age’s lack of knowledge of true Hungarian folk music. Whatever Liszt’s deficiencies, ´ public rhetoric recognised Liszt as a great composer and even mainBartok’s tained that ‘the compositions of Liszt exerted a greater fertilizing effect on ´ the next generation than those of Wagner’.62 In retrospect, in 1936, Bartok could review those influences of Liszt and thereby identify Richard Strauss, Busoni, Debussy and Ravel.63 In an interesting manifestation of the interplay between politics and the arts, the editors of Nyugat struck out the final ´ article, in which he soundly criticised those who five sentences of Bartok’s appropriated the Hungarian Liszt for reactionary political policies: ‘they have shown contempt throughout their professional lives for Liszt’s artistic principles’.64 ´ disseminated Liszt’s legacy as performer and writer, he also While Bartok passed on Liszt’s compositional legacy in his own works. L´aszlo´ Somfai has ´ positive rhetoric about Liszt must be read according argued that Bartok’s to hidden motivations and thus we must be careful not to attribute too much influence to Liszt,65 yet Somfai himself acknowledges that the Third String Quartet has as a model Liszt’s B Minor Sonata, ‘one of the great ´ .66 Early piano pieces experiences of the young pianist-composer Bartok’ like the second Fantasia and the Scherzo draw heavily on Lisztian devices like root progressions by thirds and motion ‘from a minor triad to the major triad on its third’.67 Influences of Liszt can be found in other early works, such as the piano Elegy, no. 1, op. 8b, Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra, op. 1 and the Second Suite, but it is in the symphonic poem Kossuth of 1903

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that the hand of Liszt is most evident, above all in the thematic transforma´ tion, which would remain an important structural principle for Bartok. ´ indebtedness to Liszt, he was Regardless of the actual details of Bartok’s perceived as having carried Liszt’s musical legacy into the twentieth century, creating a lineage that writers (especially Hungarians) would be fond of ´ recommendation from 1911 was prophetic, if evoking. However, Bartok’s not setting the actual direction for performing, for the approach to Liszt, whereby individuals were encouraged to sort out ‘good’ from ‘bad’ works in creating a repertoire of Liszt for performing works or listening (and eventual canonisation). The subjectivity of these personal interpretations is evident ´ own enthusiasm for Totentanz, a work that would be easy to from Bartok’s dismiss on a superficial level for its flashy virtuosity. Such an approach contributed to the problematic reception of Liszt during the twentieth century, which more often than not dismissed the composer altogether as a mere writer of second-rate piano music. Of course, already by the turn of the century a Liszt tradition had established itself in Hungary, not least through the naming of the Academy of Music after him in 1925.68 Liszt had some influence upon Hungarian composer-contemporaries such as Ferenc Erkel and Mih´aly Mosonyi, but ´ and by the next generation, represented by Ernst von Dohn´anyi, Bartok Zolt´an Kod´aly, the influence was inescapable. Although chiefly inspired by Brahms, Dohn´anyi did employ the Hungarianisms that characterised the works of Liszt, which can be seen in a work like the Second String Quartet. ´ and Kod´aly As a result of their own ethnomusicological studies, both Bartok rejected Liszt’s concept and use of Hungarian national elements, preferring to base their music upon authentic folk music. Nevertheless, Kod´aly received significant inspiration from Liszt while a student at the Academy of Music (1900–4), for during that time he became intimately familiar with Liszt’s library.69 It is hard to hear a work like the Psalmus Hungaricus without thinking of Liszt’s large choral works like Psalm 13 or the Hungarian Coronation Mass. Hungarian composers born in the twentieth century experienced the influence of Liszt in different ways from their predecessors. For example, the symphonic or tone poem was no longer cultivated, at least not in the ´ or manner of Liszt or Strauss; Liszt’s thematic Hungarianisms and Bartok’s Kod´aly’s quotations from Hungarian folk music were replaced by a more subtle and integrated drawing upon folk material; and early twentieth´ had already explored the possibilities century composers including Bartok of one-movement form pioneered by Liszt in his B Minor Sonata and arch form as underlying symphonic poems like Les Pr´eludes. In the works of the post-war generation of Gy¨orgy Kurt´ag and Gy¨orgy Ligeti, we discover influences particularly (but not exclusively) from Liszt’s late piano compositions,

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including symmetrical and other non-tonal harmonies, open form, and octatonic scales.70 There exist as well clearer allusions to Liszt in the music of Ligeti,71 primarily the second scene of his opera Le Grand Macabre, with its ‘twisted variants . . . of Liszt’s Grand Galop chromatique thrown in’.72 Also, the Transcendental Etudes may have left their mark upon Ligeti’s second book of e´ tudes through their virtuosity, and Constantin Floros has convincingly argued for Ligeti’s modelling of the pianistic technique of the Piano Concerto on Liszt’s Ann´ees de p`elerinage and the Dante Sonata.73 However, not all of the musical elements enumerated above were the sole property of Liszt, nor did his influence limit itself to Hungarian composers. Still, the cultivation of Liszt in Hungary would have ensured a close familiarity with it on the part of composers, who might add his stylistic elements to their compositional palette. One way composers in the later twentieth century could intentionally invoke Liszt and his music was through writing an ‘Hommage a` [Franz] Liszt’, which would prominently and unmistakably draw upon thematic material or compositional techniques associated with Liszt.74 Besides Busoni, other early twentieth-century German or Austrian composers also profited from or valued some aspect(s) of Liszt’s oeuvre, but had neither the level of enthusiasm nor the possibilities of dissemination that Busoni did. Chief among these figures was Max Reger, who as church musician would play Liszt’s organ music, who shared with Liszt a common musical inspiration in Bach and who valued Liszt’s artistic credo.75 Hugo Wolf also promoted Liszt, above all in his reviews, in which he notoriously elevated Liszt’s symphonic poems above the symphonies of Brahms.76 Wolf’s symphonic poem Penthesilea (1883–5) owes much to Liszt, but the songs are clearly Wagnerian in nature. At that same time, in the same German-speaking region of Europe, we discover voices in opposition to Liszt, proving that he was a figure about whom it was difficult to be neutral or silent. James Zychowicz has effectively presented Gustav Mahler’s significant problems with Liszt, dispelling myths about debts and borrowings (such as their settings of Goethe’s ‘Alles Verg¨angliche ist nur ein Gleichnis’, respectively in the Faust Symphony and the Eighth Symphony).77 Mahler ‘was not particularly disposed to Liszt’s music . . . and he disparaged the kind of program music that Liszt composed’.78 Even though he did speak favourably about Die Legende von der heiligen Elisabeth and conducted Les Pr´eludes and other Liszt works in New York City, there is no evidence Mahler promoted Liszt in either century. The same applies to Arnold Schoenberg: although he admitted an influence of Liszt in Verkl¨arte Nacht 79 and the First String Quartet80 and clearly was indebted to Liszt in the symphonic poem P´elleas und M´elisande, Schoenberg’s one major statement about his predecessor, in a jubilee assessment

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from 1911,81 seriously took the celebratee to task. Like many of his contemporaries, Schoenberg could not get beyond Liszt as primarily a virtuoso composer, and – like his modernist colleagues Loos and Kraus – believed that ornamentation for its own sake was criminal. We must keep in mind, of course, that Liszt’s late compositions were still unknown at the time. During his lifetime, Liszt cultivated close ties to French and Russian composers, which would become paths for his influence into the twentieth century. Already in 1842, he made the acquaintance of the young C´esar Franck, who would remain under Liszt’s (and Wagner’s) influence, especially in the area of organ music but also in his composition of symphonic poems. Liszt’s relationship with Saint-Sa¨ens was richer on a personal and musical basis: they met several times, and Saint-Sa¨ens emulated Liszt’s approaches to the symphonic poem in his own orchestral works like Le Rouet d’Omphale, Danse macabre and Pha´eton.82 Vincent d’Indy spent eleven days in Weimar in 1873, where he saw Liszt teach and received compositional advice, which would translate into symphonic poems like Wallenstein (1873–1881) and La Forˆet enchant´ee (1878). The greatest interest for Liszt’s influence upon French composers of the twentieth century is the extent to which his music left a mark upon Debussy and Ravel. Musicologists have been too quick and facile in assigning to Liszt the position of ‘father of Impressionism’, who anticipated the style of those two composers. Now that scholars have begun to pull apart the movement labelled Impressionism and its two alleged exponents, we can recognise Liszt’s differentiated role in their music, a position that Timbrell anticipated in 1979. There can be little doubt that Liszt’s ‘modal effects, whole-tone harmony, pedalling and various coloristic devices greatly influenced Debussy’s piano music’.83 Liszt researchers have frequently pointed to ‘Harmonies du soir’ of the Transcendental Etudes and ‘Les Jeux d’eau a` la Villa d’Este’ of the Ann´ees de p`elerinage: troisi`eme ann´ee as antecedents to the piano sonorities in Debussy. Yet Debussy did not favourably review the symphonic poem Mazeppa, and otherwise did not write or speak in detail about Liszt, quite in contrast with Ravel. Ravel studied and played Liszt’s virtuosic works, often together with Riccardo Vi˜nes,84 he was familiar with the symphonic works (the Hungarian Rhapsodies supposedly served as inspiration for ‘Tzigane’) and most significantly, Ravel’s keyboard style is heavily indebted to Liszt, and not only in works like ‘Jeux d’eau’ and ‘Gaspard de la nuit’ (the latter shows off the utmost technical skill of a pianist in the tradition of Liszt). Still, as an important study of the French reception of Liszt in 1911 has demonstrated, the French showed little interest in Liszt during the first decades of the twentieth century, guided by the bias against his virtuoso piano music.85 He was ‘barred from the Schola, hardly present in the conservatory’,86 which – coupled with the dearth of performances of his

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orchestral music – essentially kept Liszt out of the public’s and young performer’s eye. Russia presented a different story in the early twentieth century, in part owing to the extent of Liszt’s contacts with Russian composers and the absence of a strong anti-virtuoso (and anti-German) aesthetic there. Also, ‘the opposition of Weimar versus Leipzig was of absolutely no consequence for Russian music in the second half of the 19th century’.87 The list of Russian composers whose work Liszt valued and supported encompasses almost all of the noted figures of the nineteenth century: Glinka, Dargomizhsky, Balakirev, Borodin, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Cui, Glazunov and Liadov.88 The indebtedness of these Russian composers to Liszt has been well documented89 – what is important here is how they passed on Liszt in their teaching and their compositions. Sergei Liapunov was actually a pupil of Klindworth, but he was so taken by Liszt that he composed 12 Etudes d’ex´ecution transcendante in emulation of the great virtuoso. In the case of Sergei Rachmaninov, Liszt pupil Siloti was his cousin, and Liszt works like the Concerto in E Major, the Hungarian Rhapsodies and the Totentanz served as staples in his performing career. As pianist, he then brought his predilection for Liszt to the New World, where he joined other European e´ migr´es like Paderewski (who also performed much Liszt). His tremendous virtuosity has consistently evoked comparisons with Liszt, as has his idiomatic writing for the keyboard – above all, the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (1934) is hard to imagine without the influence of Liszt’s Totentanz.90 Three further leading Russian composers of the twentieth century admitted their debt to or at least admiration of Liszt: Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich and Igor Stravinsky. As piano student of Anna Essipoff and composition student of Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev could not help but experience the influence of Liszt – in his memoirs, he confessed to especially liking the concertos of Liszt,91 and traces of Liszt are indeed evident in his own concertos. Shostakovich’s preferred performing repertoire during his student days included Liszt, to the extent that he played Venezia e Napoli at his graduation recital in 1923.92 He also planned in 1925 to compose a large piano sonata modelled on the B Minor Sonata.93 Stravinsky studied with Rimsky-Korsakov and grew up in the shadow of other composers who had close ties to Liszt. In The Etude of January 1925, Stravinsky remarked how he had ‘higher honor and admiration for the great Liszt whose immense talent in composition is often underrated’94 – it would be interesting to subject his ‘Russian’ ballets to analysis for Lisztian style elements. Liszt’s symphonic legacy found resonance in other European ‘national schools’ and North America. In Bohemia, Josef Suk carried on the tradition of the symphonic poem as communicated from Liszt to Smetana. Sibelius

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never had personal contact with Liszt, yet his teacher Wegelius was a Liszt enthusiast – in 1894, he studied the Faust Symphony in detail and in the same year acknowledged in a letter the following: ‘Really I am a tone painter and poet. Liszt’s view of music is the one to which I am closest.’95 This attitude is reflected in Sibelius’s symphonic poems from the 1890s, including Kullervo and En Saga. Finally, in the United States, Liszt’s music filtered in in the second half of the nineteenth century through performances of virtuosi like Mason and von B¨ulow and the conducting activity of Theodore Thomas, who championed the musical creations of the New German School through performances by his touring orchestra.96 Charles Ives modelled his Second Piano Sonata (‘Concord’) on the Sonata in B Minor and George Gershwin, whose teacher Charles Hambitzer introduced him to Liszt, drew upon the traditions and features of Liszt’s rhapsodies in his own Rhapsody in Blue. In passing, it should be noted that Liszt’s music has served for a variety of twentieth-century ballet productions, including Constant Lambert’s adaptation of Liszt called Dante Sonata (London, 1939, choreography by Frederick Ashton), Darius Milhaud’s adaptation of Liszt in Beloved (New York, 1941, choreography by Nijinska) and Hungarian Rhapsody (Rome, 1944, choreography by Miloss).

Scholarship As already mentioned, the heterogeneity and ambiguity of Liszt himself enabled the creation of a host of ‘Liszts’ in the hands of scholars in the late nineteenth and the twentieth centuries. These ‘Liszts’, however, do cluster themselves according to date and place, according to the cultural work required of Liszt in a given society at a given time. Thus the following discussion presents Liszt scholarship by nation or region, but within the frame of a rough chronological ordering. At the time of Liszt’s death his lasting legacy seemed to be assured through the activities of scholars, for through the diligent work of two pioneering women musicologists, Lina Ramann and Marie Lipsius (pen name La Mara), an authoritative, large-scale biography was under way (Ramann’s Franz Liszt als K¨unstler und Mensch, for which Liszt provided information and which he considered to be his ‘official’ biography),97 and his collected writings were already available in print.98 Only a few years later, a large collection of his letters would appear under the editorship of La Mara, who had already begun to collect these documents before his death. All that was missing was a full thematic catalogue and a collected edition of the musical works, which usually did not appear until considerably after the death of a composer. That the biography is based upon Ramann’s

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subjective interpretation of the sources and incorporates a number of factual errors, that the collected edition of the writings took liberties with the original texts, that the letters edition omits passages without references and misreads passages, can be expected from scholarly work of that era (see, for example, Cosima Wagner’s editions of her husband’s letters or Friedrich Niecks’s biography of Chopin). Despite questions about their methodologies, however, Ramann’s edition of the collected writings remained in use until the 1980s and La Mara’s edition of the letters continued to serve scholars throughout the twentieth century. The reliance upon these older, partial ‘uncritical’ editions certainly limited Liszt scholarship during the twentieth century, which in part engaged in bringing the lacking documents to light, in part drew what could only be considered provisional conclusions. At times, the lack of authoritative editions led to false representations of Liszt, such as in National Socialist propaganda, which believed the anti-Semitic statements in the second edition of D`es Boh´emiens et leur musique en hongrie to have originated with Liszt, when more recent scholarship has shown them to be the work of the Princess zu Sayn-Wittgenstein.99 The lack of a definitive edition of the letters became a leitmotive during the last two decades of the century, with several announced attempts that never materialised – however, as more and more of Liszt’s truly monumental correspondence was uncovered, the task of a new edition became ever more daunting. It is to the credit of German scholar Detlef Altenburg that he recognised and was able to answer the need for a new edition of Liszt’s writings (see below). Ramann’s Franz Liszt als K¨unstler und Mensch was important in its day, especially as a repository of first-hand comments by and observations about Liszt, and it established a tripartite division of his life that even Walker would follow in its outlines. Liszt scholarship had only to wait forty years for a new and improved ‘definitive’ biography, which not coincidentally was produced by a German Liszt enthusiast and musicologist who enjoyed close ties with Weimar. Peter Raabe, whose biography and source study would remain the standard until the work of Alan Walker in the 1980s and 1990s, wrote a dissertation about Liszt at a time when ‘serious’ musical scholars studied the music of the distant past. Despite his full complicity with the National Socialist agenda, Raabe merits recognition for his attempt to ‘show to others the path to an understanding of one of the greatest men who ever lived’:100 as principal conductor in Weimar between 1907 and 1920 and custodian of the Liszt Museum there from 1910 to his death in 1945, Raabe was able to combine a performer’s experience of the music with a scholar’s knowledge of the sources. Above all, his two-volume study Liszts Leben and Liszts Schaffen from 1931 comprehensively engaged with primary sources for Liszt’s life and work for the first time, both letters and composition manuscripts. Because

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of its reliance on sources and ‘objective’, academic style, Raabe’s study was able to strip away the Romantic accretions to Liszt. As a result, scholars had a reasonable base upon which to build and the general public could obtain a fairly reliable picture of the man and his music, arguably for the first time. The unbroken history of a Liszt House/Museum in Weimar (Hofg¨artnerei) from shortly after his death (1887) contributed to making that city a centre for Liszt research during the twentieth century.101 Liszt’s letters and manuscripts from his last residence in Weimar were sent to the F¨urstin (Princess) Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein in Rome upon his death, but after her passing on 8 March 1887, her daughter F¨urstin Marie von Hohenlohe-Schillingsf¨urst gave the ‘Liszt-Nachlaß’ back to the principality of Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach.102 To 1945, the Museum had four custodians: Carl Gille (1887–1899), Carl M¨ullerhartung (1899–1902), Aloys Obrist (1902–1910) and Peter Raabe (1910–1945). Further archival Liszt materials were purchased over the years, and partial bequests of colleagues and researchers like Ramann, La Mara and Raabe were added to the collection. By the end of the twentieth century, the archive would possess manuscripts of over 470 works by Liszt and 6,000 letters to and from Liszt, making it the world’s largest repository of primary sources by Liszt. As a result, much archival research about Liszt throughout the twentieth century had connections to the Nachlaß in Weimar. Not surprisingly, research by scholars with close ties with Weimar like La Mara, Ramann, Raabe and Friedrich Schnapp dominated the German scene in the first decades of the century. In 1916, Raabe produced the first serious source study about Liszt, about his orchestral music.103 At the same time, there was a real drive to gather and publish Liszt’s correspondence, led by La Mara, who not only produced eight volumes of letters from Liszt to various recipients (1893–1905, Breitkopf & H¨artel),104 but also published important letters to Liszt (Briefe hervorragender Zeitgenossen an Franz Liszt, 1895–1904) and individual volumes of letters to his mother and others.105 The decades after Liszt’s death also brought forth a myriad of Liszt reminiscences by colleagues, friends and pupils who wished to record his words and document his practices as teacher and performer:106 they include memoirs and documentations by colleagues Ramann, Richard Pohl and A. W. Gottschalg and pupils Amy Fay, Arthur Friedheim, August G¨ollerich, Alexander Siloti and August Stradal, among many others.107 In fact, a case could be made for Liszt as the most ‘remembered’ figure of music history, in part because of his multi-faceted life and activities. These were the individuals from Liszt’s sphere of influence, whom Detlef Altenburg has not inappropriately termed ‘hagiographers’.108 However, the first decades of the twentieth century constituted actually a low point in the popularity of Liszt in Europe and North America, with the scholarly

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Lisztrezeption dominated by the view of him as a shallow composer of flashy piano music. German musical scholarship coupled this scepticism of Liszt with a passion for Wagner, whose music was a legitimate subject for study.109 Only as the full range of Liszt’s music became known could the prejudices against him begin to fall away, and that only occurred gradually during the course of the century, as more and more serious, far-seeing researchers like Raabe and, later, Humphrey Searle, Dezs¨o Leg´any, Serge Gut and Alan Walker (among many others) took up the cause of Liszt. The 1930s were marked by an intensification of scholarly work about Liszt, first and foremost in the wake of Peter Raabe’s study, already discussed above. One of its most important features is the catalogue of works, which is a top-notch pioneering achievement of Peter Raabe and his son Felix. Liszt himself had participated in the organisation of Breitkopf ’s 1855 Thematisches Verzeichniss der Werke [von] F. Liszt (revised as Thematisches Verzeichnis der Werke, Bearbeitungen und Transkriptionen in 1877),110 but Raabe gave the scholar known sources, cross-references and the like for all identifiable works. His catalogue remained standard until Humphrey Searle published a new index of compositions for the Liszt article in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians of 1954, significantly revised by Sharon Winklhofer for publication in 1985.111 1936, with its fifty-year commemoration of Liszt’s death, was a watershed year for Liszt research, serving as the occasion for a variety of publications throughout Europe. The later 1930s generally brought increased scholarly interest in Liszt in German-speaking lands, as inspired by Raabe and in the wake of the National Socialist appropriation of Liszt for their cultural politics – not coincidentally, the initial emphasis was on genealogical study, to establish the composer’s suitability for study and performance, as German.112 At least partly in reaction to the German appropriation of Liszt, Hungarian scholars undertook ‘magyarising’ Liszt studies of their own, in order to claim him for their history and cultural legacy. Notable is Zolt´an G´ardonyi’s 1931 thesis and 1936 book about Hungarian stylistic elements in Liszt’s music.113 Also, Hungarian scholarship brought out in 1936 arguably the first comprehensive iconography of Liszt, Franz Liszt: Ein K¨unstlerleben in Wort und Bild, edited by Werner F¨ussmann and B´ela M´at´eka (despite the German title and collaborator, the illustrations were so directed towards ‘Magyarentum’ that the Reichsministerium f¨ur Volksaufkl¨arung und Propaganda forbade the Berlin press to review the book).114 From the 1930s onward, Hungarian scholars came to occupy an increasingly significant role in Liszt research, overtaking the Germans in the post-war years and, indeed, becoming pre-eminent in all aspects of work with Liszt, from the New Liszt Edition and the thematic catalogue to biographical and source studies.

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Beginning in the 1920s, French writers took an active role in advancing Liszt, especially with regard to his years in France. After general biographies of Liszt by Jean Chantavoine (1920) and Guy de Pourtal`es (1927), which found broad dissemination, Liszt’s letters to Countess Marie d’Agoult and to his children appeared in print respectively in 1933–4 and 1936, as edited by his grandson Daniel Ollivier.115 Robert Bory made images of Liszt and his haunts available in the same Liszt year (1936) as the aforementioned iconographical collection of F¨ussmann and M´at´eka. A Hungarian expatriate working in Paris, Emile Haraszti, on the one hand published valuable documents about Liszt’s years in Paris,116 on the other dropped a ‘bombshell’ (to quote Michael Saffle),117 in an attempt to take some of the shine from Liszt’s halo: he asserted that none of Liszt’s literary works were genuine, because of their collaborative origins and the lack of autographs.118 More recent research by M´aria Eckhardt and above all Detlef Altenburg has proven those assertions to be false (see below), yet Haraszti’s debunking of Liszt as author unfortunately discouraged scholars from dealing with the issue for over forty years. After the war, the topography of Europe changed, through the formation of the Iron Curtain. The most important sites for Liszt research – Weimar and Budapest – were now located within the East Bloc, which in a way confirmed Liszt’s own special sphere of influence within Eastern Europe and Russia. Granted his personal attachment to the region and his advocacy of French socialist thought, Liszt was well suited to play a major role in the cultural politics of the socialist countries.119 Nowhere is this development more evident than in Germany, where the German Democratic Republic – for example – hosted in 1961 the principal German commemoration of Liszt’s 150th birthday (in Weimar), collaborated with the People’s Republic of Hungary on the Liszt works edition during the 1960s and staged a series of Liszt competitions and awarded Liszt prizes for young performers throughout its existence.120 In contrast, in the Federal Republic of Germany, where Liszt stood in the shadow of Wagner (and even the Second Viennese School) and was not part of the post-war cultural politics, ‘the interest in the music of Franz Liszt was not . . . particularly large . . . not only for musical life in general . . . but also for scholarly work with Liszt’.121 The West German scholar of the 1960s who did show interest in Liszt was Carl Dahlhaus, whose forward-thinking writings focused on Liszt’s symphonic works and how they reveal formal and harmonic innovations in anticipation of twentieth-century discoveries. Following his lead, the next generation of scholars in the FRG, such as Detlef Altenburg, Norbert Miller and Dieter Torkewitz, produced Liszt studies in the 1970s that explored the aesthetics and theory behind specific genres and periods of his music.122 This makes for an illuminating comparison with Liszt scholarship of the GDR, where

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the primary interests seemed to reside in publishing primary documents and music and producing broad assessments of his life and works: this applies to such individuals as Werner Felix, Hans-Rudolf Jung and Wolfram Huschke.123 Combined with the active promotion of Liszt through performances, competitions and festivals, we could speculate that Liszt and his music played more significant roles in East Germany and, by extension, the socialist countries of Central Europe than in West Germany and the other countries of Western Europe, although – as for other composers – it is very difficult to determine how his influence filtered down to the broad public. The post-war years brought a special efflorescence of Liszt studies in Hungary, overwhelmingly by a young generation of scholars (G´ardonyi was the only scholar from the 1930s who remained active after the war). One tangible marker of this interest in Liszt was the large international ‘Liszt– ´ congress held in Budapest in 1961, which featured papers by Liszt Bartok’ scholars from all countries (although primarily from Hungary).124 Landmark Hungarian scholarly achievements from after 1945 (into the 1970s) include Bence Szabolcsi’s study of Liszt’s late life and works (1955), Istv´an Szelenyi’s analytical and historical investigation of Liszt’s harmonic innovations (1961), L´aszlo´ Somfai’s source-critical study of the Faust Symphony (1961), Margit Prah´acs’s edition of Liszt letters from Hungarian collections (1966), Kl´ara Hamburger’s popular biography of Liszt (1966), and Dezs¨o Leg´any’s documentary history of Liszt’s sojourns in Hungary (1976).125 In tandem with this scholarly work, the Hungarians mounted Liszt festivals and an international piano competition, among many other practical activities to promote and preserve his legacy. If in France we can only identify one scholar significantly contributing to Liszt research between 1945 and 1980 – composer-musicologist Serge Gut, with his 1975 study of Liszt’s compositional style –126 the same cannot be said for Great Britain, which produced writers who throughout the twentieth century showed an interest in Liszt. Music critic Ernest Newman, who during the 1930s would attempt to denounce Liszt as a fraud, wrote in 1900 that ‘[Liszt] brought into music, to a degree unparalleled by any previous musician, the vitalized experience of an unendingly active life’.127 Newman did not possess training as a musicologist, nor did later British writers on Liszt, whose contributions bore the marks of their training and profession: Sacheverell Sitwell was an art critic and poet, Humphrey Searle was first and foremost a composer and even Alan Walker received early training as pianist and analyst. Sitwell produced a well-written but ill-informed biography Liszt of 1934,128 whereas Searle’s Liszt publications profited from his analytical skills. Searle was responsible both for the authoritative Liszt works list in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1954), which revises and

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corrects Raabe,129 and for the quite perceptive one-volume survey of Liszt’s compositions, The Music of Liszt (1954), which appeared in a revised edition in 1966. In 1970, Alan Walker expanded upon Searle’s overview of Liszt’s oeuvre by publishing a valuable collection of essays about his life and works, by British scholars and performers.130 And in the United States, Michael Saffle produced what was the first American study of Liszt sources (and arguably the first detailed American study of Liszt in general).131 We shall return to Walker and Saffle when discussing most recent Liszt scholarship. Although the exponential growth of Liszt scholarship can be traced back to the 1960s or even the 1950s, there seems to have been a turning point in the late 1970s, as revealed by two developments: the birth of three periodicals devoted to Liszt and the first of a series of scholarly conferences dedicated to Liszt that would result in publications in important series. One of the Liszt-related developments of the late twentieth century was the emergence of national and international organisations devoted to the cultivation of Liszt and his music, often populated by amateur musicians and Liszt enthusiasts. With their emphasis on performance, such organisations as the American Liszt Society (founded in 1964) and the British Liszt Society (founded in 1951) contributed to popularising Liszt, at times, however, at the cost of scholarly substance. Noted exceptions are the Liszt Ferenc T´arsas´ag Szeks´ardi csoportja in Budapest, founded in 1893, and the FranzLiszt-Gesellschaft e.V. Weimar, established in 1990, both of which sponsor or support conferences, performances and publications. Of the various Liszt society publications, the Journal of the American Liszt Society (established in 1977 by Maurice Hinson and edited by Michael Saffle from 1987 to 1991) attained the highest level of scholarship, although the British Liszt Society Journal (founded in 1975 by Adrian Williams and Derek Watson) and Liszt Saeculum of the International Liszt Centre (1978–2001)132 did reprint valuable articles. The latest Liszt periodical publication, the Quaderni of the Istituto Liszt in Bologna (since 1998), seeks to maintain a high scholarly standard in publishing research about Liszt. Independent of the formation of Liszt societies and their publications was the establishment of Liszt research centres in diverse European counˆ of the tries during the 1970s and 1980s. The locations and raisons d’etre centres are most varied, but usually they were the creations of dedicated Liszt researchers in countries where Liszt was active and sometimes they are attached to libraries, collections or museums, whether the European Liszt Centre in Eisenstadt (Emmerich Horvath and the Burgenl¨andische Landesbibliothek), the Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum and Research Centre in Budapest (M´aria Eckhardt), the International Liszt Centre for 19th Century Music (Lennart Rabes), the Franz-Liszt-Forschungsstelle in Regensburg (Detlef Altenburg) or the Istituto Liszt in Bologna (Rossana Dalmonte).133

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What is important is that these centres were able to receive national and international recognition and support in order to mount exhibitions and conferences and to publish a journal, a monograph series, music or conference reports. Some of the most valuable recent scholarship about Liszt, by leading Liszt specialists, has appeared in four publication series that make available papers from topical conferences of the past twenty-five years: Liszt-Studien I–IV (vol. I: Kongreß-Bericht Eisenstadt 1975, 1977; vol. II: Referate des 2. Europ¨aischen Liszt-Symposions . . . , 1981; vol. III: Franz Liszt und Richard Wagner . . . , 1986; vol. IV: Der junge Liszt . . . , 1993), Wissenschaftliche Arbeiten aus dem Burgenland (among others, vol. 78: Liszt heute, 1987; vol. 87: Die Projekte der Liszt-Forschung, 1991; vol. 93: Liszt und die Nationalit¨aten, 1996), the Franz Liszt Studies Series of Pendragon Press (among others, vol. V: Liszt and His World, 1998; vol. VI: New Light on Liszt and His Music, 1997); and Weimarer Liszt-Studien (vol. I: Liszt und die Weimarer Klassik, 1997). This apparent wealth of scholarly resources should quell any complaints about a dearth of Liszt research. Yet the very plethora of these societies and research centres lends an apologetic air to them – certainly no other composer has such an extensive infrastructure of latter-day support. The fragmentation of Liszt scholarship into disparate national ‘schools’ through diverse societies and independent research centres may well have hindered the development of a collectivity that would facilitate the undertaking of large-scale international Liszt projects like a new edition of the letters or a comprehensive discography or iconography. At the same time, the geometrically increasing serious scholarly work on Liszt since the 1970s contributed to making him a respectable subject for research – it was no longer necessary to apologise for writing a dissertation about Liszt. This legitimation of Liszt within musical scholarship was the product of intense, perspicacious efforts by Liszt researchers in Europe and North America, often attached to large or important projects (collected writings, thematic catalogue, definitive biography). The centennial year 1986 was a milestone in that regard, not only calling forth a host of scholarly conferences, but also marking important initiatives like the establishment of the Liszt Research Centre in Budapest and the beginnings of the S¨amtliche Schriften. Detlef Altenburg became the leading German Liszt specialist, above all through his establishment of research centres in Regensburg and Weimar, his founding of the Franz-Liszt-Gesellschaft e.V. Weimar (1990), his editing of the Weimarer Liszt-Studien (Laaber) and his creation and editing of the new critical edition of the S¨amtliche Schriften, one of the major scholarly projects of the late twentieth century.134 Altenburg has encouraged the work of younger Liszt scholars, including Dorothea Redepenning (Liszt and Russia)

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and Rainer Kleinertz (Liszt’s French-era writings), and has involved nonGerman Liszt specialists in projects like the edition of writings (Serge Gut and Kl´ara Hamburger). Beyond editing books, Austrian Gerhard Winkler has published insightful articles about sources and about aesthetic questions surrounding Liszt’s music.135 In Hungary, the last quarter of the century saw the substantial and important contributions of M´aria Eckhardt, Director of the Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum and Research Centre in Budapest, to the Liszt cause. She has published valuable reference tools and studies about all aspects of Liszt’s life and work, but especially relating to Liszt and Hungary136 – most notably, Eckhardt (with American Rena Mueller) published the works list for the revised version of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and is co-editor of the Liszt thematic catalogue.137 As Director of the museum and research centre, she mounted exhibitions and hosted conferences, notably ‘Franz Liszt and Advanced Musical Education in Europe’ on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Budapest Academy of Music (2000).138 Other Hungarian Liszt scholars active before 1980 remained productive authors and editors, including Leg´any and Hamburger.139 The revival of popular interest in Liszt must be attributed to the efforts of a British researcher and Liszt enthusiast, Alan Walker, and in particular, his three-volume biography of Liszt (1983–96).140 Written in a style accessible to the general public as well as the scholar, this study of Liszt was the largest and most factually accurate to date, drawing on many unpublished sources. Walker’s support of Liszt festivals and societies and publication in newspapers and keyboard magazines has also brought Liszt scholarship to the public, as have his other monographs on the subject.141 British–Canadian scholar Pauline Pocknell has produced notable documentary studies on a variety of Liszt topics, and has set a particularly high standard in her edition of the Liszt-Agn`es Klindworth correspondence.142 British author Derek Watson published a useful one-volume biography,143 and Adrian Williams edited two volumes of Liszt documents in English translation.144 As mentioned under ‘Performance’, Kenneth Hamilton and Leslie Howard are in many ways unique among Lisztians, for their activities combine successful careers as Liszt performers with solid scholarship about his music.145 It is hard to point to important Liszt scholars in the United States before the 1970s, despite the activity of the American Liszt Society. First and foremost is the multifarious Liszt activity of Michael Saffle, who since his dissertation in 1977 published on such Liszt topics as bibliography, manuscript sources and journalistic reception, edited the Journal of the American Liszt Society and edited the Franz Liszt Studies Series for Pendragon Press. Especially noteworthy are the annotated Liszt bibliography, Franz Liszt: A Guide to Research (1991 – revised edition 2003), and the collection and analysis

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of press reports about Liszt’s German tours, Liszt in Germany 1840–1845 (1994).146 Saffle also hosted conferences and generally encouraged the work of younger scholars in the field. Charles Suttoni left his mark on Liszt scholarship through his bibliographies of Liszt correspondence, which extend from 1979 through 1999.147 Rena Mueller has published several articles about Liszt sources and is co-editor of the Liszt thematic catalogues, both for the second edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and as separate publication (under contract with Henle).148 Finally, it needs to be mentioned that at the turn of the century, leading figures in North American musicology – for example Richard Leppert and Lawrence Kramer – turned to Liszt in their scholarly publishing, albeit focused on the topic of his virtuosity.149 Other North American scholars who have approached Liszt’s virtuosity from the perspective of cultural studies are Susan Bernstein, Paul Metzner and the author of this chapter.150 Finally, although neither France nor Italy has brought forth large numbers of Liszt researchers in recent years, the work of two scholars merits special mention here. The Liszt work of both Serge Gut and Rossana Dalmonte has strong analytical foundations and national tendencies. After his ground-breaking dissertation of 1975, Gut edited a variety of conference reports and wrote extensively about Liszt and the French-speaking world, but most importantly, he authored the standard French-language biography of Liszt, co-edited the composer’s early writings and edited the correspondence of Liszt and Marie d’Agoult.151 Besides her aforementioned activities as director of the Istituto Liszt in Bologna and editor of the Quaderni, Dalmonte has undertaken over the last two decades above all a series of semiotic investigations of Liszt’s work.152 Despite the work of all of these scholars, the twentieth century did not advance the cause of Liszt in a number of specific areas, which has had a deleterious effect upon further research. Above all, the failure of Liszt scholarship to undertake an edition of the collected letters not only caused researchers to continue to rely upon old, often inaccurate, editions, but also precluded the salutary effects of participation in such a publication for young scholars (and resultant spin-off theses and articles). The lack of a discography and iconography may not have had such an effect, but the absence of a definitive thematic catalogue, collected edition of the writings and complete edition of the music until late in the century (and carrying over into the twenty-first century) has kept scholarship from a more intense and consistent engagement with Liszt’s music and thought. There is very little work on the sacred and choral music and the Lieder, for example. At the same time, the effort devoted to the issue of national identity probably had more of a fragmenting effect upon Liszt scholarship. Thus the cynical observer might speculate that Liszt scholarship was not much further advanced at the end

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of the twentieth century than it was at the beginning, and in fact possibly behind, since in 1900 his memory was still fresh among the public and musicians, and there existed a recent ‘definitive’ biography (Ramann), ‘reliable’ editions of letters and the literary works and plans for a critical edition of the music. Still, during the course of the twentieth century, scholarship has significantly advanced our understanding of the man and, to a lesser extent, his music and times.

Liszt in film An essay about Liszt in the twentieth century cannot close without reference to his role in film, that quintessentially ‘modern’ artistic genre. As John Tibbetts has remarked, ‘the man who threw his lance into the future will surely be a cinematic spokesperson for a New Age’.153 Liszt’s life and career were so colourful, so fascinating, the subject of so many popular legends, that he ranks among the most ‘filmed’ composers. Tibbetts identifies nine films since 1943 in which Liszt played an important role, more than just a cameo appearance – it is quite likely that more filmic representations of Liszt exist, for he limited his observations to Hollywood films, from the ‘biopic’ era and later. As might be expected, there are as many ‘Liszts’ as there are films, depending on the director’s and actor’s visions. For example, in A Song to Remember (1943), we find a generous and supportive Liszt vis-`avis the struggling Chopin, whereas the Liszt of Song of Love (1947), about Clara Schumann, is supercilious. Song Without End (1960) is a traditional biopic about Liszt himself, who is played rather blandly by Dirk Bogarde (this portrayal is of a Liszt pure and unblemished). At this point it is important to remember that except for documentaries, the genre of film is not about biographical accuracy but rather telling a story – or not telling a story, in the case of Lisztomania (1975). That brilliant satire by Ken Russell was roundly criticised by Liszt enthusiasts in the American and British Liszt Societies, yet the heterogeneous m´elange of scenes actually reveals a deep understanding of Liszt’s personal conflicts, and by portraying the virtuoso through Roger Daltrey, former lead singer of The Who, Russell draws a fascinating bridge between nineteenth- and twentieth-century society. The farcical Impromptu (1990) also takes great liberties with ‘historical truth’ in its portrayal of Liszt, but it well captures the conviviality, superficiality and emotional parasitism that reigned in the salon culture of the early nineteenth century. Needless to say, these films about Liszt utilise his music in their soundtracks. However, over seventy other movies from the twentieth century have soundtracks that quote from Liszt, including The Black Cat (1934), Captain

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Blood (1935), One Hundred Men and a Girl (1937), Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940), All About Eve (1950), Interlude (1957), Karl May (1970), Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988), Shine (1996), Eyes Wide Shut (1999) and Hamlet (2000). Even before sound films, it is quite likely that theatre musicians would have played appropriate and known excerpts from Liszt, such as the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 or Les Pr´eludes or Liebestraum No. 3. Through his presence in film, Liszt arguably reached a larger audience in the twentieth century than he did through concert performances.

Conclusion Perhaps most importantly, Liszt has not yet achieved canonicity in the worlds of performance and recording, which is so important to maintaining a lasting presence that is not subject to the changing tastes of audiences, scholars or performers and that does not require periodic revival or herculean efforts to keep alive. Unlike Richard Strauss, whose tone poems (up to Also sprach Zarathustra) belong to the repertories of all major orchestras, the only symphonic poem by Liszt played with any regularity at the end of the twentieth century was Les Pr´eludes. When we turn to the piano, we find that Liszt has much better held his own, especially with the two concertos and the Hungarian Rhapsodies, which are in the repertory of most concert pianists. And then we must add the Transcendental Etudes and the Sonata in B Minor, to comprise a ‘virtuosic canon’ for Liszt. However, that leaves large portions of his oeuvre unperformed on a regular basis, including the piano transcriptions, the sacred music, the secular choral works, the organ music and the Lieder, some of which count among his most beautiful and inspired music. In the 125 years since his death, Liszt has had to withstand a withering attack upon his person and his music, based on misinformation and bias. That he was enigmatic as a person and often unorthodox and innovative as a composer could only contribute to the ‘problem of Liszt’. However, given the ever-growing interest in Liszt on the part of scholars, performers and audiences, there is good reason to hope that the twenty-first century will make right past injustices and position Liszt among the leading figures of musical history. After all, Liszt himself said, ‘I can wait.’

4 Liszt’s early and Weimar piano works ke n n e t h h a m i lto n

Liszt’s piano works have always rightly been regarded as his greatest musical monument. Even those who find his general style inimical have acknowledged that his technical imagination as a writer of piano music and his command of keyboard colour were unsurpassed. Brahms, otherwise an inveterate hater of Liszt’s music, found in his operatic fantasies the ‘classicism of keyboard technique’,1 but the mastery of his original music, often denigrated by his contemporaries, is now routinely acknowledged. To be sure, Liszt could be justly charged with his own criticism of Schubert: ‘he was too immoderately productive, wrote incessantly, mingling what was trivial with what was important, what was great with what was mediocre, paying no heed to criticism and allowing his wings free flight’.2 The composer who in 1856 completed his remarkable Dante Symphony, but the same year served up the pompously banal Festvorspiel, was perhaps more than usually subject to the vagaries of inspiration, but a century after his death Liszt’s core masterpieces remained firmly fixed in the standard concert repertoire, and many other lesser-known works would reward more regular exposure today. The following discussion is necessarily somewhat selective owing to the sheer size of Liszt’s output. It proceeds largely chronologically, but does not always adopt the routine division between ‘transcription’ and ‘original’ works. Although such a distinction may be easy and useful to sustain for some music – the Beethoven Symphony arrangements are obviously ‘transcriptions’ and the Ballade in B Minor obviously an ‘original’ work – many of Liszt’s pieces, such as the Don Juan Fantasia (1841) or A la chapelle Sixtine (1862), occupy a nebulous area in between, and contain far too much original creative thinking to be fairly categorised merely as transcriptions. This opinion was shared by Schumann, who even believed that one of Liszt’s most faithful transcriptions – of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique – had been carried out with such imagination that it could be reasonably described as an original work (see p. 63 below). These problems of categorisation have bedevilled Liszt reception, and caused the composer himself to remark wryly that everyone knew he had no talent for original composition, but had some skill as an arranger. In 1850 his amanuensis Joachim Raff, after studying the [57]

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magisterial Fantasia and Fugue for Organ on ‘Ad nos, ad salutarem undam’ from Meyerbeer’s Le Proph`ete, addressed the issue: I have gone through the Prophete Fugue with great interest. You know, it is a mystery to me how you can take such pains over the arrangement of a theme such as this? With the same expenditure of invention you could easily have produced an original composition of the highest significance and one would never again have to hear it said that you have to fasten on to Meyerbeer because of a lack of original invention. I know what you will answer: ‘This is my wish’.3

Raff’s description of this work as an ‘arrangement’ is glaringly unjust (its twenty-minute span is based on only sixteen bars of Meyerbeer) but his anticipation of the dismissive attitude of some music critics proved to be accurate. There is no reason to reinforce this here.

Juvenilia Liszt’s very first published piano composition was a curiosity – a variation on the waltz by the publisher Diabelli that so stimulated Beethoven’s imagination. Diabelli had requested one variation each from composers then resident in Vienna. Beethoven, by far the most celebrated, had at first contemptuously refused, but ended up producing thirty-three. The other composers complied with better grace, if less inspiration, and fifty resulting variations were published in 1822. Only Liszt and Schubert stand out among the catalogue of forgotten figures in this portmanteau collection, in the former’s case more for his later fame than for the cliched crossed-hand figuration with which the 11-year-old bedecked the well-worn harmonies of Diabelli’s theme. Liszt’s official opus 1, however, was the more ambitious Eight Variations on an Original Theme in A Major, written in 1824. The theme is attractive enough, if hardly arresting, the variations competent, if commonplace. Remarkably, this slender theme, and passages from the prolix Allegro di Bravura and Rondo di Bravura written the same year, turn up in the posthumously published ‘Third’ Piano Concerto in E Major, composed in 1839. Perhaps a paternal fondness for his earliest music prompted Liszt’s re-use of this material, for it can hardly be said that any of these technically tricky, but empty and rambling works present much of interest. Slightly more notable are the contemporaneous Seven Brilliant Variations on a Theme of Rossini (on ‘Ah! Come nascondere la fiamma vorace’ from Ermione), which have at least the benefit of relative concision, and show the novice composer experimenting in the introduction with certain rudimentary orchestral-style effects, as well as a precocious fondness for the

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grand gesture. A similar type of opening is found in the 1824 Impromptu on Themes of Rossini and Spontini, the first few bars of which reappeared in more mature guise as the initial flourish of the Transcendental Study ‘Eroica’. The Impromptu obviously had its origins in the improvised concertfantasias with which notably even the young Liszt delighted his audiences, but is unexpectedly structured in a modified sonata form, with two Rossini themes forming the exposition and recapitulation, and two Spontini themes appearing where we might expect the development to occur. This and the Allegro di Bravura were Liszt’s first published sonata forms. He had already written three solo piano sonatas in 1825 as a lad of fourteen, and one was composed soon after for piano duet.4 All are now lost. In old age Liszt was asked about them by his biographer Lina Ramann, and in a moment of nostalgia copied down the opening of one in F minor. This evidently began with the same harmonic progression as Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ Sonata, but the surviving music shows no more sign of profundity than the rest of his juvenile output. Liszt made a note of the first three bars of another of the sonatas, in C minor, in a letter to his mother of 1836, in which he asked her to send him all his early piano music.5 These three bars tell us nothing about the work, except that its loss is unlikely to trouble future generations. The fact that his 1820s sonatas had remained in manuscript while sets of meretricious variations appeared in print shows that originally Liszt’s (or perhaps more accurately, his father’s) main purpose in publishing his music had been the promotion of his concert career. Although a glance is enough to show that a child capable of producing this must have had an exceptional keyboard facility, Liszt was hardly as precocious as Mozart or Mendelssohn in his compositional development. Fluent as it might be, it always prompts the qualification ‘for someone of that age’. The only record we have of a performance of one of the ‘serious’ solo pieces – an unspecified sonata – is from a concert in Bordeaux in 1826. With hardened cynicism beyond his years, Liszt apparently told the audience that the work was by Beethoven, and laughed inwardly as his listeners fell into raptures over its sublime merits. The little Scherzo in G Minor from 1827, compact and acerbic, has a hint of this sort of mischievous humour, but it was the Etude [sic] en douze exercices dans tous les tons majeurs et mineurs (1826) that would be most significant for Liszt’s future development. Only twelve of these ‘exercises’ were completed and published, though the title implies a set of twenty-four. (The manuscript of an unfinished piece in F major – possibly intended as the next in the set – was sold at an auction some years ago.) They are modest studies in the style of Liszt’s teacher Czerny, and in themselves devoid of anything in the way of particular interest, apart from the suave Italianate cantilena of the A major piece. Their importance,

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however, lies in the fact that they form the basis of Douze Grandes Etudes of 1837–8, later revised as Etudes d’ex´ecution transcendante. Liszt himself could hardly have harboured many illusions about the quality of his first compositional efforts, and it is significant that he never sought to publish the concerto in E major fashioned out of some of his 1824 pieces, although it is perhaps surprising that he chose to write it all with this source material. In the late 1830s he was obviously going through his early compositions to see what could be salvaged and reworked. Schumann suggested (in his review of the Grandes Etudes) that this was to demonstrate to a sceptical public how far he had progressed as a composer, but other reasons also present themselves, including genuine affection for the music and artistic thrift. Liszt’s imagination often seemed to need a specific preexisting musical stimulus (however trivial) to work from, and this could include his own early pieces as well as the works of others. In this respect his customary concert improvisations on given themes seem to have informed his other creative activities.

Approaching maturity In 1829 Liszt completed the Grand fantaisie sur la tyrolienne de l’op´era ‘La fianc´ee’ d’Auber, his most accomplished keyboard work to date, and one in which he mastered and in places surpassed the brilliant display figuration of his Parisian virtuoso contemporaries. To be sure, taken at face value this set of variations is not without one fundamental problem. After a long, ornate and sometimes pompous introduction (a commonplace at the time), the eventual arrival of the tune has an almost comically deflationary effect to modern ears, prompting smiles like the jokingly portentous introduction that prefaces the theme in Dohn´anyi’s Variations on a Nursery Tune. The trivial little Auber melody ‘Montagnard ou Berger, votre sort peux changer’ – however well-known and loved in the Paris of the opera’s premiere – is of such staggering banality that the energetically acrobatic variations that follow seem like a musical illustration of ‘much ado about nothing’. Liszt continued to play this piece in his concerts for fifteen years, and published two revised editions, including a considerably shortened version, but the ridiculously over-the-top impression of certain passages remains. Indeed, Liszt may have been not only aware of this, but have intended it. In much later life he claimed ‘For Auber, who was once very fashionable, I have and had no taste.’6 His friend and first biographer d’Ortigue (working very probably from information supplied by the composer himself) described the fantasy in 1835 as a ‘mocking piece with Byronic energy, the figures of which

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have a coquettish brilliance, after the manner of Monsieur Herz’, adding that in it ‘Liszt had summed up the state of his soul at that time.’7 One does not have to look far into Liszt’s biography to see that the then ‘state of his soul’ was one of adolescent despondency, characterised in typically Romantic fashion by a thwarted first love-affair (with Caroline de Saint-Cricq) and an obsession with death. Was the ‘mocking’ aspect of the fantasy simply a later re-evaluation by Liszt of a piece he had begun to find embarrassingly superficial ‘after the manner of M. Herz’, or did it originally represent a sneer thrown at the tastes of the Parisian musical public by means of the very virtuosity they were applauding? Perhaps Liszt too smiled sarcastically as the trite tyrolienne made its appearance, heralded by a cascade of chords and octaves. As early as 1826 he had performed some variations by Herz himself in Marseilles and, according to an eye-witness, ‘made great fun of those who applauded. “Oh, how beautiful it is, but difficult too. Il y a des sauts [leaps],des sauts”, someone remarked.“Say, rather, des sottises [stupidities]”, replied the child.’8 Perhaps not much had changed when ten years later he wrote of one of his concerts ‘the piece by Weber (the Konzertst¨uck) was not understood. La fianc´ee accorded better with their retarded sensibilities.’9 The brooding discontent of the young Liszt was made radically more manifest in 1833, when his next piano piece was written, the Harmonies po´etiques et religieuses, a remarkable leap into an inward realm of feeling far from the world of Monsieur Herz. Inspired by Lamartine’s set of poems of the same name, the score prints the poet’s own preface as an introduction, its talk of solitude, meditation, contemplation and prayer closely reflected in the music, and the last distilled into a consoling Andante religioso towards the end of the piece. For the rest, Liszt’s Harmonies is astonishingly avant-garde – improvisatory, amorphous and unsettled, often dispensing with both key and time signature in a continuous development of the dragging, morose three-note idea heard at the outset. The ending is deliberately inconclusive, the music left hanging in the air in a manner that would no doubt have baffled contemporary concert audiences, and sometimes causes surprise today. Liszt had intended this to be the first of a group of pieces based on Lamartine’s Harmonies, but the idea was not realised until the mid-1840s, when a cycle with the same title was assembled. The original Harmonies po´etiques et religieuses, now dubbed by Liszt ‘tronqu´ee et fautive’, was reworked and retitled Pens´ee des morts, a clue also to the fundamental preoccupations of the earlier version. The same improvisatory, stream-of-consciousness approach to composition is found in the three Apparitions of the next year, which in some respects seem to look forward to the fragmentary, aphoristic pieces of Liszt’s late style. The third of these is a feverish fantasy on Schubert’s Waltz, op. 9,

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no. 33, later treated with more restraint in the fourth Soir´ee de Vienne of 1852. Though the second piece seems too much like an insubstantial sketch to be entirely satisfying, the first is a minor masterpiece, novel alike in the almost continuously recitative-like nature of its melodic material, its protean enharmonic changes and its imaginative keyboard setting (the unusually dissonant and outlandish accompaniment figure at the opening springs to mind). Liszt’s piano style here and in Harmonies po´etiques et religieuses is totally emancipated from the glitter of the fashionable ‘brilliant’ piano style. Instead, the sonority of other instruments is now increasingly recalled, whether it be orchestral tremolos in the first Apparition, string quartet textures in the Andante religioso of Harmonies, or trumpets and trombones in its central section. It is no coincidence that 1833–4 also saw the transcription of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and his overture to Les Francs-juges for piano. The first of these marks a milestone in keyboard transcription, as Liszt himself intended. A few years later, in 1838, he described in an open letter to Adolphe Pictet his approach to this arrangement: If I am not mistaken I have begun something quite different with my transcription of the Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz. I have worked on this as conscientiously as if it were a matter of transcribing Holy Writ, seeking to transfer to the piano not just the general structure of the music, but all its separate parts, as well as its many combinations of rhythm and harmony.

He then went on to outline the most important of his new projects in this area: What I undertook in the Berlioz symphony I am now setting out to do for Beethoven. Serious study of his works, a profound appreciation of their almost limitless beauties, and on the other hand the techniques I have become familiar with owing to my constant piano practice, have perhaps made me less incapable than others for this difficult task . . . The arrangements previously in use have now been rendered useless; they would be better called ‘derangements’.10

Liszt had already finished his transcriptions of Beethoven’s symphonies 5, 6 and 7 by the time this was written. Although he tackled the funeral march of the Eroica in 1843, the rest of that symphony and the remaining works had to wait until 1863–4, when he also revised his earlier versions of nos. 5–7. The whole set was published in 1865, and in the preface (not always reproduced in modern editions) Liszt commented: ‘My goal has been reached if I stand on the same level as the intelligent engraver or the conscientious translator who understand the spirit of a work and thus contribute to the knowledge of great masters and to the formation of an appreciation of beauty.’ There can

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be little doubt that he achieved these aims. Schumann, in his famous review of the transcription of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, went further: Liszt has worked out his arrangement with so much industry and enthusiasm that it might be regarded as an original work, a summary of his profound studies and a practical school of score-playing at the piano. This art of reproduction, so completely different from the attention to detail of the virtuoso, the many types of touch that it demands, the effective use of the pedal, the clear interweaving of separate parts, the collective grasp of the orchestral masses; in short, the understanding of means and possibilities as yet hidden in the piano can only be the work of a master.11

In fact, Liszt’s transcription of Berlioz’s symphony remained the only edition of the work available for several years (hence Schumann was forced to base his review on it rather than on an orchestral score), and appeared at Liszt’s own expense, no publisher being found to undertake the risk of printing the arrangement of a difficult modern symphony by a then fairly obscure French composer. Berlioz’s reaction to the arrangement was simply ‘astonishing’.12 While he was working on the transcription Liszt also found time to compose a short fantasy in A major on its main theme, entitled L’id´ee fixe, andante amoroso. In this initial version it makes an apt prelude to the A major second movement, ‘A Ball’, one of the only two movements that Liszt ever performed in public. In 1865 he revised his fantasy, transposed it into B major, and used it as a preface to a reworked edition of the other movement in his repertoire, the ‘March to the Scaffold’. Strangely, the socalled ‘second edition, revised and corrected’ (in reality little changed) of the whole symphony that appeared in 1876 reverts to an earlier version of this movement, and pianists tackling the complete work (admittedly a small if hardy band) would be well advised to consider the 1865 edition of the ‘March’ as representing Liszt’s true final thoughts for this movement.

The transformation of piano technique Although Liszt maintained ambitions to compose orchestral and choral music, and even another opera (to succeed the forgotten Don Sanche of 1824–5), his plans from the 1830s to the mid-1840s were mostly confined to ideas and brief sketches, apart from some works for piano and orchestra. Publicly at least he downplayed these projects in the same 1838 letter to Pictet excerpted above (if indeed downplaying is the right term, in view of the hysterical prose): Even if you are surprised to see me so exclusively occupied with the piano, and so little hurried to assay the wider field of symphonic and dramatic composition . . . You do not know that to talk to me about giving up the

64 Kenneth Hamilton piano is to make me look upon a day of sorrow . . . For, you see, my piano is to me as his ship is to a sailor, or his steed to an Arab, even more perhaps, for until now my piano is me, it is my speech – my life. It is the intimate repository of all that went on in my mind during the most passionate days of my youth . . . and you, my friend, would like me to abandon it to run after the more glittering successes of the theatre and the orchestra? Oh, no! Even if I admitted that which you too easily assert, that I am now ready for music of this kind, my firm resolution is not to abandon the study and development of the piano until I have accomplished everything possible with it.13

Pictet might have been forgiven for thinking that by the end of 1838 Liszt had already scaled the heights of piano virtuosity, having completed much of the Album d’un voyageur, several Herculean operatic fantasies and the Douze Grandes Etudes, soon to be followed by the first version of the six Etudes d’apr`es Paganini (or rather seven, for one appeared in two versions). It had been the unforgettable impact of Paganini’s violin-playing in 1831 that stimulated Liszt to obsessively practise the piano in an attempt to acquire unmatched keyboard dexterity. Shortly after hearing Paganini he wrote: For a whole fortnight my mind and fingers have been working like two damned souls: Homer, the Bible, Plato, Locke, Byron, Hugo, Lamartine, Chateaubriand, Beethoven, Bach, Hummel, Mozart, Weber are all around me. I study them, meditate on them, devour them with fury; in addition I practise four to five hours of exercises (3rds, 6ths, octaves, tremolos, repeated notes, cadenzas etc.). Ah! Provided I do not go mad, you will find an artist in me! ‘And I too am a painter!’ cried Michelangelo the first time he saw a masterpiece. Your friend . . . cannot stop repeating those words of the great man ever since Paganini’s last performance . . . What a man, what a violin, what an artist! Heavens! What sufferings, what misery, what tortures in these four strings!14

Following a typically Romantic conception of the ‘artist’, Liszt seems as much interested in general cultural education as in musical here, painfully aware as he was of his deficiencies in formal education. His initial musical reaction to Paganini was the Grande Fantaisie de Bravoure sur La Clochette, in which he treats the celebrated La Campanella theme from Paganini’s B Minor Violin Concerto, op. 7 to a profusion of rather too extravagant variations. A later variation set on Paganini’s Carnaval de Venise remained unfinished. The Paganini studies, based on Paganini’s violin caprices, sported a dedication to Clara (Wieck) Schumann, although Liszt might have realised they were hardly suitable for her performance style (or tastes). As a gesture of respect and friendship to her husband Robert he also included (in the first edition) his more restrained transcription of Paganini’s G Minor Caprice printed as an ossia above his own version (the first study). Considered as a whole these pieces, and the others mentioned above, confirmed Liszt as the

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pre-eminent piano technician of his era, a fact admitted even by his closest rival, Sigismond Thalberg. How far Liszt had progressed in little over a decade can be seen by a comparison of the Douze Grandes Etudes with their original source, the Etude en douze exercices. The 1826 studies, though musically negligible, are a fair compendium of early nineteenth-century piano technique – a technique based on brilliant passage work, much of which can be accomplished by swift finger-action, with relatively little required of the wrist and arm other than that they be steady, relaxed and (of course) supportive. This had been typical harpsichord technique, was easily transferred to the early piano with its light touch and shallow fall of key, and continued to be recommended by teachers and treatises in the nineteenth century. ‘Independent’ fingeraction was so prized that various mechanical devices were sometimes fitted to the piano in order to ensure that the student was unable to use much wrist-movement. Ludicrous as these might seem now, such contraptions were recommended by pre-eminent pianists such as Kalkbrenner, and even by the young Liszt, though there is no evidence that he himself ever used one. (He did, however, have a practice piano made with an especially heavy action.) The doctrine of playing with a quiet wrist – or at least aiming to play with one – lasted well beyond its practical utility. Even by 1818, the date of the completion of Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata, op. 106, a freer piano technique was really required, and it is no coincidence that Liszt was the first pianist to give a public performance of this sonata nearly twenty years later. In doing so he had, according to Berlioz, accomplished a feat hitherto thought impossible. For pianists confined to the older style of keyboard technique, the octaves, chords and leaps of Liszt’s mature music presented insurmountable difficulties. Stimulated by Paganini, by the mould-breaking genius of his friend Chopin, and by a desire to reproduce orchestral sonorities on the piano, Liszt completely re-modelled his technique in the early 1830s. The Fantasy on Auber’s La Fianc´ee of 1829 had already shown him to be a consummate master of finger-dexterity. By the end of the next decade he had revolutionised many other aspects of piano-playing. This achievement was not without its drawbacks for Liszt the composer. In the first place most of his piano music was too difficult for many other, even professional, pianists to tackle with success, so public performance was often limited to his own concerts. In the second place, the thicket of technical hazards presented by works such as the Grandes Etudes made their value as music more difficult to appreciate. Attempts by inadequate players to run through them must have resulted in a cacophony till then hardly equalled from a single performer. In an otherwise generally positive review of the studies for the Neue Zeitschrift f¨ur Musik, Schumann explicitly

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stated that Liszt’s concentration on virtuosity had been at the expense of his development as a composer, an opinion that persists in some circles to this day. The fact that certain features of his harmonic style were as avant-garde as his piano writing was for his detractors yet another reason for accusing him of creative poverty. Had his musical language been as pedestrian as that of Pixis or Herz it might well have gained more immediate acceptance, although it is unlikely we would be writing about it now. Whatever the praise garnered by Liszt’s ground-breaking transcriptions, they were hardly enough to establish him as a significant composer in his own right. By the mid-1830s his published output of original works had been scanty indeed, and the most recent were far too hermetic and abstruse to have any general appeal. In contrast to Chopin, Liszt was very much a performer first and a composer second in the eyes of the public. He set out to alter this in the latter part of the decade, producing several sets of pieces that, in their Weimar versions at least, remain firmly a part of the standard concert repertoire. The later reworkings are discussed below along with the initial versions. Liszt himself considered that the revised publications completely superseded the originals, but the latter are still sometimes performed and recorded today.

Album d’un voyageur/Ann´ees de p`elerinage : Switzerland and Italy Like so many artists, Liszt seemed to require a muse to inspire him to largescale creative activity. For his Weimar period this was embodied in Princess Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, his mistress and adoring worshipper at the shrine of his compositional genius. Within a year of meeting Liszt she had left her husband and moved to Weimar, where she spent the next decade indefatigably steering him away from brandy and cigars and towards his writingdesk. Liszt’s dedication to her of his twelve Weimar symphonic poems was probably no more than her due. The previous outpouring of ambitious piano compositions from 1835 onwards was stimulated by a no less unusual woman, Marie, Comtesse d’Agoult, who that year left her husband and eloped with Liszt to Geneva. Soon afterwards, their first child, Blandine, was born. The time spent in Geneva and its environs with Marie resulted in Liszt’s first major published piano cycle, Album d’un voyageur (the title adapted from George Sand’s Lettres d’un voyageur, one of which was addressed to Liszt) composed between 1835 and 1838. Of its three parts, the first, Impressions et Po´esies later formed the basis of the initial ‘Swiss’ volume of the 1850s Ann´ees de p`elerinage. The two other parts – Fleurs M´elodiques des Alpes (to modern ears no doubt a wincingly precious title) and Paraphrases – consist

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of arrangements of and fantasies on Swiss folk melodies or themes by Swiss composers. Liszt’s and d’Agoult’s travels around Italy from 1837 to 1839 also bore musical fruit in the unpublished first versions of several of the pieces that were to make up the second ‘Italian’ volume of the Ann´ees. Publication of the complete Album d’un voyageur had to wait until 1842, by which time Liszt’s relationship with d’Agoult was in terminal decline, but the three paraphrases appeared as early as 1836. The first and last pieces – an ‘Improvisation’ on the Ranz des Vaches and a Rondo on the Ranz de Ch`evres – were both based on tunes by Ferdinand Huber (1791–1863). The second piece, ‘Un Soir dans les Montagnes’, uses a melody by the Basel music publisher Ernst Knopf as an introduction and postlude to an Alpine storm scene, adumbrating the Schiller Lied ‘Der Alpenj¨ager’ as well as providing the idea for what would become ‘Orage’ from the Swiss Ann´ee. Although Liszt’s ‘storm’ music all shares general features, no specific musical material from ‘Un Soir dans les Montagnes’ or any of the other paraphrases appears in the Ann´ees, which allowed Liszt to republish them, extensively revised, in 1877 as Trois Morceaux Suisses. This was not the case with Fleurs m´elodiques des Alpes, the second and third of which became ‘Le Mal du Pays’ and ‘Pastorale’ in the later collection, and the fifth and eighth again use melodies by Huber. (The other pieces feature Swiss folk material of anonymous provenance.) Of Impressions et Po´esies, only one number, ‘Psaume’, was based on an external source, in this instance Psalm 42 of the Geneva Psalter composed by Louis Bourgeois. This slight and harmlessly bland piece was understandably not included in the Ann´ees, but the rejection of the vigorous and powerful ‘Lyon’ presents more of a puzzle. Bearing the superscription ‘vivre en travaillant ou mourir en combattant’ (to live working or die fighting) of which the opening bars are obviously a setting, the work commemorates a rebellion of the impoverished weavers of Lyon against their economic masters, and uses a main theme similar in contour and spirit to the Marseillaise. Liszt had visited Lyon himself and was appalled at the conditions in which the workers lived. His genuine indignation called forth a worthy musical response that, however unsuitable for inclusion in the ‘Swiss’ Ann´ee, surely deserved reissue as an independent piece. It has been suggested that this never took place owing to Liszt’s unwillingness to display overt revolutionary sympathies after taking up employment in the Weimar court.15 Whatever the reason, ‘Lyon’ deserves a better fate than to languish in a collection of pieces declared obsolete by the composer himself. All of the other numbers of Impressions et Po´esies were revised for inclusion in Ann´ees de p`elerinage, some relatively lightly in a manner that affected mainly the keyboard setting, like the gently lilting ‘Le lac de Wallenstadt’ or the sparkling ‘Au bord d’une source’, which glistens in a pianistically much more adept manner in the later version. The three remaining works,

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‘La Chapelle de Guillaume Tell’, ‘Les Cloches de G . . .’ and ‘Vall´ee d’Obermann’, were revised much more extensively. The slightly inchoate early version of ‘La Chapelle de Guillaume Tell’ was structurally considerably tightened up, and reworked into a much more straightforward and effective ABA form with a short introduction and coda. ‘Les Cloches de G . . .’, entitled less enigmatically ‘Les Cloches de Gen`eve’ in the Ann´ees, was originally written to express the intense feelings Liszt experienced on the birth of his daughter Blandine. The first version is a rather sprawling sonata-form movement, with a lyrical cantilena in B major as the first group (played over imitations of the eponymous bells in the middle part) and a swaying barcarolle melody as the second. After a relatively short development, the first group returns in the tonic via the submediant key of A major, in a variation of the tonal procedure found in Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata (where it is the second group that returns to the tonic via the submediant). Liszt abandoned this formal scheme in the revision, and totally recast the work in terms of structure, material and tonality. A thinned-down version of the initial section remains, but the barcarolle melody no longer follows. Instead it is replaced by an Italianate new theme, one of Liszt’s loveliest, most deeply felt melodies, in the same key – B major – as the first theme. More surprisingly, there is no recapitulation of the first theme – only its bell-like accompaniment returns in a brief coda. This Introduction/A/B/Coda form is highly unusual, and was perhaps suggested by Chopin’s G Minor Nocturne, op. 15, which also has no recapitulation of the opening theme. The resulting new structure has little to do with sonata form other than the fact that it uses two distinct thematic groups, but of course any tonal polarity is completely absent (Liszt adopted a similar procedure in the exposition of the ‘Gretchen’ movement of his Faust Symphony). The fascinating differences between ‘Les Cloches de G . . .’ and this innovatory recomposition are so great that the pieces could well be considered separate works that happen to share some thematic material. The situation is not quite as extreme with ‘Vall´ee d’Obermann’, inspired by the novel of the same title by Senancour, although many of the changes Liszt made here were also radical. Both pieces dramatically and vividly communicate the ennui and longing of the hero in Senancour’s novel, but the second version as a musical structure is better balanced, more inventive and more satisfying. The original ‘Vall´ee’ is a monothematic sonata movement in E Minor with a rhapsodic introduction based on three descending notes, G-F-E. The entire piece is developed from this figure, which is expanded to create a first subject theme reminiscent of that of the first movement of Weber’s Sonata in E Minor. A second group in the relative major consists of a Dolcissimo con amore transformation of the theme, again similar to that of Weber, which obviously constituted a potent background model.

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The fiery development initially elaborates music from the introduction, eventually leading into a long recapitulation in E minor/major. In all, the last eight pages of an eighteen-page piece are in E, and with the arrival of the closing bars that key has long outstayed its welcome. Liszt’s recasting of this piece turned it into one of his most sublime achievements. Many of the problems with the earlier version can be traced to its almost pedantic sonata structure. The close similarity of the exposition and recapitulation fatally weakens the effect of the latter, while the long anchor on the tonic key engenders a feeling of tedium rather than resolution. In the later version resemblances to a sonata layout are far more distant. Among other changes, there is no recapitulation of the main theme in the minor; the major mode appears immediately after the central development, to incomparably greater effect. The exposition too is recomposed. Liszt replaces the relative major with the submediant major (C), juxtaposing it starkly with the initial E minor. Again the result is striking and directly moving in a way that far surpasses the earlier version. The vast expansion of Liszt’s compositional range and technique is rarely so evident as here. ‘Eclogue’ and ‘Orage’ are the only two pieces written for the Swiss Ann´ee not to have specific antecedents in the Album d’un voyageur, although both fit the new collection well in spirit. Several pieces for the Italian Ann´ee were also written at the time of the Album, but remained in manuscript until their revised Weimar incarnation, and were not published until 1858. ‘Sposalizio’, based on Raphael’s Lo sposalizio della Vergine, is one of Liszt’s most gorgeously numinous works, with touches of pentatonicism and frequent use of mediant harmonic relations in a perfectly proportioned slowmovement sonata structure. The much shorter and starker ‘Il Penseroso’, inspired by Michelangelo’s well-known statue, makes extensive use of augmented chords and dissonant suspensions to create a musical world of resignation and despair, to which the next piece, ‘Canzonetta del Salvator Rosa’, an arrangement of a carefree tune by Bononcini, is evidently the antidote. The following Petrarch Sonnets are transcriptions of Liszt’s own songs, much revised from the earlier piano versions published in 1846. The sonnets are extremely well contrasted – languid, passionate and limpidly elegant respectively – and filled profusely with memorable melody. The first version of the final piece of the set, titled ‘Apr`es une Lecture du Dante’ from the poem by Victor Hugo, was written in the late 1830s and originally called ‘Fragment nach Dante’, but the published work is chiefly a result of a revision in 1849, when the title was briefly changed to ‘Paralipom`enes to Dante’s Divine Comedy’, and of further changes made before its eventual publication. ‘Fragment nach Dante’ was in two thematically related parts, and the original titles show that in conception the piece had everything to do with Dante, and nothing to do with Victor Hugo. The 1849 revision

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conflated the two parts into a single-movement sonata form. The Dante Sonata evinces the tonal layout common to many of the symphonic poem sonata forms of Liszt’s Weimar years, in other words a dissonantly turbulent minor-key first group (utilising long-held bass pedals to produce the requisite cloudy sonority) followed by a plainchant second group in the raised mediant major (D minor – F major) featuring some striking wholetone progressions. A prominent aspect of the work is the use of a tonally dislocating tritone figure (first heard opening the piece) as part of the main thematic material. This tritone figure recurs at major structural points, and thus functions in a similar way to the opening descending-scale theme of the Sonata in B Minor. There is, too, a second group derived from the first subject material that itself was initially adumbrated in the slow introduction. Although the work is intended as a depiction of scenes from the Divine Comedy, it should be emphasised that the piece follows only a very general narrative plan. The struggle–triumph trajectory that Liszt follows here is common to a great number of his works. Indeed he deliberately chose ‘subjects’ that could be interpreted in this manner – Prometheus, Obermann, Faust, Tasso and other suffering, yet ultimately redeemed, characters. Such an emotional course is easily fitted to a minor-key sonata form with a recapitulation in the tonic major, although obviously other structures are possible, as exemplified in Mazeppa, which follows the tonic minor–major plan without reference to sonata form.

“Harmonies po´etiques et religieuses” The complete Album d’un voyageur appeared in 1842, at the height of Liszt’s Glanzperiode – his ‘glory days’ as a touring virtuoso. In the same year he accepted a position as honorary Kapellmeister in Weimar, though his concert tours continued until 1848, when he took up permanent residence in the town. As the 1840s progressed, Liszt became yet more concerned about the establishment of his reputation as a serious composer. It was at this point that he began to make concrete plans for what was eventually to become his series of symphonic poems, and for an (unfinished) opera Sardanapale (after Byron).16 His thoughts had also turned to his early piano piece ‘Harmonies po´etiques et religieuses’, which he had intended to be a first in a cycle of pieces. This planned cycle was eventually sketched in 1845, utilising some old and some newly written music, and a heavily revised cycle was eventually published in 1853. As conceived in 1845, the cycle contained four pieces that were discarded for the published edition: ‘Litanie de Marie’, ‘La Lampe du Temple’, ‘Hymne du Matin’ and ‘Hymne de la Nuit’. Some material from ‘Litanie de Marie’

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went into an expanded recomposition of the exhortatory ‘Invocation’, the first number of the cycle. Three additional numbers in the published version, ‘Ave Maria’, ‘Pater Noster’, and ‘Hymne de l’enfant a` son r´eveil’, are transcriptions of simple choral pieces Liszt wrote in 1846–7. ‘Pens´ee des morts’ is of course a rewriting of the original ‘Harmonies po´etiques et religieuses’, with a much extended second half that also uses material from the unfinished and unpublished Psaume Instrumentale ‘De Profundis’ for piano and orchestra that Liszt sketched in the early 1830s. The overall effect of this revision is to increase emphasis on the consolatory aspects of the music. The febrile first half is somewhat tamed, the ‘de profundis’ melody is at one point given a tranquil keyboard setting strongly reminiscent of the first movement of Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ Sonata, and the final cadence provides a decisive close, instead of the still-open question of the earlier version. Several commentators have felt that Liszt went too far in taming the experimental radicalism of the first ‘Harmonies po´etiques’, but the re-composition does indeed seem emotionally richer and better balanced. The ‘Miserere d’apr`es Palestrina’ included as the eighth number of Harmonies is neither based on Palestrina (Liszt was misled as to the source of his material) nor particularly successful, but the ninth, ‘Andante Lagrimoso[sic]’, is movingly direct in its emotional expression. Unfortunately the final piece in the cycle, ‘Cantique d’amour’, now seems somewhat sentimental and cliched. (Despite its emotional bombast, Joachim Raff appears to have remembered it well enough when he came to write the ‘Andante Finale’ from his opera K¨onig Alfred.) The remaining two items in the set, ‘B´en´ediction de Dieu dans la Solitude’ and ‘Fun´erailles’, are among Liszt’s very finest inspirations. The intensely felt main theme of the former, wreathed by an intricately novel accompaniment with hints of pentatonicism, is evidently a setting of the opening of the Lamartine stanzas at the end of the score ‘D’ou` me vient, o mon Dieu, ce paix que m’inonde?’ Liszt was extremely fond of this piece, often performing it for visitors in Weimar. ‘Fun´erailles’ bears the subtitle ‘October 1849’, a month that marked not only the death of Chopin, but also the execution by the Austrians of thirteen Hungarian generals after the failed revolution in Liszt’s homeland. Liszt had been deeply affected by both events, the latter all the more in that he had been criticised for not personally standing shoulder-to-shoulder with his countrymen in their bid for freedom. Heine, in his poem ‘Im Oktober 1849’, remembering the famous Hungarian ‘sword of honour’ that Liszt often sported ludicrously at concerts, commented acidly ‘his sabre also/ lies in a chest of drawers’. The ‘Hungarian’ nature of the ‘Fun´erailles’ main theme – based on the gypsy scale – is plain to see, as is the suggestion of Chopin in the martial triplets that lead the work to its climax. ‘That is essentially an imitation of Chopin’s famous polonaise [op. 53]; but here I have done

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it somewhat differently’, Liszt told his students.17 The harmonic scheme is indeed completely different from Chopin’s, but the reminiscence is a potent part of the musical meaning of a piece that maintains a consistently profound level from the opening tumultuous clangour of the funeral bells to the final hollow fifth.

Etudes The Transcendental Studies of 1851 are thorough revisions of the 1837 Grandes Etudes. Although occasionally Liszt pruned away some detail in the new version with perhaps an excess of enthusiasm (many places in the E major study, for example, the ossia LH accompaniment in the fourth, or some of the inner figuration in the second study), there can be little doubt that the later collection is pianistically more concise and structurally less prolix. One could have sympathised with any musician of 1840 who put Liszt’s Grandes Etudes on his piano stand, stared in bafflement at the jungle of seemingly impossible figurations, and decided instead to practise Thalberg’s ‘Fantasy on Rossini’s Moses’, for, in their 1837 version, some of the studies are so textually overloaded that they can sound jumbled even when mastered. This problem is particularly evident in the first two pages of the F minor Etude, which otherwise is one of the best works in the set. In the tauter Weimar revision, its musical value is more apparent. Given the inordinate difficulties of the piano writing, it is not surprising that few noticed that the F minor study and two others were innovative sonata forms strongly influenced by Beethoven, for these were composed at a time when the understanding of Beethoven shown by Liszt’s fellow virtuosi was at a very low ebb. In both collections the C minor, F minor and D major studies are ambitious sonata designs. Rhythmically and harmonically heavily reminiscent of Berlioz (recalling the tritones of the ‘March to the Scaffold’ and the rhythmic audacities of the final movement from Harold in Italy, the whole of which Liszt had transcribed in 1836), the C minor study is monothematic – all second-subject material is developed from the first subject. Liszt creates a second group of dual character, one section based on the jagged chordal figure of bars 2–3, the other a lyrical theme spun out from the descending scale for bar 1. The second tonality is the relative major, recapitulated in the tonic major. This tediously long recapitulation was drastically cut in the 1851 version: the return of the first group in the minor was eliminated altogether, and the recapitulation now starts with the second group in the tonic major. The parallels with ‘Vall´ee d’Obermann’ are compelling, not just in monothematicism and tonality, but also in Liszt’s revision procedures as they affect the recapitulation.

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One of the most noteworthy features of the turbulent F minor study is that here Liszt breaks away from a reliance on the relative major as contrasting key. Now we have the distinctly iconoclastic key of the flattened leading note minor (E minor). This is no mere academic point. E minor is a key of lesser tension relative to F minor, and placing the second group in this tonality noticeably increases the depressive mood of the music. Liszt obviously took this exact key scheme from the first movement of his beloved ‘Moonlight’ Sonata, but the ‘Appassionata’ Sonata too was a potent model. The link with the ‘Appassionata’ is most evident in the 1837 version, in which we find a Presto feroce coda closely modelled on that in the last movement of the Beethoven. Liszt largely excised this in 1851, leaving only the similarity between the main theme of the study and that of Chopin’s op. 10, no. 9 as a sign of external influence. The almost impressionistic D major study is scarcely less original in its tonal construction. Here the second key is E major (flattened mediant), but the surprise lies in the almost polytonal overlay of the first group. Consistent polytonality in a first group is virtually impossible to handle in conventional sonata form, for there would be no way of establishing a tonic key. Liszt’s first group here is firmly rooted in D major by the bass (which merely swings between the tonic and dominant notes), but the right hand strews chords hinting at E major over this solid foundation, anticipating the eventual arrival of the second group. The colouristic effect created is a stroke of genius decades ahead of its time. Needless to say, all this requires an unusually massive confirmation of D in the recapitulation, which we duly get, clamorously heralded in the 1837 version by a gargantuan dominant pedal (Allegro vivace) that the older Liszt found unnecessarily extravagant. The sonata form of these three Grandes Etudes was a new feature of their 1837 rewriting. The very first version, the Etude en douze exercices of 1826, contains few hints of it, save perhaps in the central modulation to E major of the C minor study, which is prophetic of Liszt’s later favourite second group key area. Of course, when Liszt turned this into a fully fledged sonata movement in 1837, he forsook E major as a second key for the more conservative relative major. It is important to note that none of the revisions made in 1837 had anything to do with programmaticism. The familiar titles, ‘Wilde Jagd’ (Wild Hunt) for the C minor study and ‘Harmonies du Soir’ for the one in D, fitting though they might be, only appeared in the Weimar final version (Etudes d’ex´ecution transcendente). Even in this version the F minor study remained devoid of title, as did that in A minor, which some have suggested calling ‘Paganini’ because of its violinistic leaps. Liszt had originally intended to use the appellation ‘Wilde Jagd’ for the ‘Scherzo and March’ (see below), but only the D minor study ‘Mazeppa’ had been given a title before 1851, in a separate edition with a dedication

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to Victor Hugo and a new ending. This ending is indeed programmatic, representing Mazeppa’s final triumph after his nightmarish ride across the steppes, but is the only example of material added to the studies for programmatic reasons. However apt the titles may appear, they were in most cases devised nearly twenty-five years after the initial conception of the music. Paradoxically, discussion of the studies, taking its cues from the titles, has often concentrated overly on supposedly descriptive elements in the music. At least the sheer keyboard imagination they display has always been recognised, and was acknowledged even by the contemporary critic F´etis, a one-time partisan of Liszt’s rival Thalberg. F´etis could hardly have failed to notice that the G major study (‘Vision’ in 1851) was a tribute to (or parody of) Thalberg’s famous arpeggio writing in his ubiquitous ‘Moses’ fantasy. Some of the other studies focus more specifically on individual pianistic problems, like the tremolo of no. 12 (‘Chasse Neige’ – one of the most impressively concentrated and austere pieces in the set), the octaves of no. 7 (‘Eroica’) or the double notes and filigree passages of no. 4 (‘Feux Follets’). While ‘Chasse Neige’ had its recitative passages cut in the revision, ‘Feux Follets’ remained mostly unchanged. ‘Eroica’, on the other hand, is the only study where there is an arguable case for preferring the 1837 study above that of 1851. Liszt’s shears were perhaps a little too active in trimming the bravura display of the earlier version. No. 1 (‘Preludio’) is in both sets a short quasiimprovised prelude of the type that many performers of the time used to play extempore before each new piece of music (Kalkbrenner, for example, published a whole set of preludes of this nature). No. 3 (‘Paysage’) and No. 9 (‘Ricordanza’) are both lyrical pieces, but remarkably, ‘Ricordanza’s’ elegant main melody was taken over almost unchanged from the A major study of the Etude in Douze Exercices, although the piece as a whole grew far beyond the range of its predecessor. The Paganini Studies of 1839–40 were revised in a similar manner to the Grandes Etudes, and published in their new form in 1851. The violinistic effects of the second transcendental study are naturally found in many numbers of this set, which ends with a transcription of Paganini’s own variations on his celebrated A minor theme. (Liszt was particularly amused to hear echoes of this study in Brahms’s Paganini variations, despite the latter’s notorious public repudiation of his music.) With the Paganini Studies it is sometimes difficult to make a choice between versions. The celebrated La Campanella is certainly more concise and effective in the later edition, but with the other studies the advantages are more evenly balanced, for Liszt’s rewriting often removes some of the youthful exuberance from the original version without any particularly enticing compensation apart from greater ease in performance.

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Liszt’s first contribution to a piano school was the rather perfunctory ‘Morceau du Salon, Etude de Perfectionement’, written for F´etis’s M´ethode des M´ethodes in 1840 and slightly expanded in 1852 under the title ‘Ab Irato’. The two concert studies ‘Waldesrauschen’ and ‘Gnomenreigen’ (1863), however, written for Lebert and Stark’s Klavierschule, are among Liszt’s happiest inspirations. The Trois Etudes de Concert of 1849 were unconnected with any piano treatise, and a subsequent publication emphasised their poetic rather than technical aspects by adding the titles ‘Il Lamento’, ‘La Leggierezza’ and ‘Un sospiro’. The first hardly seems particularly apt, but all three are now in common usage, and the latter two pieces are among Liszt’s most frequently played works. ‘La Leggierezza’, a study in sinuous passage-work, has many hints of Chopin’s study op. 25, no. 2 (also in F minor) while ‘Un sospiro’ adopts Thalberg’s ‘arpeggio’ style, but swathing a melody of more limpid beauty than its originator himself ever conceived.

The Sonata in B Minor and other Weimar works Liszt’s first step toward an expanded one-movement sonata form, eventually perfected in his B Minor Sonata, was the rather unimaginatively named Grand Concert Solo in E Minor of 1849.18 This must be one of the few large-scale works of Liszt for which no one has suggested a hitherto hidden ‘programme’, perhaps because it has never been well enough known for anyone to bother. A distant model was Chopin’s ‘Fantasy’ in F minor, a loose sonata form with a slow section interpolated between development and recapitulation. Commissioned by the Paris Conservatoire as a test piece for a piano competition, the Concert Solo was originally written without the central slow section. Liszt sketched out an arrangement for piano and orchestra of this version before deciding to make this addition. The work has often been considered as a preliminary sketch for the Sonata in B Minor, partly because of its structure and partly because a member of the first group of themes bears a strong resemblance to a theme in the Sonata, one of Liszt’s favourite melodic tags, which also makes an appearance in the Faust Symphony, among other works. The transformation of the first group theme into a Grandioso second subject (in the relative major) also anticipates the Sonata, although in the latter the Grandioso melody is new. A central slow section (Andante sostenuto) consists of three varied statements of a slightly saccharine D major/F minor theme. (Unfortunately, the evident kinship between this and the slow theme of Chopin’s ‘Fantasy’ painfully points up the inferiority of Liszt’s inspiration here.) The recapitulation includes a funeral march transformation of the Grandioso theme, and a return of the Andante sostenuto in the tonic major before a closing peroration based

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on the Grandioso. The parallels between the original coda of the B Minor Sonata and the end of the Concert Solo are significant, as is the identity of the tempo designations: Allegro energico – Grandioso – Andante sostenuto – Allegro energico. Yet again (compare the first version of ‘Vall´ee d’Obermann’ or the C Minor Study from Douze Grandes Etudes) the maintenance of a long area of tonic stability in the recapitulation causes problems for Liszt, who appears momentarily unable to think of a way of retaining interest along with E major. In his reworking of the piece for two pianos, published as Concerto Path´etique (1856), he cut the Gordian knot by simply transposing a large chunk of the recapitulation down a semitone into E major. This certainly makes for more variety, and should be considered by performers of the solo version. Soon after finishing the Concert Solo Liszt composed the splendid Fantasy and Fugue on ‘Ad nos, ad salutarem undam’ for organ (or pedal piano), a monothematic sonata analogue in which the fugue begins the recapitulation and a slow section fulfils some of the functions of a development. The slow section here is tonally remote from the outer parts of the work, its F major in a tritone relationship to the C minor tonic. The sense of distance is emphasised by the slow section beginning with the only full, unadorned statement in the whole piece of the Meyerbeer choral theme. (For some unaccountable reason, Busoni omitted this passage from his otherwise magnificent solo arrangement.) Few pieces give a better idea of Liszt’s advanced chromatic language than the Fantasy and Fugue. In the opening pages the theme is presented in a variety of complex harmonisations over a tonic pedal. As each phrase ends inconclusively on a dissonant chord the music is propelled forward, seeking a harmonic resolution it never attains, in increasingly baffled frustration. It is easy to see why Wagner found Liszt’s harmonic style so important for the development of his yearning Tristan chromaticism. Although the ‘Ad nos’ fantasy did not appear in a conventional arrangement for piano solo by the composer himself, the Prelude and Fugue on the Name BACH was transcribed for piano both in its original (1856) and its more thoroughly worked-out revised form (1870). This work and the Variations on a Theme of Bach’s ‘Weinen, klagen, sorgen, jagen’ (1862 – based on the 1859 Prelude using the same theme, and written in response to the death of Liszt’s son Daniel) show Liszt’s use of complex chromatic harmony at its bleakest and most intense, although characteristically both end in a triumphal, redemptive manner, the latter with a consolatory peroration based on the chorale ‘Was Gott tut das ist wohlgetan’. The Scherzo and March (1851), which displays the same dark chromatic sound-world with a hint of diablerie, makes use of elements of sonata structure in a creative and novel manner. The first Scherzo section is a sonata form

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with a second group in the dominant minor (D minor – A minor), the prevalence of the minor mode contributing to the bleakly demonic atmosphere. The development treats the themes fugally before they are recapitulated in the tonic minor. The March (in B major) takes the place of the Trio of the Scherzo, which then returns in varied form only up to the middle of the exposition (where the music originally began its move to A minor). A starkly powerful coda combines March and Scherzo themes as a virtuoso whirlwind in D. Though it certainly lacks a certain melodic warmth, this is a superb and rewarding work. The Sonata in B Minor (according to the manuscript, ‘finished on the 2nd of February 1853’) marks the zenith of Liszt’s piano music, occupying the same position as the Faust Symphony in his orchestral output, or the oratorio Christus in his choral. The composer’s failure to provide a programme for the Sonata has been rectified by numerous critics, who have mostly seen in the piece another commentary on Goethe’s Faust – a pianistic double, therefore, of the Faust Symphony. Other suggested interpretations include the autobiographical (the Sonata is in some sense a ‘character sketch’ of the composer himself) and the eschatological (a musical version of Milton’s Paradise Lost). Liszt would perhaps have had no justification for complaining about these invented programmes, for he himself advanced similarly far-fetched conjectures for Chopin’s music; but the fact remains that neither the composer, nor the pupils who studied the Sonata with him, ever mentioned a programme in connection with the piece, which was the culmination of many years of experimentation with sonata form, and an attempt to follow in the footsteps of Beethoven in this most prestigious of genres. Unlike the Dante Sonata, the Sonata in B Minor was intended from the outset to have only one vast movement, but within this Liszt encapsulates elements of the more common three- or four-movement sonata form. The idea of encapsulating elements of several movements in one might be considered fundamentally Beethovenian (see, for example, the last movement of the Ninth Symphony), but already by 1822 Schubert in his Wanderer Fantasy had successfully achieved the same feat. The Wanderer Fantasy was one of Liszt’s favourite concert pieces, which he also arranged for piano and orchestra in 1851. Many fantasias, for example those of Beethoven and Hummel, or even Kalkbrenner’s dilapidated Effusio Musica, are composed of short, contrasting sections in a variety of keys and tempi. Schubert, however, follows a more complex plan, using thematic transformation to link sections together in a scheme of opening (C major), slow interlude (C minor), scherzo (A major) and finale (C major, beginning with a fugal exposition). Liszt succeeded in the B minor Sonata in reconciling Schubert’s approach with a balanced sonata structure.

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The idea that an important piece could consist of one movement alone, and not the usual three or four, seemed to have particular appeal to Liszt. In a review written in 1837 of some of Schumann’s piano music, discussing in particular the sonata entitled Concerto without Orchestra, Liszt mused over the history of concerto form.19 Previously a concerto had to have three movements, he thought. Field, however, in his Concerto no. 7, had replaced the second solo section of the first movement with an Adagio, Moscheles in his Concert Fantastique, op. 90 had united the three movements into one, and Weber, Mendelssohn and Herz had also proceeded along this path. The future lay in free treatment of traditional form, a future that his own music was to embrace enthusiastically. Although there were precedents for concerti and fantasias in one continuous movement, there were none for the piano sonata. The marriage of the fantasy, which was normally in one movement, with the traditional sonata that Liszt attempted had been foreshadowed by Beethoven in his two sonatas ‘quasi una fantasia’, op. 27. These sonatas are directed to be played without a break between movements. Op. 27, no. 1 is especially notable in this regard, for the movements themselves are not independent, unlike op. 27, no. 2 from which the first movement is so often excerpted that many think it alone constitutes the famous ‘Moonlight’ Sonata. Individual movements in op. 27, no. 1 are further linked by thematic connections (most obviously that of the initial falling third) and by the recall of the Adagio movement just before the end of the piece. This cyclical recall was to become a favourite device of many Romantic composers, and is also a feature of Beethoven’s later sonata op. 101. Liszt performed both op. 27 sonatas frequently, and neatly inverted their title for the final version of Apr`es une lecture de Dante, which he described as ‘Fantasia quasi Sonata’. The exposition and recapitulation of Liszt’s Sonata in B minor can be considered as analogous to the first movement and finale of a four-movement sonata, while the slow section and fugal scherzo that take up most of the development supply the other two hypothetical movements. Although a mastery of a fluid chromatic harmony is everywhere in evidence, the basic key relationships are deliberately more conventional than are usual with Liszt – the second subject is in the traditional relative major, while the slow section is in the dominant. This conventional outline points up all the more starkly the originality of the off-key opening (first in the Phrygian mode, then in a ‘gypsy-scale’ G minor) which has a subtle consequence in the false recapitulation initiated by the scherzo much later in the work. The scherzo has a paradoxical position, at once part of the development and a thematic recapitulation, but in the ‘wrong’ key of B minor. The return to the tonic B minor is gradually prepared as the scherzo progresses, and the home key is finally confirmed with the passionate combination first heard

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in the exposition of the two main allegro subjects. We can see from a deleted section of the manuscript that Liszt originally recapitulated the Grandioso second subject too in combination with the first allegro theme, but removed the latter in his final version. One other afterthought was the replacement of a brash and histrionic fff ending with the wonderful coda that now stands in the score – an ethereal conclusion that brings the work full circle to its opening theme, at last played in the tonic key, followed by three mystic harmonies in the high treble. Listz’s stylistic eclecticism, in other contexts sometimes found jarring, is seen at its most controlled and personal in the B Minor Sonata. In no other Romantic composer, with the possible exception of Meyerbeer, is there such a range of differing elements – from Germanic chromaticism and thematic development to Italianate lyricism, taking in elements from French Grand Opera and Hungarian Gipsy music along the way. That Liszt was able to weld these into a distinctive personal style was one of his most remarkable achievements. If the cantilena second subject of the Sonata appears Italianate, albeit married to distinctly un-Italian chromatic harmony, then the majestic repeated chords of the Grandioso theme recall no less the world of the French Grand Opera chorus – compare the ‘Blessing of the Daggers’scene from Les Huguenots – transfigured by a melody of vastly greater nobility. (Similar writing can be found in ‘Invocation’ from Harmonies po´etiques et religieuses.) The opening ‘gypsy’ scale also proclaims Liszt’s Hungarian origins, as does the occasional ornamental turn later in the piece. The B Minor Sonata’s keyboard style is uniquely Liszt’s in contrast of tessitura and texture. Unlike the music of Schumann and Brahms, which mostly unfolds in block writing around the centre of the keyboard, Liszt’s music ranges through all areas of the instrument and displays an acute ear for piano sonority. This feeling for tonal colour is not a meretricious overlay on top of the music, but an essential part of the composition. The thud of the lowest note on the keyboard adds significantly to the effect of the dominant pedal preparation for the Grandioso second subject, while the vast gap between registers at the very end of the piece is essential to the musical meaning. Liszt here uses his virtuoso’s insight into the capabilities of the piano to produce music of the highest spiritual quality. Extreme sensitivity to keyboard texture and sonority is also heard in the Berceuse written only a little later, the first version (1854) closely modelled on Chopin’s piece of the same name, but the second (1862) displaying greater originality in the effusive beauty of its decorative figurations. As a significant afterthought to the Sonata, Liszt composed in the same year his Second Ballade in B minor. He had already composed a first Ballade in 1845, a large-scale ABA structure with many points of interest but fatally compromised by a sentimental and repetitive principal theme. The

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second Ballade is on a very different level. Liszt thought very highly of this piece (‘Who plays this great and mighty Ballad of mine?’, he once asked in a masterclass20 ), and with good reason. The opening pages contrast two subjects after the manner of sonata form, a nobly troubled theme in B minor, followed by a gently winsome melody in the dominant. This whole exposition is repeated, but unusually transposed a semitone lower. The ensuing development is so extensive that one begins to re-evaluate the exposition as perhaps having been only an introduction, but the structure is successfully balanced by a weighty recapitulation and coda, marked by a particularly beautiful, expiatory transformation of the opening melody. As with the Sonata, Liszt had originally supplied the Ballade with an extrovert, virtuoso coda, before deciding that a subtly restrained conclusion was more in keeping with the emotional complexity of the piece. Liszt returned to a more elaborate version of the tripartite structure used in the First Ballade for his first Mephisto Waltz, the second of Two Episodes from Lenau’s ‘Faust’, which appeared in 1862. This world-famous virtuoso warhorse is organised like a mini-version of the three movements of the Faust Symphony, with a contrasting central slow section followed by a demonically distorted repetition of the first section. The imitation of birdsong heard towards the end of the piece is also found throughout the first of Two Legends (1862–3), St Francis of Assisi: The Sermon to the Birds. This charmingly colourful work looks forward to French Impressionist keyboard styles and was frequently performed by Liszt himself in the 1860s and 70s, along with the flamboyantly dramatic St Francis de Paolo Walking on the Waves.

The opera fantasies and associated works A vast amount of Liszt’s compositional activity from 1835 to 1848 was directly connected to his concert tours, manifested in a large number of fantasias and transcriptions on operatic melodies and other popular tunes, including the first versions of what would eventually become the Hungarian Rhapsodies. The best of the operatic pieces, like the fantasia on Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable or Mozart’s Don Giovanni, are in effect original works offering a fascinating new perspective on the operas’ themes. They are also, in the realm of piano technique, some of the most imaginative music ever written for two hands at one keyboard. Though Liszt’s pianistic endeavours met with unparalleled success all over Europe, his tours were not without their difficult moments, which included the occasional near-empty hall, and an unexpected forced trip in an open cattle wagon during a visit to Scotland. Such incidents no doubt

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encouraged humility in the ‘King of Pianists’, who otherwise was taxed only with the admiration of the adoring masses. It would have been easy for him to ride on his success and keep only a few bravura works in his repertoire, routinely trotted out at each new venue. Such tactics are not unknown today. Liszt, however, was gifted – or afflicted – with an intellectual restlessness that prompted him to explore a wide range of music. A catalogue of his concert repertoire that he had made soon after settling in Weimar includes not only a vast array of crowd-pleasers, but also sonatas of Beethoven, Hummel, Weber and Schumann – hardly standard concert fare for the period. His production of concert fantasias and transcriptions was equally varied and profuse. Liszt had planned several opera fantasias in the years 1831–4, but the only one that seems to have been written around this time was a now lost composition based on Bellini’s Il Pirata, praised by Berlioz as displaying ‘admirable art’.21 His sudden hurry to publish his Fantasy on Hal´evy’s La Juive (1835) and the ensuing completion of fantasias on ‘I tuoi frequenti palpiti’ from Pacini’s all-but-forgotten opera Niobe (this aria was still known as a showpiece in the repertoire of Guiditta Pasta) and Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots can be explained by the enormous Parisian success of Sigismond Thalberg, whose fantasy on Rossini’s Moses was one of the great hits of 1835. Thalberg had developed a so-called ‘three-handed’ piano texture, where a legato melody in the centre of the keyboard was decorated above and below with chords or arpeggios cleverly laid out to give the impression that even they alone required two hands for performance. This effect, soon to become routine, required a skilful manipulation of the pedal and was utterly new at the time. Czerny, no tyro in matters of piano technique, declared that Thalberg’s Vienna concerts ‘excited the greatest astonishment’ and that ‘even the most experienced pianists could not understand the possibility of these effects’.22 Liszt himself was less impressed, if also evidently less objective, describing Thalberg’s playing as ‘of all things declared superior, definitely the most mediocre that I know’.23 He pointedly chose to perform his hectically vigorous Niobe fantasy for the famous ‘duel’ with Thalberg in the salon of Princess Cristina Belgiojoso on 31 March 1837, when his animated bravura made a complete contrast with Thalberg’s almost emotionless calm when performing his trademark rolling arpeggios. Opinion on the outcome of this charity concert (in aid of indigent Italian refugees) was divided, as the two players’ styles really were so different as to make them incomparable, but it was probably justly remarked that Thalberg would have benefited from a little of Liszt’s verve and fire (his tranquillity was dangerously close to boredom), and Liszt from a little of Thalberg’s repose (which might have prevented him banging the pedal with his foot so loudly).

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Ironically, in later life the outward aspects of Liszt’s playing (though certainly not the sound) came more to resemble Thalberg’s, the white-haired Liszt having moderated the flailing gestures of his youth. Thalberg’s trademark ‘three-handed’ arpeggio effects also turn up in Liszt’s music after 1837, especially in his 1839 transcription of the Sextet from Lucia di Lammermoor (R´eminiscences de Lucia di Lammermoor, first part), which nevertheless is very different from Thalberg’s arrangement of the same piece, and in the Norma Fantasy, dedicated to Liszt’s fellow pianist and sometime more-thangood-friend Marie Pleyel. Liszt explained how the latter dedication came about: ‘Madame Pleyel wanted . . . a piece of Thalbergian brilliance from me. I therefore dedicated the Norma Fantasy to her . . . When I then met Thalberg, I said to him “I’ve written down everything of yours there.” “Yes”, he replied, “there are Thalberg-passages there that are almost indecent.”’24 Soon after Princess Belgiojoso’s celebrated concert, the bizarre work that had been originally intended to form its centrepiece was completed – Hexameron, a set of variations on ‘Suoni la tromba’ from Bellini’s I Puritani, with a variation each contributed by Thalberg, Liszt, Pixis, Herz, Czerny and Chopin. Liszt shaped the contributions into a coherent (if at times tedious) whole by providing interludes, an introduction and finale. Not surprisingly, the contributions of Liszt and Chopin are almost embarrassingly superior to the wretched clich´es trotted out by the other composers, which makes for a more than usually uneven work. Hexameron remains a curiosity, although it was performed repeatedly by Liszt on his tours, most often in a shortened version for piano and orchestra. Liszt’s own full-scale fantasy on Bellini’s I Puritani was also published in 1837, but soon found by the composer himself to be rather over-long, with nearly 200 bars of relentless sequential development garrulously ensconced in the middle of the piece. In later life Liszt could laugh at this miscalculation. At a performance of this fantasy in Rome by Sophie Menter, Liszt’s companion in the audience had fallen asleep. When a fortissimo abruptly woke her up, Liszt took her hand and said: ‘My dear friend, it’s going to finish soon!’25 The finale, an arrangement of the well-known polonaise ‘Son vergin vezzosa’ from Act I, was routinely excerpted by Liszt for concert performance, and published separately in 1842. Although Liszt’s Fantasy on Rossini’s Maometto remained unpublished and is now lost (it perhaps bore some relation to a set of variations on a theme from The Siege of Corinth – an alternative title for Maometto – composed in 1830, of which only the introduction survives), his 1838 transcription of the overture to William Tell appeared in print a few years later, by which time it had become a mainstay of his concert repertoire (‘That piece brought me many a Thaler’26 ). Rossini himself was amazed that Liszt had managed to fit the flute accompaniment in around the main melody in the pastorale,

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and the exhilarating final section is no less adroit. From around the same period comes an unpublished fantasy on Mercadante’s Il Giuramento (1838), performed at least once by Liszt under the title R´eminiscences de la Scala,27 and R´eminiscences de Lucia di Lammermoor (1839 – sometimes erroneously dated to 1836). This was eventually published in two parts (part two as Marche et Cavatina) owing to the publisher’s qualms over the sheer length of the piece. The first part was one of Liszt’s most frequently performed works, and even in the repertoire of Clara Schumann, but unfortunately the second part of the fantasy is not entirely satisfactory as a stand-alone piece, for the ending quotes material from the first part that would aptly round off the entire fantasy, but sounds strangely unmotivated when the second part is heard in isolation. By common consent some of the fantasies Liszt wrote in the early 1840s are his finest achievements in the genre. Although R´eminiscences de Lucrezia Borgia (1841 – again published in two parts, the second part revised in 1853) possibly outstays its welcome, it does contain some of Liszt’s most richly imaginative piano writing, including far from conventional figuration for the left hand (part one, bar 99ff.) and a bravura use of glissandi in thirds and sixths in the finale of the second part. A fantasy on Hal´evy’s Guitarero that Liszt played in Kassel in 1841 is now lost, an extensive and interesting fantasy on Der Freisch¨utz from the same period has remained unpublished, but another on themes from Mozart’s Nozze di Figaro and Don Juan, though forgotten in Liszt’s lifetime, survives in an almost complete format. A version of this, edited by Busoni, appeared in print in 1912 (Breitkopf & H¨artel) and has received relatively frequent performance. Strangely, Busoni forgot to mention that as well as adding a few bars to complete the finale, he had also omitted nearly one third of the music (all the material based on Don Juan).28 An adroit completion of Liszt’s ambitious original version by Leslie Howard has now been published (Editio Musica, Budapest). Liszt himself was openly proud of his fantasies on Bellini’s La Sonnambula, Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable, Bellini’s Norma and Mozart’s Don Juan. All form an adept, brilliant and often even moving transcription of the operas’ principal themes, arranged in a format that sometimes provides a summary of, or commentary on, the dramatic action. The fantasies on La Sonnambula and Robert le Diable contain striking polyphonic combinations of Liszt’s own invention (and the Norma fantasy adopts a combination from Thalberg’s fantasy on the same opera). The thematic combination in La Sonnambula (‘Ah, non giunge’ and ‘Ah! Perche non posso ordiari’, both from Act 2) is played together with a trill using the outer fingers of the right hand and a bass provided by the left. Such was the effect of this feat at some of Liszt’s own performances that the music had to stop during applause lasting several minutes. Wagner appears to have remembered one of the

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combinations in the Robert le Diable fantasy (which he heard in Paris in the early 1840s) when composing the recapitulation of the overture to Die Meistersinger, but often it is the pianistic dexterity of Liszt’s polyphonic treatment that is most impressive, rather than any contrapuntal sleight of hand. As many of Meyerbeer’s and Bellini’s melodies unfold around the same well-worn sequence of chords, the fact that they can be made to fit together is scarcely a great surprise. Formally, Liszt’s fantasies are enormously varied. The sonata-form outline that was a notable feature of the very early ‘Impromptu on Themes of Rossini and Spontini’ recurs very rarely – only in the Fantasy on Wagner’s Rienzi (1859) and the transcription (more of a transformation) of the Waltz from Gounod’s Faust (1861). The fantasies on I Puritani and Il Giuramento have separate sections linked by the recurrence of a short ritornello, that on Robert le Diable is in a fairly clear-cut tripartite A1/B/A2 form (it is possible that Liszt’s unpublished arrangement of ‘Robert, toi que je t’aime’ was at one time intended to form an introduction to this fantasy), Norma is in linked sections each in a key a major third higher than the last, with a recapitulation of one of the most powerful themes as a climax, and Don Juan is in three main sections linked by the recurrence of the Commendatore’s music heard in the opening. The central section of Don Juan is a set of variations on ‘L`a ci darem la mano’, the finale an increasingly frantic arrangement of the ‘Champagne’ aria ‘Fin ch’han dal vino’, rounded off by a final reminder of Don Juan’s damnation. Commentators with aesthetic viewpoints as diverse as Bernard Shaw and Busoni have found much to admire in this pinnacle of piano virtuosity, the latter basing his own Chamber-Fantasy on Bizet’s Carmen on Liszt’s model. With fantasies like the one on Don Juan, and the set of Hungarian Rhapsodies published in 1853 (many based on earlier pieces entitled Magyar Dallok), the boundaries between arrangements and original composition are well and truly blurred. That Liszt’s creative engagement with music frequently did not recognise such boundaries can be best shown by A la Chapelle Sixtine. Miserere d’Allegri et Ave verum corpus de Mozart (1862, also in a version for organ entitled Evocation a` la Chapelle Sixtine). This piece, which seems in some ways like a piano version of a symphonic poem (there is also a reworking for orchestra), was inspired by the famous story of the youthful Mozart breaking the Vatican’s monopoly on performances of Allegri’s Miserere by notating it from memory after hearing it sung only once in the Sistine Chapel. It consists of some rather dark, gloomy and very free variations of part of the Miserere, mostly in the lower register of the keyboard, followed by a drastic contrast of tessitura with a more faithful (but still not quite exact) transcription of Mozart’s slightly saccharine Ave verum corpus in the treble of the piano. A short coda brings both works, and their

85 Early and Weimar piano works

contrasting registers, together, before the music fades away ethereally into silence. An unusual piece, certainly, even bizarre, but also rather affecting in its sincerity and complete absence of a trivialising ‘post-modern’ irony. The question whether this music is an arrangement or an original creation hardly needs to be asked, and can scarcely be answered. What is important is simply the fact that it, like most of Liszt’s music, has something to communicate. Not all of Liszt’s piano works are masterpieces, and he certainly did not maintain the rigorous quality-control of a composer like Chopin, but even his failures can be fascinating, strewn as they often are with moments of genius. In this respect, as in so many others, he was indeed the typical Romantic artist.

5 Liszt’s late piano works: a survey ja m e s m . ba ke r

I have been ensconced in the small tower of the Villa d’Este since the evening before last . . . It is more than comfortable: above all during the winter, when the invasion of civilized-barbarians makes my staying in Rome insufferable. Here I find myself again at my best; my apartment is very nicely arranged: two fireplaces, a new lamp hung from the ceiling of a little parlor which acts as a boudoir, – books and music in abundance, – in addition, the magnificent terrace with the dome of St. Peter’s at the edge of the horizon, and the venerable cypress-patriarchs you know so well. . . . To fulfill my duties as a Christian, and to spend my time suitably by continuing to write my notes, is my whole life: nothing else concerns me in the slightest.1

When he took up his new quarters in the Villa d’Este in 1869, Franz Liszt was 58 years old, and he seemed to recognise that a new phase of his life was beginning. The Villa afforded the seclusion he needed to escape the demands of a hectic schedule and to turn his attention to what he most wanted to do – write music. Nonetheless, he was not able or willing to renounce the obligations he felt toward his public, his Hungarian homeland, his Roman Catholic faith, and especially the significant group of young musicians who sought his guidance. He had hit upon the arrangement of a ‘vie trifurqu´ee’ that he was to maintain for the remainder of his years, dividing his time between Rome, Weimar, and Budapest. Liszt had returned to Weimar in January 1869, having been away for eight years, to take up residence at the Hofg¨artnerei (the court gardener’s house) provided for him by the Grand Duke Carl Alexander. In Weimar his main preoccupation was his teaching, for here gathered a group of young pianists from all over the world – some superbly talented, others not – who participated in master classes that took place up to three times a week. In Budapest, Liszt was involved from 1873 in the planning of the Royal Academy of Music, serving as its first President upon its founding in 1875. He became a sort of elder statesman for an adoring Hungarian public. He lent his support as well to younger innovative composers, including Borodin, Cui, and Rimsky-Korsakov of the Russian Nationalist school, and the fledgling composer Claude Debussy, with whom he met on three occasions in January 1886, just months before his death on 31 July. No doubt Liszt’s ever youthful and adventurous imagination derived sustenance and inspiration from their fresh approach to harmony and form. [86]

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Liszt’s state of mind during his last years Despite the promise that the trifocal organisation of Liszt’s later years would allow him to complete the many compositional projects he had in mind, this proved not to be the case. For one thing, besides the travel between Rome, Weimar, and Budapest, Liszt continued each year to accept many invitations to engagements throughout Europe, logging an estimated 4,000 miles a year in railroad travel in rugged third-class accommodations. (His thrifty nature would not allow him the luxury of first-class travel.) He kept up a voluminous correspondence with various friends, patrons, and musicians, and was unfailingly gracious when callers arrived. But the pressure of social and professional obligations caused him a great deal of anxiety. In a letter written in November 1875, Liszt complained: Up till now it has been impossible for me to concentrate steadily on my musical work because of this too flattering and steady harassment by my correspondents in various countries. Some ask for concerts, for advice, for recommendations; others for money, for jobs, for decorations, etc., etc. . . . I don’t know what will become of me in such a purgatory.2

In Liszt’s later years, problems with health – both physical and mental – affected his ability to complete compositions. During the last five or six years of his life, he suffered from swelling in his feet and legs, and from failing eyesight as well. In July 1881 he fell down a flight of stairs at the Hofg¨artnerei and was bedridden for weeks thereafter; this accident proved pivotal, in effect precipitating the onset of old age at age seventy. From around 1876, Liszt was prone to bouts of depression. His personality even from youth seems to have manifested a morose side and a fixation on death, which some have speculated went back to the shock he suffered at age sixteen, just as he was finishing up a three-year stint of concertising, when his father suddenly died. The deaths of his son Daniel in 1859 and daughter Blandine in childbirth in 1862 brought another phase of deep personal anguish that impacted greatly on his creative life. As he grew older, Liszt was deeply affected by the deaths of certain political figures, artists, and personal acquaintances, including the Emperor Maximilian I in 1867, Hungarian composer Michael Mosonyi in 1870, his patrons Marie Mouchanoff and Baron Augusz in 1874 and 1878 respectively, and especially Richard Wagner in 1883. These events, among others, triggered within him impulses resulting in elegiac outpourings that range from the unusual to the bizarre. Liszt’s episodes of depression seem to have arisen partly from anxiety about his own creative abilities. In February 1876 he wrote: To tell the truth, I have an increasingly poor opinion of my things, and it is only through my reaction to the indulgence of others that I manage to find

88 James M. Baker them acceptable. On the other hand, I greatly enjoy many of the compositions of my colleagues and masters. They amply repay me for the tediousness and shortcomings of my own.3

Poor reviews from certain critics had shaken his confidence, as indicated in these comments from a letter written in March 1878: It stands clearly written, a hundred times over, that I cannot compose; without indulging in unseemly protests against this, I quietly go on writing, and set all the greater store by the constancy of some of my friends.4

His doubts actually caused him to discourage performances of his large works: For years past I have been mostly obliged to dissuade people from the performance of my large works. The general public usually goes by what is said by the critics, whose most prominent organs among the newspapers are hostile to me. Why should I go into useless quarrels and thereby compromise my friends? Peace and order are the first duties of citizens, which I have doubly to fulfil both as honourable citizen and artist.5

Liszt was known for drinking considerable amounts of wine and cognac, although with no detectable effects on his speech or piano playing, but around 1882 his friends became alarmed at the quantity of his alcohol consumption, which now included absinthe.6 It is likely that alcohol fed his depressive moods and further limited his powers of concentration. In the early 1870s Liszt was apt to blame his inability to bring compositions to completion on pressing external obligations, but by the latter part of the decade he opened up to certain of his friends about his fears of failing creativity. He intimated to his mistress and confidante Princess Carolyne von Sayn-Wittgenstein: Without complaining, I often suffer from living – health of the body remains to me, that of the soul is lacking. Tristis est anima mea! However, to my numerous real and alleged faults will never be added that of ingratitude, the very worst of all! From the bottom of my heart I bless you for persevering for 30 years in actively wishing for me the Good, the Beautiful, and the True. In this, you are heroic and sublime – and I feel unworthy to unlace your shoes!7

Other comments reflect his dismay at his inability to realise what he imagined: By Pentecost of ’85 I hope to have finished the score of St. Stanislas. I write slowly – cross out three-quarters, and then do not know whether the fourth part can stand by itself.8 ...

89 A survey of the late piano works I am again guilty of being late, and for the same reason – or rather for the same fault as formerly. This fault is writing music, a task which tires me greatly and which I only carry out unhappily, finding my talent very inadequate for the lively expression of my thoughts. Everything seems to me listless and colorless - - - -9

Another reason for the aging Liszt’s experience of ‘composer’s block’ – one not unfamiliar to later nineteenth-century composers – was his consciousness of working in the shadow of composers he regarded as giants, for him particularly Wagner and Beethoven. While he may have professed to find consolation and inspiration in their works, there can be no doubt that his difficulties in composing arose in part from the paralysing realisation of their greatness. A poignant anecdote attests to his feelings of inferiority: I frankly confess that the title of the pamphlet, ‘Beethoven and Liszt’, at first frightened me. It called to my mind a reminiscence of my childhood. Nearly fifty years ago, at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, I used often to notice a harmless poodle keeping company in the same cage with a majestic lion, who seemed to be kindly disposed towards the little chamberlain. I have exactly the same feeling towards Beethoven as the poodle towards that forest-king.10

What is most critical for us is that Liszt was not entirely deterred by his insecurities and growing awareness of his waning powers. He continued to work at his compositions until, about a year before he died, his failing eyesight made it impossible for him to put pen to paper. An overview of Liszt’s life and works shows that by the time he entered what we now recognise as the ‘late’ period, he had composed all of his largest conceptions: the Faust Symphony, the St Elisabeth and Christus oratorios, as well as the largest keyboard works – the Piano Sonata and the two piano concertos. During his last years his major project was an oratorio based on the legend of St Stanislaus, begun in 1869 but never brought to completion, ostensibly because of problems with the libretto, but more likely due to a psychological block. Sometime in the 1880s Liszt sketched out a portion of a third piano concerto, but this never came close to being finished. The largest of the completed piano works from the late period are several collections of short compositions: Weihnachtsbaum and the third book of the Ann´ees de p`elerinage, published in 1882 and 1883 respectively; the Historische Ungarische Bildnisse, a set of seven musical portraits of Hungarian political and intellectual figures; and the Via Crucis, actually a piano version of a tightly knit multi-movement choral piece, neither version of which was published during Liszt’s lifetime. None of these collections was finished speedily. Liszt mentioned the Weihnachtsbaum and Via Crucis sets to Princess Carolyne in a letter of 1 January 1874, stating that he expected to complete both

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in about six weeks. It is indicative of his creative path that he took another two years to compose Weihnachtsbaum, and even then felt the need to tinker with the collection for another six years before releasing it for publication. He did not make much headway with Via Crucis until 1878, when in a feverish burst of inspiration he composed most of it in a period of two weeks. He was confident enough to send off the choral version of Via Crucis along with two other sacred choral works to the publisher Pustet in 1884, only to suffer the insult of rejection. He conceived of the Hungarian Historical Portraits as a set in 1885, comprising four newly composed pieces and three earlier pieces dating as far back as 1867. In 1877, Liszt likewise had composed five new pieces to go along with three earlier works dating from 1867 and 1872, to make up the third book of Ann´ees. The Via Crucis, Hungarian Historical Portraits, and the troisi`eme ann´ee of the Ann´ees de p`elerinage have not received the recognition they deserve as major works. They are not mere collections of small pieces but rather are highly integrated cyclic compositions of substance and depth. On the whole, however, it would be accurate to describe Liszt’s compositional output during his late period as a succession of short, independent works. The music of Liszt’s later years has received scant attention from scholars and performers, with the exception of one relatively small category of pieces, which I call the music of ‘Premonition, Death, and Mourning’. Over the past quarter century, this group of works has been the subject of a number of theoretical and analytical studies, thanks primarily to their daringly experimental harmony, which seems to push beyond the limits of tonality, as well as other unusual stylistic features. While works such as ‘Unstern!’ and the two ‘Lugubre gondola’ pieces are fascinating and certainly warrant close analysis, it is unfortunate that other equally important pieces have been ignored. The general reputation of Liszt’s late music is that it is dissonant, austere, and morbid – in total contrast to the tunefulness, ardent passion, and brilliant virtuosic display typically ascribed to the music of his prime. In point of fact, in his later years Liszt continued to compose the types of music we associate with his earlier life – the transcriptions and paraphrases, the festive marches, Hungarian rhapsodies, and the like. It is the purpose of this essay to survey the entire spectrum of his later piano compositions, in order to provide a balanced view of Liszt as man and artist during his final years.

Aspects of style: the Elegie, ‘Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth’ While it is crucial to recognise a continuity between the middle and late periods of Liszt’s career, it is nonetheless important to acknowledge that there are significant differences in style between the two. Liszt’s late Elegie, dating perhaps from 1880, affords an excellent opportunity to gauge the

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differences in style, for it is a revised keyboard version of his song, ‘Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth’, composed in the early 1840s. This song is of particular interest because – for reasons to be discussed – Liszt revisited it a number of times over the years. The diverse versions include four different keyboard arrangements, the first three from the 1840s, the last written during his final years (possibly 1880). A comparison of the fourth version with the third, published in 1850 as the Feuillet d’album No. 2, reveals a number of important stylistic differences. The introduction to the third version (Ex. 5.1a) sets forth the distinctive juxtaposition of A minor six-four (weakly representing the tonic) and F-minor chords in the first two bars, but then concentrates on the dominant harmony for the next nine bars, supported by a low-bass E2. The introduction to the later version (Ex. 5.1b) is at once more extended but also harmonically more nuanced. The two-chord motive is set forth in the first two bars, but then sequenced down through more exotic harmonies, including a D minor chord in bar 4. Critical to the deliberate harmonic vagueness of the introduction is the absence of the dominant note in the low bass. The dominant harmony is never stated outright, but rather is represented by the diminished-seventh chord on G (bars 10 and 12), two elements of which are displaced by pungent appoggiaturas in cross-relation: C resolving to D against C resolving to B. (The lone C appoggiatura in bar 3 of the earlier version is ordinary by comparison.) Having arrived at this eerie effect, Liszt seems charmed by its strangeness and cannot forgo the temptation to repeat it in bars 11–12. Such lingering on captivating sonorities is highly characteristic of Liszt’s late style, which often conveys the sense of an improvisation by a musician whose consciousness is flooded by reminiscences. Another critical stylistic distinction arises with regard to the treatment of the operatic climax on the cadential six-four in E major (the dominant of A minor). It occurs with the straightforward romantic flourish in bars 26–8 in the third version (Ex. 5.2a). The parallel event in the fourth version (Ex. 5.2b) is comparable until the trailing pair of lines in sixths, which ought to cadence to the tonicised E major chord, somehow loses its sense of direction with the entry of E (bar 35), ending uncertainly on the diminishedseventh chord in bar 38. The separateness of this sound-world from the main body of the piece is emphasised by the change of key signature to four sharps, which does not happen in the earlier version. It is as if this odd train of thought leaves the composer somewhat disoriented, and he pauses for a moment to collect himself, then picks up the main melodic strand in bar 41, equivalent to bar 29 in the third version. The unaccompanied melodic passage, marked Dolcissimo, in bars 44– 50 in the fourth version (also shown in Ex. 5.2b) is a distinctive feature of Liszt’s late style, in which monophony is frequently employed to avoid strong harmonic definition and to create a pensive or brooding mood. An

92 James M. Baker Example 5.1a Feuillet d’album No. 2, introduction

Example 5.1b Elegie, ‘Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth’, introduction

93 A survey of the late piano works Example 5.2a Feuillet d’album No. 2, bars 26–30

equivalent passage does not occur at this point in the earlier version. The arpeggiated melodic contour in 68 rhythm together with the element of repetition (on the small scale within the phrase in bars 49–50, and on a larger level with the repetition of the phrase doubled at the octave above and extended in bars 58–61) invokes a pastoral topic and suggests a horn call or bells echoing through countryside. (One is reminded of a comparable passage at the close of the ‘Angelus!’ in Book III of the Ann´ees, also in E major, in which Liszt simulated the effect of churchbells echoing through the countryside.) The Dolcissimo indication marks this passage as being of special emotional significance, and one cannot help but feel that the preceding phrase, which has come to rest on the dominant in bar 45, has somehow stimulated recollections of halcyon days now in the distant past. It is important to note that this pastoral subject is not unique to the final version of the song. It occurs in a very abbreviated form in the third version (bars 64–7), stated without repetition in the key of the Neapolitan, B major (here marked Leggierissimo and Perdendo; see Ex. 5.3a). The mood of the Elegie darkens with the material in bars 65–72, roughly equivalent to bars 36–44 in the earlier version (these passages are not shown in examples). The later version offers a more extended transition in bars 75–84, however, using an unaccompanied melodic line which loses force

94 James M. Baker Example 5.2b Elegie, bars 31–53

through excessive sequencing (picking up the figuration of the transitional material in bars 33–8) and becomes harmonically vague as the chromatic B creates an augmented sonority with the E and G of the dominant. We have already noted the simple occurrence of the ‘pastoral’ passage in the key of B in the third version. The fourth version offers a comparable passage in B (bars 101–13; see Ex. 5.3b), here obviously a recurrence of the earlier statement in E major, but one which is even further extended through increased repetitions, along with a change of mode to B minor. Unlike the third version, this episode receives its own key signature. The B passage in

Example 5.3a Feuillet d’album, bars 64–7

Example 5.3b Elegie, bars 101–13

96 James M. Baker Example 5.4a Feuillet d’album No. 2, bar 108 to end

Example 5.4b Elegie, bar 128 to end

the third version precedes a grand cadenza, which in conventional manner constitutes an authentic cadence of great structural weight. This version then ends with the clearest possible harmonic definition, a low-bass tonic pedal: A2 from bar 87 directly following the cadenza, and A1 from 103 to the conclusion (see Ex. 5.4a). By contrast, the B episode in the final version trails off into harmonically indefinite regions, as the introductory material – already fairly vague – recurs in bar 114, strangely transposed up a semitone, to begin the coda. The final version ends without benefit of low-bass support for either dominant or tonic (see Ex. 5.4b). Instead, as is characteristic of

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Liszt’s late style, a single melodic line is allowed to drift from bar 123 with only occasional light chordal interjections, merely suggesting the A minor tonic. The concluding high-register chords fade to nothing, creating a sense of floating in time and space. Yet another feature of the Elegie is highly indicative of Liszt’s late compositional practice: the structural development of chromatic pitch relations. We observed the unusual cross-relation between C and C at the crux of the introduction. These two pitches may be seen as encapsulating the conflict between major and minor modes of the key of A. In the third version, this relation is worked out simply: the first half of the piece is in A minor, the second half is in A major, with a change in key signature continuing from bar 47 to the end (bar 116). The situation in the later version is entirely different. Although stretches of the latter half of the piece are given the key signature of A major, that key signature is cancelled at bar 122, and the final thirty bars of the piece project the minor mode. But the conflict between C and C is developed much further. It is highlighted in the transitional passage in bars 31–8, and affects the melodic detail in the subsequent passage in bars 43–4 (compare the parallel passage in bar 31 of the earlier version, which does not feature C). The focus on C may itself have originated in the strange turn toward D minor in bar 4 of the introduction, which is converted to C minor in bar 5. We encounter D again in bars 108–13 in conjunction with the switch to B minor, and find it used fittingly as neighbour to C in the upper voice of the concluding chord progression (bars 146– 52). In Liszt’s later music, chromatic development of the sort observed here becomes a primary structural procedure at the root of his unusual harmonic practice. The big cadenza of the third version highlights the fact that it is an extroverted outpouring of emotion. By contrast, the version of Liszt’s later years does not indulge in such gestures, but rather is obviously engaged in introspection and remembrance. All of the features noted – the nuanced, vaguely delineated harmonies; the colouristic passages set off with distinctive key signatures; the phrases that repeat or sequence until they trail off, the development of poignant chromatic motives permeating the structure from melodic detail and unconventional harmonies to the deepest levels of structure – all create a sense of bittersweet nostalgia which surely reflects Liszt’s state of mind in his last years. That Liszt would take up the musical topic of ‘Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth’ late in life tells us something of the psychological motivation for much of the late music. The song had originally been composed to set a poem by his friend, Count Felix Lichnowsky, celebrating a desolate and mysterious island in the Rhine whose main feature was a convent that had fallen into near ruin. Liszt spent the summers of 1841 through 1843 on Nonnenwerth with Marie d’Agoult, his mistress, and their three young children. This idyllic time was

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the last that the family spent together. Lichnowsky’s poem conveys his own admiration of Marie but at the same time a profound sense of loss, which must have captured something of Liszt’s mood at the time. In November 1842, after their second summer on the island, Liszt, while travelling and separated from Marie, wrote to her, quoting Lichnowsky’s poem: Here I am in front of Nonnenwerth once again, dear Marie. Nicht die Burgen, nicht die Reben Haben ihr den Reiz gegeben. (Neither the castles, nor the vines Have given [Nonnenwerth] its charm.) I am going to sing those lines and set them to music, although I am in a mood neither to sing nor to write, but quite simply to weep.11

Liszt must have been reflecting especially on the final couplet of the poem: Dies, das letzte meiner Lieder, Ruft dir: Komme wieder, komme wieder! (This, the last of my songs, Calls to you: come back, come back!)

It is interesting that Liszt would return to this song, so strongly associated with Marie, so many years after the two had become estranged. Their parting had been bitter, and after Marie died in March 1876, Liszt had written to Carolyne: Barring hypocrisy, I could not bring myself to weep any more after her passing than during her lifetime . . . [A]t my age condolences are as embarrassing as congratulations. Il mondo va da s`e – one lives one’s life, occupies oneself, grieves, suffers, makes mistakes, changes one’s views, and dies as best one can!12

It would have been impossible for Liszt to have written this, his final setting of ‘Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth’, without thinking of Marie.13 The Elegie clearly projects a mood of deep nostalgia, eliciting a sense of both tender reminiscence and regret. It seems significant that Liszt had dedicated the second piano version of the ‘Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth – likewise entitled Elegie – to Marie d’Agoult. This piece, one of only three works the composer saw fit to dedicate to her, was published in 1843, the last year they were together. The late Elegie, then, may well have been for Liszt a private lament for Marie (or, if not for her, then for their brief time together with their children as a family), although he could not bear to acknowledge this publicly in a dedication.14

99 A survey of the late piano works

Survey of the categories of Liszt’s late piano music The comparison of the two versions of ‘Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth’ has disclosed many of the features of style and structure associated with Liszt’s later years. Because his compositional practice continued to evolve throughout this period, it is not feasible to use a single composition as a locus for every aspect of his style. At this point, accordingly, we shall proceed to a general survey of the late piano music, taking note of distinctive features in particular compositions as necessary. 1. Music based on works of other composers

Liszt composed approximately 100 individual works (some of which are themselves collections of pieces) from 1869 to the end of his life. These are listed in Table 5.1, grouped according to the six categories: works based on music by other composers; abstract pieces and studies; nationalistic and celebratory music (subdivided into Hungarian pieces and music of other nationalities); sacred music; music of premonition, death, and mourning; and programmatic music and works with special titles. No effort at categorisation can be entirely satisfactory; there are many works which might fit into more than one group. Certain pieces in Book III of the Ann´ees de p`elerinage, for example, are sacred in character, while others are music of mourning; but the programmatic nature of the collection as a whole necessitates its being grouped with other programmatic pieces. These categories prove useful for observing Liszt’s creative activity during the late period, enabling us to discern trends in the types of pieces he chose to write at various times, and to infer a variety of impulses and aims motivating his compositional projects. By far the largest category is that of ‘works based on music by other composers’, comprising thirty-five items, two of which are collections of separate pieces (two sets of arrangements of songs by Robert and Clara Schumann composed in 1874). It is not generally recognised that Liszt continued to write transcriptions and paraphrases virtually continually throughout his career, the last a setting of a Tarantelle by Cui, composed in 1885. Many of these are fantasies employing the dazzling virtuoso style of his earlier career – for example the R´eminiscences de Boccanegra composed in 1882 based on the Verdi opera. Liszt’s musical allegiances are clear from the composers whose works he chose to set. During the late period he continued to proselytise on behalf of Richard Wagner, setting music from Die Meistersinger (1871), Der fliegender Holl¨ande (1872), Der Ring des Nibelungen (1875), and Parsifal (1882). He seemed equally fond of Italian music, composing arrangements of numbers from Verdi’s A¨ıda (1876), Messa di Requiem (1877–82), and Simon

100 James M. Baker

Table 5.1 Franz Liszt, late music for solo piano (1869–86)

Works based on music by other composers Tanzmomente (Herbeck) Der Schwur am R¨utli (F. Draeseke) Am stillen Herd (Die Meistersinger) Puszta-Wehmut (Die Werbung; L. Gizycka) Zwei Lieder (E. Lassen) 2. Ich weil in tiefer Einsamkeit Fr¨uhlingsnacht (Schumann) Ballade (Fliegender Holl¨ander) Lieder von Robert und Clara Schumann (1–7) Lieder von Robert und Clara Schumann (8–10) Dantes Sonett ‘Tanto gentile’ (von Bu¨ low) ‘Walhall’ aus dem Ring des Nibelungen (Wagner) Una stella amica, mazurka (Pezzini) Danse macabre (Saint-Sa¨ens) Die Rose, Romanze aus der Oper Zemir und Azor (Spohr) Aida, danza sacra e duetto final (Verdi) Valse d’Ad`ele (Count Zichy) Agnus Dei della Messa di Requiem di G. Verdi Aus der Musik zu Hebbels Nibelungen und Goethes Faust Sarabande and Chaconne (Almira von Handel) Tarantelle (Dargomizhsky) Revive Szegedin, marche hongroise de Szabady (arr. of arr. by Massenet ded. to Liszt of work by Szabadi) Polonaise (Evgeny Onegin by Tchaikovsky) O Roma nobilis (Baini) Variation, pr´elude a` la polka de Borodine (variation on ‘Chopsticks’) Seconda mazurka variata da Pier Adolfo Tirindelli Liebesszene und Fortunas Kugel aus Die sieben Tods¨unden (Goldschmidt) O! wenn es doch immer so bliebe (based on songs by A. Rubinstein) Provenc¸alisches Minnelied (based on Schumann’s op. 139/4) R´eminiscences de Boccanegra (Verdi) Feierlicher Marsch zum heiligen Gral aus Parsifal (Wagner) Drei Lieder aus J. Wolffs Tannh¨auser Valse de concert (J. V´egh) Symphonisches Zwischenspiel zu Calderons Schauspiel ¨ Uber allen Zauber Liebe (Lassen) Der Asra (based on song by A. Rubinstein) Tarantelle (Cui) Small piano pieces (abstract) F¨unf kleine Klavierstu¨ cke

Fantasie und Fugue (B-A-C-H) Technische Studien Impromptu (Nocturne) Toccata Nationalistic and Celebratory Music a) Hungarian Ungarischer Marsch zur Kronungsfeier in OfenPest Am 8. Jun 1867 Ungarischer Geschwindsmarsch Einleitung und Ungarischer Marsch Epithalam zu Eduard Rem´enyis Verm¨ahlungsfeier



Grove; NLE

1869 1870 1871 1871 1872 1872 1872 1874 1874 1874 1875 ?1875 1876 1876 1876 1877 1877–82 1877 1879 1879 1879

1870 unpub. 1871 1885 1872 1872 1873 1875 1875 1875 1876 1876 1877 1877 1879 1877 1879 1879 1880 1880 1892

A245; ii/13 A251 A254; ii/13 A255; ii/13 A211/2; ii/13 A257; ii/13 A259; ii/13 A264a; ii/24 A264b; ii/24 A265 A269; ii/13 A270; ii/13 A273; ii/14 A275; ii/13 A276; ii/13 A281; ii/11 A284/ii/14 A285; ii/14 A290; ii/14 A291; ii/14 A292; ii/14

1879 1879 1880

1880 unpub. 1881

A293; ii/15 A294; i/17 A296; ii/15

1880 1880

1880 1881

A297; ii/15 A298; ii/15



A304; ii/15



A306; ii/15

1882 1882

1883 1883

A314; ii/15 A315; ii/15

1882 1882–83 1883

1883 1883 1883

A316; ii/15 A318; ii/15 A323; ii/24

?1883 1885

1884 [1952]

A329; ii/15 A327; ii/15

1865–79 (1, 2–1865; 3–1873; 4–1876; 5–1879) 1870 1868–73 1872 ?1879


A233; i/10

1871 1886 1877 unpub.

A250; i/5 A242; A256; i/12 A295; i/12



A248; i/16

1870–71 1872 1872

1871 1873 1872

A252; i/14 A258 A260; i/12 (Continued)

101 A survey of the late piano works

Table 5.1 (Cont.)

´ Szozat und Ungarischer Hymnus F¨unf ungarische Volkslieder A magyarok Istene (Ungarns Gott) (arr. of choral work; also in pf l.h. arr.) Cs´ard´as macabre Ungarische Rhapsodie 16 Magyar Kir´aly-dal (Ungarisches K¨onigslied) Ungarische Rhapsodie 17 2 Cz´ard´as (include Cz´ard´as obstin´e) Ungarische Rhapsodie 18 Ungarische Rhapsodie 19 Historische ungarische Bildnisse (incl. rev. vers. of A249, A279; No. 3 written after A216?) b) Other Nationalities La Marseillaise Gaudeamus igitur Vive Henri IV Siegesmarsch-Marche triomphale Carl August weilt mit uns, Festgesang zur Enth¨ullung des Carl-August-Denkmals in Weimar Kaiser Wilhelm, national hymn Polnisch (verso of Kaiser Wilhelm hymn) Festpolonaise (for wedding of Princess Marie of Saxony) Recueillement (for installation of Bellini monument in Naples) L¨andler, D (air cosaque) Deux Polonaises de l’oratorio Stanislaus Kavallerie-Geschwindmarsch B¨ulow-Marsch Abschied, russisches Volkslied (ded. Siloti) Sacred Music Ave Maria, II, aus den ‘9 Kirchenchorges¨angen’ Sancta Dorothea Zw¨olf alte deutsche geistliche Weisen Zw¨olf alte deutsche geistliche Weisen (Deutsche Kirchenlieder und liturgische Ges¨ange) Via Crucis (associated with choral work also unpub. during Liszt’s lifetime) In festo transfigurationis Domini nostri Jesu Christi San Francesco (Preludio per il Cantico del sol di S. Francesco) Cantico di San Francesco (based on In dulci jubilo)



Grove; NLE

1872 1873 1881

1873 1873 1881

A216; i/16 A263; ii/13 A309/1; i/17

1881–82 1882 1883 1884 1884 1885 1885 1885

unpub. 1882 1884 ?1885 1885/1886 1885 1885 [1956–59]

A313; i/14 A132/16; i/4 A328; i/17 A132/17; i/4 A333; i/14 A132/18; i/4 A132/19; i/4 A335; i/10

1866–72 1869–70 1872–80 1884 (1870s acc. to NLE) 1875

1872 1871 unpub. [1973]

A236; ii/13 A246; i/16 A262; ii/14 A332; i/14



1876 1870s 1876 1877

unpub. unpub. [1908] 1884

A272 A253 A274; i/17 A280; i/12

1879 ?1880–84 ?1883 1883 1885

[1958] 1983 1883 1884 1885

A289 A302; i/17 A330; ii/2 A326; i/14 A324; ii/15

1869–72 1877 1878–79 1878–79

1871 unpub. unpub. unpub.

A247; i/12 A278; i/12 A286a; i/10 A286b



A287; i/10

1880 ?1880

unpub. unpub.

A300; i/12 A301; i/17



A307; i/17

[A301 and A307 are unpublished keyboard arrangements of choral works, the first version of which was completed in 1862; the second version of the choral work was composed in 1879–82 and published in 1884.] Ave Maria (IV) In domum Domini ibimus, Pr¨aludium f¨ur Orgel oder Klavier Music of Premonition, Death, and Mourning Monsonyis Grabgeleit Elegie I (Schlummerlied im Grabe) Elegie II (ded. L. Ramann) Dem Andenken Pet¨ofis Elegie (4th keyboard version of Liszt’s song, ‘Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth, [comp. 1841], the other versions of which date from the 1840s) Tr¨ube Wolken (Nuages gris)

1881 1884

[1958] [1908]

A308; i/12 A331; i/17

1870 1874 1877 1877 ?1880

1871 1875 1878 1877 1883

A249 A266; i/10 A277; i/10 A279 A81d; i/17



A305; i/12 (Continued)

102 James M. Baker

Table 5.1 (Cont.)

Unstern! Sinstre, disastro La lugubre gondola (Elegie III) First vers., 6/8 Second vers., 2/4 (4/4?) R. W.–Venezia (acc. to Walker, composed after Wagner’s death, 13 Feb. 1883) Am Grabe Richard Wagners (comp. on Wagner’s birthday after he had died) Schlaflos! Frage und Antwort Trauervorspiel und Trauermarsch Programmatic pieces and works with special titles Weihnachtsbaum Carrousel de Mme P Der blinde S¨anger Ann´ees de p`elerinage, troisi`eme ann´ee

Zweiter Mephisto-Walzer Romance oubli´e Wiegenlied Von der Wiege bis zum Grabe (4) Valses oubli´ees

Mephisto-Polka Dritter Mephisto-Walzer En rˆeve, nocturne Vierter Mephisto-Walzer Bagatelle ohne tonart



Grove; NLE



A312; i/12

Dec. 1882 Jan. 1883 1883

[1927 acc. to NLE] 1886 unpub.

A319a; i/12 A3119b; i/12 A320; i/12



A321; i/12

1883 1885

unpub. [1888]

A322; i/12 A334; i/12

1874–76; no. 7 rev. 1879–81 ?1875–81 1877 1867–77 (2–1867; 5–1872; 1, 2, 3, 4, 7–1877) 1878/9–81 1880 1881 1881 1881 (no. 1) 1883 (2, 3) 1884 (4) 1882–83 1883 1885 1885 1885


A267; i/10

unpub. 1881 1883

A271; i/12 A282; i/17 A283; i/8

1881 1881 [1958] 1883 1881 (1) 1884 (2, 3) [1954 (4)] 1883 1883 [1888] [1956] [1956]

A288; i/17 A299; i/12 A303; i/12 A310; i/17 A311; i/14

A317; i/14 A325; i/14 A336; i/12 A337; i/14 A338; i/14

Boccanegra (1882). He considered Saint-Sa¨ens a musical ally, and in 1876 set his Danse macabre, a work that may well have influenced some of his own later diabolical works, such as the Cs´ard´as macabre (1881–82). He became a champion of Russian music of diverse styles and schools, setting music by Dargomizhsky (1879), Tchaikovsky (1879), Rubinstein (1881 and 1883), and Cui (1885). He was particularly pleased to contribute in 1880 to the second edition of a collaborative project organised by the Russians – a collection of paraphrases on the popular tune ‘Chopsticks’. He gleefully had written to Borodin, Cui, Liadov, and Rimsky-Korsakov in 1879: You have done a work of serious value under the form of a jest. Your ‘Paraphrases’ [of ‘Chopsticks’] charm me: nothing can be more ingenious than these 24 Variations and the 16 little pieces upon the favourite and obligato subject. In short, here we have an admirable compendium of the science of harmony, of counterpoint, of rhythms, of figuration, and of what in German is called ‘The Theory of Form’ (Formenlehre)! I shall gladly suggest to the teachers of composition at all the Conservatoires in Europe and America to adopt your Paraphrases as a practical guide in their teaching.

103 A survey of the late piano works From the very first page, the Variations II. and III. are true gems; and not less the other numbers continuously, up to the grotesque Fugue and the Cort`ege which crown the whole work gloriously.15

Liszt admired the Russians in particular for challenging the Germanic hegemony over matters of musical taste and style. One of the most remarkable of Liszt’s late paraphrases is the setting of the Sarabande and Chaconne from Handel’s Almira, composed in 1879 for his pupil, the English pianist Walter Bache. This is the only setting of a baroque piece dating from Liszt’s late period. His most recent baroque transcription prior to Almira, dating from 1867, was of J. S. Bach’s Fantasie and Fugue in G Minor BWV 542, which follows the original almost exactly. By contrast, in the Sarabande and Chaconne, Liszt freely expands upon Handel’s original pieces, adding introductory, transitional, and developmental material to create a stately, stirring, highly unified work anticipating the grandeur of Ferruccio Busoni’s late-romantic settings of Bach. Liszt’s decision to set Handel probably reflects his aim to please the British audience, for whom Handel was still the pre-eminent national composer. The category of works based on music by other composers stands apart from the other types of compositions of Liszt’s late period. With few exceptions, the transcriptions and paraphrases were published within a year of composition, in marked contrast to compositions in other categories, which Liszt often withheld from publication for years – if he chose to publish them at all. This pattern suggests a practical reason why Liszt continued to compose transcriptions and paraphrases: they were a primary source of income in his later years. 2. Abstract compositions

The category of abstract compositions is markedly smaller than other groups of compositions of the late period. It comprises five works without explicit programmatic identification, one of which is the collection Five Little Piano Pieces first published in its entirety in 1963. Nearly every item in this category dates from 1873 or earlier, the only exceptions being the last two pieces of the Five Little Pieces, composed in 1876 and 1879. It is impossible to give a precise date for the Toccata, unpublished during Liszt’s lifetime, but it can be assigned to the late period with assurance. The Toccata and the Technische Studien written between 1868 and 1873 are the only works Liszt composed during his later years specifically for the purpose of developing keyboard technique. They are also in many cases studies in advanced harmony. The Toccata, for instance, develops contrasts of major vs. minor and diatonic vs. chromatic. It begins with an impressionistic wash of sound accomplished by rapid figuration entirely on the white keys, attaining definition in C major at

104 James M. Baker Example 5.5a Toccata, bars 1–20

bar 19 (see Ex. 5.5a). Debussy was to employ a similar effect in ‘Mouvement’, the third of the Images, Book I (pub. 1905). The introduction of chromatics leads to a central episode in E beginning in major mode in bar 43, but switching to minor in bar 60. The Toccata ends a tritone away, in A minor – the relative minor of the opening C major – expressed as a sixth-chord with C in the bass (bar 65) and embellished with chromatic auxiliary sixth chords of G and B minor (see Ex. 5.5b). The Five Little Pieces is a collection of very small pieces that Liszt evidently drew together as a presentation piece to Olga von Meyendorff, widow of a Russian baron who moved to Weimar in 1871 with her four young sons and became part of Liszt’s inner circle of friends and supporters. Meyendorff held the manuscript copies of these pieces and did not allow their release

105 A survey of the late piano works Example 5.5b Toccata, bars 65–94

106 James M. Baker

during her lifetime; she died in 1926. The first piece in the set, dating from 1865, is a simplified setting of the Notturno No. 2 published in 1850. The second piece likewise dates from 1865. The third piece, composed in 1873, starts out with a delicate texture based on parallel thirds and sixths in the right hand alone. The fourth piece was composed three years later likely as a companion piece to the third, since it corresponds closely in texture throughout. The fifth piece, entitled ‘Sospiri!’, is the only piece of the set with a special title, and is the most fully developed of the five pieces. It presents a tender melodic fragment (hardly a full-fledged theme), marked Dolce amoroso, in the key of A major (beginning in bar 11) followed by a transition leading to its repetition down a step in the key of G (bar 16). This entire passage is then repeated with variation in bars 37–62, followed by a final section in which the thematic phrase is stated Dolcissimo in E major (bar 63), F minor (bar 67), and F minor (bars 77–9). The latter statement, marked Languendo appassionato, represents the parallel minor of the odd harmonic region of G major encountered earlier. The closing measures return to the vague diminished harmonies of the introduction, and focus on the chromatic variance between A and A at the heart of the harmonic structure of the piece. On another level, the harmonies featured in this final piece of the set – harmonies rooted on A, F, and E – might have been derived from the keys of the earlier pieces: E major (No. 1), A major (No. 2), and F major (Nos. 3 and 4). It seems possible that the final piece was written to justify drawing together various earlier pieces into a set (even though it was evidently not a set he intended for publication). Of the five pieces, the fifth is the only one to end with the fade-out on high-register dissonant chords, a feature associated with the late style. Liszt dedicated his Impromptu, first published in 1877, to Olga von Meyendorff. He seldom used the title ‘Impromptu’, which may therefore indicate the specific influence of Chopin. At one time Liszt had also called this piece ‘Nocturne’, corroborating a Chopinesque concept. Composed in the key of F major, this piece seems to allude to Chopin’s F Major Prelude, op. 28. Liszt’s harmony in this work appears derived from an underlying melodic motive, the chromatic ascent from the third to fifth scale degree: A, B, B (C), C. Both works dedicated to Meyendorff convey a tender sentiment quite frequently encountered in Liszt’s late works, usually in pieces with a nocturnal ambiance such as cradle songs, often dedicated to close friends still living. (Another example is ‘En rˆeve. Nocturne’, one of his last pieces, written in late 1885 for his student August Stradal.) The Fantasie and Fuge u¨ ber das Thema B-A-C-H, composed in 1870 and published in 1871, is a holdover from his earlier style and is a type of piece he did not compose thereafter. It probably should not be considered a late-period work at all. It is based on Liszt’s composition for organ, the

107 A survey of the late piano works

Praeludium und Fuge u¨ ber den Namen B-A-C-H composed in 1855–6 and revised in 1869–70. He arranged the revised organ composition for piano and published it with a slightly different title. Amongst the late works, it is unique in its extended bombastic display and tremendous technical demands. 3. Nationalistic and celebratory music

The category of Nationalistic and Celebratory Music reflects an important aspect of Liszt’s career continuing until his death. It consists of twentynine works of a festive or patriotic character, fifteen of which are associated specifically with Hungary, including the set of seven Historical Hungarian Portraits completed in 1885. The Hungarian works cluster in two timespans: 1870–3 and 1881–5. Liszt lived in Hungary for eight months in 1870, having sought refuge there from the hostilities of the Franco-Prussian war. At that time he began to accrue numerous recognitions as Hungary’s premier composer, including an honorary appointment as Royal Councillor. His settings of Five Hungarian Folksongs, based on arrangements by the elder ´ anyi, are disarmingly simple and straightforward, reflecting a new K. Abr´ appreciation of the inherent beauty of native melodies. Liszt was often called upon to provide festive music for state occasions. In the early 1870s he wrote three marches and the Sz´ozat und Ungarischer Hymnus, a moving setting of the Hungarian national anthem preceded by an arrangement of B´eni Egressy’s music to Mih´aly V¨or¨osmarty’s patri´ otic poem, ‘Szozat’ (‘Appeal’). The Ungarischer Geschwindmarsch, written in 1870 at the request of a Hungarian publisher, is a good example of his march style. It is simply and squarely structured and based on subject matter familiar from the Hungarian music of Schubert and Brahms. The distinctive aspect of Liszt’s march is the use of unusual scales together with the juxtaposition of chromatically related harmonies. In bars 23–7, for example, the half cadence to the dominant of A minor is prepared by a passage based on the major raised mediant, a C major chord, but spelled most unusually with an F, and supporting a melody that features many chromatic intervals as well as pitches at odds with the underlying harmony, such as E (see Ex. 5.6a). The bass progression in bars 26–7 reverses the melodic progression E–F, the head motive of the main theme (see bar 3). Other motivic chromatic relations involve the juxtaposition of harmonies derived from flat and sharp keys. This sort of contrast comes to the fore at the frenzied conclusion, where a passage beginning in bar 114 emphasising an E harmony is transposed to the level of the tonic A major – at the distance of a tritone – in the closing bars. The use of the mediant of A as a connecting chord in bar 123 hardly lessens the jolt of the switch from flats to sharps (see Ex. 5.6b).

108 James M. Baker Example 5.6a Ungarischer Geschwindmarsch, bars 23–7

Example 5.6b Ungarischer Geschwindmarsch, bar 114 to end

After 1873, Liszt stopped writing music in the Hungarian style for a number of years, but his interest in it resumed in 1881, the year that he revisited his birthplace, Raiding (in western Hungary, now part of Austria), after an absence of many years. Late in life Liszt discovered in his attempts to write Hungarian music the impetus towards increased experimentation – as

109 A survey of the late piano works Example 5.7a Cs´ard´as macabre, bars 49–57

Example 5.7b Camille Saint-Sa¨ens, Danse macabre, bars 655–65 (Liszt’s piano transcription)

if asserting his national identity provided the strength and sense of purpose he needed to break away from the rules and limitations of Western European music. For the first time he now turned his attention to the native dance idiom of the cs´ard´as. On the cover of the manuscript of his Cs´ard´as macabre, composed in 1881–2, Liszt wrote, ‘May one write or listen to such a thing?’ (‘Darf man solch ein Ding schreiben oder anh¨oren?’) Although Liszt wrote to his publisher T´aborszky about the piece in March 1882, his doubts evidently caused him ultimately to withhold it from publication. This work reflects the influence of Saint-Sa¨ens, whose Danse macabre Liszt admired and transcribed.16 The rustic parallel fifths are in fact derived from that work (compare the passage in bars 49–57 of the Cs´ard´as with bars 655–65 of Liszt’s transcription of the Saint-Sa¨ens; see Ex. 5.7a and 5.7b), but here are used as main subject matter and with a vigour that anticipates the primi´ The rollicking theme at bar tivism of his Hungarian successor, B´ela Bartok. 162 is identical with the beginning of the Hungarian popular folk-style tune ´ a kunyho, ´ ropag a n´ad’ from the early 1800s, which happens entitled ‘Eg appropriately enough to contain in concealed fashion a tune which resembles the Dies irae chant from the funeral mass.17 The Cs´ard´as macabre is one of Liszt’s bigger, more extroverted late compositions, displaying the same

110 James M. Baker Figure 5.1 Liszt, Cs´ard´as macabre, Form (harmonic functions expressed in terms of D minor) Introduction A B B' A' B'

bars 1–48 49–162 163–252 253–304 305–418 419–560

arpeggiates F-A-C augmented triad (V or V/ iii?) iii (bar 49); v (bar 89, bar 125) V/III (bar 163); III (spelled as G , bar 191); V (bar 240)

transition Coda

561–88 589–704

VI (bar 577); V (bar 586) I (D major); touches upon iii (bar 633) and II (bar 667)

= B transposed down minor third; V (bar 419); II (bar 447); V (bar 509)

devilish virtuosity as his Mephisto works, and can be a real crowd-pleaser. The surface grotesqueries belie a highly unified structure in the key of D, outlined in Figure 5.1. It is striking that this ostensibly irrational composition is solidly based on procedures conventional to Liszt’s earlier style: focus on various forms of the mediant with concomitant contrast of sharp and flat key areas (F major, F minor, G major); an introduction based on a symmetrical chord; the wholesale transposition of a large formal unit; and the conclusion of a minor-mode piece in the major. The Cs´ard´as macabre is an object lesson that one should be wary of assigning such labels as ‘atonal’ to Liszt’s late works on the basis of strange sonorities at the surface of the music. In addition to several cs´ard´as pieces, Liszt composed four Hungarian Rhapsodies (nos. 16 through 19) from 1882 to 1885, working again in this genre after having neglected it for nearly thirty years. Of the four, only the nineteenth – one of his last completed works – has the variety, vivacity, and sweep of the best of the earlier rhapsodies to make it very effective in concert. Curiously, this rhapsody is based on themes taken from the work of ´ anyi’s Cs´ard´as nobles), whereas the sixteenth, sevenanother composer (Abr´ teenth, and eighteenth rhapsodies are entirely original. These latter pieces lack the full, balanced melodies of the traditional rhapsodies and suffer from an almost mechanical sequencing of their limited subject matter. They do build to the frenzied conclusion typical of the genre, but these endings can nevertheless seem perfunctory and unconvincing (as is especially the case in No. 17) – a flaw not uncommon in Liszt’s late-period works when he attempted a big finish. The crowning masterwork of Liszt’s nationalistic music is the set of Historic Hungarian Portraits (Historische Ungarische Bildnisse) completed in 1885. This work will be discussed at length in the next chapter. 4. Sacred keyboard music

The sacred keyboard music is a very small group of pieces, the most substantial of which were written mainly around 1877–9: two Ave Marias, Sancta

111 A survey of the late piano works

Dorothea, simple harmonisations of twelve traditional chorale tunes, the Prelude and Hymn of St Francis, In domum Domini ibimus, and the Via Crucis. The only two pieces in the group clearly intended for keyboard are Sancta Dorothea, a slight, delicate piece, and In festo transfigurationis Domini nostri Jesu Christi of 1880, which seems more like an episode from a larger work (e.g. the first of the Cypress pieces from Ann´ees, Book III) than a composition unto itself. It is a brief musical representation of the transfiguration of Jesus – evidently a spontaneous inspiration composed on the feast of the transfiguration, 6 August 1880. The composition co-ordinates a modulatory sequence – from G major through E major and F minor concluding in F major – with a gradual shift in register, rising from the depths to heavenly heights at the end, creating a sense of floating off into space. The remainder of the sacred piano works are arranged from vocal music. The Ave Maria in D, published in 1873, is Liszt’s expansive paraphrase of his own choral work from 1869, along the lines of his setting of Schubert’s Ave Maria, in which the melodic line is bathed in arpeggios. Liszt’s melody has a naive charm, but is marred by an unnatural modulation to V(bar 21) and the portentous, rather strange modulation afterwards to the mediant (bar 35). Such odd digressions are rather frequently encountered in Liszt’s late music, reflecting, it would seem, his propensity to let his mind roam free. The second Ave Maria in G major is so slight as to seem lacking in an identifying idea. The Prelude and Hymn of St Francis, an arrangement from 1881 of a work originally composed in 1862 for baritone, male chorus, orchestra and organ, might well work as a big choral piece, but it certainly does not as a piece for solo piano. It seems overly repetitive and the main rhythmic motive, a rather buoyant and heavy-handed waltz figure, becomes tedious in the extreme. The contrast between vocal and instrumental sonorities might be the only means of alleviating the monotony of this composition. In domum Domini ibimus is a transcription of the prelude to a larger work, a setting of Psalm 121 for mixed choir, organ, brass, and percussion. It would serve admirably in that context, but is not idiomatic enough for keyboard to work satisfactorily as a performance piece. In the keyboard version the gestures come across as simplistic and bombastic. Liszt’s chorale settings are little gems, although more suitable for study than performance. Yet he occasionally departs from strict four-part writing for orchestral effects (e.g. in the second phrase of ‘O Lamm Gottes!’), indicating that he intended that these settings be played. The hymn ‘Vexilla Regis’ stands out as quite different from the other tunes, all German, that Liszt chose to set. He was fond of this Latin hymn and set it several times. This arrangement is interesting especially for its changes from quadruple to triple metre.

112 James M. Baker

In general, the most interesting aspect of Liszt’s sacred piano music (true as well of the sacred music in general) is that it remained unpublished during his lifetime. This music originated from a deep spiritual impulse that demanded expression, but of a kind that Liszt himself recognised was not suited to general consumption. In July 1885 he wrote to Princess Carolyne: My Via Crucis and Septem Sacramenta, plus the Rosario, will not be published by Pustet of Regensburg, the Catholic publisher I wanted. He has declined politely, very much to my chagrin – finding that the compass of these works exceeded that of his numerous usual publications. Another and worse reason lies at the root of it – my works in this field do not sell, which will not prevent me from doing justice to those of Witt, Haberl, et al., and from contributing as well as I can to promoting the German Society of St Cecilia. In certain cases my rule remains: ‘As you will do, I shall not do.’18

The Via Crucis is the product of Liszt’s arduous spiritual quest and one of his most daring and original conceptions. This work is based on the Roman Catholic ceremony performed on Good Friday commemorating the passion and death of Jesus, depicted in fourteen stations. Although ostensibly an arrangement of a choral composition, the solo keyboard version of Via Crucis was in all likelihood intended to be performed and warrants full consideration by any pianist interested in programming the late works. Audiences attuned to the meditative piano cycles of Hindemith and Messiaen will respond to the dramatic cyclic design. This strange and profound work should put to rest any doubts as to the sincerity and depth of Liszt’s religious convictions.19 5. Music of premonition, death, and mourning

Liszt’s music of premonition, death, and mourning is a small but important collection of thirteen individual pieces, including the two versions of La lugubre gondola. Book III of Ann´ees contains several pieces that could properly be assigned to this category as well, and the entire Via Crucis and Historical Hungarian Portraits (which contain revised versions of two pieces in this category) could rightly be considered works of mourning. As has been discussed, Liszt was deeply affected by the deaths of friends and loved ones throughout his life, and these losses had a profound impact on the types of compositions he chose to write. Our survey of diverse categories of works shows clearly, however, that he never permitted himself to lapse into abject depression for very long. The great cyclic collections of his late years reflect in particular his attempt to cope with loss and to place his fears and doubts within a larger spiritual perspective. Like the sacred music, Liszt’s works that contemplate death originated from a deep inner impulse, and he usually did not seek their publication. Many of these works are among the strangest of his creations, impeding their

113 A survey of the late piano works

general accessibility. It is not surprising that this sort of expression is found primarily in music for solo piano. The 1870s saw the creation of a number of elegies written in association with the deaths of particular individuals (including, as I have argued, the late version of ‘Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth’). Soon after his disastrous fall down the staircase at the Hofg¨artnerei in July 1881, he wrote two pieces that in effect define a new subgenre expressing deep personal anxiety and pessimism (as opposed to the elegiac works he had written up to this point): Tr¨ube Wolken and Unstern! Sinistre, disastro. In December 1882 and January 1883 he produced the two versions of La lugubre gondola, premonitions of the death of Richard Wagner in Venice in February 1883. (Since Liszt was then staying in Venice with the Wagners in the Palazzo Vendramin during which time Wagner was clearly failing, the appearance of these works seems less eerily coincidental.) Liszt composed two pieces, R. W. – Venezia and Am Grabe Richard Wagners, within several months of Wagner’s death, in tribute to the composer. R. W. – Venezia depicts Wagner as hero through a sequence of fanfares, but climaxing on a terrifying augmented chord. Am Grabe Richard Wagners was written on 22 May 1883, Wagner’s birthday. It features a motive first used by Liszt in the prelude to The Bells of Strasbourg and later borrowed by Wagner for the sacrament motive of Parsifal. This piece paints a beatific vision of the composer, in fact employing a modulatory registral strategy similar to that of In festo transfigurationis Domini nostri Jesu Christi, perhaps an unintentional indicator of the depth of Liszt’s devotion to Wagner! Both pieces end in the heavenly region of keys with many sharps: F major for In festo transfigurationis, a less certain key (either F or C major) for Am Grabe. While In festo transfigurationis concludes in the highest register, however, Am Grabe returns to the middle register at the end, perhaps in recognition of the earthly repose of Wagner’s remains. As has been stated, the music of premonition, death, and mourning has received an exceptional amount of attention in the analytical literature, no doubt because many features seem to break away from the conventions of tonality.20 For purposes of enumerating features associated with this category, we shall focus on a piece less frequently discussed – Schlaflos! Frage und Antwort (Sleepless! Question and Answer). This work was written in March 1883, the troubled period just after Wagner’s death. Subtitled ‘Nocturne’, it was inspired by a poem, now lost, by Antonia Raab, an Austrian student of Liszt. Like the other pieces from this period, this work was not published during Liszt’s lifetime. This piece is especially useful to analyse because it exists in two versions – one that, among other differences, ends monophonically, the other concluding with full chords. (The second version is given in ‘ossia’s in the original source.) As with certain other works of mourning (such as Unstern!), this composition is in two parts. What is unusual is the agitated tempo of the first

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part, marked Schnell und leidenschaftlich, which evokes the swirling chaos of the beginnings of certain works of Schumann, such as the Fantasie, op. 17 or the Kreisleriana. The first part, which might represent the turmoil of a questioning mind, is solidly in E minor. Although the composition opens in medias res with G2 in the bass, the bass soon descends chromatically to E2, maintained as a pedal point until the transition at bar 42. A transition is effected by a single line in middle register sounding the motive from the opening of the piece. The replacement of G by G in bars 43–5 signifies the change of mode from minor to major within the key of E. The second part of Schlaflos! answers the anxious questioning of the first with a peaceful chorale-like ‘Andante quieto’ in E major that starts in the high register and then sequences down to the middle register of the transitional passage. The primary version of the work ends with the single line of the transition trailing off with a descending arpeggiation of a C minor chord. Out of context one might well analyse the piece as having modulated to the relative minor. The full harmony of the alternate version, given as an ‘ossia’, would indicate that hearing the piece end in C minor might not have been Liszt’s intent. The ‘ossia’ restores the bass pedal on E2 in the concluding measures, providing a secure link with the first half, and indicating that the work might be understood as projecting the key of E throughout. More generally, the specific means that Liszt employs here to project the key of E may be usefully compared with those of other pieces in this key, especially compositions from the late period. According to Alan Walker, E major is Liszt’s religious key.21 This is a simplification which cannot help us in attempting a close analysis of an individual piece. E major, to be sure, has strong religious connotations in many works. It can often convey a pentecostal religious ardour, as in ‘Sursum corda’, the final piece of Ann´ees de p`elerinage, Book III. But there are other keys that for Liszt bore other kinds of religious connotations – for instance F major, which appears to convey heavenly bliss in such works as In festo transfigurationis. The key of E has more specifically to do with transcendental passion – whether spiritual or temporal – than with religion in a general sense. There seem to have been in Liszt’s mind subliminal connections between the fervour of ‘Sursum corda’, the erotic transports of the Sonetto 104 del Petrarca, and the ecstatic transcendence of ‘Vall´ee d’Obermann’, all of which are in E major. On the other hand, E major used in the context of the pastoral style could convey naive, angelic bliss, as in the ‘Angelus!’ that opens Book III of Ann´ees. Understanding the gestures that one encounters in other works in the key of E major can shed light on the meaning of a refractory late work such as Schlaflos! The upward-reaching phrases in right-hand octaves over the tonic E pedal closely resemble the gestures of ‘Sursum corda’ both in compositional technique and mood. Since the topic

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of the latter piece is spiritual struggle, one can easily infer that the turmoil of the first part of Schlaflos! involves an existential angst. The lack of closure at the end of the main version of the piece introduces a sense of drifting without definitive resolution, as is appropriate in the situation of a troubled soul seeking answers to life’s big questions. (Liszt might have done well to choose a less assured title, such as that of Ives’s Unanswered Question, which actually creates a similar drifting sensation.) The meaning of trailing off into the relative minor at the end is also apparently intentionally vague. The ending of the aforementioned ‘Angelus!’ from Ann´ees, Book III provides a useful basis for comparison. This piece closes with a single voice trailing off in middle register. The context here leaves no doubt as to the key of E. However, in the course of the meandering sequential progression leading to this close, the area of the relative minor is touched upon (bars 244–5). The effect here – in particular of the B leading to C – is to introduce a shadow of doubt into the otherwise pristine diatonic bliss of the major mode. In bars 65 and 67 of Schlaflos! a B creeps in with similar effect. The difference here is that whereas in ‘Angelus!’ the diatonic order is restored at the conclusion, Schlaflos! ends without clear harmonic definition of either E major or C minor. A brief comparison of pitch relations in the two versions of Schlaflos! points to a common purpose underlying the distinctly different settings. In both versions of Part I the upper voice pushes up chromatically to D6, the leading tone, which resolves to E6 in bar 50 at the beginning of the chorale. At the end of Part II, the main version touches upon D4 in bars 64 and 66, which is then allowed a taste of resolution to E4 in bar 68, the highpoint of a melodic contour. Tonality is certainly obscured by the C4 in the penultimate bar, from which the melody leaps down a fourth to G3. All of this occurs without bass support. Note, however, that the last bass note in the main version is E3 in bar 60, whose status as tonic is obscured, of course, by the presence of C3 in the tenor and the weak apparent cadence in the key of C minor in bar 61. The use of sequences also tends to disorient the listener. The close of the alternate version places a low-register homophonic texture above the same E2 pedal that supported the first half of the piece. In this context, the upper voice can afford to be more vague than in the main version. So the D4 in bar 71 of this version does not progress to E4, but rather descends through C4 (bar 72) to B3. In fact, both versions of the composition experiment with denial of closure, but withhold it in two different ways: closure is lacking primarily in the bass in version 1 and in the melody in version 2. Walker considers version 2 an inferior composition written ‘for the faint-hearted’ who cannot abide the insecurity of the indefinite close of the main version.22 Be that as it may, it is nevertheless important to gauge closure for both versions within the

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context of E major, whose status as tonic is not seriously jeopardised by the monophonic conclusion of the first version. This conclusion is suggestive of key change, but does not secure a genuine modulation. This analysis is offered as a guide to hearing and interpreting the many instances in Liszt’s late music of pieces trailing off without closure. In most cases one may infer a single tonal centre against which the tendencies of various scale degrees may be traced in a number of voices. It should be remembered that a voice situated in the middle register is still used in the traditional sense, and lacks the harmony-defining power of the bass.

6. Programmatic works

The sixth and final category of Liszt’s late piano music is the programmatic works, as signified by compositions with special, non-generic titles. It thus includes the four Valses oubli´ees, but does not include the Impromptu of 1872. In point of fact, nearly all of Liszt’s compositions arose from programmatic associations, so this category is hardly exclusive. Unstern! could certainly be considered a programmatic work, for example, but may more usefully be placed in a more restrictive category. Only the works in the category of abstract music ostensibly lack programmatic associations, even though in individual cases they differ but little from programmatic pieces. The final category therefore includes the Mephisto dances; two cradle songs; the piano version of the symphonic poem Von der Wiege bis zum Grabe; a Romance oubli´ee and four Valses oubli´ees; the melodrama Der blinde S¨anger; two small speciality pieces, Carrousel de Mme. P and the Bagatelle ohne Tonart; and, most important, two large cyclic collections, Weihnachtsbaum and Ann´ees de p`elerinage, Book III. These works are primarily products of the years following 1876, many after the pivotal year of 1881. Contrary to the general reputation of Liszt’s late music as gloomy and austere, the pieces in this category generally feature one or more of the attributes associated with his earlier style: diabolical energy, brilliant effects of vertiginous dancing, ardent passion, and tender nostalgia. The famous Bagatelle ohne Tonart well represents the last category. This piece is certainly one of Liszt’s more adventurous experimental attempts to push beyond the bounds of tonality. The title by which this piece is generally known actually appears as a subtitle on the front page of the manuscript beneath the title Vierter Mephisto Waltz. We know therefore that it cannot have been composed before the Third Mephisto Waltz dating from the latter half of 1883, and it may well have been written as late as 1885. In March 1885 Liszt in fact wrote another piece bearing the title ‘Fourth Mephisto Waltz’, left apparently unfinished at the time of his death. The ‘ohne Tonart’ waltz may therefore have been intended to replace the unfinished one.

117 A survey of the late piano works Example 5.8a Bagatelle ohne Tonart, bars 1–22

This work is a delightful, glitzy waltz, full of both wit and passion, and makes an excellent effect with an audience. It is in a typical sectionalised dance form, with repeated sections receiving brilliant variation. Whether the piece succeeds in escaping the force of gravitation to a tonal centre as its subtitle indicates is doubtful. One might analyse the work as being built around a symmetrical chord – the G diminished-seventh chord with which the piece ends. Certainly, the B–F tritone representing Mephistopheles featured in the monophonic introduction belongs to this chord (see Ex. 5.8a), as do important elements of the bass line of the work, including D3 (bar 13), D2 (bar 63), F3 (bar 79), as well as A4 and the pitches of the right-hand chord in bar 95, etc. From another point of view, however, the underpinnings of the various sections of the piece – the main bass elements and melodic notes – work together to imply an underlying tonality of D. The main theme, marked Scherzando, beginning in bar 13 (Ex. 5.8a), over D3 in the bass, alternates F and F as primary elements, suggesting the traditional oscillation between minor and major modes. In the consequent phrase of this theme, the main elements of the melody, E and A, combine with C3 in the bass to project the dominant that would conventionally occur here. The dominant is clearly projected in the monophonic

118 James M. Baker Example 5.8b Bagatelle ohne Tonart, bars 57–85

transition in bars 53–6. The wonderful contrasting appassionato section (bars 57–85) employs a bass line – C2-D2-E2-E2-F2 – that conforms with a standard tonal progression in D minor: V6/5-i-i6 (see Ex. 5.8b). Moreover, the motivic correspondence between this bass line and the unaccompanied local-level melodic gesture of the introduction (bars 10–12) strengthens the significance of D as a centre overriding sectional contrasts. After introducing the two main subjects, the piece breaks off, then launches into a brief cadenza that projects the G diminished-seventh chord, followed by a return of the introductory material. The second half of the piece consists of a slightly expanded repetition of the first half, with glittering variations – for the most part based on the original harmonic underpinning. The piece concludes with a dissonant codetta sequencing diminished-seventh chords to unfold the underlying G diminished-seventh. Of the four pitches of this chord, the two by far most frequently encountered in structurally prominent positions are D and F, which – together with their ancillary pitches C, E, and A that form the dominant – tend to project D as tonal centre fairly strongly. The fact that the other Vierter Mephisto Waltz – the one which Liszt may have intended to replace with the Bagatelle ohne Tonart – is definitively

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in D major adds persuasive confirmation of this analysis. The correspondence of keys between the alternative pieces possibly offers corroboration for the Bagatelle ohne Tonart having been written in 1885, after the other Vierter Mephisto Waltz. In spite of ailing body and spirit, Franz Liszt continued courageously to compose until the end of his life. He often was compelled to write music that he knew was strange and for which he could not expect to find a publisher or to gain much of an audience. The music that meant the most to him in his later years emerged as brief, intense expressions that left him drained both physically and emotionally. He might have lost the ability to control large spans of musical time, as his inability to complete the St Stanislaus oratorio would seem to indicate, but in his later years he composed more than simple, short pieces, as some would have it. He turned instead to cyclical forms in which brief, highly expressive components would be placed in a carefully designed sequence to create a unity far greater than the sum of the individual pieces. The Ann´ees de p`elerinage, Book III, the Via Crucis, and the Historical Hungarian Portraits are the three largest and most substantial works of Liszt’s old age. No mere collections of character pieces, these works are grand and challenging conceptions in which the composer examines his past life, confronts death, and looks ahead to the life of the world to come. These late cyclical compositions are the focus of the chapter that follows.

6 Liszt’s late piano works: larger forms ja m e s m . ba ke r

Nearly all of the compositions that Franz Liszt wrote later in life were smaller pieces, as opposed to the Faust Symphony, Piano Sonata, and oratorios that crowned his middle period. One might gather that by his later years Liszt had lost the mental acuity and creative energy to complete big projects. He certainly had suffered a crisis of confidence as he approached old age. Yet three collections of keyboard pieces written in his later years exhibit such substance and scope that they fully warrant consideration as major works on a par with his earlier acknowledged masterworks. These collections, Via Crucis, Historische Ungarische Bildnisse, and Ann´ees de p`elerinage, troisi`eme ann´ee, all exhibit complex cyclic concepts carrying forward Liszt’s work in three important categories: sacred, nationalistic, and programmatic music.

Via Crucis


The Via Crucis is unique among Liszt’s larger late keyboard works. The question arises whether it ought to be considered a keyboard work at all. In many cases throughout his career it seems as if Liszt’s compositional concepts were not wedded to a particular medium. He was in the habit of composing versions of a composition simultaneously for various media; in certain cases, no single version necessarily claims priority over the others – and the Via Crucis may be one of these cases. Liszt, being the pre-eminent producer of keyboard arrangements of large orchestral works, could have written the keyboard version of Via Crucis simply for the purpose of disseminating the music for individual study and appreciation (as was the case with his transcriptions of much of the symphonic repertoire of the time); such arrangements were a major source of income. But this seems not to be the case for many of the late pieces with versions for various media, because he seldom sought their publication. Liszt always valued having music actually performed over faithfulness to a particular medium. Even in the case of music with text, he seemed to conceive of the music as a viable entity on its own, unattached to a particular instrumental setting. Of his plans for the Via Crucis, he wrote in 1878: ‘I will publish them first for piano (or organ) for four hands.’1 When he finally submitted the work to a publisher

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in 1884, however, he sent the choral version, along with two other choral works. Shamefully, the publisher rejected the entire submission, deeming the works unmarketable.2 The Via Crucis is actually very effective as a solo keyboard piece. Unbeknownst to Liszt, he was creating a sacred equivalent to Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (composed 1874) at roughly the same time. Both compositions represent an innovative formal concept, starting with a processional and depicting the onlooker’s responses to a series of images hanging on the walls of church or gallery. Audiences attuned to the serious piano meditations of Hindemith and Messiaen will respond readily to the dramatic cyclical design of Via Crucis, full of tender devotion and pathos. We know that Liszt had formulated the project of Via Crucis as early as 1873, for on the first of January 1874 he wrote to Princess Carolyne Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, his mistress and confidante since the 1840s: In your last letter you again speak of my Christbaum. I hope to publish it by next Christmas – and also the other little work of which I have for long been thinking: Via Crucis. I shall need only 6 weeks of outer tranquillity to finish writing both of them. They will by no means be works of learning, or of display, but simple echoes of the emotions of my youth – these remain indelible through all the trials of the years!3

It is interesting that he originally paired the piece in his mind with his Weihnachtsbaum cycle (published 1882). (For reasons of space, this delightful collection of music associated with Christmas – a kind of combination of Kinderszenen and the Nutcracker – cannot be discussed in this chapter.) Together the Via Crucis and Weihnachtsbaum were evidently intended to portray religious and secular aspects of his youth. He ended up completing neither project speedily, perhaps because the emotional associations he was working out proved to be much more complex than he had expected. The Via Crucis took on a life of its own, and Liszt was unable to get much done on the project until the fall of 1878, when he composed the bulk of it and brought it to completion in the space of a few weeks: These last two weeks I have been completely absorbed in my Via Crucis. It is at last complete . . . and I still feel quite shaken by it. Day after tomorrow I will go back to writing letters, a task impossible for me to undertake so long as music torments my brain. I am barely able to keep up a few indispensable though brief conversations during pauses in my work; and in the evening I feel very tired. I go to bed at 9:30 and read for another half an hour; then the wretched notes of the morning and of the day to come enter my mind and disturb my slumber. In music as in moral matters one rarely does the good one would wish, but often the evil which one would not wish.4

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It would seem that Liszt himself did not fully anticipate the depth of the feelings he would confront when contemplating the passion and death of Jesus, and the struggle it would take to complete his vision. The following is a brief outline of the Via Crucis, with special attention to motivic features that lend unity to the cycle: ‘Vexilla Regis.’ Via Crucis opens with a setting of the hymn composed by Venantius Fortunatus (c. 530–609) for the installation of the relics of the Holy Cross at the cathedral in Poitiers in 569. This hymn, a personal favorite that Liszt set on several occasions, creates an air of pageantry: ‘The royal banners forward go, the Cross shines forth in mystic glow.’5

The setting here is notable for its rhythmic swing and alternation of unison phrases with four-part homophony. It is written in a fairly strict Dorian (often using B) but E is introduced to avoid tritones with B. A diminishedseventh chord occurs uniquely to set the phrase ‘spes unica’ (‘only hope’), perhaps signalling the chromatic migrations of the close. A touching dolcissimo phrase in G major (‘Piis adauge gratiam’) is followed by modal shift to F minor (‘Reisque dele crimina’). The final amen occurs in D major, turning the previously encountered F to good use. After the opening, depicting the procession of the populace, the chromatic conclusion seems to turn inward to reveal the subtle emotions of the individual engaged in this meditation. Station I: Jesus is condemned to death. The triple octaves at the opening allude to the ‘Vexilla Regis’ but receive the response of the clashing minorseventh chord (bar 3), which features the E and B chromatics from the opening number. The music works in agitated fashion to displace these elements with their diatonic counterparts, E and B (see bars 6 and 21–5). The B brings about the ‘devil in music’, the B–F tritone lurking beneath the surface, as in the contour in bars 16–17, which is encountered face-to-face in bar 19. Station II: Jesus takes up the cross. The pitch B is the common tone for harmonies in this number: V/E (continuing from Station I), the climactic E augmented chord in bar 12, the G augmented chord associated with a plodding motive (bar 18), and the concluding B minor 6/4 chord. The upper voice in bars 18–22 sounds for the first time an important chromatic turning motive: D–E–C–D. Station III: Jesus falls for the first time. Here the focus is on an F diminished chord, which subsides to an F minor chord (the latter having been foreshadowed toward the end of ‘Vexilla Regis’, bars 71–7). The latter part of this number is a beautiful setting of the first verse of the Stabat Mater, first in simple parallel thirds, then parallel sixth chords. The key here is A major, the relative major of F minor. This verse actually anticipates the subject of the next station.

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Station IV: Jesus meets his mother. Wrenching harmony supports an ascending chromatic line in the first half, culminating in a tender highregister dolcissimo passage in the second half. The harmony of this latter section begins in B major (bar 18) but sequences down chromatically, reaching A major in bar 26. This harmony is then converted to A minor (bar 30) before trailing off to a diminished chord retaining the C. This very tender music depicts Mary’s acceptance of the fate of her son. The structure of the first half may be understood as essentially rooted on an F pedal (bars 1, 11, 14) which supports a B minor 6/4 before switching to the major mode in the second half. The wrenching chord in bar 1 results from the combination of the F pedal – the dominant of B – and the diminished-seventh chord above: G–B–D–E (the E displaced temporarily by a D appoggiatura). The chromatic turning motive appears in bar 3 and corresponding later measures, this time – perhaps not accidentally – at the pitch level that yields the retrograde of B–A–C–H. Station V: Simon the Cyrenian helps Jesus carry his cross. Fittingly, the plodding music from Station II, formerly in G, is now taken up in the established key of A (bar 36f.), the rise in pitch level creating a sense of forward momentum. The first half presents a freely composed chordal accompaniment in impassioned syncopated rhythm, beneath a slowly moving melody (D–F–E–D–B) sequenced up a tritone in bars 14–21 (G–B–A–G–E). The crucial melodic highpoints of these phrases form the tritone B–E. Another tritone, B–E, is outlined in bars 1–2, occurring as well in the last chord before the key change (bar 24) as B–F, and again at the end (bars 51–2). Station VI: Saint Veronica. This station begins with two phrases that outline the B–F tritone. A third phrase includes an explicit statement of the B–A–C–H motive in prime form (bars 5–6). The introductory passage culminates with the arpeggiation of the diminished-seventh chord containing the B–F tritone, with G as root. This chord leads to the key of A minor, in which key Liszt’s beautiful setting of ‘O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden’ is offered as a communal meditation on the experience of Veronica, who wiped the wounded thorn-crowned face of Jesus. The G diminishedseventh chord occurs again as the climax of the brief postlude. Station VII: Jesus falls for the second time. This number follows Station III almost exactly, transposed up one semitone to B to create a sense of forward momentum. Station VIII: The women of Jerusalem. Surely one of the most affecting of the stations, this number begins with the parallel thirds and sixths associated with the Stabat Mater, now in the context of harmonies elaborating underlying diminished-seventh chords. The first eight measures are built upon an F diminished-seventh chord (see especially the chords of resolution in bars 4 and 8). Thereafter a pedal on B is established, supporting phrases in upper

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parts in which diminished-seventh chords on F, G, and A are sequenced. The diminished-seventh chord on A is stated three times, the third time at the climax in bar 17, still over the pedal B. This form of the chord is the last available, indicating an exhaustive exploitation of the diminished-seventh chord as the basis for the progression. The G–C tritone is featured in the setting of Jesus’s command: ‘Weep not for me.’ This number concludes with a fanfare passage on a pedal E. Incorporated here are a number of triadic harmonies spelled to downplay their consonance (e.g. an A minor chord is spelled A–B–E). The original form of the diminished-seventh chord on F appears over the E pedal at the conclusion. Station IX: Jesus falls the third time. This station follows its predecessors (Stations III and VII) only loosely. Although it is given the key signature of four flats, the Stabat Mater is in the key of B minor and different from the two previous settings, with the inner voice down a sixth from the melody. The ending is ambiguous but suggestive of a modulation to F minor, explaining the key signature. The first half of this station is up a minor third from Station VII; the B minor second half essentially maintains the key centre of that station, but with a change of mode. Station X: Jesus is stripped of his vestments. This station retains the key signature of the latter part of Station IX, but begins definitively in F minor. By bar 6, however, harmony has modulated to B minor. The bass B then moves up to B, at the distance of a tritone from F. Thus the evil F–B tritone lurks beneath the structure of this station, which ends on B in a whole-tone context. Station XI: Jesus is nailed to the cross. This number is in the key of C minor, with the dominant G in the bass. The sharps here might have iconographic significance, associated with nails or thorns. The melody, which would be sung by men’s voices in the choral version, presumably ought to be played Molto marcato by the pianist. The D in bar 9 is ostensibly a resolution of C, but forms a tritone with the G pedal at the moment Jesus is hung on the cross. The final melodic ascent to B seems to respond to the descending whole-tone gesture that concludes Station X with B, perhaps providing a resolution for that pitch. (Such a resolution would reciprocate the opening from B to B that occurred in Station II.) Station XII: Jesus dies on the cross. This station begins with Jesus’s cry (‘Eli, eli . . .’), based on the G–D tritone from the previous station. This interval underlies the second line of Christ’s recitative (bar 12) as well. The lamenting progression in bars 2–11 unfolds the D octave in the upper voice, harmonised primarily by augmented triads, but ending with a diminished chord featuring the B–F tritone, along with D. (The exceptional harmonies highlight A, adding emphasis to the tritone of D.)

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This station is by far the weightiest. It concludes with Liszt’s wrenching harmonisation of ‘O Traurigkeit, O Herzeleid!’ in the key of G minor. He does not allow a perfect cadence at the end, however, but rather concludes with bass descending C–B–B, allowing the devilish B to resolve to the consonant B. The interlude at bar 13 (Andante non troppo lento – Dolce) hovers between A major and F minor. Thus the preceding D–G tritone seems to function as dominant of an A centre. The melodic motive at bar 13 (and bar 48) is the ‘Ave Crux’ motive from Station II (bar 14). Beginning in bar 21 a sequential progression leads to a big C pedal, the dominant of F minor. With Jesus’s words ‘Consummatum est’ (bar 38), however, the progression retreats to A major, and this key centre is maintained through bar 60. A transition then leads to the chorale in G minor. Station XIII: Jesus is taken down from the cross. Station XIII begins with a sequential solo line in G Dorian, serving as a transition to a statement of the Stabat Mater in G major. The chromatic play at the beginning focuses on the change from E to E. At bar 25, the E–C third of bars 23–4 is subsumed into the trenchant opening chord of Station IV, whereupon the entire music of that station is restated at the original pitch level and only slightly varied, painting a vivid picture of the piet`a. The station closes as Veronica arrives to assist Mary, depicted by material derived from the opening of Station VI (bar 58). The crucial pitch relation here is B vs. B. As in Station VI the Veronica motive begins by outlining the F–B tritone. Here, however, this motive receives a melodic response outlining the B triad, resonating with the key at the beginning of the dolcissimo passage. Station XIV: Jesus is placed in the sepulchre. The final station is firmly grounded in D, reciprocal with the opening movement, ‘Vexilla Regis’. In keeping with the tone of the scripture, the opening is quiet and monophonic, but is based on the ‘Vexilla Regis’ hymn. Preparing the entry of the hymn tune, the piano takes up offbeat left-hand chords, only adding the true bass part after the first line of text has been completed. This accompaniment has a quality of quiet motion which subtly complements the syncopations in the tune. The ‘Amen’ is heard in a single voice (a solo mezzo-soprano in the vocal version), echoed by a homophonic setting immediately thereafter. A monophonic transition (reminiscent of the conclusions of Stations XI and XIII) leads into the closing dolcissimo section in D major, derived from the dolcissimo material in the same key concluding Station IV and associated with the Blessed Mother. The crucial difference is that here the heavenly high-register chords receive a full arpeggiated accompaniment in the low bass, signifying perhaps the earthly repose of Jesus’s body. The progression trails off on an F minor chord (bars 77–81), associated with death and mourning. (A full cadence on F minor had been expected but

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denied in Station XII with the ‘Consummatum est’.) The ‘Ave Crux’ then occurs in conjunction with a descending F minor triad in bare octaves, unaccompanied. Lingering further on F, a resolution is achieved only with the unaccompanied D octave occurring with the last word, ‘Crux’. The piece ends gravely with the ‘Ave Crux’ used as a cadential gesture in bare triple octaves: A–B–D. The Via Crucis possesses a complex cyclical structure unified on a variety of levels through precisely controlled motives and pitch relations, many of which take on an iconographic significance. It is impossible to do full justice to this composition in this limited space, but a few summary comments will perhaps convey the sophistication of Liszt’s conception. The piece is grounded in a D tonality, probably stemming from the Dorian church mode; the first and last numbers are in that key. The most critical pitch relation appears to be the dichotomy between B and B, invoking the distinction between the hard and soft hexachords of the modal system. B is in turn often implicated in the B–F tritone, the age-old symbol of evil. The sequence of keys of the stations reflects a certain functional logic. Station III is in A major, the dominant, which recurs in Stations VI and XII. The central stations, from Stations III through XII, are in keys that generally hover about the dominant (Stations IV, VII, and IX are in B, for instance). Most critically, two stations are at the distance of a tritone from the tonic: Station V in A major and Station XI situated on a G pedal. These keys may signify impending doom, for Station V features the heightened tension of the plodding theme taken up a semitone from its original occurrence in Station II, and Station XI depicts Jesus being nailed to the cross. Station XII, that of Jesus’s death, begins with his cries on the D–G tritone, bringing utmost tension at this critical moment. This strange and profound work should silence those who cast doubt on the sincerity of Liszt’s religious beliefs. It is the product of deep, anguished contemplation of the passion of Jesus, a process during which one can well imagine Liszt came to identify strongly with the suffering Christ. Via Crucis conveys not only the horror and sorrow of the crucifixion, but also the wonder of God’s redeeming love for humankind.

The Historical Hungarian Portraits The Historical Hungarian Portraits is Liszt’s great cyclic composition in the nationalist genre. This work, although ostensibly completed in 1885, was not published during his lifetime. In June 1885 Liszt wrote to his publisher Taborszky:

127 Larger forms in the late piano works You will receive at the beginning of July some short Hungarian pianoforte pieces, which I shall orchestrate later on, entitled To the memory of Stephan Franz Josef

Sz´ech´enyi Deak E¨otv¨os

Ladislas Michael Alexander

Telek V¨or¨osmarti Pet¨ofi.

The last piece has already been published by Taborszky, but must have a few more concluding bars in the new edition. Mosonyi’s Trauerkl¨ange (Mosonyi’s funeral music), which you have already had by you for fifteen years, shall make No. 7. Our friend Mosonyi, so excellent and full of character, and so pre-eminent a musician, must also not be forgotten.6

Probably because of his failing eyesight and general decline in health, Liszt never got around to orchestrating these pieces, nor did he see them through to publication in any form. However, he commissioned his student Arthur Friedheim to orchestrate four of the pieces, and these versions were performed twice (19 January 1886 in Weimar and 11 June 1886 in Sondershausen) with the composer in attendance. The idea for the cycle of pieces honouring Hungarian national heroes probably came to Liszt in 1885. In this year, he composed four of the seven pieces in the set – the same four performed in Friedheim’s orchestrations7 – all dedicated to the memory of nineteenth-century statesmen who had worked for the independence of Hungary. Stephan Sz´echenyi (1791–1860) was the founder of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and served as minister of transport in the first Hungarian Cabinet in 1848. Joseph E¨otv¨os (1813–71), a writer and politician, served as minister for religion and education. Ladislaus Teleki (1811–61), a member of the Kossuth party, had been executed in ‘effigie’ by Austria in 1852, but died by committing suicide. Franz De´ak (1803–76), minister for justice in 1848, was instrumental in the settlement in 1867 between Hungary and Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph. To create the cycle, Liszt combined the four pieces dedicated to political figures with revised versions of three pieces he had written earlier in memory of two great Hungarian poets, Michael V¨or¨osmarty (1800–55), author of ´ , and Alexander Pet¨ofi (1823–49), the leader of the patriotic poem ‘Szozat’ the March youth movement of 1848 and author of ‘A Magyarok Istene’ (‘Ungarns Gott’), which Liszt had set in 1881; and the composer and critic Michael Mosonyi (1815–70), whom Liszt greatly admired. The piece for ´ V¨or¨osmarty was likely written after Liszt composed his arrangement ‘Szozat

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and Hymnus’ in 1872. He wrote the first version of the piece dedicated to Pet¨ofi in 1874 as incidental music for ‘Die Liebe des toten Dichters’, a ballad by Jokai. Liszt arranged this work in 1877 as the piano piece ‘Dem Andenken Petofis’, to which he added opening and closing materials to incorporate it into the Historical Portraits. Upon Mosonyi’s death in 1870 Liszt had written ‘Mosonyis Grabgeleit’. This piece was slightly expanded (additions of simple repetitions of phrases in the closing group are the only changes) for the Historical Portraits. The following commentary provides brief analytical observations for each of the seven pieces in the Historical Hungarian Portraits, followed by a summary overview of the cycle. 1. ‘Stephan Sz´echenyi’. This piece is basically a simple two-part form, with the main body of the work (bar 41f.) in D minor restated in brilliant variation (bar 89f.) in D major. This form is expanded with the addition of an Introduction, a transition between the two main sections, and a coda. It is the eccentricity of the gestures – the obsessive sequencing of melodic fragments and the absence of a real melody, along with frenetic repetitions – that make the piece seem strange. The piece begins with a single line in powerful triple octaves, and concludes on the leading tone identically set. Underlying the introduction is an arpeggiation of the D minor triad, from D at the outset to F (bar 9) through G (bar 17) to A (bar 23), with dominant harmony prolonged from bar 23 through 40. The theme itself entails a chromatic ascent in minor harmonies from the tonic D minor (bar 41) to F (iii, bar 69). Thereafter the sequence is broken and harmony is directed toward the dominant. With a change in key signature to D major, the main material is sequenced up with major chords on D, E, and E (bar 109). A new sequential pattern then leads to F major (III, bar 113), and then onwards to the dominant, composed out in contrary-motion scales followed by fanfare digressions to B (VI) and F major (iii, bars 125–32). We reach the D major tonic as early as 133, and subsequent passagework extends the tonic chord until the odd deviation to the leading tone at the end. The subject matter of this number attributes to Sz´echenyi a quality of grim determination changing over to victorious euphoria. 2. ‘Joseph E¨otv¨os’. This piece is in a simple A–B–A form, with introduction. Certain connections with the previous piece (and others) corroborate the impression of a cyclical design for the set of Historical Portraits. The Introduction, in B major, culminates with the motivic figure of a descending perfect fifth, opening to the descending minor sixth: G–C, A–C (bars 19–23), a clear reference to the corresponding moment of the introduction of the preceding number, ‘Sz´echenyi’ (bars 33–40). Here the A–C interval is tonicised, as the fanfare-like A section in the key of A major (bar 24) begins, developing the preceding P5–m6 motive, now expanded to P5–M6 (E–A, F–A). (Henceforth we shall refer to this motive generally as the 5–6

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motive.) A monophonic transition leads to the dreamy B section in G major and E minor, which has a melody based on rising thirds (B–D, E–G, etc.) reciprocal with the descending sixths of the A section. The culminating passage of the B material (bars 68–78) closely resembles the beautiful Dolce passage near the end of the final piece of the set (‘Mosonyi’, bars 68–77), which was actually the first to be composed – again pointing to a cyclical concept. The A material returns quite abruptly (bar 84), but is varied to end with a grandiose F major chord (perhaps heard as tonicised, but bearing a dominant functional relation to the B major key of the Introduction). This piece conveys both the heroic and contemplative sides of E¨otv¨os’s character. 3. ‘Michael V¨or¨osmarty’. This piece follows from ‘E¨otv¨os’ in a number of respects. It is in the key of B, consigning to the F major conclusion of the preceding piece a dominant function. Moreover, the main theme (bar 19f), based on a phrase from B´eni Egressy’s musical setting of V¨or¨osmarty’s poem ´ , is related to the contrasting theme of E¨otv¨os (No. 2) in an abstruse ‘Szozat’ way; for the melody from ‘E¨otv¨os’ (B–A–B–C–D) is the retrograde of the beginning of the ‘V¨or¨osmarty’ theme. The pedal on F (bar 17f.) picks up the concluding bass pitches of No. 2 (bar 100). The piece also continues to develop the 5–6 motive, especially in the Introduction and in the passage in bar 29f. The form of No. 3 is quite comparable to that of No. 1, entailing the presentation of a main theme in the minor followed by its presentation in the major (bar 57f.), expanded with introductory, transitional, and concluding materials. The B major tonal centre is felt strongly until a few bars before the end, when a monophonic progression in tripled octaves digresses to a foreign pitch (compare the ending of No. 1), in this case G. This pitch is not tonicised but rather is probably still perceived as the lowered sixth scale degree of B major. The odd close of No. 3 makes for an interesting, if harmonically unsure, transition to No. 4. The subject matter of ‘V¨or¨osmarty’ differs from the preceding pieces. There are no abrupt contrasts; rather, the gradually evolving main theme leads slowly but convincingly to the belligerent close, depicting a person of subtle mind and strong conviction. 4. ‘Ladislaus Teleki’. This movement is an abbreviated version of a ‘Trauermarsch’ composed likewise in 1885. It is the centrepiece of the set of seven Historical Portraits, and stands apart from the rest in its unrelenting dissonance. It is uniquely a Basso ostinato composition whose bass is taken from the first section of Mosonyi’s piano piece, ‘Trauerkl¨ange zum Tode Istv´an Sz´echenyis’, thereby alluding to the men to whom the first and last pieces of the set are dedicated. This work remains tonally ambiguous throughout. The key signature indicates G minor, within which key the bass pattern might be understood to function, but no definitive resolution to a triadic sonority occurs (the moment of repose on the E 6/4 chord in bar 70 is the closest we come in the piece to a sense of cadence). The ostinato figure

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places exceptional emphasis on C, the tritone of G, and the piece ends on that pitch in bare quadruple octaves with tremolo, signifying catastrophe. Overall the upper voice traverses intervals of a single underlying diminishedseventh chord, descending from E4 (bar 5) to G3 (bar 22) then ascending gradually to C6 (bar 53). The chord is frequently heard in pure form (e.g. bars 12, 59, and 72 – in the last instance as the resolution of a retardation). The piece might be regarded as prolonging a diminished-seventh harmony – a symmetric configuration. Liszt’s iconography, however, suggests that we gauge the events of the piece against the tonal centre of G. We encountered this key area previously in the dreamy middle section of ‘E¨otv¨os’ in the major mode. Here the piece starts out ominously in the minor, and ultimately the centre of G cannot hold, subverted by the evil influence of the tritone, C. ‘Teleki’ begins with melodic material seemingly derived from the main theme of ‘V¨or¨osmarty’ (see especially the Doloroso melody at bar 21). The increasingly activated texture signals mounting fear, reaching a climax at bar 53 with the G–C tritone formed between bass and upper voice. Tension is eerily suspended during the poignant passage in bars 57–73 – a moment of sad reflection or, perhaps, false hope. The evil force of C soon returns to seize control, however. 5. ‘Franz De´ak’. As with most of the Portraits, this piece opens with an introduction based on the 5–6 motive. It begins in D minor, but ends in B major, juxtaposing these two chords in the cadential gesture in the last three measures. D minor could be understood as constituting the long-denied dominant of the G minor key of No. 4, and B is its relative major. On the other hand, the C at the close of No. 4 may be taken as leading tone of the tonic D, now restored. ‘De´ak’ is a swaggering march (suggesting something about the character of the dedicatee) and employs a harmonic technique Liszt often used when writing in that genre: the juxtaposition of passages in sharp and flat key areas. Thus the harmony modulates unexpectedly to the sharp side for the middle section of the piece (beginning at bar 69). This movement logically follows from the preceding movement in one particular respect: it exploits the diminished-seventh chord that was the basis for No. 4, now using it as a dominant in the keys of B major (bars 71) and D major (bar 75). These third-related chords are the framework for the obsessive descending chromatic progression that follows in bars 81–8 (repeated down an octave in bars 93–100). Finally the C diminished-seventh chord occurs in 101–4 as an auxiliary to B major, by means of which we return to the flat side and arrive at the key in which the piece closes. The passage in bars 105–20 combines sharps and flats in an unusual way. The F major chord (perhaps an allusion to the concluding chord of No. 2) here can be understood as VI of B. Like Nos. 1 and 3, ‘De´ak’ progresses from minor mode to major. It ends with a triumphant fanfare, as does No. 2.

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6. ‘Alexander Pet¨ofi’. This piece begins with an extended introduction, in which an unaccompanied tenor voice mulls over sad sequential phrases based on the motivic descending fourth. The tenor voice touches upon the main theme in the tonic key of E minor (bar 11), leading to the main statement of the mournful theme beginning in bar 15. This theme unfolds in sequential phrases composing out an arpeggiation of E minor from E (i, bar 15) through G (III, bars 25–8) to B (V, bars 29–41). The passage in the area of the dominant is extended to include unusual chromatic deviations such as A, F, and E. A brief interlude in the major mode of E now occurs (bars 41–52), the high register, folk-like melody, and absence of firm grounding in root-position harmonies signifying perhaps a recollection of bucolic bliss. The melody here drifts upward in stepwise sequence, defining an underlying motion from G to B. The A theme returns as expected, but is now grandiosely stated in the strange key of D minor, only to be followed in bar 57 by the melody in the expected key of E, but in its major mode. (This reflects a unique expansion of the basic form involving minor–major contrast exhibited by Nos. 1 and 3 of the set.) Harmony continues to push forward, however, to a climax on C major (with E in bass) in bars 61–3. This harmony and other pitches in the passage are derived from the minor mode of E, but beginning in bar 68 the major mode begins to assert itself, and the closing passage in bars 71–8 uses only the diatonic major scale of E. Thereafter the harmony trails off in the key of C major.8 The lack of bass support ensures that this digression will not displace the firmly grounded E as tonal centre. But C major, with its many sharps together with the ethereal registration, is suggestive of the heavenly realms of the next world. In terms of a structural function, the modulation to C plays a transitional role, for the final E of this piece connects with the poignant F in the bass at the beginning of the final number.9 This piece befits an elegy for a poet, for it projects the full gamut of emotions, from sorrowful lyricism, through tender recollection, to tragic grandeur. 7. ‘Michael Mosonyi’. At the beginning of ‘Mosonyi’, the bass introduces a sighing motive F–E. In the context of the preceding number, E might be understood as providing a resolution of F. The reverse ultimately proves to be the case, however, for the main body of the piece is in D minor, with F in the bass. (The so-called ‘gypsy scale’, emphasising the tritone above the tonic and the augmented second between scale degrees 6 and 7, is in evidence directly preceding the arrival of the main theme.) The main theme modulates to the major mediant, F major (bars 22–4). (Note here the reversal with E in the bass resolving upwards to F.) In bars 25–36, the preceding passage is taken up a semitone to D minor (the relative minor of F major), but revamped to modulate to B major (in effect the dominant of D minor) indicating an underlying progression by major thirds: d-F-B.

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The touching contrasting material enters in bar 37, where it occurs in the key of G major (the enharmonic equivalent of F major encountered earlier), in an ethereally high register, and treated with great rhythmic suppleness in 5/4 metre. The melodic motion from natural to raised fifth in the melody in bars 39–40 connects this theme with the main theme. The contrasting theme is then restated in the middle register beginning in E major in bar 43 (down one whole tone) but modulating to the dominant of B major, on which harmony the music fades away. At this point the material of the introduction returns by means of a chromatic resolution in the bass from F (bar 46) to F (bar 52). The ensuing passage builds to a tremendous climax, the apotheosis of the main theme in the original key of D minor at bar 64, but transformed to linger on the upper-neighbour of A, B. Further chromatic change brings about the arrival of a new section in bar 68 in B major (fulfilling the earlier expectation of that key in bar 52). In this episode the bass descends through the whole-tone scale from D2 to E1 as the melody descends somewhat chromatically from B6 to A5, arriving on a diminished chord on E (bar 74). This chord leads to a closing section in D major based on the contrasting material, but citing as well the motivic chromatic relations A–A (B) in the melody (bar 81) and F–F in bars 89–91 and 93–5. This final piece of the set concludes in D, the key of the beginning of the cycle (‘Sz´echenyi)’, and in the major mode, providing a sense of framing and closure to the whole. One could well imagine that Liszt had in mind concluding the set with this number – the oldest of the pieces – from the start. Indeed, the tone of solemnity and peace at the end provides an especially fitting conclusion. None of the preceding numbers offers this sort of resolution. Since this piece is the longest of the set in real time, in a certain sense the cycle is weighted toward it, creating a sense of directedness and culmination. At one point Liszt envisioned concluding the Historical Hungarian Portraits with a ‘fanfare apotheosis’, for on 30 July 1885 he wrote from Weimar to Princess Carolyne: ‘You are swimming in Buddhism – and I for my part am immersing myself musically in Magyarism through 6 or 7 historical portraits: Istv´an Sz´echenyi, De´ak, L´aszlo´ Teleki, E¨otv¨os, V¨or¨osmarty, Pet¨ofi, and the funeral procession of my friend Mosonyi – the whole thing ending with a fanfare apotheosis.’10 He evidently changed his mind in much the same way that years before he had ultimately opted for a quiet, solemn ending to the Piano Sonata. (We will see, however, that he employed such a ‘fanfare apotheosis’ to close his greatest cycle, the Troisi`eme ann´ee of the Ann´ees de p`elerinage.) It is perhaps especially touching that he chose to close this work, a tribute to the great Hungarian heroes of his time, with his beautiful remembrance of his colleague in music, Mosonyi.

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Liszt had always had a rather casual attitude regarding the performance of his works, and in characteristic fashion had commissioned orchestrated versions of the four new numbers composed for the set of Hungarian Historical Portraits (the four dedicated to political heroes, all composed in 1885) – probably with the specific opportunities of the 1886 concerts in mind. Nevertheless, the genius of his compositional concept emerges only when the work is examined as a whole, with the pieces in the sequence that he ultimately specified. In the previously cited letter to his publisher of June 1885 (see p. 127), it is probably not coincidental that he laid out the names of the dedicatees in a cruciform grid – for he, as a devout Catholic, would have composed these memorials in the hope and belief that the souls of these heroes rest with God for eternity. The close of the final piece of the cycle clearly conveys the sense of a prayer: ‘Rest in peace.’ Liszt would have drawn the cross as an invocation of Christ’s saving grace. From Liszt’s description of his project in the letter, it might appear that the piece dedicated to Mosonyi was an appendix or afterthought to a sixfold structure, since his name is not part of the cruciform design. However, many features of the cycle point to ‘Mosonyi’ as the true goal of a carefully constructed compositional trajectory. The addition of ‘Mosonyi’ to the six pieces inscribed in the cruciform plan results in a cycle of seven pieces, the number seven bearing sacred connotations, associated with the seven sacraments and numerous features of God’s creation. It is natural that Liszt would have decided to end the cycle with ‘Mosonyi’, the most substantial and dramatically satisfying of the pieces. The extended peaceful close of this work is by far the most suitable of the seven pieces for concluding a memorial collection. Assuming Liszt made the decision early on in the project to place ‘Mosonyi’ last, it makes sense that he would have sought to begin the cycle in the same key as it ends, the key of D. Neither of the older works, ‘V¨or¨osmarty’ and ‘Pet¨ofi’, were originally in this key, and Liszt ultimately decided to retain their original keys, B and E respectively, in the cycle. Neither would have offered the boldness he evidently sought for the opening number, so he must have decided to compose ‘Sz´echenyi’ specifically to be the first piece in the set. Of the other newly composed pieces, only ‘De´ak’ is also in the key of D, but its dramatic profile is quite different and would not have grabbed the attention of the listener the way ‘Sz´echenyi’ does. He wisely decided to place ‘De´ak’ immediately after ‘Teleki’, probably in order to re-establish our tonal orientation after the upheaval of that movement. Of the seven movements of the Historical Portraits only the last ends definitively in the key in which it began. It is noteworthy that Liszt composed new endings for the other two older pieces in the set, endings that digress from the main key and serve, as has been shown, as transitions to the

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numbers that follow. One could infer that the endings of the newly composed pieces, all of which digress from their respective tonal centres, were likewise devised specifically for the transitional functions that have already been pointed out. If so, then these pieces can only make sense as harmonic structures in the context of the whole – the cycle of seven pieces in the order specified. The harmonic scheme of the cycle does not exist as a design unto itself, however, but rather supports a dramatic progression, which can perhaps best be described as a grand arch encompassing all seven pieces. After the fierce, bombastic fanfares of ‘Sz´echenyi’, first in D minor then in D major, we proceed to the grandiose march of ‘E¨otv¨os’. This work begins in A major, the key of the dominant (all key areas here are expressed as functions of D), but ends in the major mediant, F major. As mentioned, the final portion of the contrasting central section of this piece appears to foreshadow a passage from the heavenly close of ‘Mosonyi’, the final piece of the set. ‘V¨or¨osmarty’ builds gradually in the key of the submediant, B (minor then major), starting as if in the distance but ending with a determined passage in octaves that captures something of the immediacy of the first piece in the set. ‘Teleki’ starts out quietly but more ominously than its predecessor, but with weirder harmony that remains dissonant throughout, building to a terrifying climax on the G–C tritone. The latter half of the piece dwells in particular on C, the leading tone, presented uniquely at the end in quadruple octaves with tremolo. This passage, which resonates with the focus on the leading tone at the end of the first piece, is the locus of highest tension in the cycle and constitutes the apex of the arch form. The symbolic use of the tritone signifies the horror of death. ‘De´ak’, a brilliant march full of machismo, follows immediately in the tonic key (minor then major), both providing instant relief from the catastrophe of ‘Teleki’ as well as restoration of our tonal bearings. It remains robust throughout, as did the first number. The final page of music of this piece, in B major (VI), seems to function not so much as a transition to the next (it does not connect all that well), but rather to take the place of the D major tonic, in the conventional role of a submediant function in a deceptive cadence. It prevents the tonic key of this piece from taking hold prematurely, which would destroy the balance of the arch. ‘Pet¨ofi’ presents an instantaneous change in mood from ‘De´ak’. The single voice heard in the introduction projects an individual, introverted expression. The music moves from a melancholy, yearning expression in E minor (ii), through a nostalgic episode hinting at E major, to an impassioned apotheosis of the theme, first in D minor, finally attaining (or nearly so) the goal of E major (II). The piece fades to a close in C major, bringing back the leading tone yet again. Of particular significance in ‘Pet¨ofi’ are the numerous repetitions

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Liszt introduced when he reworked the piece for inclusion in the Historical Portraits. The sighing figure in bar 19, for instance, occurred only once in the original, but is here repeated in bar 20. Liszt may have decided to repeat such figures in order to draw a direct correspondence with the subject matter of the final piece, ‘Mosonyi’, which is replete with such obsessive sighs, creating a mood of deep sorrow (see, for instance, bars 13–14 or 19–21). This type of revision once again points to ‘Mosonyi’ as the basis for the cyclical scheme. Only ‘Mosonyi’, of all the pieces in the set, projects both the depth of sorrow and the height of tragedy befitting a conclusion to Liszt’s memorial to Hungarian heroes. This piece touches upon a number of harmonies which resonate with significant moments earlier in the cycle: F major and later G major in bars 23 and 37 (resonating with the ending of No. 2), E major in bar 43 (with No. 6), and G major in bar 82 (with Nos. 2 and 3). It builds to a climactic apotheosis of the main theme in D minor, which subsides to a tender recollection of the contrasting theme in D major, and closes on a solemn note of faith and hope. In spite of the strong projection of the tonic at the conclusion, however, Liszt rigorously avoids stating the tonic root in the low bass, perhaps signifying that life is part of a greater continuum in which only God has the final word.

Ann´ees de p`elerinage, troisi`eme ann´ee Perhaps the finest large work of Liszt’s late period is the collection of pieces he published in 1883 as Ann´ees de p`elerinage, troisi`eme ann´ee. At least four of the seven pieces in this collection had been composed in 1877, and the other two even earlier, so once again there is evidence of the composer’s hesitancy in bringing forth his work. Liszt apparently did not begin work on the 1877 pieces with a collection in mind, but in the brief time that those pieces emerged, he must surely have considered their relation one to another. Identifying the resulting collection as the third year of his Years of Pilgrimage collections was evidently a much later phase of the process. The music of the first two sets that he had called Ann´ees de p`elerinage had been composed nearly four decades earlier, the products respectively of his life with Marie d’Agoult in Switzerland and his encounters with the art and literature of Italy. We shall consider Liszt’s purpose in rounding out the pilgrimage series with a third volume late in his career after we survey the individual pieces and overall structure of the cycle. In the summer of 1877, Liszt was feeling tired and depressed. In June, he had written Princess Carolyne from Weimar using the words of Jesus’s agony in the garden of Gethsemane to describe his spiritual exhaustion: ‘Tristis est anima mea!’11 At the end of August he returned to the Villa d’Este, where

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he, unlike Christ, was able to find solace and inspiration in the beauty of nature. His letters of the early fall report a deep involvement with the Villa’s famous cypresses: These 3 days I have spent entirely under the cypresses! It was an obsession, impossible to think of anything else, even church. Their old trunks were haunting me, and I heard their branches singing and weeping, bearing the burden of their unchanging foliage! At last they are brought to bed on music paper; and after having greatly corrected, scratched out, copied, and recopied them, I resign myself to touching them no more. They differ from the cypresses of Michelangelo by an almost loving melody. May the good angels make the most beautiful inner music for you [Princess Carolyne] – the music we shall hear fully, in its boundlessness, there above! 12

In fact, Liszt composed two separate pieces depicting the cypresses of the Villa d’Este. The second piece was associated in his mind (as indicated by the reference in the above quotation) with the figure of Michelangelo, who was reputed to have planted the cypresses at the Roman monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli. When Liszt learned soon after writing the second cypress piece that there was in fact no historical connection between the artist and those trees, he renamed his second cypress piece, resulting in a pair of pieces, ‘Aux Cypr`es de la Villa d’Este’ Nos. I and II. Liszt conceived of these as works of great gravity and mourning with an otherworldly detachment: ‘I shall call them Thr´enodies, as the word ´el´egie strikes me as too tender, and almost worldly.’13 Remarkably, Liszt was able to snap out of his funk immediately after writing the cypress pieces, for by early October he had dashed off two other pieces of much more hopeful character – the ‘Angelus!’ and ‘Sursum corda’, which ended up as the first and last movements of the cycle. All of these pieces arose from the composer’s sense of inner necessity, and he recognised that they would not easily find an audience: ‘These pieces are hardly suitable for drawing rooms and are not entertaining, nor even dreamily pleasing. When I publish them I’ll warn the publisher that he risks selling only a few copies.’14 Miraculously, the sparkling and brilliantly innovative ‘Les jeux d’eau a` la Villa d’Este’ evidently sprang from his pen at this very time as well, when one might have expected him to be bowed down with depression. It is difficult to pin down exactly when Liszt had the idea of creating a cycle using these five pieces. They were not published individually in advance of publication of the set in 1883. By 1882 he had decided to bring together these pieces with two older as yet unpublished pieces, both funereal in character, and to publish them as the third book of Ann´ees. The resulting collection is a highly unified arrangement of seven pieces, four of them threnodies. As

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in his later Historical Portraits, Liszt creates a symmetrical form by placing two laments on either side of the central ‘Jeux d’eau’ movement – which provides much-needed respite from the gravity and gloominess which otherwise might overwhelm the listener. The work is framed by the innocent, lighthearted ‘Angelus!’ at the beginning and the final ‘Sursum corda’, a movement of powerful intensity portraying the striving of the soul toward God. 1. ‘Angelus! Pri`ere aux anges gardiens’. In a letter of October 14, 1877, Liszt reported that he had just written ‘Angelus!’: ‘[I]n early October, there was the feast day of the Holy Angels [October 2]. I wrote a hundred or so measures for them . . . and wish I could better express my intimate devotion to the divine messengers.’15 He subsequently indicated that he had composed this piece for his grand-daughter Daniela, and in the first edition of Book III of the Ann´ees he included a picture of his three grand-daughters (the daughters of Richard and Cosima Wagner), depicted as angels with wings and musical instruments (taken from a painting by Zhukovsky that hung in the Wagner home, Wahnfried).16 In the blurred sonorities of the introduction to this piece Liszt attempted as well to capture the effect of interrupted cadences of bells echoing through the Italian countryside.17 The tune in E major in lilting 6/8 metre creates a simple, pastoral ambiance. The simplicity of ‘Angelus!’ is not without drama, however. Most of the tension of the piece resides in chromatic digressions from the E major diatonic, as first occurs in bar 9, when D and G unexpectedly enter in the lowest voice and alternate respectively with D and G in subsequent bars. In bars 27–36, the harmony drifts off unexpectedly from the diatonic, employing D, C, A, and B in distinctive ways. The D major chord in bar 29 lends special emphasis to the chromatic variant D first encountered in bar 9. Such chromaticism results in extended phrases and focuses attention on critical junctures in the phrasing, such as the resumption of the normal diatonic scale in bar 37, and the cadence to the dominant in bars 67–8. ‘Angelus!’ may be regarded as a small-scale sonata form. Following a brief silence after the dominant has been secured, a transition leads to the beginning of the development section, where the underlying progression of the upper voice in bars 74–89 is an ascending chromatic line – C, C, D, D – developing the lower-voice motion from bars 9–10. The development touches upon mediant (III, bar 111) and submediant regions (VI and vi, bars 125 and 130). The transformation of the theme at bar 157 signals the recapitulation (at which point an alternate passage is provided in case the piece is played on the harmonium, an option for this movement only). The recurrence of the introductory material at bar 191 marks the beginning of the coda. For Liszt at age 66 and in a generally morose state of mind to have written such a piece is remarkable. This music is certainly an idealisation of pastoral and angelic worlds, but it is not without a sense of trouble,

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regret, or loss. In its dramatic depiction of the guardian angels, it runs the affective gamut from tender beneficence to steadfast militancy. In terms of the meaning of the cycle as a whole, ‘Angelus!’ might be regarded as Liszt’s depiction of the state of spiritual innocence, now in the past yet still an ideal as we forge ahead on life’s journey. 2. ‘Aux cypr`es de la Villa d’Este No. I: Thr´enodie’. The first of the cypress pieces begins with the bare F–B diminished fourth in the low bass, creating tremendous ambiguity. Are we in B or G? The key of the piece turns out to be neither of these, but rather G – first secured in its minor mode in bar 33, but transmogrified to the major at the recapitulation of the Appassionato theme (bar 131). The allusion to G is not without significance, however, for the contrasting Appassionato theme makes its first appearance in that key in bar 47. In ‘Cypress I’, the central chromatic opposition of D vs. D from ‘Angelus!’ is now recontextualised in G minor as E yielding to D. This relation is part of the opening melodic motive, consisting of a chromatic turn about D, followed by an ascent to A. This motive is then developed in the melody of the barcarolle-like episode at bar 33, where the tonal centre is first clarified. It recurs as well in the melody of the Tranquillo passage (bar 63), decorating the dominant note, and in the bass at Pi`u agitato (bar 87), embellishing C – at a tritone’s distance from the tonic. Tension builds to the cathartic passage at bar 107, where the motive is sounded over the tremolando C–G tritone. The concluding passage of the work (from bar 191) focuses on the voice-leading tendencies of the crucial D/E equivalency. Thus the process of developing variation might be viewed as governing the form. Like the first piece of the set, this piece could also be described as an adapted sonata form, with introduction, exposition of first and second themes (bars 33 and 47), development, and recapitulation (second theme only, bar 131) in the key of the tonic major. Unexpectedly, however, new material enters around bar 147 in what might be a coda. Continuing in G major, this new subject employs open high-register chords and a good deal of similar motion, reminiscent of late Beethoven (e.g. the first movement of the Piano Sonata, op. 101). Another allusion possibly conveyed by this new material would be to the bucolic and nostalgic contrasting theme of Chopin’s Nocturne, op. 37, no. 2, likewise in G major (compare especially bars 180–3 of the Liszt with the subject as stated in the closing measures of the Nocturne). The G major ending of ‘Cypress I’ must not be taken too optimistically; Liszt aptly described this piece as ‘a fairly gloomy and disconsolate elegy . . . illumined toward the end by a beam of patient resignation’.18 His use of the late style of Beethoven, which often conveys a topic of transcendental acceptance of fate, perfectly captures the meaning he intended.

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3. ‘Aux cypr`es de la Villa d’Este No. II: Thr´enodie’. The second cypress piece opens with an invocation of the ‘Tristan’ motive, bringing myriad associations of the tragedy of star-crossed lovers. The meaning of this gesture for Liszt may have been even more complex, for he had actually introduced the motive – years before it was appropriated by Wagner – in the song ‘Die Lorelei’ (1841), which was one of only three pieces that Liszt ever dedicated to Marie d’Agoult, mother of his three children. The legend of the Lorelei was connected with the Rhine and associated in Liszt’s mind with the island of Nonnenwerth, where he and Marie had spent several idyllic summers in the early 1840s before they became estranged.19 As noted earlier, when composing this work Liszt also had in mind the heroic figure of Michelangelo, whose statue for the tomb of Lorenzo de’ Medici had inspired ‘Il penseroso’ in the second book of Ann´ees de p`elerinage. This cypress piece is therefore quite different from the first in tone and subject matter. While the first has an almost sinister aspect, this piece depicts not only passion and tormented love but also heroic grandeur. Both versions end with a mood of tender consolation and acceptance. The introduction to ‘Cypress II’ focuses on the tritone and fifth of the tonic E – A and B.20 The resolution of A or its equivalent B is the subject of a pivotal transitional passage first encountered in bars 11–14 (resolving to the dominant of E minor). This passage recurs twice in the piece, each time with a different harmonic setting: bars 26–9 (resolving to an augmentedsixth chord leading to D major, equivalent to the major submediant of E major) and bars 203–7 (to an A major chord functioning as major mediant of E major). The main theme of the piece enters in D major (= VI) in bar 31, but moves by the end of the phrase to the tonic (bars 35–6). The consequent phrase leads to the key of the tritone, B major, in bar 44, whereupon the contrasting subject, a fanfare of sorts, enters, stated in both major and minor versions of that key (bar 47). A transition based on the ‘Tristan’ motive leads to a Dolce passage in the beneficent key of F major (bar 68), which might depict the gentle rustling of the wind through the limbs of the cypresses. A passionate melody emerges in bar 76, the third subject, beginning in F major but modulating a fifth higher to C major (bar 92). The premature modulation in bar 80 is a slight fault in this beautiful idea, which otherwise could be among Liszt’s finest melodic inspirations. The sighing and weeping of the cypresses is aptly conveyed in the Dolente passage beginning in bar 96, which recasts the Tristan motive in the melody. Beginning in bar 106, the material associated with the third subject is now repeated nearly exactly, but transposed up a minor third, so as to cadence in the key of the tonic major in bar 132. The wholesale transposition continues beyond this point, however, extending as far as the second repetition of the Appassionato theme in bar 154. Here this theme is varied both melodically

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and harmonically, hinting at an unrealised modulation to D minor. Instead, this passage is cut off abruptly, followed in bar 162 by a surging variation of the main theme – in fact harmonically a true recapitulation of the material in bars 31–46. The recapitulation of the military fanfare in bars 178–91 is exact in every respect, including the original key area of B. A coda ensues based primarily on the arpeggiated material associated with the cypresses. The bass proceeds downward by step from third to root of the scale, from G (bar 208) through F (bar 216), coming to rest gently on the tonic E in bar 226. A single voice emerges amidst the arpeggios from time to time with the ‘Tristan’ motive, expanded into a full-fledged recitative just prior to the arrival on the tonic. This lone voice ends the piece with a phrase reciprocal with the unaccompanied melody that closes the first piece, ‘Angelus!’ This correspondence creates a frame which defines a formal unit comprising the first three pieces in the cycle, lending emphasis to E as tonal centre. 4. ‘Les jeux d’eau a` la Villa d’Este’. Liszt’s depiction of the fountains at the Villa d’Este is one of the pivotal pieces in the piano literature. That he composed this work – so youthful and fresh in both instrumental technique and harmony – alongside the Cypress pieces is evidence of his strength of will and abiding religious faith. Situated in the cycle between two pairs of threnodies, ‘Jeux d’eau’ appears as a spring of water in the desert. It is clear from Liszt’s citation of John 4:14 midway through the piece (bar 144) that his composition is no mere depiction of sparkling water effects; he found in the fountains of the Villa a symbol of God’s healing grace: ‘But whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’21 This piece, being the central piece in the cycle, might be assumed to be the apex of an arch form (a beneficent one, in comparison to the trauma experienced in ‘Teleki’ at the comparable point in the Historical Hungarian Portraits). On the other hand, though its dazzling effects constitute a local climax in the cycle, a larger highpoint is yet to come. So, although the cycle of the Ann´ees, Book III does not conform to a simple arch design, the ‘Jeux d’eau’ provides restoring refreshment to those who face further sadness and tribulation as the pilgrimage continues. The form of ‘Jeux d’eau’ is very different from the others of the series, or, indeed, from Liszt’s forms in general. It consists of a series of variations without the sharp contrast of key areas normally found in his compositions. Harmony is rich yet vague, and continually changes without a strong sense of modulating away from the tonal centre. The piece is in the key of F major, which lends itself to effects of light sparkling through jets of water, and from a spiritual standpoint is associated in Liszt’s music with heavenly realms. The appearance of F as the tonic key fulfils the foreshadowings of this key (by G) in ‘Cypress I’ (at the beginning and in the first statement

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of the Passionato theme in bar 49) and ‘Cypress II’ (bar 68), and resonates with subsequent appearances of F in ‘Sunt lacrymae’ (bars 73 and 124) and especially the ‘Marche fun`ebre’, which concludes in F major. The harmony even makes an appearance (as G major) over the pedal E in ‘Sursum corda’ (bar 64). Liszt’s wonderfully crafted gestures, many of them original with this work, anticipate the water effects achieved by Debussy and Ravel early in the next century. Even more significant, the form of ‘Jeux d’eau’ consists of a sequence of dazzling keyboard variations with subtly evolving harmony, anticipating the harmonic designs of such impressionist works as Debussy’s ‘Reflets dans l’eau’. The dominant-ninth chord that opens the piece establishes the characteristic sonority and places particular emphasis on scale-degree 6, D, which is a motivic focal point throughout the piece (see bars 36–8, the left-hand trill in bar 45, the harmonies on E major and D minor in bars 154–5, the E major chord in bar 252, and the conversion of the upper-voice E4 to D4 in bars 269–71, to name a few instances). After an extended introduction, the main thematic group, consisting of three distinct ideas, starts in bar 40 and is restated without harmonic change beginning in bar 64. A fourth melodic idea enters in bar 88. Harmony shifts downward by step to E major in bar 132 and D major in bar 144, but is redirected toward F major with the shift to E and D in bars 154–5. Beginning in bar 182, a large-scale bass progression descends from D2 to D1 in bar 206, which supports a pentatonic passage in conjunction with a massive crescendo. The bass descent ultimately culminates with the climactic arrival of the dominant, C1 in bar 220. The glorious passage at this point is the apotheosis of the opening theme of the piece. The melodic D, sounded three times, proceeds up to E, the leading tone in bar 227, likewise sounded three times. The melody attains the tonic F, sounded six times, even as the dominant pedal continues in effect. (We can only speculate as to the possible symbolism of twelve melodic strokes at this point, which might have had a religious meaning for Liszt.) Following a brief recollection in the high register of the idea from bars 48–51, the main motive is recalled, supported by an exotic descending succession of chords distant from F major, at the end of which an abrupt crescendo leads to a Sforzando A sixth chord. The bass of this chord, C2, commences a stepwise descent to the tonic root, F1, reached at the end. The fresh, open quality of the harmony of the work – a masterful achievement on Liszt’s part – is the result of a new freedom in composing out scalar motions in melody and bass, together with firm control of registral connections across broad spans and colouristic chord sequences based on common tones. In January 1886 the young Claude Debussy, who had recently been awarded the Prix de Rome and was living nearby at the Villa Medici, visited

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Liszt on three occasions. We know that Liszt played for him several of his works, including ‘Au bord d’une source’ from Ann´ees, Book I, which surely must have suggested to Debussy the possibilities for developing piano technique for impressionistic effects. If he did not hear Liszt play ‘Les jeux d’eau a` la Villa D’Este’, he certainly came to know it before writing such works as ‘Reflets dans l’eau’ from Images, Book I (pub. 1905). Proof of his knowledge of the piece is supplied in his ‘L’Isle joyeuse’ (1903–4), which virtually quotes the figuration in bars 44–7 of ‘Jeux d’eau’. 5. ‘Sunt lacrymae rerum: en mode hongrois’. The title of this number, composed in 1872, is taken from Virgil’s Aeneid (Book I, lines 462–3), as Aeneas considers the fate of Troy: ‘Here are tears for misfortune, and here men’s hearts are touched by human plight.’22 Liszt composed this lament thinking back to the defeat of Hungary in the revolution of 1848–9. The somewhat surprising dedication of the piece to his prot´eg´e and ex-son-inlaw Hans von B¨ulow may also have been intended to convey his sympathy to the man who had suffered so much indignity when his wife Cosima, Liszt’s daughter, left him for Richard Wagner. This piece is in the key of A, but employs a Hungarian mode that emphasises the tritone, D, and contains many semitones and augmented seconds: A–B–C()–D–E–F–G–A. Formally, the piece gives the impression at the outset of beginning as the exposition of a sonata movement. The piece evolves, however, in ways that make it difficult to pinpoint where thematic development ends and recapitulation begins – resulting in a form that projects continuous development. After an ambiguous introduction highlighting upper and lower chromatic neighbours of the tonic, the main theme enters in the tonic (upbeat to bar 10) – a dolorous phrase followed by a modal melisma. The theme continues as this phrase is transposed to C minor (upbeat to bar 15), which leads through F minor (bars 20–1) to a lilting and tender contrasting subject. This idea, which might be regarded as a consequence of the initial thematic phrases, ultimately proves to be in A major (bars 22–30), which perhaps should be considered a lowered chromatic variant of the original key of A. The lowered tonic is reinforced by the crashing explosion on A in the extreme low bass (bar 30), heard first in conjunction with the A harmony, then in bars 39–41 as part of a thundering diminished-seventh chord with F in the bass. Note that the pitches of the key areas set forth in this section – A, C, F, A (G) – are all pitches of the underlying mode. An episode in bars 42–56 developing the main subject, consistently fortissimo as if involved in a struggle of heroic proportions, leads to the appearance of material closely related to the contrasting idea, transformed by augmentation and stated dolcissimo, amoroso in a sequence from A major (bar 57) to C minor (bar 65), mirroring the key relationship between the

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phrases in A minor and C minor in bars 9–19. A morose response hovers between major and minor modes of B in bars 67–8 and 71–2. Emotions continue to vacillate with another transformation of the contrasting theme in F major (bar 73), which is then sequenced up to G major (bar 77) and subsequently interrupted by further ruminations on the main idea in C minor (bar 81) that trail off on an indefinite half-diminished chord. The episode from bar 57 is now restated (again in A major) in slightly varied rhythm beginning in bar 89, but in bar 97 becomes more agitated, building with a huge crescendo to the climax of the piece, the anguished outburst in bars 101–4. The powerful harmony of this passage is derived from the chromatic conflicts inherent in the Hungarian mode of the A tonality: F vs. F and C vs. C. Belligerent triple octaves insist on F as emphasised at the opening. However, the piece ends oddly with C in the bass beneath high-register chords sounding F major and A major. Since C is the root of neither harmony, there is little feeling of clarity at the conclusion. 6. ‘Marche fun`ebre: en m´emoire de Maximilien I, Empereur du Mexique, † 19 juin 1867’. Liszt’s political allegiances were complex. While a native speaker of German, his sympathies were usually with the French, as was the case during the Franco-Prussian war. In this cycle, alongside a threnody for the Hungarian nation subjugated under Austrian rule, he saw fit to place a funeral march he had composed in 1867 in memory of Maximilian I, younger brother of Emperor Franz Joseph. Maximilian, installed in 1864 as Emperor of Mexico by Napoleon III, was captured and executed by revolutionary forces three years later. In 1866, Liszt had been honoured to accept from Maximilian the appointment as Grand-Officier de l’ordre de la Guadeloupe, and he was terribly saddened at the news of the Emperor’s demise. He placed a line from Propertius (Book II, Elegy 10, line 6) as an epigram to the march: ‘In great things even to have wished is enough.’23 He saw in Maximilian’s cruel death the tragedy of the unfulfilled promise of a noble life cut short. What are we to make of the contradictory allegiances conveyed in this pairing of the ‘Sunt lacrymae rerum’ and ‘Marche fun`ebre’? Most certainly this is no hypocrisy. Rather, Liszt’s mourning of both rebels and sovereign in these pieces combines with his personal laments in the cypress pieces to make the cycle a powerful threnody for the condition of all humankind, entirely in the spirit of his citation from Virgil: ‘Here are tears for misfortune, and here men’s hearts are touched by human plight.’ The funeral march is based on the chromatic dyad F-F. It begins with a grim march in F minor, with a melody that features a chromatic doubleneighbour motion about the fifth, C. This passage contains a transition which leads to the wholesale repetition of this material up a major third in A minor beginning in bar 33. As a result, the level of C is attained in bar 50, but coinciding at this juncture with a change to the major mode and the

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introduction of a new subject, a hopeful fanfare-like melody. This melody is at first heard dolce and piano, but recurs triumphant in the closing measures in the key of F major (bars 104–27). From this perspective, the overall harmonic design is simple; the A section, in minor, effects a symmetrical bass arpeggiation – F minor through A minor to C major – at which point the contrasting B section begins. C major ultimately functions as dominant of F major, the goal of the work. The ‘correction’ of F to F occurs in microcosm in the bass of the recitative passage in bars 72–98, which involves a descent, primarily stepwise, from F2 to F1. The piece ends gloriously with clangorous chords arpeggiating tonic and subdominant of F major, tolling an ecstatic ‘Amen’. 7. ‘Sursum corda’. There can be no doubt of the formal effect of the final piece of the Ann´ees de p`elerinage, troisi`eme ann´ee. It is in every way a stirring, cathartic culmination. ‘Sursum corda’ is structured virtually throughout on a tonic pedal in E major, the key of the ‘Angelus!’– the initial piece in the cycle – creating a large-scale frame for the set. This key was also asserted by the grouping of the first three pieces in the set. The pedal tone is an especially conspicuous feature of the finale, since it is sounded at regular intervals, often forming astonishing dissonances with the melody (e.g. bars 55 and 59). This exaggerated emphasis on the low bass is of great significance in the overall cycle, since the tonic bass is absent in the first piece after the opening section, creating a structural void that remains unfilled until the final movement. The ending of ‘Cypress II’, also in E major, is interesting in this regard, for it reciprocates the ending of ‘Angelus!’ in its last melodic gesture, but also duplicates the effect at the close of the first piece in its ˆ lack of low-bass tonic support. The ‘Angelus!’ concludes with a meek 3– ˆ 1ˆ descent in the unaccompanied melody, as if sounding in the distance. 2– ‘Sursum corda’ takes up this quintessential gesture of melodic closure at the conclusion, pounding out the descent from G to F in bars 91–2. The ultimate descent to the tonic root is strongly implied, although Liszt places equal or greater emphasis on scale-degree 5ˆ ; at the end, a familiar concluding gesture re-establishing the headtone of the fundamental line in Schenkerian terms. The theme of ‘Sursum corda’ is essentially the descent from scale-degree ˆ the quintessence of melodic motion, only slightly embellished. In the 5ˆ to 1, introduction, a simple version of this idea is expressed in the bass, which begins on the decorated fifth, B. Instead of descending by step, however, the ˆ then proceeds by step as normal. theme leaps up by seventh to scale-degree 4, Note that at the moment F should descend to E in bar 9, this motion is overlapped by the appearance of scale-degree 5ˆ in the upper voice in bar 9. This procedure of overlapping happens each time a descending line reaches scale-degree 1ˆ – even at the end – thus avoiding full closure. In its contours

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and rhythmic profile, the basic theme of the ‘Sursum corda’ as it appears at the opening (bars 1–8) and at the conclusion (bars 88–104) is a positive, straightforward, diatonic variant of the tortured subject of the first of the Cypress threnodies (see especially bars 33–5 of ‘Cypress I’). In this regard it projects faith and hope as a response to the anxiety and doubt of the earlier piece. Whereas the theme in the introduction in the bass is diatonic, as the piece continues the progress of the melodic line becomes more chromatic and tortuous. The phrase beginning in bar 9 descends from A through G, G, and F to F, which projects a strong tendency to resolve to E. Unexpectedly, however, the theme reverses direction at this point, and F pushes back up to F. The tension between F and F encapsulates the basic struggle in the piece – a striving upward against forces that pull one down. We recognise that at the heart of this theme is the very dyad observed at the basis of the earliest work in the set, the ‘Marche fun`ebre’. There and elsewhere in the cycle, F was associated with evil forces, especially that of the tritone. The finale fittingly restores the diatonic rule at its climax in bars 85–8, where the sinister phrase C–B–F receives the definite response C–B–F. The juxtaposition of C with C in these parallel phrases seems in particular to allude to a motivic dichotomy important in the earlier pieces in the set in E major. That relation comes to the fore in the development of ‘Angelus!’ where parallel phrases begin on C (bar 73) and C (bar 81). The concluding bars of ‘Cypress II’ bring out the same relation. The close of ‘Sursum corda’ following the climax in bars 85–8 is in pure diatonic E major. It presents an ecstatic fanfare strikingly similar to the close of the ‘Marche fun`ebre’, even incorporating similar B major chords, here in the context of an authentic rather than plagal cadence. The meaning of the finale and its title, ‘Sursum corda’, is elucidated by comments from Liszt’s correspondence. On 22 February 1883, just days after he learned of the death of Wagner, Liszt wrote to Lina Ramann: Ever since the days of my youth I have considered dying much simpler than living. Even if often there is fearful and protracted suffering before death, yet is death none the less the deliverance from our involuntary yoke of existence . . . Religion assuages this yoke, yet our heart bleeds under it continually! – ‘Sursum corda!’ In my ‘Requiem’ (for men’s voices) I endeavoured to give expression to the mild, redeeming character of death. It is shown in the ‘Dies irae,’ in which the domination of fear could not be avoided.24

The expression ‘Sursum corda’ is from the ordinary of the mass, at the point just prior to the consecration of the Eucharist when the priest exhorts the

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faithful: ‘Lift up your hearts.’ For Liszt, as is clear from the citation above, the idea of lifting one’s soul toward God brought associations of death. Only through arduous struggle and fearful tribulation can the soul find release. Tired in mind and body, Liszt longed for deliverance and heavenly bliss. The finale of Book III of Ann´ees de p`elerinage depicts the completion of the ultimate pilgrimage. The melody, like the soul, follows a tortuous route, striving upward yet pushed back again and again, enduring agonising dissonances, as at bar 59, and occasionally reaching moments of reward, as with the G major harmony in bar 64. The moment of terror, the tritone, at last arrives (bar 85), but the soul continues on to the ecstatic transcendence of union with God. Liszt had originally considered ending his Historical Hungarian Portraits with what he called a ‘fanfare apotheosis’.25 While he opted instead for a peaceful conclusion to that cycle, there can be no doubt that the earth-shattering fanfare at the close of ‘Sursum corda’ qualifies as this sort of ending. The massive sonority of clangorous chords pealing out the authentic cadence over tremolo tonic pedal represents nothing less than the union of the soul with God. We have noted a number of motivic links among the various movements of the Ann´ees de p`elerinage, troisi`eme ann´ee that result in the impression of a unified cycle, but the tantalising question remains as to when and how Liszt’s cyclic concept emerged. Manuscript and documentary sources do not provide a definitive answer. However, I would like to offer what I consider to be a reasonable hypothesis of the genesis of the work based on both analytical data and the limited documentary evidence. It seems clear that Liszt had not yet formed the idea of the cycle at the point in September 1877 when he was writing the two Cypress pieces. He was totally absorbed in these two compositions, and felt strongly that they each should bear the title ‘threnody’. Perhaps he remembered that five years earlier he had used the same designation for a work he had originally called ‘Thr´enodie hongroise’26 – the piece he ultimately decided to include in the Ann´ees III as ‘Sunt lacrymae rerum’. Now, it happens that ‘Sunt lacrymae’ bears strong motivic connections to an earlier work, the ‘Marche fun`ebre’ he composed in 1867 in memory of Maximilian, especially with regard to the F–F dyad. That dyad is represented in the key design of the ‘Marche fun`ebre’, which begins in F minor and ends in F major. The same dyad is at the heart of the composition activity in ‘Sunt lacrymae’. Perhaps Liszt had consciously modelled ‘Sunt lacrymae’ on the earlier work, but even if this were not the case, it may be that this pitch relation may have had a particular significance for him that would have caused him to employ it in both pieces. The fact that the two Cypress pieces formed a diptych might have caused Liszt to realise that his earlier works, ‘Sunt lacrymae’ and the ‘Marche fun`ebre’, comprised a comparable pairing.

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I would submit that it was at the point when he realised he had two pairs of threnodies that Liszt recognised the potential basis for a cyclic work. This must have occurred as he was composing the two Cypress pieces, or almost immediately upon their completion, for he quickly wrote another pair of pieces, the ‘Angelus!’ and the ‘Sursum corda’. His comments from his correspondence are somewhat contradictory as to the inspiration for ‘Angelus!’ He wrote to Olga von Meyendorff on 14 October 1877 that he had composed it for the occasion of the Feast of the Holy Angels, which occurs on 2 October. He makes it clear that ‘Sursum corda’ was written in direct response to ‘Angelus!’: ‘Having once started blackening music paper, I wrote four more pages which will have as their epigraph: Sursum Corda.’27 The pairing of these pieces, which ended up as opening and concluding numbers in the cycle, is especially obvious because they share the key of E and both were based on aspects of the Roman Catholic liturgy. Unlike the other pairs of pieces involved in the cycle, ‘Angelus!’ and ‘Sursum corda’ are completely contrasting in character. The former is tentative and tender, the latter clangorous and cathartic, as befits the different roles they serve in the cycle. I would maintain that Liszt must have developed his cyclic concept by the time he conceived of ‘Angelus!’ and ‘Sursum corda’ as a pair, since the latter is clearly intended as a closing piece in an imposing work. It should be noted that Liszt’s comments in his correspondence give no indication that he was conscious of such a plan, although his silence on the subject cannot be taken as evidence to the contrary, since he was characteristically very reticent about his compositions in progress.28 The choice to begin and end the cycle in the key of E is not surprising, for Liszt identified this key with ardent emotion, often of an erotic nature, usually depicted as the gradual progression through the full range of affective states, from ineffable tenderness to full-blown ecstasy. Liszt had used E major in this way in ‘Vall´ee d’Obermann’ in Book I of Ann´ees and in the ‘Sonetto 104 del Petrarca’ in Book II. He might have selected this key for the exterior numbers of the cycle without considering the four funeral pieces already composed. However, a connection noted previously would seem to indicate that this choice of keys tied in with the harmonic structure of one of the threnodies – for the close of ‘Cypress II’ (bars 241–4) clearly responds to that of ‘Angelus!’ (bars 252–5). One would therefore assume that the concept for ‘Angelus!’ arose as Liszt was composing ‘Cypress II’, and here the letters offer some intriguing information. Liszt wrote to Princess Carolyne on September 23 that the Cypress pieces had been ‘brought to bed on music paper’ and that ‘having greatly corrected, scratched out, copied, and recopied them, I resign myself to touching them no more’.29 However, just four days later he wrote to Olga von Meyendorff: ‘I have composed two groups of cypresses, each of more than two hundred bars, plus a Postludium (Nachspiel) to the cypresses

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of the Villa d’Este. These sad pieces won’t have much success and can do without it.’30 It happens that there exists an autograph sketch of the ‘Angelus!’ dated (in Liszt’s handwriting) ‘27 September (S.S. Cosmae et Damiani) 77 – Villa d’Este F. Liszt’.31 This dating stands in apparent contradiction to his later account of the piece’s having been inspired by the feast of the Holy Angels on 2 October. However, there would be no discrepancy in Liszt’s various datings if the piece that ultimately became the ‘Angelus!’ had arisen originally as a concluding postlude for the pair of Cypress pieces. Indeed, there is a strong correspondence between the mood at the end of Cypress II and that of the ‘Angelus!’ It is noteworthy that, if the ‘Angelus!’ were a postlude, its final phrase provides a clear answer to the question posed by the final phrase of the preceding Cypress II. That relation is, of course, suppressed in the ordering of the pieces in the Ann´ees III cycle, although one is nonetheless aware of a correspondence. I would submit that the occasion of the feast of the Holy Angels somehow struck a chord with the composer and caused him to realise that what he had been intending as a closing piece – one which would temper the gloom of the Cypress pieces – could well be the opening of a larger work. It seems probable that it was at this point that Liszt appreciated the correspondence of his Cypress pair with his earlier funeral pieces, ‘Sunt lacrymae’ and the ‘Marche fun`ebre’, and decided to include both pairs in a set of pieces framed by the already-composed E major piece, now called ‘Angelus!’, and a yet-tobe-composed piece in the same key that would provide a fanfare apotheosis as a conclusion. At this point Liszt would probably have decided on the precise sequence of the six pieces discussed this far. If ‘Angelus!’ were the opening piece, then ‘Cypress I’ and ‘II’, themselves a pair originally conceived to be played in that order, would be best placed directly after the piece originally written to be with them. This would result in a subgrouping of three pieces beginning and ending in E major. On the other end of the cycle, the diptych of ‘Sunt lacrymae’ and the ‘Marche fun`ebre’ would be followed by the concluding E major piece. Tonally, the subgrouping of the last three pieces does not cohere as does the initial grouping of three. However, as already noted, the ‘Sursum corda’ makes wonderful use of the F–F dyad so prevalent in the two prior pieces. In so doing, it recasts the funereal subject matter of ‘Sunt lacrymae’ and the ‘Marche fun`ebre’ in the refining fire of E major, the key of the beginning of the cycle, thus framing the work and bringing it to a cataclysmic close. What is especially striking in Liszt’s correspondence involving the six pieces already considered is that there is no mention of the central work of the cycle, the ‘Jeux d’eau a` la Villa d’Este’, Almost certainly, then, this piece was composed last of the seven in the cycle. I have been unable to find evidence

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that ‘Jeux d’eau’ was composed soon after the ‘Sursum corda’. And Liszt’s first mentions of the third volume of Ann´ees only occur in the correspondence of 1882, as he is sending the work to press. Therefore the possibility exists that ‘Jeux d’eau’ might have been written as late as 1882 (even though the biographers consistently give 1877 as its date). We thus have a possible explanation for the substantial delay in the publication of Ann´ees III after its ostensible completion date of 1877. Liszt would almost certainly have been dissatisfied with the set of six pieces as it stood before the addition of ‘Jeux d’eau’. He would have been concerned about the heaviness and gloom of four threnodies in succession, and he likely would have sought to highlight the two separate diptychs by inserting a composition between them. Liszt surely would have recognised the potential for the central composition of the set to create symmetry in the design and perhaps even to serve as the apex of an arch form. It might well have taken Liszt some time (months or even years) to come up with a suitable composition for this purpose, but the remarkable work he ended up composing for the centrepiece of the cycle fulfils its function brilliantly. Setting ‘Jeux d’eau’ in the key of F major was an ideal choice, for this key figures importantly in the harmonic designs of all four threnodies. The impression at the beginning of ‘Cypress I’ is that it might be in the key of G; the key of F major is touched upon at important junctures of both ‘Cypress II’ and ‘Sunt lacrymae’; and ultimately the ‘Marche fun`ebre’ concludes with a heroic fanfare definitively in F major. In the final design, the key of F frames a subgrouping of three pieces – the fourth, fifth, and sixth of the set – analogous to the subgrouping of the first three framed by E major. More broadly, ‘Jeux d’eau’ establishes F major as the central tonal plateau for the cycle, embracing all but the outer pieces of the set. For Liszt the key of F major signified heavenly realms, as compared with the heroic but still earthly striving conveyed by E major. The difficulty and importance of the task Liszt set for himself in composing the central piece of the cycle is indicated by the text he chose to cite in the course of the work: ‘But whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ This piece had to convey the restorative power of God’s grace. It had to provide refreshment and sustenance for the listener who has just experienced the sadness and regret of the Cypress pieces, and who has yet to face the traumas of the second pair of threnodies. Liszt met this challenge by composing a work of breathtaking originality, not only in its use of the keyboard medium but in its harmony, melody, and form – indeed virtually every aspect of musical structure. It is one of his finest achievements. Liszt’s ‘Jeux d’eau’ is no mere feat of dazzling ingenuity, however. Its true significance is spiritual. For the placement of this wonderful piece as

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the centre of a symmetrical layout of seven pieces results in a time-honoured sacred form dear to J. S. Bach, whom Liszt held in highest esteem – a form which conveys the central symbol of Christianity: the cross. Liszt’s Ann´ees de p`elerinage, troisi`eme ann´ee constitutes a true chiastic form (one based on the Greek letter chi, traditionally associated with Christ), much like that of many of Bach’s cantatas, for example the Cantata No. 4, ‘Christ lag in Todesbanden’, a seven-movement work in which pairs of choruses, duets, and solos are arranged symmetrically about a central quartet.32 Book III of the Ann´ees de p`elerinage is a profound expression of Liszt’s abiding religious faith. He confronts death directly in four of the seven pieces, but the work is not ultimately weighed down by these laments. The two Cypress pieces are morose in tone – the first even approaches a state of terror – but both conclude in quiet resignation. The threnodies ‘Sunt lacrymae’ and the ‘Marche fun`ebre’ are more grim and bitter, perhaps, but these two end heroically, anticipating the glory of ‘Sursum corda’, The cycle opens with a piece that projects the innocence of the soul, prior to suffering life’s hardships. ‘Jeux d’eau’ provides aural and spiritual refreshment along the way, and ‘Sursum corda’ concludes the journey with a cataclysmic affirmation of faith. It is no wonder that Liszt decided to identify this cycle as the third instalment of a type of collection he had composed decades earlier. The initial volume of Ann´ees de p`elerinage was a series of pieces based essentially on the life he shared with Marie d’Agoult in Switzerland, and as such they are bound to an earthly existence. These pieces do not come together to form a cycle comparable to the late cycles we have examined. In Book II of the Ann´ees, Liszt dramatised his passionate involvement with Italian art and literature. Concluding with the huge sonata movement portraying Dante’s Inferno, this set explores Dionysian realms. It is Liszt’s late cycle that realises an Apollonian concept of pilgrimage, unfolding a narrative of the progress of the soul toward God. Together the three Books of Ann´ees relate the journey of Liszt’s life, from earthly passions through the transports of art to his anticipation of death and the glories of the life to come. Although he was one of the greatest musicians of the nineteenth century, as a composer Franz Liszt was insecure and humble, and would have never claimed to be the equal of the composers he idolised – Beethoven and Wagner. In his later years, he would likely have gauged his recent compositions against the late works of other composers, many of whom had written their grandest creations later in life – whether Beethoven with his late piano sonatas and the Ninth Symphony, Wagner with Parsifal, or Chopin with such innovative works as the Polonaise-Fantaisie – and he would have held out little hope of approaching their achievements. Yet he continued to compose.

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Even in his final months he turned out extrovert music of celebration and display: waltzes, marches, and brilliant paraphrases of other composers’ works. But his more important compositions – and those which ought to secure for Liszt recognition as a composer of the first rank – are those which explore his innermost feelings and recollections, hopes and beliefs. These unflinching psychological explorations necessitated a music for which he could not expect to gain much of an audience. He found himself unable to compose such intimate reflections while working on a large scale in the standard genres and forms. This music emerged only as brief, intense expressions that left him drained both physically and emotionally. Liszt did not give up, however, in the attempt to compose works of substance and scope. Rather, he turned to the cycle as a means of assembling his introspective inspirations into highly unified major works that attain not only romantic grandeur but also genuine emotional and spiritual depth. The Via Crucis, Historical Hungarian Portraits, and the Ann´ees de p`elerinage, troisi`eme ann´ee are no mere collections of short pieces. They are works of magisterial summation that allow us to take part in the pilgrimage of one of music’s great souls.

7 Liszt’s piano concerti: a lost tradition a n na ce l e n z a

In 1898 Ferruccio Busoni presented a series of four concerts at the SingAkademie in Berlin on the history of the concerto. In the programme notes printed as an accompaniment to Busoni’s performances, another pianist, Jos´e Vianna da Motta, explained that the goal of the concerts was to renew respect for the concerto and to show that, at least in its modern form as represented by the works of Liszt, the concerto was no longer a genre designed simply for virtuosic display. At the first concert, Vianna da Motta began his essay with the following observation: In most textbooks of musical composition (e.g. Marx’s Kompositionslehre) the concerto form is described as inferior because the preference for one or more instruments and the obligation to give the performer the opportunity to display his skilfulness hinders the composer from letting his art develop freely. In reference to the latter point, i.e. letting the soloist’s technique shine by piling up diverse difficulties, this indeed was the original purpose of the genre. Even Mozart treated the concerto in this manner . . . Of course now the concerto has long since outgrown the aim of mere musical games. Beethoven added the poetic content conferred on his sonatas, quartets and symphonies to his piano concertos, as is undoubtedly evident in his last two works in this genre, and Liszt followed him in this endeavour . . . [In the modern concerto] the piano and the performer are no longer the purpose, but rather the means to an end.1


Why was such a defence of the concerto, in particular those by Liszt, needed at the end of the nineteenth century? A possible response is revealed in the following overview of Liszt’s lifelong interest in the genre and its reception after his death. During the first half of the nineteenth century, the piano concerto served as a pivotal genre in musical culture – the portal to the age of the virtuoso. During the second half of the century, however, conflicting tendencies within audiences’ preferences and the ambitions of composers and performers alike played themselves out through these compositions. The concerto, unlike any other concert genre of the era, served as a synthesis of the soloist and symphonic styles, of compositional traditions dating back to the Baroque and Classical eras. It was ideally suited to expressing the creative talents of composer–performers such as Thalberg, Chopin, and Liszt. But

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its early tradition as a soloist-dominated showpiece made it equally susceptible to condemnations from critics who viewed the genre as little more than virtuosic fluff. Such was the fate of the concerto in August Reissmann’s popular Musikalisches Conversations-Lexicon in 1880.2 Lamenting that the widespread misuse of the concerto was responsible for hindering the spread of a ‘refined aesthetic taste’, Reissmann claimed that the contemporary concerto repertory was dominated by works empty of content and that it had become a prisoner of salon-style artifice and formulaic virtuosity. The concerto was seen as having failed to live up to the highest ideals of form and spirit associated with instrumental music.3 Reissmann’s dismissal of the concerto was only one of many in the second half of the nineteenth century, and the effect of such criticism, especially in connection with the concerti of Liszt, was no doubt felt by virtuosic pianists such as Busoni, who sensed that respect for their most coveted genre was slowly ebbing away. Busoni and Vianna da Motta tried to ‘save’ the piano concerto at the end of the nineteenth century, but their efforts had only a short-lived effect. For most of the twentieth century, music scholars shied away from the concerto, preferring to focus their attention instead on what were viewed as more serious instrumental genres – the symphony, string quartet, and sonata. Although the last decade has witnessed a growing interest in the piano concerto of the nineteenth century, in general it can be described as a ‘lost tradition’ in musical scholarship.4 Therefore, the goal of this chapter is to show how the piano concerti of Liszt fit into the concerto tradition of the nineteenth century and, in many ways, reflected its evolution and eventual disregard. By the time Busoni and Vianna da Motta presented their history of the concerto concert series in 1898, the genre could roughly be divided into three distinct types: the virtuoso concerto, the symphonic concerto, and the programmatic concerto. Although some concerti contained characteristics associated with more than one of these categories, in general the lines of division between the three types were fairly clear. As Vianna da Motta explained in the excerpt above, the purpose of the earliest form of the genre, the virtuoso concerto, was to show off the talents of the soloist. The structure generally followed that inherited from the Classical era, i.e. three movements arranged fast – slow – fast, and the layout of at least the first movement usually adhered to sonata form. In the second style of the genre, the symphonic concerto, the dominance of the soloist was lessened, making room for a more involved orchestral presence and greater interaction between the soloist and other instruments. In this style, the structural form varied substantially. For example, some composers, most notably Brahms, continued to use sonata form and follow the traditional multi-movement structure. These concerti are symphonic in that they present a prominent

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role for the piano and orchestra together. In fact, Brahms’s concerti were generally considered to be little more than ‘disguised’ symphonies. Other symphonic concertos, such as Weber’s Konzertstuck, and the final versions of Liszt’s Piano Concerti Nos. 1 and 2, consisted of several movements linked together or one movement made up of contrasting sections. The technique of thematic transformation played a major role in many of these works, and the inherent dramatic character created through this technique soon led to the development of the third style of the concerto, the programmatic concerto. Following the lead of the symphonic concerto, the programmatic version made greater use of the orchestra and abandoned the confines of sonata form. Its structure tended to be determined by a pre-conceived programme and/or extra-musical ideas. Of all the composer-performers of the nineteenth century, Liszt appears to have been the only one who composed works in all three concerto styles. Beginning his career as a flamboyant performer and ending it as a well-respected composer of serious orchestral works, Liszt used the piano concerto as a bridge between these two sides of his musical identity. His numerous autographs of the concerti reveal that he returned to them time and again, making comprehensive revisions as his conception of the genre changed. As one scholar recently noted, the piano concerto served as Liszt’s ‘laboratory’ wherein he ‘tested and refined’ his compositional techniques.5 Liszt only published three piano concerti during his lifetime (Piano Concerto No.1 in E Major in 1857, Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Minor in 1861, and Totentanz in 1865), but he worked on these pieces throughout his career and preceded them with a considerable number of unpublished works including two piano concerti in 1825 and two quasi-programmatic pieces for piano and orchestra in 1834. In addition to these, Liszt composed numerous fantasies and transcriptions for piano and orchestra of other composers’ works. For example, the Niobe Fantasy was first conceived for piano and orchestra, and there was a concerto version of the Puritani Fantasy as well as Hexam´eron (Table 7.1).

The virtuoso concerti Liszt’s first attempt at writing piano concerti took place in 1825, when as a fourteen-year-old prodigy he was trying to make his mark as a virtuoso pianist. In a letter dated 14 August 1825, Adam Liszt wrote to Czerny about his son’s most recent accomplishments: Franzi has written two good concerti, which will be heard in Vienna . . . he knows no other passion than the compositions, only these grant him joy

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Table 7.1 Chronology of Liszt’s piano concerti and related works for piano and orchestra Date started


1825 1832

Two piano concerti Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Major

1833 1834 1834 1835

1837 1839

Mal´ediction Grande fantaisie symphonique De profundis, psaume instrumental Concerto? (uses themes from 3 solo piano pieces published in 1825: ‘Huit Variations’, ‘Allegro di bravura’, and Rondo di bravura’) Hexam´eron Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Minor




Grand paraphrase de concert ‘God Save the Queen’ ‘Rule Britannia’ Fantasie u¨ ber Motive aus Ruinen von Athen Polonaise brillante von Weber [op. 17] Fantasie u¨ ber ungarische Volksmelodien Franz Schuberts grosse Fantasie op. 15 Concerto No. 3

1848 1849 1849 1851 1880


1834/35, 1839, 1849, 1853, 1855, 1840

1849, 1853, 1857 1849, 1853, 1857, 1864

Date completed/published lost 1855/7

unpublished 1834/1981 incomplete/1989 incomplete/1989

published 1839 1861/3 1864/1865 unpublished


published 1865 published 1851 1852/4 published 1857 incomplete

and pleasure . . . His concerti are too severe, and the difficulties for the soloist are monstrous; I have always considered Hummel’s concerti difficult, but in comparison these are very easy.6

Except for a few brief sketches identified several years ago,7 the above description is all that remains of Liszt’s first two concerti, despite the fact that contemporary sources indicate that at least one of them, a concerto in A minor, was performed in London on 9 June 1827.8 Adam Liszt’s description of the works indicates that their primary purpose was to display his son’s technical skills, and so it is safe to assume that they fell under the category of the virtuoso concerto. The same can be said for Liszt’s next attempt at the genre several years later. In January 1832 Liszt jotted down several themes for what would later become his Concerto No. 1 in E Major. Scattered across several pages of a composition notebook dating from the early 1830s, these sketches reveal Liszt’s first conception of the piece.9 Music from the opening bars of the concerto is presented in the first sketch, where the key and much of the rhythm and harmony appear in a manner similar to the final version. The rest of the sketches notated under the heading ‘concerto’ appear to continue in the keys of E and B major and carry descriptive labels such as ‘Trompe’, ‘Chant’, and ‘Marche Finale’.10 These sketches are all that exist of Liszt’s first concept for the E Major Concerto, but he obviously worked on the composition consistently for several months, for at the end of the year, in a

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letter dated 12 December, he wrote: ‘I have laboured at length and prepared many instrumental compositions, among others . . . a Concerto after a design that I think is new, and for which the accompaniments remain for me to write.’11 No sources for this first draft of the concerto are known to exist, but an idea of what Liszt described as ‘new’ can be determined by studying a manuscript copy of the work prepared in 1834/5.12 Although several pages are missing from this manuscript, enough exists to get a sense of the work’s overall structure and unique features. Echoing the scope and key structure of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto, op. 73, Liszt’s work is scored for a relatively modest orchestra of double winds and brass (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, and trumpet), timpani and strings and cast in three separate movements: Allegro, Adagio, and Vivace. The second movement is in B major and, as in Beethoven’s concerto, linked to a scherzo-like finale. Although the technical demands on the orchestra are not great in Liszt’s concerto, those put on the soloist are immense. For example the opening measures of the piano part contain rapid leaps covering two octaves. These are followed by the introduction of numerous new motives, which are later expanded upon in a fantasia-like manner, and an excessive amount of performance indications (e.g. Marcato deciso, Vigoroso, and Delicato). Throughout the exposition, the piano guides the orchestra through numerous modulations: E major, E major, F major, and B minor. A measured cadenza then leads to the development, which instead of expanding upon thematic material from the exposition introduces three new themes, the last of which is written in fugato style. In the lengthy retransition to the tonic, Liszt introduces another new key, C minor, before presenting what appears to be a loose recapitulation based on the first two new themes of the development and a return of the opening motive marked fortissississimo. Unfortunately, the manuscript breaks off at this point, leaving one to speculate how the movement might have concluded.13 The second movement has a rather unusual form. Approximately seventy bars in length, it is punctuated throughout with recitative-like interruptions marked Recitando. The opening theme is the same one that appears in Liszt’s final version of the concerto. Marked Adagio in the 1834/5 version, its clear, lyrical structure betrays the influence of Italian bel canto tradition. That being said, one cannot help but wonder if Spohr’s Violin Concerto No. 8 in A Minor, op. 47 (1816), entitled Gesangsszene (‘in modo di scena cantante’), served as a model. Although Spohr’s concerto is rarely performed today, it was popular during the first half of the nineteenth century and likely familiar to Liszt. Liszt’s use of descriptive labels such as ‘Trompe’, ‘Chant’, and ‘Marche Finale’ in his 1832 sketches for the piano concerto indicate that from the beginning, he envisioned some sort of dramatic structure for the

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work, and a comparison of the 1834/5 version with Spohr’s concerto reveals several telling similarities. The structure of Liszt’s second movement borrows much from the ‘Gesangsszene’ structure of Spohr’s ground-breaking concerto, and in both the soloist takes on the role of a virtuosic singer in aria and recitative, while the orchestra offers little more than an accompaniment. Yet another model for the second movement could have been Ignaz Moscheles’s Piano Concerto in G Minor, op. 60 (completed in 1820), which also employs elements of recitative. The principal theme of the third movement is the same one that appears in the E minor scherzo (Allegro vivace) in the final published version of the concerto. Perhaps the most interesting feature of this movement is the return of the second movement’s Adagio theme. Instead of facilitating the entry of a second key area and subsequent move to a recapitulation, the interpolation of this theme halts the movement’s forward drive and moves directly into an extensive coda that reaffirms the major key and features a return of the original scherzo theme. As the above description reveals, the structure and technical difficulty of the 1834/5 version of the Piano Concerto in E Major places it squarely in the category of the virtuoso concerto. Still, there are elements of the composition that fall outside this category – elements that Liszt himself described as ‘new’. The avoidance of strict sonata form, the fantasia-like opening movement, the use of instrumental recitative, the linking together of the second and third movements, and the unity of structure created by a free and continuous restatement of themes – Liszt’s innovative use of these features suggests that he was striving to create something more than just a virtuosic showpiece when he composed the original version of his piano concerto. Liszt was taking the first steps toward a new style of concerto writing. To better understand the direction in which he was moving, it is worth examining two additional works composed for piano and orchestra in 1834/5.

Grande fantaisie symphonique and De profundis Around the time Liszt completed the 1834/5 version of the Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Major, he composed two quasi-programmatic works for piano and orchestra that reveal his earliest attempts to construct large, unified single-movement structures. Although these works do not fall squarely under the category of concerto, they nonetheless represent an important stage in Liszt’s conception of the genre, for they contain many of the compositional characteristics and poetic qualities that would ultimately define the final versions of Liszt’s three piano concerti.

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The first of these, the Grande fantaisie symphonique, is a paraphrase of two of the six numbers from Berlioz’s Le retour a` la vie, m´elologue en six parties that was later retitled L´elio, ou Le retour a` la vie, monodrama lyrique (Liszt’s adaptation is sometimes listed as the L´elio Fantasy). Formally, the Grande fantaisie symphonique consists of one long movement (670 bars) divided into two halves – the first, Lento (bars 1–184), and the second, Allegro vivace (bars 185–670). The piece represents Liszt’s earliest experimentation with a format consisting of a slow introductory section followed by a bravura Allegro, and it is likely that he looked to several models for this form, the most obvious being Weber’s Konzertst¨uck and Mendelssohn’s Capriccio brillant, op. 22. Clara Wieck’s Piano Concerto, op. 7 is another possible model, since she performed two of the movements, the ‘Romanze’ and ‘Finale’, as a pair in many of her concerts.14 The first half of Liszt’s Grande fantaisie symphonique serves as a long introduction to the second half. Primarily in A minor, it is a paraphrase of the opening song, ‘Le pˆecheur’, from Berlioz’s composition. The second half of Liszt’s piece begins and ends in F major and is based on the third song from L´elio, ‘Chanson de brigands’. But Liszt does not draw his thematic material from this song alone; in an effort to create structural unity, he recalls a theme from the first section of the piece. Further unification of the two parts is created by the incorporation of a similar rhythmic motive in both halves taken from ‘Choeur d’ombres’, yet another song from Berlioz’s composition. The second of the two concerted works, De profundis (psaume instrumental), was dedicated to the Abb´e de Lamennais and, like the Grande fantaisie symphonique, is a single-movement work. In a letter to his mother dated 26 July 1835, Liszt referred to De profundis as a concerto symphonique.15 This differentiation in name supports the assumption that Liszt was striving towards the creation of a new genre for piano and orchestra in the mid1830s. Cast in large-scale sonata form, De profundis consists of an exposition, lengthy development, scherzo-like interlude, and a recapitulation that serves as a segue into a concluding section that contains the first traces of Liszt’s experiments with thematic transformation. In this work, Liszt’s aptitude for constructing a large, unified movement has progressed noticeably. In addition to demonstrating his ability to resolve a tonal dichotomy efficiently, the work displays an effective use of thematic duality and a convincing recapitulation. Liszt never completed De profundis, despite the fact that the autograph score – the only known source for the work – contains at least two layers of revision. But he did hold on to the score and in later years incorporated a large section of it into an early version of his Totentanz – a topic to which we shall return.

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Liszt never published Grande fantaisie symphonique and De profundis, although he did perform the former on at least two occasions: the premiere on 9 April 1835 with conductor Narcisse Girard and a performance on 18 December 1836 with Berlioz on the podium. Reviews of these performances were mixed. Although the magnificence of Liszt’s virtuosic talent was universally praised, his skills as a composer were often dismissed without comment or harshly criticised.16 Unable to separate his identity as a performer from his activities as an orchestral composer in the eyes of reviewers, Liszt apparently became frustrated with the concerto genre and subsequently abandoned it for several years. Only in 1839, with the prospect of a new concert tour looming before him, did he turn his attention to the genre once again.

The symphonic concerti After leaving Paris in 1834 and living with the Countess Marie d’Agoult in Switzerland and Italy for five years, Liszt decided to resume his concert career in the fall of 1839. In preparation for the tour, he spent the month of September in Italy preparing a number of works for his upcoming tours. Among these compositions were his Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Major and the Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Minor. Liszt drastically revised his E Major Concerto when he returned to it in 1839, and his own works from 1834/5, namely the Grande fantaisie and De profundis, served as his most important models. Intent on turning his three-movement virtuoso concerto into a more serious symphonic work, Liszt cut the concerto’s length by one third, simplified several of the more technically challenging sections in the soloist’s part and completely restructured the work, turning it into a single-movement concerto constructed of four contrasting sections: ‘Allegro’, ‘Quasi adagio’, a scherzo-like ‘Allegretto vivace’, and ‘Allegro animato’.17 In its new form, the Concerto No. 1 in E Major looked more like a symphonic concerto than a virtuoso concerto. It is tempting to view Liszt’s revisions of the work as a replication of, if not an actual reaction to, some of Robert Schumann’s musings about the genre published in the Neue Zeitschrift f¨ur Musik. For example, in a review published in 1836 Schumann criticised the structure of Moscheles’s Piano Concerto No. 6 in B Major, op. 90 (the Concert fantastique), and then proposed a new one-movement structure for the concerto: The Concert fantastique consists of four movements, continued without pause, but in different tempos. We have already declared ourselves opposed to this form. Though it does not seem impossible to construct an agreeable unity in it, the aesthetic dangers appear too great in comparison with this

160 Anna Celenza possibility. Still, there is a lack of smaller concert pieces, wherein the virtuoso can simultaneously give us his presentation of an allegro, adagio, and rondo. It would be good to invent a new form that consists of one large movement in a moderate tempo, wherein the preparatory part might take the place of a first allegro, the cantabile that of the adagio and a brilliant conclusion that of the rondo. Perhaps this idea will inspire something that we would gladly see embodied in a peculiarly original composition.18

Liszt no doubt took these ideas to heart and responded to them the following year in a review of some of Schumann’s piano music, in particular his sonata entitled ‘Concerto without Orchestra’. In his review, Liszt contemplated the history of the concerto, explaining that although the genre had originally conformed to the structure of three separate movements, Moscheles had recently united the various movements into one in his Concert fantastique, op. 90 and thus laid the groundwork for the future. According to Liszt, the best concertos were those that presented a free treatment of traditional form.19 Weber’s Konzertst¨uck and Mendelssohn’s Capriccio brillant had already made progress in this direction, and as Liszt’s 1839 revision of his own Piano Concerto in E Major would soon show, he intended to follow along a similar path. Although Liszt was not the first to compose a single-movement piano concerto along the lines of Schumann’s description, his continued interest in this form led to some of the most innovative uses of it in the nineteenth century. Shortly after completing the 1839 version of his Concerto No. 1, Liszt composed the first draft of another single-movement concerto, his Concerto No. 2 in A Minor – an even better example of the symphonic variety. The second concerto is less brilliant, less virtuosic than the first concerto, but far more original in form, and in this respect it reveals a closer link to the style and structure of Liszt’s more popular tone poems. Similar in structure to Carl Maria von Weber’s Konzertst¨uck (1829), a work Liszt performed regularly in concerts,20 the Concerto in A Minor comprises six sections, each of which presents a contrasting mood created by what can only be described as ‘ingenious thematic transformations’.21 This technique of thematic metamorphosis – creating themes of highly diverse character through the use of a single melodic shape – is quite similar to that found in Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy, and it is likely that Schubert’s work also served as a model. Liszt no doubt knew the work by 1839, for Schubert completed it shortly before his first encounter with Liszt in 1822. By 1846 Liszt was performing the Wanderer Fantasy in concerts on a regular basis, and in 1851 he even went so far as to make an arrangement of it for piano and orchestra – yet another indication that he viewed Schubert’s solo piano work as a model for the concerto genre.22

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In terms of the soloist’s role, the Concerto in A Minor is quite different from its predecessor. Whereas the revised version of the first concerto could still be considered a soloist’s showpiece, the second reflects Liszt’s attempt to confirm his talent as a composer and distance himself from his performance origins.23 In the second concerto Liszt is sparing with technical devices such as scales in octaves and contrary motion, making the soloist a responsive accompanist to the woodwinds and strings rather than an overbearing virtuoso. In addition, the soloist does not dominate the thematic material. After the opening, the pianist never has the theme again in its original form. Instead, his duty is to create – or at least appear to create – inventive variations that lead the listener through a series of thematic transformations. As the pianist Alfred Brendel once noted, in the second concerto there is a fragmentary openness to the form that gives the work as a whole a poetic sense. The various pauses and silences are not envisioned as breaks in the musical flow, but rather transitions in the musical argument. ‘Organic unity’ gives a structure to the entire work.24 In manuscript, Liszt called his Piano Concerto in A Minor a concerto symphonique, the label he had previously applied to De profundis. In the past, Liszt’s use of this term has been attributed to the influence of Henry Litolff (1818–91), a performer–composer he met in 1840 and the eventual dedicatee of his Piano Concerto No. 1. Litolff published four concertos symphoniques between 1844 and 1867, which has led to the assumption that he was the first to envision such a genre. But as we have seen, Liszt was already using the term regularly in the 1830s, and his early drafts of De profundis and the Concerto in A Minor show that he designed a general layout for the concerto symphonique several years before Litolff did. Although Liszt did not publish or publicly perform the early versions of his concertos, he likely showed them to Litolff, or at least discussed them with him at some point during their friendly interaction in the 1840s. In later years, Litolff earned a reputation as a respected interpreter of Liszt’s piano works. In fact, Liszt himself praised the pianist’s performance of his Concerto in E Major after hearing it at a private gathering in 1853, an event that likely influenced Liszt in his decision to dedicate the work to Litolff. Liszt’s influence on Litolff is undeniable, as a comparison of the two composers’ works reveals: both make use of repeated themes and thematic transformation, both often feature difficult octave passages at the conclusions of sections, and both incorporate the triangle and piccolo into the orchestra (as first seen in the 1839 draft of Liszt’s Concerto No. 1 and used by Litolff in his Concerto symphonique No. 4 in D Minor composed in 1851/2). There are, however, several differences between the two composers’ approach to the genre, and these differences might have influenced Liszt in his decision to drop the designation concerto symphonique from his own works when he finally began publishing them

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in the late 1850s and 60s. In general, Litolff’s works are more closely tied to a four-movement structure and traditional use of sonata form. In addition, he gives the piano a much less important role. In fact, Litolff’s concerti, like those of Brahms, are really nothing more than disguised symphonies with a piano accompaniment, a characterisation that could never be applied to Liszt’s concerti. For reasons still unknown, Liszt decided to shelve both of his concerti when he resumed touring in the fall of 1839. In fact, ten years passed before he returned to the works and completed another set of revisions.25 As Jay Rosenblatt explains, these manuscripts reveal ‘how close the 1849 versions brought the concertos to their final form, especially with regard to tonal layout and the use of thematic transformation’.26 In the 1849 version of the Concerto No. 1, Liszt cyclically unified the first and last movements in a manner similar to that found in the 1839 version of the A Minor Concerto, and in later years he went one step further, recalling thematic material from every movement in the concerto’s finale. By the time the Concerto in E Major was published in 1857, it had undergone five revisions, in 1835, 1839, 1849, 1853 and 1855. The Concerto in A Minor went through a similar process, in 1849, 1853, 1857 and 1861. Faced with so many revisions, one cannot help but ask: why? Was Liszt really such a perfectionist? The answer to this question is yes and no. Liszt knew that winning the support of critics would be an uphill battle, and he was wary of presenting the ‘final’ versions of his concerti for public scrutiny, as is reflected in the anecdote that he and Hans von B¨ulow once set the words ‘Das versteht ihr alle nicht, haha!’ (This none of you understand, ha! ha!) to the opening two bars of the Concerto No. 1. But Liszt’s primary purpose in writing the concerti was not to win public favour, but rather to grow as a composer. With each step of the revision process, Liszt tightened the relationship between the soloist and the orchestra, and in doing so refined his conception of what a piano concerto should be. His revisions were not the result of a quest for the perfect concerto, but stemmed instead from his quest for creative growth.27 Liszt’s ideas about the piano concerto changed drastically over the years, a phenomenon that is fascinating to follow and perhaps best shown through the evolution of his final concerto, the programmatic work entitled Totentanz.

The programmatic concerto The programmatic dimensions that the piano concerto took on in the nineteenth century, including the appropriation of visual and theatrical effects as compositional devices, are clearly displayed in Liszt’s Totentanz.28 Using as inspiration two works of visual art, Holbein’s Todtentanz woodcut series and a thirteenth-century fresco in Pisa called Trionfo della Morte, Liszt composed two musical sketches in 1839 that he called ‘Comedy of Death’ and ‘Triumph

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of Death’. It is not clear if Liszt originally envisioned these sketches as separate compositions; a memo in one of his notebooks dating from the mid1840s reveals that he considered using them in an early draft of Ann´ees de p`elerinage.29 Liszt soon abandoned this idea, however, and in 1848 the sketches were used in a large concert work for piano and orchestra called Totentanz. Liszt edited this draft considerably in 1849 and again in 1853. The 1853 version was then bound in leather, an indication that Liszt considered Totentanz to be complete at the time.30 But the concerto was never performed in this version during Liszt’s lifetime, and in 1864 Liszt returned to the work and edited it heavily, changing the orchestration and deleting several sections. In this state, the concerto was premi`ered by Hans von B¨ulow in 1865 and finally published under the title: Totentanz, paraphrase u¨ ber ‘Dies Irae’. In its final form Totentanz is an elaborate set of free variations based on the liturgical plainchant ‘Dies Irae’ and an excerpt from the opening of Mozart’s Requiem. Following a short orchestral introduction and a statement of the theme by the piano, a set of five numbered variations begins. Variations 1–3 are not labelled, but the fourth and fifth are classified as ‘canonique’ and ‘fugato’. Approximately three-quarters of the way through the piece the ‘Dies Irae’ drops out and a new eight-note theme taken from the opening of Mozart’s Requiem appears and serves as the basis for an unnumbered second set of variations. In the third and final cadenza the original ‘Dies Irae’ theme returns and remains the dominant force until the end of the piece (Fig 7.1). A look at the primary sources for Totentanz reveals that the evolution of the piece was long and arduous. In each stage of revision, Liszt was careful to preserve the unique characteristics of the two artworks that inspired his composition. To fully understand how he accomplished this preservation, we must turn briefly to the artworks themselves. Hans Holbein’s woodcut series Todtentanz presents a pictorial version of a theme and variations. The formal theme of the series – the Equality of Death (Plate 7.1) – is presented by a ghoulish band of skeletons who declare to humanity that death will surely come to all: Woe! Woe! Inhabitants of Earth Where blighting cares so keenly strike, And, spite of rank, or wealth, or worth, Death – Death will visit all alike.31

Holbein’s variations on this theme are presented in the remaining thirtyfive woodcuts. Here the skeletons fulfil their declaration of death by seizing individuals from all walks of life and ushering them to their forewarned demise. Figures from the Church are particularly susceptible to the bony hand of death: pope, priest, cardinal, abbot, monk, nun, etc. are punished

Figure 7.1 Outline of Liszt’s Totentanz









‘Dies Irae’

‘Dies Irae’

‘ecclesiastical’ ‘ ‘Dies Irae’

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Plate 7.1 ‘The Equality of Death’ from Hans Holbein’s Todtentanz.

for the sins of humanity. The final two woodcuts show the Last Judgement, where all the figures from the previous images return to hear God’s final decree, and the Escutcheon of Death. The Trionfo della Morte fresco located in Pisa’s Campo Santo has three primary scenes (Plate 7.2). The left side of the fresco shows a representation

Plate 7.2 Trionfo della Morte, by Orcagna [sic] (Francesco Traini or Bonamico Buffalmacco).

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of the medieval legend of ‘The Three Dead and the Three Living’. According to this story, three noble youths were hunting in a forest when they were intercepted by three images of Death. Here the dead are displayed in their coffins in varying stages of decay. The dead pheasants and hunting instruments reveal the pastime of the noblemen and their servants. On the right side of the fresco is a memento mori image symbolising the ephemeral quality of life. Here a group of young lovers play musical instruments in a lush and flowering garden. The scene in the centre of the fresco represents humanity’s fate after death. A witch-like depiction of Death flies through the air, wielding a scythe over her victims below. As life leaves each human, swarms of angels and devils descend on the bodies and battle over their souls. Here humanity’s fate is both certain and horrific. Although a theme and variations structure was not one commonly used by Liszt for orchestral works, its application in Totentanz seems logical when compared to the woodcut series by Holbein. Just as skeletons represent Death in Holbein’s work, the liturgical sequence ‘Dies Irae’ served as the haunting theme for Liszt. A look at the various versions of Totentanz reveals that Liszt quoted directly from Holbein’s woodcuts at every stage of the concerto’s evolution. Close examination of Holbein’s theme woodcut shows skeletons playing a variety of instruments (cornemuse, busine, hurdy-gurdy, shawm), but the sackbut and kettledrums are given the most prominent positions. I emphasise this point because if we look at the opening of Liszt’s 1849 version of Totentanz, we find an accurate quotation of this striking orchestration. Here Liszt replaced the sackbut and kettledrums with their nineteenth-century equivalents, the trombone and timpani (Plate 7.3). In the final version of Totentanz, completed in 1865, Liszt reorchestrated the opening, amplifying the timpani and trombones with clarinets, bassoons, violas, cellos and contrabasses. In this revised version, the timpani play F, G, B, G – a figure framed by the interval of a tritone, the ‘diabolus musicae’. The piano emphasises this tritone motive, which appears in two forms: linearly as a motive and horizontally as a diminished seventh chord: G, B, D, F. These two tritone manifestations, linear motive and horizontal chord, appear throughout the composition and serve as unifying devices as well as symbols of the diabolical. Paying close attention to Holbein’s satirical treatment of religious figures, Liszt adopted a similar approach when writing Variation 4. Liszt labelled the variation ‘canonique’, and this indication, along with the music’s sacred style, reveals a direct connection to contemporary church music. On the surface, Variation 4 appears quite benign, but a close look at its harmonic structure reveals malevolent elements, the most obvious being Liszt’s blatant use of the tritone.

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Plate 7.3 First page of Liszt’s 1849 version of Totentanz (New York), Pierpont Morgan Library, Lehman Collection.

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Variation 5 might also be considered an imitation of Holbein. Labelled ‘fugato’, it is the longest and most complex variation. Although it contains no direct quotations of the previous four variations, the ‘fugato’ does make use of the various rhythmic motives that characterise them. Like the ‘Last Judgement’ in Holbein’s woodcuts, Variation 5 presents a conclusive combination of all the preceding variations. Despite the striking similarities between Liszt’s Totentanz and Holbein’s woodcuts, there are several contradictions that imply an additional source of extra-musical inspiration. For example, why did Liszt interrupt Variation 5 with a new set of theme and variations? The answer lies in the Trionfo della Morte fresco in Pisa’s Campo Santo. In a letter to Hector Berlioz, Liszt once made a comparison between the Campo Santo and Mozart’s Requiem, saying that he was reminded of the Requiem when he entered the Campo Santo. Consequently, when Liszt began to compose music inspired by the Trionfo della Morte fresco in 1839 he used an excerpt from Mozart’s Requiem. Liszt clearly recognised the similarity between the opening melody in Mozart’s Requiem and the melody of the seventeenth-century folia – sometimes called ‘Farinelli’s Ground’. In an effort to create what he believed to be an ‘early music’ sound, Liszt used the harmonic structure of the folia when creating aural depictions of the thirteenth-century fresco. The hunting scene displayed in the legend of ‘The Three Dead and the Three Living’ is represented by horn calls in the opening statement of the second theme. Likewise, the group of lovers playing instruments in the garden is depicted in the first variation of the second theme. Perhaps difficult to interpret at first, Liszt’s decision to insert a second theme and variations set in Totentanz was an outstanding manipulation of programmatic material. Within the climactic presentation of the ‘Last Judgement’ in Variation 5, Liszt included his second programme, the ‘Triumph of Death’, and thus intensified the composition’s dramatic conclusion and final descent into Hell. In the earliest complete versions of Totentanz, those created in 1849 and 1853, the second theme and variations was followed by a third theme, the ‘De profundis’ plainchant from his 1834/5 composition. If we can rely on the liturgical texts that usually accompanied these three themes as an approximate programme for Totentanz, then it appears that the 1849 and 1853 versions depicted a more benevolent vision of God’s Last Judgement. The text to ‘Dies Irae’ set the scene: ‘Day of anger, day of misery, when the world turned to ashes.’ This was followed by the Requiem theme: ‘Give them eternal rest, Lord.’ Finally the redemptive text of the ‘De profundis’, Psalm 130, concluded the programme. After completing the 1853 version of Totentanz, Liszt set the work aside for eleven years. When he finally returned to it in 1864 at the request of his son-in-law Hans von B¨ulow, his vision of the concerto’s programme had

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darkened considerably. Liszt had suffered numerous personal tragedies during the intervening years, and these had temporarily changed his view of the world, making him depressed and introspective. In 1863 Liszt moved into the Dominican residence, Madonna del Rosario, in Rome, and it was there that he revised Totentanz for the last time, transforming it into a cynical condemnation of mankind. He did this by making four fundamental changes to the concerto: he reorchestrated the opening, added the demonic tritone motives, eliminated the benevolent ‘De profundis’ section, and rewrote the coda, making it more malevolent in character. Liszt’s disparaging view of the world around him was not permanent, however. And one gets the sense that shortly after publishing Totentanz, Liszt began to regret how much it reflected his own struggles and private thoughts. Vladimir Stasov’s description of an encounter he had with Liszt in 1869 elucidates the situation: In vain I implored him to play something from his Totentanz . . . To no avail I asked him to explain the principal variations in Totentanz, for which no programme is given (contrary to the practice Liszt has followed in all his symphonic works). He flatly refused to play this piece, and as for the programme, he said only that it was one of those works whose content must not be made public. A strange secret, a strange exception, the strange effect of his life as an abb´e and his stay in Rome!32

After the publication of Totentanz, Liszt realised that the personality cult associated with the concerto made it a losing enterprise for him. He had struggled most of his career to remove his identity as a performer from his piano concerti – but with little success. Although he could downplay the virtuosic role of the soloist as he did in Concerti Nos. 1 and 2, and refrain from performing the works himself as he did in Concerto No. 2 and Totentanz, he could never fully separate his personality from the genre. Performers such as Busoni and Vianna da Motta lamented the abandonment of the concerto at the end of the nineteenth century, but an understanding of the genre’s tradition reveals why composers such as Liszt were left with no other choice. Although Liszt made sketches for a new concerto in 1880 after Reissmann blamed misuse of the genre for hindering the spread of a ‘refined aesthetic taste’, nothing came of these plans. Thus we are left to conclude that, intent on becoming a great composer in the eyes of critics and audiences, Liszt was forced to separate himself from the concerto – a genre that would always remind listeners of his glittering, virtuosic past.

8 Performing Liszt’s piano music ke n n e t h h a m i lto n

It was interesting to note the varied degrees of tension that he brought to the different composers. When Chopin was being played, only the most delicate precision would satisfy him. The rubatos had to be done with exquisite restraint, and only when Chopin had marked them, never ad libitum. Nothing was quite good enough to interpret such perfection. A student played one of Liszt’s own Rhapsodies; it had been practised conscientiously, but did not satisfy the master. There were splashy arpeggios and rockets of rapidly ascending chromatic diminished sevenths. ‘Why don’t you play it this way?’, asked Liszt, sitting at the second piano and playing the passage with more careless bravura. ‘It was not written so in my copy’ , objected the youth. ‘Oh, you need not take that so literally’ , answered the composer.1

This dialogue between Liszt and a pupil with surprisingly modern attitudes from an 1877 masterclass in Rome presents in a nutshell one fundamental problem in the interpretation of his piano music, namely, how essential, or even advisable, is strict adherence to the letter of the score. An associated problem concerns the spirit of the score: how did Liszt expect his music to sound, and what interpretative approach should we adopt if we wish to respect this? We could well argue – and this would ironically be a typical nineteenth-century view – that Liszt performance in the twenty-first century ought to be moulded by modern concert conditions, instruments and expectations, and not those of a bygone era. But even if this attitude is adopted, it is surely better adopted on the basis of knowledge of what we are rejecting, rather than as a merely plausible substitute for ignorance. The following pages address issues in Liszt performance by briefly discussing Liszt’s aesthetic outlook, the pianos he used, his playing style and the legacy of his teaching. There exists a large body of material – some written, some recorded – that not only amplifies, but sometimes contradicts, instructions in Liszt’s scores. In fact, even to talk about ‘the score’ in the case of many Liszt pieces is problematical, as many exist in a multiplicity of versions with differences ranging from minor nuances to major reworkings. As Liszt himself put it in 1863, ‘The fact is that the passion for variants, and for what seems to me to be ameliorations of style, has got a particular grip on me and gets stronger with age.’2 In view of this, it should not cause astonishment that Liszt’s attitudes to textual fidelity and to performance were complex and occasionally contradictory. [171]

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Performance aesthetics As might be expected of any musician, Liszt’s views on interpretation changed significantly as he grew older. In 1837 he had turned his thoughts publicly to the role of the performing musician in recreating works of art: The poet, painter or sculptor, left to himself in his study or studio, completes the task he has set himself; and once his work is done, he has bookshops to distribute it or museums to exhibit it. There is no intermediary between himself and his judges, whereas the composer is necessarily forced to have recourse to inept or indifferent interpreters who make him suffer through interpretations that are often literal, it is true, but which are quite imperfect when it comes to presenting the work’s ideas or the composer’s genius.3

In other words, written music is only the transcription of an idea that requires a performer for realisation. The inevitably inexact and lifeless notation can never delineate every aspect of that music adequately, leaving its fate substantially at the mercy of the performer’s talent or understanding. The performing information contained in a score varies massively from era to era and composer to composer. A Bach Prelude may contain nothing but the notes and time signature, a piece like Grainger’s Rosenkavalier Ramble may try to give directions that extend to the minutest details of tempo fluctuation and layered dynamics. Even the latter falls short of what is required to create living, breathing music rather than a stiff, mechanical sequence of notes. Most performers nowadays take it as axiomatic that, however important their role, it should be limited to relaying as accurately as possible the composition as they believe the composer intended it; they should attempt to subsume their individuality in that of the composer. To do this completely is impossible, but the aim of sympathetic accuracy is usually there. Nineteenth-century pianists were also well aware that they had a responsibility to the composer; this was balanced by the need to project their own individuality as well, and audience expectations that they would do so. The fact that the vast majority of Romantic pianists were active composers themselves encouraged this attitude. In conservatoires nowadays musicians tend to be split into performance or composition streams (though it is still true to say that few performers have never composed, and vice versa) but during the nineteenth century almost all the major pianists – Liszt, Chopin, Alkan, Thalberg, Anton Rubinstein, the list goes on – were known equally as composers. Some were better composers than others, it is true, but all regarded themselves as more than interpretative artists, and their compositional role often spilled over into their performances of other composers’ music. This approach continued well into the twentieth century. Audiences expected, for

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example, Busoni’s Bach playing to be different from d’Albert’s Bach playing, and sometimes a piece could become more popular in a performer’s version than in the original. Judging by extant concert programmes and reviews, around the turn of the century, Henselt’s ‘interpretation’ of Weber’s Rondo in E was at least as frequently performed as the original. Anton Rubinstein summed up a general attitude when he advised his piano students to begin by learning a piece exactly as the composer wrote it. If subsequently some things still seemed capable of improvement, then the pianist should not hesitate to alter them. Rubinstein’s approach was actually far stricter than that of some of his contemporaries, who omitted the first stage entirely. In contrast, the modern attitude is often to deplore any attempts at the second stage – if you can’t make it convincing as the composer wrote it, then don’t play it at all. During his principal years as a performer Liszt took his fair share of licence. He later said that it was chiefly his performances of Weber’s Konzertst¨uck that gave him a reputation as a pianist who indulged in extreme interpretative liberties, but this is hardly borne out by the evidence. In the early 1830s Ferdinand Hiller commented, ‘Liszt played most new things best the first time, because they then gave him enough to do. The second time he always had to add something, if the piece were sufficiently to interest him.’4 By 1837 Liszt himself had admitted the problem was more than a matter of an isolated sin against Weber. Like a penitent he confessed: During that time [1829–37], both at public concerts and in private salons (where people never failed to observe that I had selected my pieces very badly), I often performed the works of Beethoven, Weber and Hummel, and let me confess to my shame that in order to wring bravos from the public that is always slow, in its awesome simplicity, to comprehend beautiful things, I had no qualms about changing the tempos of the pieces or the composers’ intentions. In my arrogance I even went so far as to add a host of rapid runs and cadenzas, which, by securing ignorant applause for me, sent me off in the wrong direction – one that I fortunately knew enough to abandon quickly. You cannot believe, dear friend, how much I deplore those concessions to bad taste, those sacrilegious violations of the SPIRIT and the LETTER, because the most profound respect for the masterpieces of great composers has, for me, replaced the need that a young man barely out of childhood once felt for novelty and individuality. Now I no longer divorce a composition from the era in which it was written, and any claim to embellish or modernise the works of earlier periods seems just as absurd for a musician to make as it would be for an architect, for example, to place a Corinthian capital on the columns of an Egyptian temple.5

Written around the time of his ground-breaking performance of Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata, which according to Berlioz was a model of textual

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fidelity, Liszt’s contrition was no doubt sincere for the moment. Within a few years, however, he had several relapses of epic proportions. Reviews of his concert-tours of the 1840s talk of ‘deliciously fanciful amplifications’6 in Schubert or unexpected tempo changes in transcriptions of Beethoven Symphonies. In a glowing but (unintentionally?) amusing review of an 1840 performance, the London Times enthused, ‘Handel’s Fugue in E minor . . . was played by Liszt with an avoidance of everything approaching to meretricious ornament, and indeed scarcely any additions, except a multitude of ingeniously contrived and appropriate harmonies, casting a glow of colour over the beauties of the composition, and infusing into it a spirit which from no other hand it ever before received.’7 The necessity of pleasing the crowds and earning a living indubitably accounted for much of this, and the interpretative customs of the era permitted a large degree of freedom anyway. For Liszt’s interpretative licence to be specially remarked upon, some of it must have been pretty extreme. An account of a later performance of the Hammerklavier Sonata,8 and von B¨ulow’s edition, which gives an octave re-writing of a passage on the last page as Liszt’s idea, show that by the 1850s Liszt was still making minor alterations even to Beethoven – albeit so minor that by the standards of the time they must have seemed like nothing at all. Most of the detailed accounts of Liszt’s piano teaching come from his masterclasses in the 1870s and 80s, by which time his approach had undoubtedly become more severe. Though he habitually played virtuoso works, and smaller character pieces, with a large degree of freedom, the major masterpieces were usually interpreted with a sincere fidelity that contrasted explicitly with the playing of his earlier years. Two composers in particular, Beethoven and Chopin, had become sacrosanct. He could react with an anger verging on fury at attempts to ‘improve’ either composer. A student at an 1882 masterclass drove him into a rage by playing the three penultimate chords of Chopin’s Ballade No. 3 in A staccato, on the grounds that it made ‘the ending more brilliant’. Pacing the floor angrily, Liszt replied, ‘Chopin knew how he wanted that piece to end, and I do not propose to argue with anyone about such matters!’9 As far as his own music was concerned, Liszt encouraged the more talented pupils – such as Sophie Menter or Alexander Siloti – to put their own ideas into his virtuoso pieces like the operatic fantasias or Hungarian Rhapsodies. For Menter he even composed a vastly altered version of the Tarantelle de Bravura from La Muette de Portici and charming additions to the sixth Soir´ee de Vienne (most, but not all, of which were later incorporated in a new edition produced in the 1880s). He gave performance instructions in masterclasses for programmatic pieces like St Francis Walking on the Waves that were considerably more detailed than the published score.10 At times Liszt improvised new endings, which were

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played by some of his students but remained unpublished during his lifetime (see the ‘coda for Sgambaty’ for Au bord d’une source). What must be emphasised, however, is that any licence to alter the score was at its most extensive in virtuoso pieces, and at its very least in the large-scale ‘serious’ works such as the Variations on ‘Weinen, klagen’ or the Sonata.

Liszt’s pianos For diplomatic and practical reasons, Liszt often used pianos provided by local manufacturers during his concert tours across Europe,11 but there can be little doubt that his favoured instrument from his early to middle years was an Erard grand. Liszt had a long association, and personal friendship, with the Erard family. In the Altenburg in Weimar his Erard piano took centre stage in the first-floor reception room, which also doubled as a music library. The Erard nestled together with the Broadwood grand that had once been Beethoven’s – a visual symbol of Liszt’s musical inheritance (in case visitors didn’t pick up the hint, Beethoven’s death mask was also on display). Upstairs, in the ‘official’ music-room, two Viennese grands (a Streicher and a B¨osendorfer) shared space with Mozart’s spinet. By July 1854 the spinet, and indeed all other instruments, had been dwarfed by a gargantuan contraption called a piano-organ, made specially for Liszt by Alexandre et Fils of Paris. This was a relative of the pedal-piano (of the type favoured by Alkan) mutated as if by some unfortunate dose of radiation to enormous size and complexity. Its three keyboards and pedalboard operated pipes in imitation of wind instruments. Liszt had intended the piano-organ as an aid in working out orchestration, but it also played an active part in his domestic musical performances. Those interested in musical curiosities can now see it in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. The piano-organ was the most grotesque outcome of Liszt’s continuing interest in the development of keyboard instruments. In the late 1840s he had gone so far as to produce a version of his arrangement of ‘Salve Maria’ from Verdi’s I Lombardi for ‘Armonipiano’. By peculiar coincidence, the arrangement was published by his friend Ricordi, who also owned the patent for the ‘Armonipiano’. Liszt added the note ‘A new invention which the house of Ricordi and Finzi have just adapted to their pianos will have a happy effect here. It is an invention by which one can obtain, without moving the fingers, a tremolo like Aeolian harps . . . Such a poetic sonority is impossible to achieve on pianos unequipped with the tremolo pedal, and I recommend the restrained employment of it to pianists.’ Other musicians found the sonority less ‘poetic’, and the ‘Armonipiano’ was buried in the graveyard of forgotten novelties. Liszt apparently never owned one himself.

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Many of the pianos Liszt played during his early concert tours were too flimsy to withstand his vigorous performance style. He later told his students: ‘In those times pianos were built too light . . . I usually had two grands placed on the platform, so that if one gave out it could be replaced without delaying the recital. Once – I think it was in Vienna, I crippled both grands, and two others had to be brought in during the intermission.’12 Liszt had written publicly as far back as the 1830s of the need for an improvement in the tonal capabilities of the piano, although he felt confident that this would soon be forthcoming. It is nevertheless a striking fact that all of Liszt’s most pianistically sophisticated inspirations, and many of the other masterpieces of Romantic piano music such as Chopin’s Ballades and Schumann’s Fantasy, were written before the technological changes established by Steinway that effectively initiated the truly modern piano. The years between 1811, when Liszt was born, and 1867, when Steinway scored an overwhelming success in the Paris International Exhibition with their ironframed, over-strung grand, saw momentous changes in piano manufacture. Liszt, of course, was more aware than most of these developments. He could hardly fail to be, as many piano makers of the day insisted on sending him instruments as gifts in the hope of a valuable endorsement. In 1878 he even represented Hungary on the jury of the Paris International Exhibition of that year, though as Hanslick reported ‘So far as the piano manufacturers were concerned, Liszt found himself in the delicate position of a monarch. And as one of the most benevolent of monarchs he avoided saying anything that might have brought consequences. So he walked along with us and, without trying any of the instruments himself, bestowed an encouraging word here, a friendly smile there.’13 Hanslick’s measure of the weight of Liszt’s recommendation was accurate enough. More than a century later, Steinway was still using a Liszt letter from the 1880s praising its pianos and discussing the use of the new sostenuto pedal in its promotional literature. The type of Steinway that Liszt admired towards the end of his life – such as that in Wagner’s Wahnfried in Bayreuth, which he played frequently – was not substantially different from the modern variety (although the supple and warm tone quality of surviving examples have more in common with present-day Hamburg, rather than New York, instruments) and the same is true for the Bechsteins and B¨osendorfers that he was familiar with. During his Weimar years, if we leave aside the monstrous piano-organ mentioned earlier and Beethoven’s Broadwood, Liszt’s three grand pianos represented a contrasted selection of the concert instruments of the day: the Erard with its double-escapement action and penetrating tone, and the two Viennese instruments with their simpler Prellmechanik action and more intimate sound. Unlike the modern piano, none of these instruments was over-strung, making them capable of less volume but giving them greater

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purity of tone. The harshly metallic sound of some of today’s pianos – especially in the upper registers – was not such a prominent feature, lending a more delicate flavour to the high treble. This more restrained sound quality (even on the Erard) had also to do with the design and composition of the hammers – much smaller than on a modern instrument – and of the piano frame itself. Of Liszt’s pianos, only the Erard could have produced a sound anything like the thunderous bass notes today’s grand is capable of. Though Liszt may have welcomed increased sonority in this register, he is hardly likely to have applauded the modern overbearing treble, for pupils reported that he often played high filigree passage-work una corda even on his own instruments. Moritz Rosenthal, his only pupil at Tivoli in the Autumn of 1878, recalled ‘the marvellous delicacy and finish of his touch. The embellishments were like a cobweb – so fine – of costliest lace.’14 One other feature of Liszt’s pianos up until the 1860s that might surprise contemporary performers was the weaker effect of the string dampers. The less clean damping produced inevitably a less clean sound and required a slightly different pedal technique. To some extent the piano itself produced its own syncopated pedalling, a technique to facilitate legato playing first described in detail by K¨ohler in the 1870s in his Technische K¨unstler-Studien. Finally, despite the major differences between Erard’s double-escapement action and the Viennese action of the 1850s, both demanded a lighter touch and a shallower fall of key than the average modern concert-grand, making virtuoso playing far less arduous. Liszt found the gradual increase in action-weight as pianos became larger and more sonorous something of a problem. Even by the late 1840s he was complaining to Erard about the over-heavy touch of some of his instruments,15 and many pianists have subsequently had similar difficulties. When touring America, Paderewski demanded modifications to lighten the action of his piano, and Rosenthal, famous for the brilliance and speed of his fingerwork, claimed that it was impossible to achieve the effects he intended on the heavier of the new instruments.

Liszt’s teaching Our main sources of information on Liszt’s later teaching are the 1902 Liszt-P¨adagogium,16 a collection of notes assembled by Lina Ramann containing Liszt’s instructions for his own works, itself based on contemporary notes taken by pianists present at Liszt’s masterclasses; and the diaries of his students August G¨ollerich and Karl Lachmund, which also contain Liszt’s comments on other composers’ music. To these can be added the memoirs of other pupils such as Mason, Friedheim, Siloti, Rosenthal, Lamond, Sauer and d’Albert, and second-hand information from books

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like Tilly Fleischmann’s Aspects of the Liszt Tradition17 (Fleischmann studied with Liszt’s student Stavenhagen). Some valuable information has also been passed down orally from Liszt’s pupils, but obviously all this material, whether written or not, must be evaluated with regard to context, chronology and the reliability of the sources. Finally, the recordings of Liszt’s pupils at least allow us some idea of how Liszt expected his music to sound. Although all Liszt’s students had their own individuality, it is impossible to believe that, taken together, they cannot show the stylistic parameters within which his music should be played, and they certainly give us a good idea of how he actually heard it played towards the end of his life. Unfortunately the Liszt-P¨adagogium appears to have been largely ignored by modern performers, although brief excerpts have appeared in the New Liszt Edition and the whole volume was reprinted in 1986. The P¨adagogium covers pieces of varying degrees of importance in varying degrees of depth, but the relation of these two aspects is not what we might think it ought to be, and the criterion for a work’s inclusion is random indeed: namely that at some point a pupil brought a certain piece to a masterclass, and Ramann either chanced to be present or happened later to have access to the notes of those who were. (Of these students, her most important sources were August Stradal, Berthold Kellermann, August G¨ollerich, Heinrich Porges, Ida Volckmann and Auguste Rennebaum.) Although some works now in the standard repertoire, like the Sonata, Fun´erailles, the D Concert Study commonly known as Un Sospiro and the B´en´ediction de Dieu dans la Solitude are treated in some detail, a far greater number of important pieces are conspicuous by their absence, and we might be forgiven for wishing that we had Liszt’s recommendations for the performance of, for example, the Dante Sonata or the 1st Mephisto Waltz rather than an extended disquisition on the nuances required for Slavimo, Slava Slaveni! and some other not-too-interesting chips from the floor of the master’s studio. As well as performance notes, the P¨adagogium also contains additions and revisions to certain pieces, for example a slightly extended ending to Ricordanza and major alterations to R´eminiscences de ‘Robert le Diable’, intended to form the basis of a new edition of the piece (a plan thwarted by Liszt’s death). Although the immense interest of the information contained in the P¨adagogium is obvious, it is sometimes unclear what the exact nature was of the sources that Ramann relied upon. We do not know for certain whether her notes, or those of the contributing students, were written up during the masterclasses, soon afterwards, or are simply ‘reminiscences of a masterclass’ recalled – accurately or not – at a much later date. Fortunately, we do not have to rely on the P¨adagogium alone for information on Liszt’s teaching, but can make cross-references to other writings, such as the diaries and memoirs mentioned above. Several of Liszt’s students, too, were later

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involved in editing his works (most prominently Emil von Sauer, Jos´e Vianna da Motta, Eug`ene d’Albert and Rafael Joseffy) and from Liszt’s own lifetime (1878) we even have a remarkable edition by his fellow virtuoso Adolf Henselt of R´eminiscences de Lucia di Lammermoor which, though published as Henselt’s own ‘interpretation’, supposedly reflects the considerable liberties – and they are great indeed, especially in the introduction – the composer allowed himself in the performance of this piece. Liszt was given the opportunity to examine the proofs of this publication, but declined to make any alterations because ‘all the variants are admirably suitable’.18 In 1886 he recommended the edition to his students, saying, ‘I have always played these pieces [the opera fantasies] completely freely, not as printed. Henselt heard me play it [R´eminiscences de Lucia di Lammermoor] once and included much of what he learned in his edition.’19 See Example 8.1. The editions by Liszt’s pupils are of mixed value. It is obvious, especially with the more extensive of these publications − for example Sauer’s for Peters, or da Motta’s for the Franz Liszt-Stiftung − that the editors could hardly have received personal guidance from Liszt on every piece in the publication, and we must be careful lest we imbue their work with too much authority on account of their status as famous Liszt students, despite their own considerable talents and their conscientiousness as editors. Sauer’s edition of the Sonata in B Minor contains one reinforcement of the bass and one extra pedal instruction (marked ‘according to Liszt’s intentions’) that we also find in the P¨adagogium. In d’Albert’s edition, on the other hand, not only is there none of this material, but we read that the opening octaves are to be played ‘wie Pizzicato’, an interpretation that has been very popular in the twentieth century (see the two recordings by Vladimir Horowitz). It is no surprise to find that d’Albert neither studied the Sonata with Liszt, nor appears to have been present at a performance by a pupil who did, for his advice is directly contradicted by the P¨adagogium (using notes taken by August Stradal after a lesson on the piece) where a sound like ‘muffled timpani’ is recommended. Liszt even gave technical instructions as to how this was to be achieved – namely by striking the keys towards the back in order to lessen the force of the attack. Liszt admired d’Albert’s playing tremendously, and all his annotations make cogent musical sense. They do not, however, necessarily derive from Liszt’s own practice. Finally, we should beware of some entrenched exaggerations concerning Liszt’s teaching: namely that after his middle years he never gave private lessons, and that he was not interested at all in technical matters, but concentrated idealistically only on ‘the music’ while leaving students to work out for themselves how exactly it should be produced (‘Aus dem Geist schaffe sich die Technik, nicht aus der Mechanik’ [‘Let technique create itself from the spirit, not from the fingers’] quotes Ramann in bold print in the P¨adagogium).

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Specific technical advice is indeed thin on the ground, but it does exist, as will be discussed a little later. As for the question of private instruction, it is certainly true that in the final two decades of his life Liszt’s most frequent teaching forum was the masterclass, but even then certain exceptionally talented pupils – for example Siloti and Friedheim – were allowed to stay after class for extra instruction, and in earlier years many pianists – Mason, Tausig, Stradal, Bache, Rosenthal and more – were fortunate enough to receive individual lessons. The P¨adagogium and associated writings show that Liszt’s principal concern was always with musical characterisation and communication. His performance directions have to be interpreted in the context of the piece and its intended musical effect. To a musician unfamiliar with Liszt’s style, for example, the direction Andante con moto for ‘Invocation’ from Harmonies po´etiques et religieuses might seem to indicate a fairly placid albeit flowing Example 8.1 R´eminiscences de Lucia di Lammermoor (Henselt Edition), bars 1–16

181 Performing Liszt’s piano music Example 8.1 (Continued)

tempo. The instruction in the G¨ollerich diaries is ‘fast and fiery’,20 counterintuitive in terms of the tempo indication, but entirely suited to the spirit of the work. The following is a necessarily crude summary of some points that featured frequently in Liszt’s teaching. Written information like this is often only fully understood by musicians who already play in this manner anyway. I give it nevertheless – most of it is simply good musicianship.

182 Kenneth Hamilton 1. The music must flow in large periodic phrases. In lyrical works such as B´en´ediction de Dieu this does not imply particularly fast speeds, or alla-breve tempi, but rather manipulation of tone and articulation to produce a breathing, singing melody. Liszt in his later years particularly disliked the habit of routinely cutting short the last note of a phrase, although in 1853, according to William Mason, ‘he was very fond of strong accents to mark off periods or phrases, and he talked so much about strong accentuation that one might have supposed he would have abused it, but he never did’.21 2. The musical sense must continue through the frequent rhetorical pauses in Liszt’s music. ‘Don’t mince it up.’ 3. Expression should always avoid the sentimental. Liszt was emphatic about this, and often parodied what he regarded as excessively affected playing, even if it was by Anton Rubinstein, whose energy and drive he otherwise greatly admired (after a particularly over-cautious performance he advised a student: ‘Das m¨ussen Sie mehr Rubinsteinisieren’ [piay it more like Rubinstein]).22 The common idea of Liszt as a performer prone to lapses of precious sentimentality is far from the truth for the aged Liszt at least. This should extend to posture – no swaying around or nodding of the head (‘The divine Clara [Schumann] has this soulful head-wagging on her conscience’23 ) – sit upright, and don’t look at the keys, rather straight ahead. 4. Piano tone is usually to be imagined in orchestral terms (‘Clarinet’ for the A major melody in Fun´erailles) and with a view to the acoustics of the performance venue. (‘That is too thin, and would not begin to fill a hall. You must remember, people who have paid their three Marks admission expect you to give them three Marks’ worth of tone.’24 ) According to Friedheim, even in his advanced years, when some other aspects of his technique had deteriorated, Liszt was still unrivalled in building up an orchestral-style climax on the keyboard. 5. Figuration in melodic sections of Liszt’s music should usually be lyrical, not brilliant. Liszt had a fondness for adding mordents and other embellishments, most often of an Italianate or Hungarian character, to emphasise parts of the melodic line. 6. A certain flexibility of tempo is required; metronomic playing will not suffice. 7. Liszt’s rubato was, according to Lachmund: ‘quite different from the Chopin hastening and tarrying rubato . . . more like a momentary halting of the time, by a slight pause here or there on some significant note, and when done rightly brings out the phrasing in a way that is declamatory and remarkably convincing . . . Liszt seemed unmindful of time, yet the aesthetic symmetry of rhythm did not seem disturbed.’25 8. The wrong notes of a d’Albert or a Rubinstein do not matter, their inaccuracies insignificant compared with their musical expressiveness. ‘Thut nichts [It doesn’t matter]. Rubinstein himself does not object to a few ‘“uninvited guests”.’26 Splashy, insensitive playing, however, brought Liszt’s wrath upon the perpetrator. In a moving 1941 BBC radio broadcast, Frederick Lamond talked about Liszt’s surprising strictness and concern for musical cleanliness. Lamond’s awe of Liszt’s censure is still apparent in his voice after nearly sixty years.

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The letter of the score As to what the later pupils learned from their lessons and classes with Liszt, we have an invaluable – and for once, aural – source in recordings and piano rolls, including performances by Rosenthal, von Sauer, Lamond, d’Albert, Friedheim, Siloti and others. While it is certainly true that the individuality of most of these artists renders it unlikely that we can hear in their performances a slavish rendering of their master’s wishes (and anyway, pianists like Rosenthal were also taught by other major figures of the day and undoubtedly reflected this in their playing), with a performer like Arthur Friedheim we may get closer to Liszt than with some others. Liszt famously remarked that Friedheim’s performance of the B minor Sonata was ‘the way I imagined it when I was writing it’, and although Friedheim was deeply unhappy with both his acoustic recordings and piano rolls, his idolatry of his teacher was such that we might well expect to find specific aspects of Liszt’s performance style copied in his own playing. In fact we do indeed come across features that seem to echo comments in the P¨adagogium and other memoirs. In Friedheim’s piano roll of Harmonies du Soir, for example, he inserts (at the lead-in to the E major section) a turn similar to that suggested by the P¨adagogium for inclusion before the recapitulation of Un sospiro. In another piano roll we hear a performance of the second Legend, St Francis Walking on the Waves, that corresponds closely to Liszt’s advice preserved in G¨ollerich’s diaries, with a loud and stately opening more varied than the dynamic and tempo indications in the score suggest, and the extension and repetition of the ‘waves’ figuration into upper and lower octaves. (Suggestions for extensions like these are found throughout the P¨adagogium, especially in the section on R´eminiscences de ‘Robert le Diable’, where long sections of passagework are treated in the same fashion.) Friedheim also plays an alternative ending similar to one given in the critical notes to da Motta’s Liszt-Stiftung edition. This does not appear in the New Liszt Edition, though it seems more imaginative than the published version. A copy of St Francis Walking on the Waves on display in the house in Bayreuth (now a museum) where Liszt died contains this ending written into a printed copy of the score in Liszt’s own hand. It should be pointed out that extensions of figuration were sometimes, but by no means always, prompted by extensions of the piano’s range. This Legend could easily have been played on a piano of the 1860s as Friedheim recorded it decades later, and Liszt suggested similar additions to his pupils in many other pieces, such as his two Polonaises.27 Why Liszt had not simply written more extensive passagework in the original score in the first place is an interesting question. Some changes he suggested to students were probably genuine afterthoughts, and some in response to a belated realisation of just how difficult his virtuoso music was.

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Of La Campanella he remarked mischievously: ‘The difficult octave accompaniment in the left hand on the last page may be simplified . . . When I wrote that I did not teach as much as I do now.’28 Some alterations were also no doubt of the sort that any accomplished virtuoso might have been expected to consider making, and were not confined to Liszt’s own music. Even for Chopin’s music, which he was often so particular about, he advised the occasional alteration (for example repeating the introduction to the A major section of the F Polonaise).29 When telling a pupil to alternate the direction of the spread of certain chords in his transcription of Saint-Sa¨ens’s Danse Macabre, he added as an aside, ‘I did not write it so – it takes too much time.’30 He also suggested improvements in several other pieces, for example a repetition of the introduction before playing the second stanza of his transcription of Gretchen am Spinnrade,31 the repeat of the middle part of Au Lac de Wallenstadt ‘to enhance its effect’,32 and for bars 276–8 and 284–6 of Scherzo and March he recommended increasing the demonic clangour by crossing the right hand over the left to ‘hit a few low A’s’.33 All this is, of course, in addition to the improvised prelude that any competent pianist could be expected to play before the beginning of many pieces, and to the occasional liberties that could be taken with endings. When a student failed to prelude before a performance of the third Liebestraum, Liszt pointed out the omission and made a short one up himself (consisting of only three chords).34 At the close of his Ave Maria (written for Lebert and Stark’s Grosse Klavierschule) he instructed, ‘At the end, so that the people know that it is over, play the Lohengrin Chord [i.e. a chord of A major in the treble as at the opening of the Prelude to Act 1 of Wagner’s opera].’35 He was especially aware that the radical endings of many of his late pieces would generate incomprehension in public performance. Regarding the first Valse oubli´ee, which in the score famously closes impishly on a single note, he advised in 1885, ‘People are not satisfied when they do not hear a chord at the end, so you can by all means add a pair of chords.’36 Most modern ‘classical’ performers are, of course, unaccustomed to preluding or making even minor changes to the end of a piece of music, and some other aspects of Liszt’s interpretative legacy also go somewhat against modern performance-practice. For example, the P¨adagogium insists that the main theme of Fun´erailles be ‘not rhythmical!’, and that a dragging, mournful articulation is needed here, in contrast to the usual clipped and precise interpretation that we hear in several present-day recordings. According to Lachmund, Liszt expected the performance of rhythmic figures to vary depending on the mood of the music: ‘In quiet music the sixteenth-note should be played a little slower, and in lively time a bit later and faster than the

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exact value.’37 The more general comments on Fun´erailles are also relevant to other pieces. The opening LH ostinato is to be doubled in length, with the RH entering in a ‘when ready’ fashion (similar instructions are given for Un Sospiro, and no doubt apply to many other pieces which begin with a few bars of repeated accompaniment figuration). A more difficult recommendation to follow is the injunction that the bass of the later D ostinato section is to be played with clarity in every note. This is an especially frequent type of admonition in Liszt’s pupils’ memoirs (see, for example, comments on a performance of Tausig’s Ungarische Zigeunerweisen38 ), and recalls admiring critiques of the clarity of Liszt’s own playing (by Schumann, Hanslick and many others). Exactly how this clarity is to be achieved while also observing the long pedal markings is a problem raised by Brendel in the preface to the P¨adagogium reprint, and certainly a consistent solution is not possible here – even on Liszt’s instruments, either the pedal markings are altered, or clarity is replaced by an indistinct rumble in the bass.

Pedalling Indeed, exact adherence to Liszt’s pedal markings is sometimes not advisable or even possible, especially on today’s pianos (with the exception of the Tannh¨auser overture transcription, which, simply enough, leaves the use of the pedal to the discretion of the performer). It appears that Liszt used the una corda much more than is indicated in his scores (as is true for many other composers – see Czerny on Beethoven), and that in particular soft filigree passagework was usually played with the una corda depressed. For the Sonata, a dash of una corda for just a few bars is recommended in the P¨adagogium for the second group to give a distant, mystical tone-colour to an unexpected harmonisation. Liszt, however, did, advise against using the una corda to vary the sonority when playing forcefully (a common practice with Leschetitsky and his students, and many later pianists), because he believed it tended to throw the instrument out of tune (this was possibly a legacy from his upbringing on earlier nineteenth-century instruments). Liszt’s approach to pedal indications in his scores was inconsistent. In the G minor study of the Grandes Etudes (later titled Vision), he marks no pedal until nearly halfway through the piece, despite the fact that the first page is to be played with the left hand alone – quite impossible without constant pedal. When the pedal is actually indicated, at the climactic turn to G major, it seems to be there merely to underscore the increased volume required. A bar after that, specific pedal markings disappear. This is a piece deliberately written in Thalberg’s legato arpeggio style, and some pedal

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is required virtually throughout. Of course, there were differences in the pedal and damping mechanism of Liszt’s pianos in the 1830s compared to those of today (discussed above), but none of these would affect our general conclusions here. The paucity of indications in this study is all the more puzzling because other pieces in the set, such as the C minor, have a detailed range of pedal markings. Indeed, pedal is indicated in the C minor study even where we would not expect it. At Animato il tempo, the bar-by-bar pedal seems to contradict the instruction Sempre staccato e distintamente il bassi, which would be more easily achieved with no pedal at all. The implication is that Liszt, during the period of the Grandes Etudes at least, tended to indicate the use of the sustaining pedal only when the pedalling was not immediately obvious, or in order to underline a dramatic increase in volume. This would explain, for example, why the F minor study has no pedal marked at all, despite containing long passages of passionate legato melody over extended bass figuration. In the G minor study, the pedal markings at the climax might actually have been designed to prevent over-pedalling, by requesting a change at each new harmony, rather than to suddenly initiate the use of the pedal halfway through the piece. Liszt’s attitude appears to have been a Brahmsian ‘any ass can see you need pedal here’. Even during the Weimar period Liszt’s approach was inconsistent. All the pieces in Harmonies po´etiques et religieuses, published in 1853, contain extensive and detailed pedallings – except one. The Andante lagrimoso has pedal marked for only four bars – again, the climax of the piece – though all pianists would use pedal throughout this work at least as frequently as in the others of the set. Significantly, the marked pedal here extends the bass note much further than its written value to provide a warm cushion of sound for the melody above. Liszt must have feared that otherwise this type of passage might be played in a cold and dry manner. Similar inconsistency can be seen in the six Consolations (1850). The famous no. 3, in D, is heavily pedalled but the others not at all, though no. 6 requires nearly as much pedal, and the rest certainly some. Of the larger Weimar piano pieces, the First Ballade has no pedalling, as might be expected in a piece published the same year as the Tannh¨auser Overture. The Concert Solo (published 1851) has frequent pedalling, perhaps partly resulting from its genesis as a conservatoire competition piece. The Second Ballade (published 1854) begins as if the pedal markings are going to be as extensive as the Concert Solo, but they disappear after three pages. The opposite applies to the Scherzo and March (1854), where pedalling suddenly puts in an appearance on the very last page of a twenty-four page piece.

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The Sonata, not that unusually for a work published in 1854, also contains miserly pedal indications. From the late 1850s onwards Liszt, chastened by the experience of listening to ineptly pedalled performances of his music, took more care to indicate the basic requirements for each piece. Liszt’s markings for the una corda pedal are equally variable. Though he often indicated its use, he was chary in writing tre corde cancellation instructions, perhaps assuming that any decent pianist would use his judgement as to the right moment. In the Sonata, for example, the Una corda and Sempre una corda indications in the Andante sostenuto are Liszt’s own, but the Tre corde cancellation that we find in the New Liszt Edition at bar 363 is an editorial addition. Unquestionably the una corda will have to be abandoned somewhere around here, for the intense central section (a triple-forte climax) can hardly be given an adequate rendering with the una corda depressed. Perhaps after the climax the una corda should be retaken, certainly for the triple-piano passage a few bars later. The so-called ‘sostenuto’ pedal – at least in its present form – came on the scene too late in Liszt’s life for it to have been available to him for the vast majority of his works, but there exists a letter to Steinway praising the invention and suggesting its use in the D Consolation and the transcription of Berlioz’s ‘Dance of the Sylphs’ from The Damnation of Faust. There are a few other pieces where it can be used to good effect (the A bass pedal in the introduction to the first movement of the Symphonie Fantastique transcription, for example). Liszt was well aware that use of the pedals will vary in each separate performance according to the acoustics of the hall and the characteristics of the piano. It was probably this consideration that prompted him sometimes to abandon pedal markings in the first place. Accounts of his later playing and teaching show that his pedalling was subtle, sophisticated and occasionally at variance with his own published indications, although we would be unwise to reject the printed markings out of hand without first considering the effect intended. The long pedal markings in the exposition of the Dante Sonata, for example, produce a confused and dissonant sonority, and seem to be designed to do just that. The pianos Liszt played on in the last two decades of his life, however, would have required a different handling of the pedal from those he was familiar with before, and the printed markings are therefore best evaluated in relation to their date. The P¨adagogium contains many references to Liszt’s use of various types of half-pedal, described as ‘a momentary half-damping of the strings’,39 and tremolo pedal effects, none of which appears in his scores. We should not be surprised at this. As is true for most fine players, Liszt’s pedalling was too sophisticated in practice to be accommodated within the standard musical notation of the time.

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Tempi Liszt claimed he was not in favour of extreme tempi – except for Mendelssohn.40 The P¨adagogium gives several specific metronome marks for his works. Although typographical errors are frequent, we should be grateful that the marks are there at all. There are few things more frustrating than advice such as that in the G¨ollerich diaries (for Harmonies du Soir) – ‘not too slow’ – when we have no idea how slowly that is. As for the numerous misprinted P¨adagogium markings, they are luckily so extreme as to make it obvious that something is wrong. The marking crotchet = 96 for the central andante of the Sonata seems preposterously rushed until we remember that one of the P¨adagogium’s favourite misprints involves reversing the order of the numerals, and 69 does indeed feel much more comfortable here. In faster passages, however, Liszt often appeared to favour tempi that would be considered on the speedy side by modern standards. Minim = 80 for the allegro sections of the Sonata is certainly a fairly brisk tempo, and when a student played the Transcendental Study ‘Eroica’ Liszt let the tempo be taken ‘much faster’ than G¨ollerich would have imagined.41 The reminiscences of Charles Halle, among others, suggests that, as a young man, Liszt’s tempi were sometimes very fast indeed, which contributed to his reputation for technical wizardry. The P¨adagogium tempi for R´eminiscences de ‘Robert le Diable’, however, do give us some pause for thought, for Liszt intended the long octave section in the middle to be played at a moderate tempo (crotchet = 116, no faster than in the ballet at this point!), rather than the sprint it has hitherto become. Liszt claimed that this section constituted ‘the point of rest’ in the fantasy, and criticised Anton Rubinstein for his excessive speed here. Interestingly, another piece that has today become a test of rapidity – Feux Follets – was also described as requiring a ‘sehr bequem’ tempo.42

Other technical aspects William Mason reported that Liszt felt that he himself was not a good technical model to follow. Despite his studies with Czerny, Liszt believed that his early training had been mostly haphazard, and that he reached his goals mainly ‘by force of will’ – a path that he did not recommend to his students in the 1850s, because, as he told them honestly, if perhaps too frankly: ‘you lack my personality’.43 Those students who came to Liszt’s 1880s classes certainly did not hear him at his technical best, for old age and ill-health had by that time taken their toll. According to Brahms and Remenyi, the playing of Liszt in his prime was quite incomparable, and even as late as his Vienna concerts of the 1870s Hanslick was amazed that he had retained

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such a complete technical command. Friedheim recalled that in Liszt’s final years, although his technique was still impressive, it was not unsurpassed. Godowsky, he claimed, had finer octaves, and Rosenthal was more adept in the handling of complex passage-work. He did concede that he had never since heard anyone build up an orchestral climax on the keyboard as Liszt did, and it is not surprising that most of the technical advice in the P¨adagogium and elsewhere concerns the manipulation of piano sonorities, rather than the achievement of accuracy or speed. According to Lamond, the aged Liszt responded to one pupil’s technical display (in Chopin’s Polonaise, op. 53) with the scathing ‘Do you think I care how fast you can play octaves?’ Rather unfair, perhaps, as he undoubtedly would have cared fifty years earlier (witness his reaction to Thalberg’s successes in the mid-1830s), and the three volumes of exercises composed in the late 1870s show that Liszt had a more than casual interest in the codification of technical difficulties. Technical comments in the P¨adagogium and other sources include several remarks on the way one should hold the hand in certain passages (when playing a melody using both thumbs, the wrists should be held higher than normal44 ), and advice towards the achieving of certain sonorous effects akin to tone-clusters in the Grande Solo de Concert and R´eminiscences de ‘Robert le Diable’. In the opening of Robert, and the ‘funeral march’ section of the Concert Solo, the player is directed to hold on to each note of (and pedal through) the chromatic runs in the bass, creating a threatening, tenebrous fog of sound in the lower register of the keyboard that is hardly implied by the notation, and contrary to the clean modern manner of playing these passages (when they are played at all). For Un sospiro Liszt made some recommendations on the dividing of octave passages between the hands, and similar advice appears in the G¨ollerich diaries for the opening of the fantasy on Rigoletto,45 which could no doubt be considered to apply in many other pieces, like the central climax of Waldesrauschen. As much visual as aural in nature is the comment in Lachmund’s diaries that when playing the opening of the B minor Ballade, Liszt lifted his right hand up in the air up to a foot above the keyboard before striking each note, while at the same time sitting upright and looking straight ahead, saying, ‘One should not play for the people who sit in the front row – they are usually ‘dead-heads’, but play for those up in the gallery that pay ten pfennigs for their tickets; they should not only hear, but they should see.’46 It must have been quite a sight.

Conclusion What is the main point that we can take away from an overview of the P¨adagogium and related material? Liszt was obviously very concerned with

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what he described in the preface to his Symphonic Poems as a ‘Periodischer Vortrag’, in other words the maintenance of a long musical ‘line’ in performance, by, among other things, carefully regulating the weight of accents within and between bars. The numerous rhetorical pauses (not to be considered a sign of ‘creative poverty’ according to Ramann) were not to be allowed to break up the flow – rather the music was to ‘carry on through the silence’. The exact speed of a performance was of much less importance than this fluidity. This is one of the most striking disjunctions with modern practice, where a heavy, ‘sempre tenuto’ style of playing is of frequent occurrence. It is illustrative to compare Moriz Rosenthal’s recording of Liszt’s Chopin song transcription My Joys with some modern performances. Rosenthal’s limpid and plastic delineation of the melody is evidently inspired by the desire to ‘sing’ on the piano in the same way as Liszt seems to have taught his pupils in lessons on the B´en´ediction de Dieu and other pieces. The speed is not particularly fast, but the music moves fluently forward unhindered by too frequent stresses on single notes, or the desire to impose a weighty profundity often indistinguishable from boredom. The same points can be illustrated in the recordings of other Liszt pupils, in particular Emil von Sauer’s beautifully pellucid performance of Ricordanza. Problems with the early recording process, which allowed only a little more than four minutes of music to be recorded continuously, meant that few long works were set down in the early decades of the twentieth century. We do have a profusion of shorter pieces recorded by Liszt students and a performance of the two concerti by Emil von Sauer, with the orchestra conducted by Felix Weingartner, another Liszt student. Friedheim was famously unhappy with his recordings, and they are unlikely to show him at his best, yet his rigorously unsentimental, even ‘modern’, performance of the first movement of the ‘Moonlight’ Sonata contrasts vividly with the Romantic soulfulness typified by Paderewski, and perhaps reflects something of Liszt’s later approach to Beethoven.47 Liszt once parodied what he regarded as Rubinstein’s wayward tempo changes in this Sonata. According to Siloti, his own interpretation was understated, but unforgettable. No one listening to these early recordings can fail to note some striking differences from performances of today, especially in the frequent use of various types of chordal arpeggiation and non-synchronisation between bass and treble not indicated in the score. This is also a prominent feature, for example, of Cortot’s recording of the Liszt Sonata from the 1920s. Although the Liszt pupils used these techniques less pervasively than Paderewski, who represents the ne plus ultra in this regard, they were still common in their playing and were an accepted part of pianism. It is unlikely, to say the least, that this fondness for asynchronicity, with its consequent subtle web of rubato and layered-voicings, arose first with this generation of pianists.

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Brahms, apparently, spread almost every chord in lyrical passages. Liszt probably played in a similar, if not identical fashion, to his pupils in this respect, for the modern taste for uniform chordal attack is a product of the recording era, and perhaps also a sign of the influence of Busoni, whose aim in piano performance was often to achieve an organ-like sonority. The imaginative Romantic attitude to arpeggiation and rubato is as much a part of Liszt performance style as the appropriate treatment of ornamentation is in Mozart. It is to be hoped that the transfer of so many historic recordings onto CD will promote a re-examination of this and other aspects of Romantic pianism by the present generation of performers.

9 Liszt’s Lieder monika hennemann

Liszt’s Lieder have long been, in their original format, among the most neglected areas of his achievement, yet many attracted critical admiration from their first appearance, and several of the piano transcriptions derived from them are among his best-known pieces. After an overview of Liszt’s more than eighty songs (over 120 if revisions are included), this chapter will briefly address this paradox, the most extreme example of which is the setting for voice and piano of Freiligrath’s ‘O lieb, so lang du lieben kannst’, which is relatively unknown in the original, although the composer’s own solo arrangement, incarnated for piano as the third of Liebestr¨aume – Drei Notturnos – is almost tiresomely popular. This general trend in the reception of Liszt’s songs and song transcriptions established itself during his lifetime and continued throughout the twentieth century. When Michael Saffle first came to compile his Garland Guide to Liszt Research in 1991, it was selfevident to him that ‘no comparable portion of Liszt’s output has received less attention from scholars than his songs and recitations for solo voice’.1 This echoed at a distance of more than a hundred years Francis Hueffer’s entry on Liszt for the first edition of Sir George Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, which appeared before the composer’s death. Writing at a point when the Liebestr¨aume piano transcriptions and to a slightly lesser extent those of the three Petrarch Sonnets were already well-known works, Hueffer deplored the fact that the songs had been ‘not hitherto sufficiently appreciated by Liszt’s critics’. Attempting to correct this somewhat, he offered the following encomium:


It is here perhaps that his intensity of feeling, embodied in melody pure and simple, finds its most perfect expression. Such settings as those of Heine’s ‘Du bist wie eine Blume,’ or Redwitz’s ‘Es muss ein Wunderbares sein’ are conceived in the true spirit of the Volkslied. At other times a greater liberty in the rhythmical phrasing of the music is warranted by the poem itself, as, ¨ for instance, in Goethe’s night-song ‘Uber allen Gipfeln ist Ruh,’ the heavenly calm of which Liszt has rendered by his wonderful harmonies in a manner which alone would secure him a place amongst the great masters of German song. Particularly the modulation from G major back into the original E major at the close of the piece is of surprising beauty . . . Victor Hugo’s ‘Comment, disaient-ils’ is one of the most graceful songs among Liszt’s works, and in musical literature generally.2

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Hueffer moderated his enthusiasm, however, with a few words of criticism: ‘Less happy is the dramatic way in which such ballads as Heine’s “Loreley” and Goethe’s “K¨onig in Thule” are treated. Here the melody is sacrificed to the declamatory element, and that declamation, especially in the last-named song, is not always faultless.’3 Although complaints about aspects of Liszt’s musical declamation persist to this day, it is these two more complex Lieder that are now among the most praised and performed, ironically owing in part to the aspect that Hueffer disliked – their more extrovert, operatic quality that allows the singer to dramatise a variety of moods and emotions in the confines of one song. To those of Liszt’s contemporaries who believed that an essential feature of the Lied was simplicity (and this was an influential school of thought from the days of Goethe and Zelter onwards), his more ambitious settings undermined the very nature of the genre, a stance predictably taken by the doyen of Viennese critics, Eduard Hanslick, who found words of praise for only one of Liszt’s songs, ‘Es muss ein Wunderbares sein’, on the grounds that it was ‘the simplest, and for that reason the best’.4 As he got older, Liszt himself swayed towards this view. When the young Felix Mottl visited him in 1879 to show him his own Lieder, Liszt found them over-complex. He advised: Songs should have a simple accompaniment and avoid any unnecessary modulation. Wagner has modulated only when compelled to do so by poetic or musical necessity. And as far as my own modest songs are concerned, they have very simple accompaniments; Es muss ein Wunderbares sein, for example. That, my dear young friend, is something you should mark well!5

There was one other reason, unmentioned but compelling, that this particular song should have been so appropriately simple: it was written between dinner and a soir´ee a few hours later at the request of a Prussian Princess, and finished by 9 o’clock that evening.6 As opposed to contemporary evaluations including that of the mature composer, modern critics have found much to admire in Liszt’s protean response to the poetry in his more ambitious Lieder, and it is obvious from the works themselves that simplicity was not a primary aim of the Liszt of the late 1830s and 1840s, whatever he later came to believe. George Steiner, in a comparison of settings of ‘Es war ein K¨onig in Thule’ by Zelter, Schumann, Berlioz, Gounod and Liszt, considered Liszt’s complex handling of the text ‘far more acute’ than Schumann’s, and called it ‘a reading based on the ambiguity of the narrative, on the tensions between sensuality and death, between fidelity and waste that organize Goethe’s treatment and which dramatize Margarethe’s unconscious state’.7 He concluded that Liszt’s setting was the most sensitive of all five to Goethe’s poetic intentions: ‘It takes

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liberties, it overdramatizes, but it is attentive to the discipline and secrecy of Goethe’s purpose.’8

Language and text Differing critical reactions to Liszt’s Lieder are not surprising given their variety and stylistic range. Despite his prodigious early start as both pianist and composer, Liszt did not publish any songs until 1843. He appears to have composed several (lost) works in the genre by 1825, when he was still in his teens, and the score of the opera Don Sanche (written that same year in collaboration with his composition teacher Paer) shows that he could by that time write fluently, if hardly profoundly, for the voice. For most of the 1830s, although a profusion of masterly Schubert song transcriptions flowed from his pen, Liszt showed no interest in composing his own Lieder – although it cannot be denied that he must have been silently absorbing a great deal from the Romantic godfather of the genre. His first surviving song, Bocelli’s ‘Angiolin dal biondo crin’, was not written until 1839, prompted by admiration of the golden locks of his daughter Blandine, who did indeed seem like a little angel to her proud father. Similar personal reasons also stimulated the composition, by 1841, of the nostalgic ‘Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth’ (Liszt spent several summers there with his family) and, soon after, of ‘Die Loreley’, dedicated to Blandine’s (equally blonde) mother Marie d’Agoult. No doubt ‘sie k¨ammt ihr goldnes Haar’ had particular resonance at the time. Ironically, in 1860, long after his final separation from d’Agoult, Liszt prepared a revised orchestral version of ‘Loreley’ for the singer Emilie Genast, by whom he was – much to the chagrin of his then ‘official’ mistress Princess von Sayn-Wittgenstein – more than just musically enchanted. Completing the list of these early settings around 1840 are the winsome ‘Il m’aimait tant’ (to a poem of Delphine Gay) and a pianistically effusive version of Heine’s ‘Im Rhein’ (or rather versions, as the piano part is presented in two very different arrangements – one as an ‘ossia’ under the other). ‘Mignons Lied’ (Kennst du das Land?) and ‘Der du von dem Himmel bist’ initiated a steady production of songs from 1842 onwards, which only came to a firm end at the close of 1860. Liszt’s interest in the transcription of other composers’ Lieder persisted (in 1840, for example, he published arrangements of seven songs by Mendelssohn), but gradually took second place to his original works. By December of 1859 he was satisfied enough with his output to contemplate publishing a Gesammelte Lieder, wryly noting that two specimens had been encored in salons not well disposed towards him – but only because they had been announced as ‘posthumous songs of Schubert’.9 In the 1860s Liszt turned his attention

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mostly to religious music, and it was not until 1871 that he resumed Lieder composition with Coronini’s ‘Die Fischerstochter’. In the final fifteen years of his life he gave only sporadic attention to the genre, but just before his death remembered his 1844 setting of Uhland’s ‘Die V¨atergruft’, a poem about an aged warrior returning to the tomb of his ancestors to die, and arranged it for voice and orchestra. It was the last composition he completed – an appropriate farewell. Liszt was fluent in both German (his native tongue) and French (which he learned in his teens and soon came to prefer), reading widely through the Romantic literature of these languages while choosing poetry for his songs. Ironically, most of the faults of declamation for which he has been criticised involve settings of German texts (even taking into account the large number of songs in this language), for example an ungainly emphasis on ‘du’ in the first two versions (1842 and 1854) of ‘Mignons Lied’ (‘Kennst du das Land’), corrected in the final revision of 1860. Although by the 1850s Liszt was living in the German-speaking environment of Weimar, he was still surprisingly capable of basic errors of accentuation – most notoriously in his initial attempt at setting the ‘Chorus Mysticus’ for the Faust Symphony: it was his pupil Hans von B¨ulow who generously pointed out to him that ‘Das ewig Weibliche’ was not the most natural way to stress Goethe’s famous line. Although these, and other solecisms, were corrected in revisions, they do seem to indicate that for much of his life Liszt was indeed more comfortable with French, despite his birth in a predominantly German-speaking part of Hungary to a German-speaking (albeit in a strong Austrian dialect) mother. Liszt never learned Hungarian as a child, and a later patriotically inspired attempt to become more closely acquainted with the language met with frustration and little success. It therefore hardly features in his song settings, although he composed ‘Isten veled’ (‘Farewell’) by Horvath around 1846–7, as well as two national songs, ‘A magyarok Istene’ (‘Hungary’s God’) and ‘Magyar Kiraly-dal’ (‘Hungarian Royal Song’) towards the end of his life. After his extensive European travels with Marie d’Agoult, Liszt had a basic grasp of Italian, but he was far from fluent and relied on the help of Princess Cristina Belgiojoso when close familiarity was required, such as with his Sardanapale opera project. Of his songs, only ‘Angiolin’, Princess Ther`ese von Hohenlohe’s ‘La Perla’ and the Tre Sonetti di Petrarca are settings of Italian poems. Two curiosities among his Lieder remain, one in Russian and one in English. Although he gave concerts in the country twice in the 1840s, Liszt spoke no Russian. His only treatment of a Russian text, Tolstoy’s ‘Ne brani menya, moy drug’(‘Do not reproach me, my friend’), dates from the final year of his life, by which time he had been visited in Weimar once by Cui and several times by Borodin, resulting in a bond of mutual

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admiration with the ‘mighty handful’ of Russian composers. Liszt had no such personal incentive to compose ‘Go not, happy day’, his only song in English, commissioned for inclusion in an album of Tennyson settings by various composers. He had little acquaintance with English, and what he did know of it, he disliked. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he was not over-impressed with his own attempts to respond to the poem, dismissing the resulting song as ‘d¨urftig’ (‘scanty’). Most of Liszt’s songs were set to German texts. Goethe and Heine feature most frequently; they also provided poems for some of his most successful ¨ Lieder, such as the meditative ‘Uber allen Gipfeln ist Ruh’ and the violently embittered ‘Vergiftet sind meine Lieder’, in addition to others already mentioned above. He also set poems by Schiller (Drei Lieder aus ‘Wilhelm Tell’), the Romantic poets Ludwig Rellstab (‘Nimm einen Strahl der Sonne’, ‘Wo weilt er’ and ‘Es rauschen die Winde’), Friedrich R¨uckert (‘Ich liebe dich’), Nikolaus Lenau (‘Die drei Zigeuner’), Emanuel Geibel (‘Die stille Wasserrose’), Hoffmann von Fallersleben (‘Ich scheide’, ‘Wie singt die Lerche sch¨on’, ‘Lasst mich ruhen’ and ‘In Liebeslust’), and Ferdinand Freiligrath (‘O lieb, so lang du lieben kannst’, ‘Und wir dachten der Toten’), as well as a host of more minor figures. Prominent among his thirteen French songs are the settings of Victor Hugo (‘Oh! quand je dors’, ‘Comment, disaient-ils’, ‘Quand tu chantes, berc´ee’, ‘Enfant, si j’´etais roi’, ‘S’il est un charmant gazon’, ‘La tombe et la rose’, and ‘Gastibelza’), followed at a good distance by lyrics ˆ of Alexandre Dumas (‘Jeanne d’Arc au bucher’) and Alfred de Musset (‘J’ai perdu ma force et ma vie’).

Musical features Space does not permit us to discuss individual musical aspects of more than a few of Liszt’s Lieder here, but some examples should give an idea of the range of his achievement. Many of his earliest songs are among his most complex in conception, and the wide-ranging ambition of settings such as ‘Loreley’ or ‘Es war ein K¨onig in Thule’ is evident even in their judiciously pared-down revisions. Liszt at his simplest, however, was a melodist of disarming charm, as can be seen in the Romance ‘Oh pourquoi donc’ of 1843, one of his rare songs in a strophic format. This slender work had a rather curious subsequent history. Towards the end of Liszt’s life a publisher requested permission to make an edition of the virtually forgotten piano transcription of the Romance that the composer had arranged in 1848. Liszt refused, and instead wrote an elegiac new piece entitled ‘Romance oubli´ee’ (1880) based upon the same material, but reworked in the nostalgic,

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even wilful, manner characteristic of his late style. Little was left of the song’s haunting, but relatively conventional, melody in E minor, originally repeated unchanged for each of the four stanzas, a procedure facilitated by the convenient reiteration of ‘Et par le rire de la terre/ N’insultez pas aux pleurs du ciel’ at the end of every verse. This provoked one of Liszt’s characteristic chains of third-related harmonies, the second inversion B major chord at ‘rire’ briefly darkening to G minor for ‘n’insultez pas’, then brightening to E major at ‘ciel’ before the song ends in a forlorn tonic minor. The piano accompaniment is of the simplest type, the vocal line apt and adroitly moulded. Liszt is here at his most unpretentious, but completely successful within his restricted aims. At the other end of the scale of ambition is the second version of ‘Loreley’, one of Liszt’s most touching and sophisticated creations. As with ‘Oh pourquoi donc’, some of the most striking effects come from mediant harmonies, but here worked out on a structural scale. In fact, the song is an early example of ‘progressive tonality’, beginning in E minor, stating the main theme in E major, but recapitulating it and closing in G major. Certain aspects of the structure – though not the tonality – nevertheless conform to a modified sonata archetype, with an easily identifiable introduction, main theme (‘Die Luft ist k¨uhl’), second group (‘Die sch¨onste Jungfrau sitzet’, extended by a further eight bars in the French version of the song Liszt made in the 1880s), development section (the shipwreck, ‘Den Schiffer im kleinen Schiffe’, based on fragmented material from the introduction) and recapitulation (‘Und das hat mit ihrem Singen’). There is, admittedly, merely a partial recapitulation of the second group (only the music at ‘sie k¨ammt ihr goldnes Haar’, also foreshadowed in the introduction, returns at the end of the song), which opened radically in B major. The lowered-mediant recapitulation of the first theme (glancing only briefly and subtly at the initial tonic of E major) and eventual ending in that key is highly unusual, but these modifications of tonal expectations have an evident narrative function. The description of the irresistible, unearthly beauty of the Loreley is set in a key as distant from the opening tonic as possible, and the recapitulation of the main melody a minor third higher in G major is an intensification as much as a repeat, appropriately drawing the music slightly nearer the bewitching Loreley’s own tonal area. After the shipwreck and the sailor’s death the emotional landscape has been transformed (‘Und das hat mit ihrem Singen die Loreley getan’), a change reflected in the tonality. At the close of the fairy-tale there is an almost child-like atmosphere of wonder, rather than tragedy, mirrored in the transfigured harmonies that accompany the singer (magically scored in the orchestral version), which like the introduction seem to have had their effect on the composer of Tristan und Isolde.

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The keyboard part of ‘Loreley’ is virtuosic in its variety of colours and textures, but not particularly taxing in comparison with some of Liszt’s more extreme challenges in the genre (for example the first version of ‘Enfant, si j’´etais roi’). The vivid illustration of the shipwreck is typical of his use of the piano for dramatic word-painting, which reaches its apogee in the bravura cimbalom effects of ‘Die drei Zigeuner’, but can be found throughout his output, whether describing a goblet being cast into the sea (‘Es war ein K¨onig in Thule’), a nightingale (‘Die tote Nachtigall’) or the calling of ancestral spirits (‘Die V¨atergruft’). Liszt’s fondness for pianistic scene-setting in ‘Im Rhein’ can be directly compared with Schumann’s treatment of the same lyric (in Dichterliebe). Schumann’s majestic lapidary accompaniment continues unvaried throughout the Lied, but does not seem particularly intended to be descriptive of the river. Liszt, in the first version of his song, produces a cinematic accompaniment where the rolling of the river impinges upon the listener’s attention even when the poet’s gaze is distracted elsewhere. In the second version the river music (now somewhat subdued) is brought to a sudden, even histrionic, halt as the singer ecstatically contemplates the picture of the Madonna that reminds him of his beloved. For Liszt this contemplation is happily uncomplicated, for Schumann it brings forth mixed emotions perhaps more in keeping with the irony of Heine’s lyric. In any case, Schumann’s concentration on the emotional import of the words is in stark contrast to Liszt’s bravura emphasis on the pictorial background. Liszt’s response to poetry did, however, frequently transcend superficial tone painting to produce music of genuine depth and perception, sometimes in conjunction with elaborately sophisticated harmony that vividly conveys the emotions inherent in a lyric. Particularly powerful examples are his settings of Heine’s ‘Vergiftet sind meine Lieder’ (1844, revised 1860) where a grating, dissonant harmonic language strewn with augmented triads harshly empathises with the poet’s vindictive mood, or of Georg Herwegh’s ‘Ich m¨ochte hingehn’, where the music’s almost painfully extended suspensions tell of the morbid dissatisfaction and death-longing in the poet’s soul. Liszt identified particularly strongly with the latter song, describing it as his ‘testament of youth’,10 and his harmonic radicalism is naturally most often associated with embittered lyrics such as this, or with the bleak despair of songs such as Freiligrath’s ‘Und wir dachten der Toten’, only twenty-three bars long, but of a macabre intensity that strikes the listener with unforgettable force. Of happier demeanour, but of equal harmonic daring, are ‘Wie singt die Lerche sch¨on’ with its lilting arpeggiated ninth-chords and ‘Ihr Glocken von Marling’, in which gently struck sevenths and ninths charmingly imitate the delicate tintinnabulations of the eponymous bells. Despite the occasional criticism over misplaced word-stress or overcomplicated accompaniments, the best of Liszt’s Lieder are both admirable

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and moving. When a poem completely captured his imagination, he was capable of producing such masterpieces as his revised settings of Hugo’s ‘Oh! ¨ quand je dors’ and Goethe’s ‘Uber allen Gipfeln ist Ruh’. The first captivates on the strength of its truly outstanding melody – suave yet expressive – and tasteful touches of harmonic colour, such as the unexpected mediant harmony on the singer’s very last note, held for nearly four bars over a ¨ gentle resolution in the piano. ‘Uber allen Gipfeln ist Ruh’ similarly maintains constant control to match almost miraculously the meditative stillness of Goethe’s world-famous lyric. Subtle exploitation of vocal register (at ‘schweigen im Walde’, or the final ‘balde ruhest du auch’) and a perfectly judged accompaniment, which supports the melody in a sophisticated but faultlessly unobtrusive manner, achieve an intensification of the poem while maintaining the introspection at its core. Had Liszt published no other songs apart from these, he would still have to be ranked among the very finest creators of Romantic Lieder.

Revisions The vast majority of Liszt’s songs from 1839 to 1847 were radically revised during his Weimar period, by which time he had come to believe that they were ‘mostly too ultra-sentimental, and frequently too full in the accompaniment’.11 ‘Loreley’, for example, was composed for voice and piano in 1841, arranged for piano solo in 1844, and subsequently revised for voice and piano in 1856. A version for voice and orchestra was made in 1860, and a reworked piano solo arrangement appeared in 1861. Even after all this he could not leave the piece alone and added eight more bars for a French version of the song published in 1883. Liszt’s dissatisfaction with his earlier music was certainly not confined to his Lieder, but he cast a particularly censorious eye over many of them, excising what he had come to regard as pointless repetition, simplifying the piano parts and correcting errors in declamation. Sometimes, as with ‘Du bist wie eine Blume’ (original version 1842, revision 1859), Liszt’s slimmed-down second thoughts left the basic concept and much of the detail of the original song intact, but in the more radical cases, such as ‘Schwebe, schwebe, blaues Auge’ (original version 1845, revised 1860), or ‘Der du von dem Himmel bist’ (original version 1842, first revision 1856, second revision 1860, and yet another fragmentary version published posthumously in 1918, but probably dating sometime between 1856 and 1860), the later versions are so different from the first as virtually to constitute new songs in their own right. Despite the pains Liszt took to refine his musical conception in many of the Lieder, his revisions are not uniformly successful. Although his

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compositional technique undoubtedly gained in sophistication and subtlety during his Weimar years, he occasionally pruned his youthful excesses somewhat too ruthlessly, and some early versions have retained a more vivid appeal. Moreover, the revision of certain songs seems inevitably to have been prompted as much by differences in musical taste between the younger and the older Liszt as by a desire to correct obvious compositional faults. After finishing the first version of the Petrarch Sonnets, for example, Liszt expressed special pride in them in a letter to Marie d’Agoult a little before their appearance in 1846: Among my forthcoming publications, if you have time to pay any attention to them, you will be able (after dinner) to look at three Petrarch Sonnets (Benedetto, etc . . . Pace non trovo . . . and I’vidi in terra) for voice, and also very free transcriptions of them for piano, in the style of nocturnes! I regard them as having turned out singularly well, and more finished in form than any of the things I have published.12

This did not prevent him, after only a few years, from becoming dissatisfied with the piano transcriptions and from substantially revising them ` for inclusion in the Italian volume of Ann´ees de pelerinage. Decades later, in 1883, he published a drastically altered version of the songs themselves, which had long ceased to please the more ascetic tastes of their now aged composer. Writing to his friend Giuseppe Ferrazzi in 1880, he seemed to find the revised songs not only superior to their earlier form, but almost too delicate to set before the public: As for my 3 Petrarch Sonnets . . . piano transcriptions of them were brought out long ago by Schott (Mainz); but I hesitate to publish the second original version (much modified and refined) for voice, for to express the feeling that I tried to breathe into the musical notation of these Sonnets would call for some poetic singer, enamoured of an ideal of love . . . rarae aves in terris.13

Liszt’s fear of misunderstanding here was well founded. The bare musical notation, almost skeletal in comparison to the ornate profusion of the original version, hardly seems to express the intensity of feeling felt by the composer, despite some finer points of declamation. Few have preferred the etiolated 1883 edition of the Sonnets to their passionate and exuberant originals. A similar, if less stark, situation exists with Drei Lieder aus Schillers ‘Wilhelm Tell’ (the version for piano and voice first written around 1845, then appearing in a revised version in 1859), namely ‘Der Fischerknabe’, ‘Der Hirt’, and ‘Der Alpenj¨ager’. The first edition is the nearest Liszt got to composing a song cycle. Well-contrasted in mood and texture, the

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songs are directed to be performed without a break, and the third closes with the recall of a melody from the first. The accompaniment is among the most ambitious and taxing of Liszt’s Lieder, particularly in the final number where a storm rages in the piano part with a virtuosity closely related to ` ‘Orage’ from the Swiss Ann´ee de pelerinage. Although the songs still followed each other without a pause in the revision, the work was severely cut, the thematic reminiscence at the end of the third song omitted, and the accompaniment slimmed-down almost to the point of emaciation. The waves in ‘Der Fischerknabe’ no longer surge luxuriantly, but rather lap placidly, and the storm in ‘Der Alpenj¨ager’ seems more suitable for a teacup than the Alps. Liszt identified unerringly the faults of the original – it is indeed rather prolix and over-flamboyant – and his revision certainly displays greater concision and economy of means, featuring several fascinating harmonic turns absent from the first version. The cost, nevertheless, seems excessive. For many of the other songs revised by Liszt during his Weimar years, recomposition did indeed bring a maturity and refinement missing from the original version. Few would regret, for example, the trimming down of the hyperbolic accompaniment to the 1844 ‘Enfant, si j’´etais roi’ and the generally less histrionic approach to text setting, which not only allows the singer more freedom of expression here, but also emphasises the fundamental strength of Liszt’s harmonic imagination. Similar comments might be made about the reworkings of ‘Es war ein K¨onig in Thule’ and ‘Loreley’. The new opening of the revision of the latter, with its striking adumbration of the prelude to Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, usually receives the lion’s share of attention in any discussion, but equally important is the alteration of the metre of the main melody from a rather facile 68 to a much more plastic and sophisticated 98 – a masterstroke that shows just how much Liszt’s basic compositional technique had developed between 1844 and 1856. One other category of revision, mentioned earlier as most drastically exemplified by ‘Der du von dem Himmel bist’, deserves consideration now: that in which the recomposition is so radical that the revisions can best be considered as a new setting of the text. The 1842 version of this song, entitled ‘Invocation’ in the original publication if not in some modern editions, is gifted with a profoundly beautiful main melody – one of Liszt’s great Romantic tunes – but otherwise shows the composer at his most rambling and over-effusive. After a musing, improvisatory opening, text-repetition begins with the fourth line of the poem, and soon reaches almost ludicrously exaggerated levels as the singer asks, ‘Was soll all der Schmerz und Lust?’ not just once, but four times with ever increasing hysteria, like some crazed professor at an oral exam in metaphysics. Having harped on this point so

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melodramatically, Liszt is then forced for reasons of balance to go to even greater lengths in emphasising ‘S¨usser Friede, komm, ach komm in meine Brust’, a request made six times, sometimes quietly, sometimes cajolingly, sometimes self-defeatingly fervently, before the singer has exhausted all obvious styles of delivery, and the piano brings the proceedings to a belated close. Rarely did a song cry out for extensive pruning more than this one. The first revision, published in 1856 still under the title ‘Invocation’, at once presents a more temperate demeanour with the excision of two otiose bars from the end of the simplified piano introduction. The rather sentimental chromaticism in the vocal line at ‘Schmerzen stillest’ and ‘Erquickung f¨ullest’ is eliminated, although the nagging obsession with ‘Was soll all der Schmerz und Lust’ continues in a somewhat more lightly scored format. The beckoning of ‘S¨usser Friede’ is, however, treated less melodramatically, and the subsequent full-scale recapitulation of the main melody in the piano is omitted entirely (losing eight bars altogether) no doubt because this passage was the source of the most egregious examples of futile text-repetition, with the singer waffling on inconsequentially in the background while the pianist made the most of being centre-stage. In a subtle stroke, transformed fragments of the main theme now appear in a re-composed coda, producing a sophisticated symmetry evidently beyond the range of the original version. Liszt was still not entirely satisfied with this Lied. A manuscript page that probably dates from the late 1850s shows him beginning yet another, unfinished, attempt at further simplification. In the end he decided to cut the Gordian knot entirely by producing in 1860 what is virtually a new setting of the text. This could almost have been written by a different composer, so much more sensitive and economical is its treatment of the words, and so much wider its harmonic imagination. Probably in deference to its newfound sense of spiritual calm, this song was no longer called ‘Invocation’. A notably greater plasticity of phrasing is aided by the alteration of the time signature from 34 to 44 (cf. ‘Loreley’), and the re-composition of the main tune avoids the slightly over-facile melodic structure of the previous setting. This transfigured melody is one of the few points of contact with the earlier versions. Repetitious posturing has, however, vanished (‘S¨usser Friede’ is invoked only once), and a new, raptly meditative introduction and postlude for the piano are added. The vocal part is now written with sensitivity to tessitura that makes a striking effect in the final line, as the singer reaches into the lower octave in a moving prayer for inner peace. Were all Liszt’s revisions as perfectly focused as this, few singers would bother with the original versions.

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The piano transcriptions Relatively few of Liszt’s songs exist in more than one keyboard arrangement, which at least means that the solo pianist is not faced with the baffling plethora of revised versions encountered by singer and accompanist. Liszt made a solo arrangement of the original version of ‘Der du von dem Himmel bist’, for example, but not of the revisions. This is hardly surprising, as the more sophisticated treatment of the vocal tessitura in the final version would be largely lost in a transfer to the piano, and the contemplative nature of the music is much more closely tied to the meaning of the words than in the previous settings. Although most of the early songs from 1839–45 exist in solo piano arrangements (‘Vergiftet sind meine Lieder’ of 1842 was the first to remain untranscribed), the same is not true for their revisions, or for the songs composed later. Perhaps partly because during his Weimar years Liszt was anxious to alter the public perception of him as a composer wedded to the keyboard, he made revised editions only of the piano transcriptions of ‘Die Loreley’, ‘Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth’ and the Petrarch Sonnets, but left other arrangements unaltered, even after a new version of a song had been composed. Some transcriptions of early songs were published individually, like ‘Il m’aimait tant’ and ‘Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth’, others in 1844 in a collection of six which Liszt entitled Buch der Lieder f¨ur Klavier allein in an allusion to Heine’s well-known Buch der Lieder. This did not, however, feature only Heine settings, but included ‘Angiolin’, ‘Der du von dem Himmel bist’ and ‘Es war ein K¨onig in Thule’. A second Buch der Lieder f¨ur Klavier allein was composed slightly later, but remained unpublished until long after Liszt’s death. It consists entirely of Victor Hugo settings, namely ‘Enfant, si j’´etais roi’, ‘Oh! quand je dors’, ‘Comment, disaient-ils’, ‘S’il est un charmant gazon’, ‘La tombe et la rose’ and ‘Gastibelza’. Although Liszt was assiduous in including the words in the score of all of his song transcriptions, evaluated purely as piano music the arrangements achieve a varied degree of success. In the transcription of ‘Die Loreley’, for example, the motivation of some details of the turbulently illustrative ‘shipwreck’ music in the central section is rather difficult to bring across without the words, although the winsome beauty of the lilting main melody is as appealing on the keyboard as it is in the voice. The overall musical structure is perfectly comprehensible, if slightly impoverished, when separated from the poem. In one significant respect, however, Liszt’s transcriptions sometimes score over the original songs: over-repetition of text or clumsy word-accentuation can hardly be a problem in a piano solo, with the result that listening to a transcription like that of the first version of ‘Der du von dem Himmel bist’ is arguably a more satisfying experience than listening to

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a singer emote through the often na¨ıve vocal part. Here a truly memorable melody can be enjoyed purely for itself in an imaginative and apt piano setting that exploits Liszt’s unsurpassed mastery of keyboard colour. A similar example is the celebrated third ‘Liebestraum’, which acquired vast popularity during Liszt’s lifetime and may well have been the last piece of his own that he heard played before his death.14 This is a transcription of his setting of Freiligrath’s poem ‘O lieb, so lang du lieben kannst’, a lyric that is either gently ironic or nauseously sentimental, depending on the reader’s interpretation. Liszt obviously considered it to be the former, and on one occasion directed a piano student to play the Liebestraum in ‘a fairly forward-moving tempo’, adding: ‘You must play that more like ‘O love, as long as you wish to love’; that’s how it usually is, and it usually doesn’t last very long. Therefore play it somewhat more frivolously!’15 Unfortunately, such an interpretation is easier to project in the solo piano version than in the song, where the famous melody, sung to Freiligrath’s superficially maudlin words, tends unavoidably to produce the sentimental effect Liszt warned against. The piano version is, moreover, musically more concise, with a surer climax that is not interrupted by the disappointingly banal recitative passages at ‘Und h¨ute deine Zunge wohl. Bald ist ein b¨oses Wort gesagt.’ Posterity is, in this case, surely right to have preferred the ‘song without words’ to the song, the boundless ‘dream of love’ to the severely time-limited ‘love as long as you can’. Many of Liszt’s Lieder remained on the periphery of the central repertoire for a number of reasons, but most prominently for the dramatic qualities that cause some of them to hover indecisively between salon, concert hall and stage – anything but the drawing-room setting of their early-nineteenthcentury counterparts. Despite the composer’s extolling of simplicity in the genre, such a quality did not come easily to him, and was often only achieved after extensive second (or even third) thoughts. In this respect the shadow of the mature opera that Liszt was never to complete fell over some of his finest songs, and the general style of the Petrarch Sonnets, for example, or even of his setting of ‘Mignons Lied’, bears a close relation to the sketches for Sardanapale that he placed such hopes upon before he ceded the operatic realm to his friend Wagner. Such concerns seem to have informed the performance of his songs, too, and a witness to a rendition in 1870 of ‘Mignons Lied’ with Liszt at the piano described ‘the song under his hands becoming a complete drama’.16 It is no surprise that this is one of the songs Liszt himself arranged for voice and orchestra, along with ‘Die Loreley’, Drei Lieder aus Schillers ‘Wilhelm Tell’, ‘Die Drei Zigeuner’, ‘Jeanne d’Arc’ and ‘Die V¨atergruft’. With an orchestral arrangement, the intimacy that some have believed is at the heart of the Lied is necessarily gone, and Liszt, with Berlioz, was one of the first proponents of what was to become a new orchestral

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genre, even arranging seven of the most famous Lieder of Schubert (such as ‘Erlk¨onig’) out of the parlour and into the concert hall. It is tempting to see in this expansion of the genre’s range similarities with Liszt’s ambitions to unite religion with the theatre in his choral music (or, as Hanslick put it, ‘to bring the Venusberg into the church’17 ) and the obverse side of reducing his songs to the compass of two hands at one keyboard in a piano transcription. With both these strategies Liszt may have taken the Lied beyond its original confines, but in doing so he won it new audiences in new venues, and laid the basis for the inspired flourishing of orchestral song among the late Romantics.

10 Liszt’s symphonic poems and symphonies re eve s s h u l s ta d

When I look back upon your activity in these last years, you appear superhuman to me; there is something very strange about this. However, it is very natural that creating is our only joy, and alone makes life bearable to us. We are what we are only while we create; all the other functions of life have no meaning for us, and are at the bottom concessions to the vulgarity of ordinary human existence, which can give us no satisfaction. ( richard wagner to liszt, 7 june 1855)1

During his tenure at the court of Weimar, Franz Liszt focused much of his creative energy towards composing orchestral music, primarily his symphonic poems and symphonies. Liszt received the title of Court Kapellmeister Extraordinary on 2 November 18422 and eventually moved to Weimar in 1848 with Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. As Detlef Altenburg outlines in his article ‘Franz Liszt and the Legacy of the Classical Era’, Liszt and Grand Duke Carl Alexander viewed Liszt’s appointment as in artistic succession to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1775–1832) rather than the previous most celebrated Kapellmeister, Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1819–37).3 In this spirit, Liszt organised several festivals celebrating German artists in Weimar, beginning with the Goethe Festival in August 1849. Many of Liszt’s symphonic poems, symphonies and other orchestral works are products of his aim to revive the ‘Weimar spirit’. Even the works that are not directly connected to a Weimar figure are still part of his desire to reignite the creativity associated with the Goethezeit. In addition, Liszt considered his orchestral compositions to be a continuation of Beethoven’s achievement. According to a view strongly held by Liszt and Wagner, the symphony – with the exception of Berlioz – had become stagnant after Beethoven. Liszt saw it as his mission to take orchestral composition further along the path initiated by the great symphonist.

Symphonic poems


The twelve symphonic poems composed during Liszt’s Weimar years were published between 1856 and 1861 and all are dedicated to Liszt’s partner, Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. Like its predecessor the concert overture, each symphonic poem is a one-movement piece with a programmatic title and most have a preface.4 In fact, there was originally no difference at all between the concert overture and what came to be referred to as the

207 Liszt’s symphonic poems and symphonies Example 10.1 Tasso, bars 1–7

Lento Ob. and Cl. Motive 1

Vc. and Cb. 3





Motive 2

molto dim.

‘symphonic poem’, and several of the earlier pieces were titled ‘overture’ on their first performance. The literary, philosophical, and historical background of each work’s topic character or subject provides a lens through which to interpret each work; some connections, however, are more tenuous than others. Four of the symphonic poems, Tasso, Orpheus, Prometheus, and Mazeppa, sketch characters of creative genius, heroism and/or legend. In his preface to his symphonic poem Tasso, completed in 1854, Liszt stated that the first version of this piece had served as an overture for Goethe’s Torquato Tasso, which was performed during the Weimar Goethe Centenary Festival.5 In revising the piece into the ‘revolutionary’ genre of the symphonic poem, however, Liszt found Byron’s poem The Lament of Tasso (1817) to be much more directly inspiring than Goethe, because of the empathy Byron evoked for the ‘unfortunate poet’.6 In an analogy to the poem’s depiction of Tasso’s oscillation between extreme mental states, the two opening motives of the symphonic poem are presented in strikingly different settings in the first sixty-one bars of the piece. See Example 10.1. After the hesitant and ambiguous beginning, the two motives become strikingly terse and furious in the Allegro strepitoso section (bars 27–53), but soon motive 1 decelerates back to the halting character of the Lento section (bars 54–61). With the Adagio mesto section (bar 62), C minor is firmly established, beginning an exposition in sonata form.7 Liszt claims to have heard gondoliers in Venice singing the stark principal theme to the first lines of Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata: ‘Canto l’armi pietose e’l Capitano/Che’l gran Sepolcro libero` di Cristo!’ (I sing of the reverent armies and the captain who

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liberated Christ’s great sepulchre).8 Liszt had used this melody for the first time in the 1840 version of his piano piece Venezia e Napoli, marking the theme ‘Chant du Gondolier’. The Romantics regarded alienation as a prominent characteristic of the artistic genius, and self- and social alienation are certainly present in Byron’s Tasso. Perhaps a hint of this is also present in the formal and tonal plan of Liszt’s symphonic poem? The secondary theme of this piece is in the distant key of E major. The move to the major key of the raised third in a minor-key piece had strongly evoked a sense of distance and alienation in Schubert’s Heine Lieder of the Schwanengesang, a work Liszt may have had in the back of his mind. In ‘Der Atlas’ and ‘Der Doppelg¨anger’, for example, texts dealing with self-alienation are presented in the key of the raised third.9 Liszt transcribed most of Schwanengesang in 1838–9, altering the sequence of the songs but of course maintaining the original key relationships within the songs. He used this same raised-third relationship, probably with a similar affective intention, in Prometheus and the first movement of the Faust Symphony. In Tasso, tonal expectations continue to be subverted as a Recitativo, espressivo assai (bars 145–64) leads into a Minuet section in F major. The Minuet was not added until Liszt’s final 1856 version of this piece and brings with it the connotation of courtly culture. The entire section is constructed as a set of variations on the minuet theme (a transformation of the principal melody of the piece) and is tonally extremely distant from the work’s tonic, thus increasing the sense of dissociation. The strepitoso section returns in bars 348–75 and serves as a bridge to a triumphal C major recapitulation. Orpheus, composed in 1853–4, was first performed in Weimar on 16 February 1854 as a prelude to Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. The performance helped celebrate the birthday of Weimar’s Grand Duchess Maria Pawlowna, who was an amateur musician and a staunch supporter of Liszt at Weimar. In his preface Liszt describes an Etruscan vase depicting Orpheus, and extols music’s civilising effect on humanity. This reference to the ennobling effect of Orpheus and his art seems to be derived from the Orpheus portrayed in Orph´ee (1829) by the Lyon philosopher Pierre-Simon Ballanche (1776–1847). The Orpheus of this nine-volume odyssey, the only completed part of Ballanche’s larger Paling´en´esie Sociale, leads humanity into the modern age by introducing civilised laws; it was intended to provide a new philosophy for all of Europe.10 Liszt was an acquaintance and avid supporter of Ballanch´e, and his enthusiasm was shared by members of the French salons during the 1830s, especially by George Sand.11 The first element of Liszt’s Orpheus to consider is instrumentation, predominantly featuring Orpheus’s lyre. The scoring includes two harps, and the representation of the lyre by the harp’s arpeggios in the Introduction

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(bars 1–14) immediately focuses the listener’s attention on this instrument, metonymic with Orpheus’s power. The harpist Jeanne Pohl, one of the new virtuoso performers brought in by Liszt to bolster the Weimar orchestra, inspired these harp effects.12 Formally, Orpheus is a modified sonata form with a secondary key area containing two themes. The second theme, a static motive hovering over oscillating major and minor harmonies (bars 85–96), lacks the energy of the first, but has an especially poignant quality, wistfully presented by various solo instruments to a primarily harp accompaniment. The orchestration, together with the style, prompts an interpretation of this theme as Orpheus’s voice. The ethereal, chromatic ascent in the final bars of this piece attenuates any decisive closure that might be expected from a more conventional harmonic resolution. This, in combination with a last transformation of the closing theme of the second group, ends the work as a cryptic vision. This musical moment recalls the final moments of Ballanche’s story, where the narrator, Thamyris, witnesses Orpheus disappearing into the clouds, leaving mankind with the task of developing his teachings of civilisation. Unlike many of Liszt’s other symphonic poems, Orpheus is largely contemplative, and avoids the usual jubilantly assertive peroration. It was a favourite of Wagner’s for that very reason. Prometheus is a product of several revisions of an overture to Liszt’s choral setting of Herder’s Der entfesselte Prometheus (1802), which was first performed on 24 August 1850 for the Herder Festival in Weimar.13 Herder’s dramatic scenes are a Romantic sequel to Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound.14 In 1855 Liszt turned the overture into a symphonic poem and the choruses into a concert stage work. For the performance of the revised choruses, Richard Pohl, a noted critic and supporter of the New German School who was in Weimar from 1854 to 1864, condensed Herder’s work into prologues to be read before each chorus. Unlike Herder’s allegorical text, Pohl’s prologues develop Prometheus’ character, and emphasise Prometheus’ sufferings and turbulent relationship with Zeus: He [Prometheus] stole and gave to mankind a godlike ornament, the creative fire. – Relentlessly for such guilt he received the gods’ hate and punishment: so that he would learn to give honour to Zeus’s sovereign power, and end his love for mankind . . . The lively hound, Zeus’s blood-thirsty eagle, an uninvited visitor came every day sent down from him, harrowingly tearing apart his flesh with claws, satisfying himself by bloody robbery of his liver. Prometheus does not bend. His hatred for the gods remains.15

Pohl’s description of Prometheus’ treatment in the first Prologue creates an intensity that is not present in Herder’s drama, and that intensity is

210 Reeves Shulstad

carried over into the symphonic poem. A furious version of Prometheus is clearly represented in the radical opening of the work (bars 1–26), marked Allegro energico ed agitato assai, and in the principal material (bars 48–61) marked Allegro molto appassionato (see Table 10.1). The opening material consists of an agitated gesture over a tremolo (bars 1–6) which leads into a Maestoso section (bars 13–26).16 At the end of the Maestoso (bars 22–6), a hint of the principal material is foreshadowed. Largely based on chords of the diminished seventh, this agitated music evidently represents Prometheus’ physical and spiritual ‘souffrance’. As shown in Table 10.1, from the choruses Liszt derived the passage marked Recitativo (bars 27–47), the secondary section, and the fugal third section. After the principal section (bars 48–115) and another appearance of the instrumental recitative, the secondary section begins in D major. The thematic material comes from the ‘Chor der Unsichtbaren’, which was originally in E major. At this point in the drama Prometheus has been freed, an olive tree has sprouted from the rock where he was bound, and the chorus praises the wise Themis, the goddess of Justice. The presence of this thematic material at this moment in the symphonic poem probably does not, however, represent justice eventually served to Prometheus. The use of D major, the raised third of A minor, rather than the dominant, E major, which convention might have led the listener to expect, is perhaps another reference to Romantic alienation.17 The fact that while the thematic material appears in E major in the choruses Liszt chose not to use that key in the symphonic poem gives some support to this interpretation. The fugato section (bars 161–84) continues in the second-group key, the first part of its subject originating from the ‘Chor der Musen’. Preceding this chorus in the drama, Themis praised Prometheus for his greatest attribute: perseverance. That this fugue possibly represents not only this perseverance (in a similar fashion to the fugue in the Purgatorio movement of the Dante Symphony), but also Prometheus’ creative genius, is supported by the fact that this material is taken from the ‘Chor der Musen’. Mazeppa, composed between 1851 and 1856, is prefaced by a poem by Victor Hugo, but Liszt also includes an incipit from Byron’s poem of the same name. The first half of Hugo’s Mazeppa describes the wild ride of the Ukrainian hetman (Polish/Cossack military leader) tied naked to a horse, while the triumphal second half relates Mazeppa’s ride to the euphoria of art. The symphonic poem combines thematic material from the Transcendental Study ‘Mazeppa’ with the Arbeiterchor of 1848.18 Following a 36-bar introduction of agitato triplets, the trombones present the main theme in D minor. After several variations of that theme, there is a sparsely orchestrated, recitative-like Andante section (bars 403–35). The work is concluded by an optimistic Allegro marziale with new thematic material.

Table 10.1 Prometheus: Musical analysis and relationships between the symphonic poem and the choruses Bar


1–47 1–6

INTRODUCTION Allegro energico ed agitato assai

6–12 13–26 27–47 48–115 48–61

Maestoso, un poco ritenuto Andante (Recitativo) SECTION 1 Allegro molto appassionato; agitato assai





/viiN 7/a

P(2 O)







P and Bridge


161–236 161–84

Ritenuto, il tempo (quasi Recitativo) SECTION 2 A tempo espressivo Dolce SECTION 3 Allegro moderato


vii 7/a



Choral derivation






ff sparse

No. 3 Chor der Dryaden (bars 43–77) Alto Solo

Tr. and Tps.


fragment of No. 3




No. 7 Chor der Unsichtbaren (25–51)



Marcato strings

No. 8 Chor der Musen Continued

Table 10.1 (Cont.) Bar









237–443 237–44

SECTION 4 Allegro energico ed agitato assai




subject polychorally divided, eventually overlapping (b. 198) ff; divided (instrumentation reversed)

P Andante (Recitativo)



Allegro molto appassionato Stretto; Piu` animato



S F (frag.)


No. 3 Chor der Dryaden (bars 43–77) Alto Solo






F, 1 O



Choral derivation



304–21 322–51


Poco a poco sempre piu` stringendo sin al fine

Notes: *Optional Analytical symbols: the symbols for my musical analysis are based on those from Jan LaRue’s Guidelines for Style Analysis (New York: Norton, 1970), 154–63. The letters indicate the following: O = introductory material; P = primary materials; t = transitional or other episodic, unstable functions; S = secondary materials; F = fugato; N = new material introduced after the conclusion of an exposition in sonata form. Parentheses indicate thematic derivatives. I have added other symbols where needed, which are explained in the text.

213 Liszt’s symphonic poems and symphonies

Three of the symphonic poems, Ce qu’on entend sur la montagne, Les Pr´eludes, and Die Ideale, are directly or indirectly associated with poems that do not deal with a specific protagonist. Ce qu’on entend sur la montagne is prefaced by a poem by Victor Hugo from Feuilles d’Automne (1829). Four versions of the work appeared between the years 1847 and 1856. Harp arpeggios (bars 33–8) provide an introduction to the primary material (bars 38–43), an undulating and tonally unstable theme that returns frequently throughout this extensive piece. The Maestoso secondary theme beginning in bar 95 is first heard in F major followed by trumpet calls in E major (bars 155–66). Although not every part of the symphonic poem has a specific literary analogy, a chorale-style section (bars 477–518) marked Andante religioso certainly recalls the ‘hymne heureux!’ in Hugo’s work. As with Prometheus, Les Pr´eludes was originally conceived as an introduction for a cantata, Les Quatres El´ements in 1844–5. It consisted of settings of four poems by Joseph Autran (1813–77): ‘La Terre’, ‘Les Aquilons’, ‘Les Flots’ and ‘Les Astres’ and was never published. Liszt later revised the overture to this work and renamed it Les Pr´eludes in 1854.19 Although Les Pr´eludes was thus obviously not originally inspired by Lamartine, poem and symphonic poem are a fairly appropriate, if hardly a particularly specific, match. The four general themes that are present in the poem – love, sorrow, aggression, and a Romantic pastoralism – are mirrored in the music. The secondary material, marked Cantando and Espressivo ma tranquillo, is of an evidently amorous nature, and the other three facets correspond to expressive markings in the score: Allegro tempestoso, Allegretto pastorale, and Allegro marziale animato. The last includes a trumpet fanfare recalling Lamartine’s ‘La trompette a jet´e le signal des alarmes: aux armes!’, which is quoted proudly in the symphonic poem preface, perhaps because it is the only passage in the whole musical work that might sound as if it is directly, rather than vaguely, derived from the poem. Die Ideale, composed between 1856 and 1857, was from the start intended to be a musical counterpart to Schiller’s eponymous poem, and was first performed on 3 September 1857 for the centenary of the birth of Carl August, Grand Duke of Weimar. This enormous work has passages from Friedrich Schiller’s poem printed throughout the score. The passages are titled as follows: ‘Ideals’ (bars 1–25); ‘Aspirations’ (bars 26–453); ‘Disillusion’ (454– 567); ‘Employment’ (568–679); and ‘Apotheosis’ (680 to the end). The ‘Aspirations’ section establishes the tonic of F major after the tonally ambiguous opening. The second section eventually settles into C minor and, after a passage of E major, the third section continues in this minor key. Perhaps not surprisingly the grandiose Apotheosis – Liszt’s addition to Schiller’s poetic scheme – ends the piece in the tonic major.20

214 Reeves Shulstad

Originally Liszt conceived H´ero¨ıde fun`ebre as the first movement of Symphonie r´evolutionnaire (1830). There are two versions of the symphonic poem, one from 1850, and a revised version from 1854 to 1856 that is far more subtle and varied in orchestration, although the thematic and formal outlines remain much the same. The preface of this work focuses on the allegedly unique immobility of grief in human existence – everything else about humanity changes, yet grief is the one true constant. The 31-bar introduction begins with a slow dirge-like rhythm in the percussion followed by anguished chords in the woodwinds and brass. The main funeral march begins in bar 32 in F minor, with a subsequent trio section, marked Pi`u lento, in D major. Eventually both the March and the Trio return in F, producing a slow-movement sonata form of convincing structure and vivid emotional impact. Three of the symphonic poems have no preface at all. Liszt began the composition of the first, Festkl¨ange, in 1853, publishing it in 1856 but then adding four ‘Variants’ to the score in 1861. He composed this piece as ‘wedding music’ for his eventually thwarted marriage to the Princess zu SaynWittgenstein. Her Polish heritage was represented by the polonaise rhythms in the work, which were made more pervasive in the 1861 revision. The biographical connection between Liszt himself and Hungaria, the second, is an obvious one. Celebrating native artists became a way of rallying Hungary’s nationalistic spirit, and Liszt was embraced by the country as one of its most famous and respected representatives in Europe. Although he strongly supported Hungary’s effort to exert its own distinctive national identity, he did not join more radical voices that advocated a complete severance from Austria.21 Throughout his later years Liszt remained a true Hungarian patriot (‘I remain, until death, Hungary’s true and grateful son’22 ), and his feelings towards his homeland are given extensive expression in Hungaria. The first section of this piece (bars 1–132) contains the stylistic characteristics of the Hungarian verbunkos or recruiting dance music. The verbunkos grew in popularity in the late eighteenth century in Hungary and became more stylised in the nineteenth, when it acquired associations with Hungarian national pride.23 Primary characteristics include alternating slow and fast sections (lassu and friss), sharply accentuated rhythms (frequently dotted and triplet) and profuse violinistic ornamentation. All of the aforementioned characteristics are present in the first 132 bars of Hungaria. Largo con duolo sections alternate with an Andante marziale in a contrast of lassu and friss, and the thematic material beginning in bar 18 has the rhythmic style associated with the verbunkos. This material is very similar to the third movement of the ‘First Hungarian Society Dance’ (1842) ´ by M´ark Rozsav¨ olgyi, a well-known violin virtuoso who primarily helped to establish the late verbunkos style with his ‘society dances’ and chamber

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music.24 The violin solo beginning in bar 132 of Hungaria, and most notably the cadenza ad lib. passage in bar 141, can be associated with the verbunkos style and also with Hungarian/gypsy music in general. Liszt had already used the thematic material from the Andante marziale section in the 1840 Heroic March in Hungarian Style for piano. The secondary material begins in bar 242 in B major, and from bar 425 it is juxtaposed with the primary material in a funeral-march section. Here the music presents the results of extreme nationalistic fervour: the deaths of many Hungarians during the 1848 revolution. Faith in the future of the Hungarian nation, however, is eventually affirmed as the Allegro eroica secondary material, which Liszt also used in the Heroic March in Hungarian style, triumphantly returns in the tonic major. Although Hamlet, the third symphonic poem, does not have a preface, it was intended to depict specific scenes from Shakespeare’s play.25 Liszt composed this work in 1858 after a private performance of the drama on 25 June of that same year. The opening motive, marked Molto lento e lugubre, was intended as a setting of Hamlet’s soliloquy from Act III. The rest of the opening section, bars 9–73, is melancholic and agitated. After a quicker Allegro appassionato ed agitato assai in B minor, the horns and trumpets leap out with an exclamatory fanfare. The centrepiece of this symphonic poem is the episode between Hamlet and Ophelia.26 Ophelia first appears in bar 160, as we know through Liszt’s footnote reference to her in the score. Her recitative-like passage is interrupted by an Allegro section in which the strings and bassoons are marked Ironico in a depiction of Hamlet’s ‘get thee to a nunnery’. The work ends in despondency and despair with a funeral march for Hamlet’s death. Hunnenschlacht was composed in 1857. Liszt’s preface reveals that he was inspired by Wilhelm von Kaulbach’s (1805–74) imposing painting, The Battle of the Huns: ‘It seemed to me that [Kaulbach’s] idea might suitably be transferred to music and that this art was capable of reproducing the impression of the two supernatural and contrasting lights, by means of two motives.’ The two themes presented in this work are the Crux fidelis chant and a ‘Schlachtruf ’ (Battle Cry). After a tempestuous opening, the chant is heard in C minor and the Battle Cry a tritone distant in F minor. The chant returns in E major and then finally in a triumphal C major. The addition of the organ to the orchestration from bar 271 to the end of the piece results in a swelling of tone volume, and its church associations emphasise the victory of Christianity. After the completion of this work, Liszt did not return to the genre of the symphonic poem until 1883, when he dedicated Von der Wiege bis zum Grabe to Count Mih´aly Zichy, an Hungarian artist who had made two drawings with this same title. The symphonic poem is divided into three

216 Reeves Shulstad

parts: ‘Die Wiege’, ‘Der Kampf um’s Dasein’ and ‘Zum Grabe, die Wiege des Zuk¨unftigen Lebens’;27 it bears all the characteristics of Liszt’s spare and concentrated late style. As in the Faust Symphony, the final part (‘To the grave’) is a radically varied transformation of the first (‘The cradle’) – appropriately enough for a depiction of the ‘cradle of the life to come’.

Symphonies: Faust and Dante Hector Berlioz, the eventual dedicatee of Liszt’s Faust Symphony, introduced Liszt to Goethe’s Faust in the 1830s.28 Even though Liszt sketched parts of the Faust Symphony during the 1840s, the main composition of the work took place within the span of two months, August through October 1854.29 During this time, George Henry Lewes and George Eliot were visiting Liszt and Carolyne. Lewes was working on his Life and Works of Goethe, and the two couples engaged in frequent discussions of Goethe’s life and works. Once again the celebration of Weimar’s classic past inspired Liszt’s music. Liszt referred to the Faust Symphony as consisting of three character sketches, Faust, Gretchen and Mephistopheles. The first movement of the Symphony, ‘Faust’, bears striking resemblances to aspects of Tasso and Prometheus, particularly in terms of mood and key relationships, although ‘Faust’ is undoubtedly more complex and ambitious. The movement is a sonata form in C minor, which key is established by the agitato principal material beginning in bar 71.30 The tonal centre of the secondary material (see bars 179–201), marked Affettuoso poco Andante, is E major. This section is also marked by a striking orchestral change and predominantly features the clarinets, bassoons, and horns. After a 22-bar interruption by the principal agitato theme (marked Allegro con fuoco in bar 202), a brassy, grandioso closing theme is firmly grounded in E major. The distant relationship between a minor tonic and its raised major third has already been mentioned as typical for Liszt. The opening motives of the introduction of Faust, like those in Tasso, are differentiated by range and instrumentation and are used as the basis for thematic material throughout not only the first movement but the entire symphony. Devoid of a tonal centre, the radical first motive in the strings arpeggiates descending augmented triads and uses all twelve pitches of the chromatic scale. A solo oboe responds to the wandering arpeggios with a dolente sigh motive ending in another tonally ambiguous augmented triad (see Example 10.2). The first motive is immediately reinterpreted in the Allegro impetuoso section, surrounded by string tremolos and high-pitched, sustained woodwinds and horns. This section ends abruptly and is followed

217 Liszt’s symphonic poems and symphonies

by a long pause. The second motive then reappears in a recitative-like passage on the bassoon marked Lento assai. Much has been written about these opening motives of the Faust Symphony.31 Whether Motive 2 is described as illustrating Faust’s emotionalism or his contemplativeness is perhaps inconsequential. What is more relevant for this discussion is that the binary opposition between the motives was obviously intended by Liszt to parallel two characteristic traits of Goethe’s Faust. The appearance of thematic material from the first movement in the second and third movements reveals those elements of Faust’s character that are associated with his relations with Gretchen and Mephistopheles. The first seventy bars of the first movement can therefore serve as an introduction not only to this movement but to the symphony as a whole. The secondary theme of the Allegro section of Faust, which is an expansion of Motive 2, makes an appearance in bars 44 through 51 of the ‘Gretchen’ movement. Eventually this is supplanted by another ‘Faust’ theme, marked patetico (bars 111–87). In ‘Liszt, Goethe, and the Discourse of Gender’ in Music as Cultural Practice, 1800–1900, Lawrence Kramer interprets Gretchen’s music as attracting Faust’s music, but later he acknowledges: ‘What we have been calling Gretchen’s music is really Faust’s.’32 We might, in this vein, regard the entire second movement as representing Gretchen from the perspective of Faust, and consequently the listener really learns more about Faust than about the complex, individual woman presented in Goethe’s drama. The Gretchen of Liszt’s symphony – the innocent, one-dimensional woman – exists only in Faust’s imagination. The listener becomes aware of the masquerade when the ‘Gretchen’ mask Faust is wearing slips with the appearance of the Faustian themes in bars 44 through to 51 and bar 111 to the end of the piece. Mephistopheles can also be interpreted as an abstraction, a projection of the destructive components of Faust’s character. In the symphony, Faust mocks his own humanity by taking on the identity of Mephistopheles, and in consequence little of the thematic material is new in the ‘Mephistopheles’ movement but is mostly derived from the first two movements. As in Goethe’s drama, Mephistopheles is the spirit of negation, constantly belittling and provoking Faust,33 so within this movement previous thematic material is caricatured. The Gretchen theme that reappears in this movement is, however, immune to distortion. There are two versions of the Faust Symphony that merit rather different interpretations. Liszt’s original version of 1854 ended with a last fleeting reference to Gretchen and an optimistic orchestral peroration in C major, based on the most majestic of the themes from the first movement. One might say that this conclusion remains within the persona of Faust and his imagination. In rethinking the piece, Liszt added a choral finale in 1857, a

Example 10.2 Faust, Movement 1, bars 1–5

dolente Ob.

Cl. in C dolente Bssn

Vn I




219 Liszt’s symphonic poems and symphonies

setting of the last eight lines of Goethe’s Faust, Part 2, the ‘Chorus Mysticus’. Ending the symphony with a chorus intoning Goethe’s closing verse makes the symphony a closer dramatic parallel to the play. The ‘Chorus Mysticus’ signifies the end of Faust’s earthly striving, so masterfully portrayed in the first movement, and appropriately enough it is to a solo tenor and a male chorus that Liszt gives the last eight lines of the drama: All that is transient Is but an image; The unattainable Here becomes actual, The indescribable Here is accomplished. Woman Eternal Leads us onward.34

The text ‘Das Ewig-Weibliche’, scored for solo tenor, is set to a fragment of Gretchen’s theme. The Faust thematic material has mostly disappeared. With the addition of the ‘Chorus Mysticus’ text, the Gretchen theme has been transformed, and she no longer appears as a masked Faust. With the direct association to the last scene of the drama we have escaped Faust’s imaginings and are hearing another voice commenting on his striving and redemption. Although the completion of the Dante Symphony took place after that of Faust, Liszt had long nurtured ideas of setting Dante’s Divine Comedy to music, and had initially intended starting with the latter symphony. In an entry in his ‘Journal des Z¨yi’ dated February 1839, Liszt wrote: ‘If I feel within me the strength and life, I will attempt a symphonic composition based on [Dante’s Divine Comedy], then another on Faust – within three years – meanwhile I will make three sketches: the Triumph of Death (Orcagna), the Comedy of Death (Holbein), and a Fragment dantesque.’35 Later that year, in a letter to Berlioz from San Rossore in October 1839, Liszt commented on this same topic: Dante has found his pictorial expression in Orcagna and Michelangelo, and someday perhaps he will find his musical expression in the Beethoven of the future.36

The Fragment dantesque eventually became the piano piece Apr`es une lecture de Dante, fantasia quasi sonata, the seventh piece of Ann´ees de p`elerinage, deuxi`eme ann´ee: Italie (1839–49), and Eine Symphonie zu Dantes Divina Commedia was finished in 1856. In the light of Liszt’s remarks to Berlioz, it is probable that Liszt believed that the ‘Beethoven of the future’ might be none other than himself.

220 Reeves Shulstad

Although Liszt played fragments of the Dante Symphony for Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein during his visit to Woronince in 1847, he did not finish it until 1856.37 Liszt had previously written to Wagner, to whom the work is dedicated, explaining his intentions concerning the project: Then you are reading Dante? He is excellent company for you. I, on my part, shall furnish a kind of commentary to his work. For a long time I had in my head a Dante symphony, and in the course of this year it is to be finished. There are to be three movements, Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, the first purely instrumental, the last with chorus. When I visit you in autumn, I shall probably be able to bring it with me; and if you do not dislike it, you must allow me to inscribe it with your name.38

Wagner’s reply on 7 June 1855 was broadly encouraging, but expressed doubts as to whether anyone could ever adequately depict paradise in music. Liszt took this comment to heart, for the idea of a ‘Paradiso’ movement was abandoned, and, as eventually published, the symphony consisted of two movements, ‘Inferno’ and ‘Purgatorio’, with a choral setting of the Magnificat added to the end of the latter (bars 314–431). Like Hamlet, this symphony depicts specific scenes from a literary work. The first movement, ‘Inferno’, is the larger by far (646 bars). Its vivid illustration of the torments of hell and the equally direct portrayal of the contrasting ‘Francesca da Rimini’ episode (a love element particularly attractive to nineteenth-century sensibility) reveal Liszt’s affiliation with the Romantic conception of Dante. The beginning of the movement represents the passing of Dante and Virgil through the gate into hell. Similar to the poetry inserts in Die Ideale, a modified version of Dante’s four-line inscription on the gate into hell appears in the score in the introduction (bars 1–17). The first three text lines are written over a very chromatic, rhythmically varied unison melody played by the low brass and strings. The last line of the inscription, ‘Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate!’ (Abandon all hope, those who enter here!), is printed over a recitation tone in the horns and trumpets, as if it could be sung. The dramatic meaning of these motives is directly connected to the text throughout the movement. The ‘Lasciate’ motive in particular returns several times, serving as bridge material between the main sections, and as the final exclamation of the coda. The next part of the movement (bars 18–63) is not attached to any poetic text but nevertheless involves three highly descriptive motivic ideas. The chromatically rising triplet figure beginning in bar 18, marked tempestoso, evokes the storm Dante and Virgil encounter in Canto 5.39 The descending chromatic line beginning in bar 22 is a rather obvious allusion to Dante and Virgil’s descent through the circles of hell. This descent motive is followed by an agitated figure, marked Violente, which rises in pitch to the opposite end

221 Liszt’s symphonic poems and symphonies

of the orchestra and closes with frantic repetitions (bars 28–9). The principal material in D minor (bars 64–102), marked Allegro frenetico, is an expanded version of the Violente motive and maintains the frenzied character of its progenitor. Another similarly whirlwind-like passage is presented at the Presto molto (103–30), but after a variation of the principal theme, striking new material is introduced (bars 163–209). This opens with a leap of a fifth and is presented in the unrelated keys of B major and then C major before the ‘Lasciate’ motive is repeated over a dirge-like pattern in the timpani (bars 260–79). Liszt now suddenly transfigures the mood of the music. Transformed ‘storm’ material from the Presto molto now reappears yearningly in bars 280–5 (Quasi andante) in the strings and flutes. With the slower tempo and a harp accompaniment, this motive now alludes to the dissipation of the storm in the contrasting tonal area of F major. In Dante’s poem, the hurricane in the second circle subsides so that Francesca may tell her story, which in Liszt’s orchestral version begins with a recitativo melody played by a solo bass clarinet (b. 286, Espressivo dolente). Following a repetition of bars 260–94, the recitativo theme reappears, this time inscribed in the score with Francesca’s words ‘Nessun maggior dolore che ricordarsi del tempo felice nella miseria’ (There is no greater sorrow than to recall, in wretchedness, happy times) over harp arpeggios. The main melody of the next section, Andante amoroso (bars 354–87), begins as an abbreviated version of the Recitativo passage and develops into a pleading, romantic cantilena, eventually cut off by the threatening motive of hopelessness (bars 388–92). After an extensive harp cadenza, a rhythmically augmented version of the principal material returns. The first two bars of the primary theme, however, are distorted here. A note in the score instructs that ‘this entire passage is intended to be blasphemous mocking laughter, very sharply accentuated in the two clarinets and the violas’.40 The closest correlation to this passage in the poem would be Dante and Virgil’s encounter with the devils in Malebolge, the fifth valley of the eighth circle (Cantos 21–2). The circle contains ten different types of deceit, the fifth valley housing barratry, the (now admittedly rather dated) buying or selling of ecclesiastical or civil advancement. Black devils hurl the over-ambitious sinners into a pool of black pitch and make blasphemous jokes. This developmental section leads to the recapitulation of the Pi`u mosso passage first heard in bars 87–162 (bars 465–540). At bar 541 the new material of bars 163 through 209 that appeared in B major is expected, but is instead replaced by a reiteration of the descent motive. It is not until bar 571 that the strident new theme is recapitulated in the tonic key, D minor, and even then it is only heard once. The descent motive takes over again, leading to one more thrust of the new material into G minor, followed by the

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implacable reiteration of ‘Lasciate ogni speranza’ to bring the movement to a merciless end. The second half of the symphony, ‘Purgatorio’, which has as its conclusion a choral setting of the Magnificat, primarily manifests the liturgical atmosphere of Dante’s Purgatorio. Unlike the first movement, which contains numerous descriptive passages, only the opening Andante section, also marked Tranquillo (bars 1–27), functions as descriptive music. This D major passage is of a particularly limpid beauty, with horn calls floating over an undulating figure in the strings. It would seem to reflect the hope that is present throughout this book, which abounds in idyllic pastoral settings, such as the Meadow of Princes, which Dante encounters in Ante-purgatory, and the garden of Earthly Paradise, where he arrives before meeting Beatrice. From bar 61 onwards the movement takes on a more liturgical aspect, as a recitative passage played by a solo violin is followed by an extended chorale. A fugue in B minor interrupts these responsorial sections (bars 129– 231). Marked Lamentoso, it is a symbol of endurance similar to the fugue in Prometheus. In this case, one must endure the trials of purgatory to gain the humility needed to ascend to Paradise, which is glimpsed from afar as a choir of boys’ voices sing the Magnificat (bar 314 ff.). The words of the Magnificat, a canticle sung at vespers, were supposedly originally spoken by Mary the mother of Christ, who in the Divine Comedy is humanity’s advocate in heaven and the facilitator of Dante’s journey to Beatrice (see Inferno, Canto 2: 94–6). The main tonal area of the Magnificat, B major, can be connected to the B-major material in the first movement as well as the F major tonal area of the Francesca episode. It is significant that the Magnificat does not in any way describe God or paradise. Following Wagner’s advice, Liszt chose to end the symphony in a mood of pensive anticipation and avoided portraying the bliss of heaven itself. He did, however, provide two alternative endings, one quietly rapt (and admired by Wagner) and the other loudly grandiose (favoured by the Princess Sayn-Wittgenstein but deplored by Wagner). The former is surely the more successful, and shares the mystical atmosphere of the conclusion of Orpheus, the most delicately shaded of all the symphonic poems. Despite Liszt’s fondness for stirringly clangorous orchestral apotheoses, he was often at his best when aiming for a subtle restraint.

11 Liszt’s sacred choral music d o l o re s p e s ce

It is a well-known fact that Liszt took minor orders in 1865, caricatured as the 50-some-year-old composer conducting with flailing arms in a black cassock. The promulgated viewpoint depicts him changing from the worldly piano virtuoso, to Wagner-championing conductor, to seemingly humble abb´e, yet still seeking public approbation. His spirituality is called into question. What this chapter attempts to elucidate is the sincerity and coherence of Liszt’s religious views as seen through his sacred choral music which he began composing as early as 1842 and continued composing until a year before his death in 1886.1 It divides his sacred choral works into two periods: 1842–59, that is, through his early years and Weimar appointment; and 1860–86, from when he was preparing to leave Weimar for Rome until his death. This chronological overview discusses a given work in relationship to its date of conception, allowing that its composition and revision may have gone on for years and even decades.2


Before turning to Liszt’s works of the 1840s and 50s, we examine Liszt’s previous attitudes towards the Church and its music, which were determined in large part by his exposure to the ideas of the Abb´e Robert F´elicit´e de Lamennais. Lamennais figured prominently in the already precarious political and religious climate of the 1830s when he urged his followers to reject the divine right of kings and replace it with the sovereignty of the people. According to Lamennais, the Church, led by the Papacy, should lead its people into a new world order that would address oppression of the poor and bring about equality and liberty. Religion and politics were united in his philosophy, and Lamennais, in his book Paroles d’un croyant of 1834, went so far as to preach revolution within the framework of Christianity. Liszt responded positively to the book, writing to Lamennais in 1834, ‘Christianity in the nineteenth century, that is to say, the whole religious and political future of mankind, lies in you!’3 The Church, on the other hand, did not react well to Lamennais’s ideas about revolution and condemned his book. That notwithstanding, Lamennais continued his work, publishing in 1840 the three-volume Esquisse d’une Philosophie. In the third volume, devoted to art, he wrote: ‘Art then . . . in binding the laws of organism with those of love . . . leads them to aim at the perfection of all that is loftiest in human nature’ and ‘Art therefore is an expression of God; her works are

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an infinite manifold reflection of Him.’4 Here we see the other side of his philosophy: just as religion has a social dimension, art has ennobling and spiritual aspects. In 1834 Liszt visited Lamennais, who was then working on Esquisse d’une Philosophie. In his article ‘De la musique religieuse’ of the same year, Liszt seemed to echo Lamennais’s views on art: ‘Music must devote itself to the people and to god; it must go from one to the other, to better, moralize, and comfort man, to bless and praise God.’5 Liszt spoke of creating music that would engage people not only with religious fervour, but also with a political and national sentiment. He referred to the inspiration of the Marseillaise and ‘beautiful songs of the revolution’.6 The religious–political synthesis was to manifest itself in his piano cycle Album d’un voyageur (1842): ‘Psaume’ and ‘Les cloches de G*****’ evoke the spiritual, while ‘Lyon’ and ‘Chapelle de Guillaume Tell’ have political connections – for ‘Lyon’, the uprising of exploited workers in that city in 1834, who had been supported by Lamennais, and for ‘Chapelle de Guillaume Tell’, the Swiss confederacy motto, ‘One for all, all for one.’ In contrast to the religious– political thrust of the Album d’un voyageur, a solely spiritual focus arises in Liszt’s piano piece Harmonies po´etiques et religieuses of 1833–4 and in De profundis: psaume instrumental for piano and orchestra of 1835, which Liszt left unfinished. Near his death, Liszt returned to the psalm De profundis, setting it for chorus, to be discussed below.7 In the 1840s Liszt began to write sacred choral pieces: the prayers Ave Maria and Pater noster, a setting of a Lamartine poem entitled Hymne de l’enfant a` son r´eveil, five choruses on French texts by Racine and Chateaubriand, a Mass for Male Voices, and the Sainte C´ecile L´egende. In the 1850s he added two versions of Te Deum, Les b´eatitudes, a coronation anthem to the text of Psalm 20, Domine salvum fac regem, three more psalm settings (13, Herr, wie lange willst du meiner so gar vergessen?, 23, Mein Gott, der ist mein Hirt, and 137, An den Wassern zu Babylon), the Gran Mass and an oratorio on St Elisabeth. The works with the most direct liturgical functions are the two masses, the psalm settings, and the Te Deum. Liszt began his choral writing with settings of the prayers Ave Maria and Pater noster I, composed respectively c.1842–6 and 1846. They appeared together in 1846 as his first sacred choral publications and were reissued in revised versions in 1853. MW V/6 contains both versions of the Ave Maria (first for mixed chorus and organ ad lib., second for mixed chorus and organ), but not the first Pater noster (first for male chorus, second for male chorus and organ).8 The Ave Maria introduces important structural points with staggered choral entrances, and clear declamation is at the forefront of Liszt’s conception. The main motive for Ave Maria, outlining a B major

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triad, is made poignant through the escape tone A, sounding as a sigh figure. The poignancy is enhanced by the fact that the introductory five bars are in B minor rather than major. This ambiguity of affect continues through the piece, the motive appearing twice with a minor profile, returning to the B major shaping only at the end. Liszt kept this basic design when he revised Ave Maria in 1852, though he expanded it to almost twice the length. The setting now has more animated homophony, with the result that some phrase declamation is less clear than earlier. Liszt’s 1852 revised version of Pater noster reveals simple homophony with the exception of one solo phrase on et ne nos inducas in tentationem. The noteworthy feature of this setting is how Liszt altered the traditional tune; whereas it usually moves largely within the four notes C D E F, Liszt changed some Es to Es and some Cs to Cs, allowing him freedom to modulate. The Mass for Male Voices, the first of Liszt’s five Masses, was composed c. 1846–8 and published with Ave Maria and Pater noster in 1853. Liszt then revised the work in 1869, calling the second version the Szeksz´ard Mass, because he anticipated its performance at Szeksz´ard, Hungary, where a new church was being built. In fact, the church was delayed and the revised Mass’s first performance took place in Jena in 1872. The 1869 version is the only one performed today and will be examined here. It is scored for four-part men’s chorus and organ. Liszt’s first Mass is conservative in length and in its handling of the Mass text. The Kyrie unfolds in the traditional three-part form, as does the Agnus Dei.9 Material from the Sanctus returns in the Benedictus, as expected, though here it is not the Hosanna melody, but instead a Sanctus phrase. The two long movements, Gloria and Credo, are made manageable by imposing on them a largely three-part form. Liszt contained the length of this Mass as a whole by concentrating on homophony and unison writing, with carefully placed excursions into polyphony. The Credo is illustrative, with concise utterances until Liszt reaches Crucifixus etiam pro nobis, sub Pontio Pilato passus, et sepultus est (He was crucified for us, suffered under Pontius Pilate and was buried) at b. 64. There, solo voices introduce a fugal passage on a motive reminiscent of Bach with its progression of semitone upward, followed by a leap of a diminished seventh downward. Choral declamation returns thereafter and Liszt provides evocative word setting via an augmented triad on mortuos at b. 113, following by a soaring line at cujus regni non erit finis (and of His kingdom there will be no end). The organ’s role in the Mass for Male Voices is varied, most often providing doublings or chordal accompaniment, but at other times briefly participating in motivic exchange, such as at b. 71 of the Gloria, or providing counterpoint, such as at b. 123 of the same movement. The tonal plan of

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the Mass as a whole is conservative, with the five movements ending in C G C G C. Another early work, sketched as early as 1844 or 1847, is Hymne de l’enfant a` son r´eveil (Hymn of the Child at Waking Up), on a text by Lamartine from his poetry cycle Harmonies po´etiques et religieuses, the same cycle that inspired Liszt in 1833 to write his piano piece of that name.10 Hymne’s first complete extant manuscript is dated 1862, but Liszt continued to revise the work in 1865 and 1874. It is not known why Liszt originally wrote the work; when it was ready for publication in 1874, Liszt dedicated it to the LisztGesang-Verein in Budapest, whose choir members premiered the work that year. The Hymne is scored for three-part women’s chorus, harmonium or piano, and harp ad lib. Because Liszt positions the women’s voices in close harmony within a rather static tessitura, the piece captures a sense of sweet childlike simplicity. The musical ideas themselves are closely related: the core pitches for verses 1 and 2 are C B A B C, for verse 3 (b. 88) A B C, and the closing material (b. 128) A D, returning to C B A B C. Liszt had already used in his piano music of the 1830s and 1840s a technique of modifying a basic pitch set through chromatic alterations, what Carl Dahlhaus has called Alternativ-Chroma.11 The technique is adapted in Hymne; whereas the motivic ordering of the pitches stays intact in many Liszt pieces, here only the complex of tones is retained. Liszt applies the same technique to the secondary motive of verses 1 and 2, E F G F E, which reappears in verse 3 as G F E F G; he unifies these occurrences by giving the motive to only one voice part in verses 1 and 2, then to a solo voice in verse 3. Liszt began another set of pieces on French texts in the 1840s: Five Choruses on French Texts. According to The New Grove Dictionary worklist, they were probably for a choral competition, which Liszt mentioned to Anna Liszt in March 1846. Nos. 1 and 2 set texts by Racine, no. 4 a text by Chateaubriand, no. 3 is untexted, and no. 5 is unattributed. Only number 2 appears in a modern edition.12 Between 1855 and 1858 Liszt composed a setting of Psalm 13,13 Herr, wie lange willst du meiner so gar vergessen?, for soprano, mezzo, tenor, baritone solos, mixed chorus and orchestra; between 1859 and 1863 he produced a second version for tenor solo, mixed chorus and orchestra. The latter was published in 1864.14 This is Liszt’s only psalm setting conceived from the outset for voice and orchestra, its scale monumental in comparison to the settings for voice and piano. The piece unfolds in an overall plan following from the psalm’s division: a tonally unstable opening devoted to the psalmist’s four-fold complaint about his enemies, each line beginning Wie lange? (How long?); the prayer for help, which Liszt divides into two subsections, Andante mosso in 64 at

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letter G on the words Schaue doch und erh¨ore mich, Herr, mein Gott (Look, answer me, O Lord, my God!), and an Allegro agitato at letter I where the personal enemy is mentioned again; an expression of trust in God yields an extended Moderato section from letter M through S, into which Liszt inserts a return of Schaue doch . . . (letter Q) that is not in the psalm itself; finally, the psalm’s vow Ich will dem Herrn singen, dass er so wohl an mir gethan (I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me) is exuberantly vivified from letter T to the end, as Liszt weaves a rich panoply of contrapuntal and homophonic textures. Liszt uses thematic transformation to give the piece cohesion. The main motive, consisting of a descending semitone followed by a descending fifth, appears in b.1 in a Maestoso unison, as an agitated ostinato at letter I, a sweet lyric at letter M, a triumphant Marziale at letter T, immediately becoming the head motive of a Marcato fugue at U, which in turn is transformed into a graceful theme at 4 after Z.15 This is Liszt’s writing at its best, using solo, chorus, and orchestra to create the same sort of affective array that one finds in his B Minor Sonata. Liszt next set Psalm 23, in a German paraphrase by Herder, Mein Gott, der ist mein Hirt (The Lord is my shepherd). He composed a version for tenor or soprano solo and male chorus c. 1859–61, publishing it in 1864 without chorus.16 For the accompaniment, Liszt allowed several possibilities: harp and organ or harmonium, piano and harmonium, or just piano. In all three cases, the instrument(s) provide an atmospheric background to the sustained line of the lyrical solo voice. The piece sounds sectionalised because Liszt puts a fermata at section ends and changes the accompanimental figure at section beginnings, increasing the rhythmic activity until the return of Mein Gott, der ist mein Hirt, which forms a frame to the piece as a whole. The only major deviation from this plan occurs at the paraphrase of the words ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil’ (see b. 134–65), where a recitative-like texture emerges. Two unification devices are noteworthy: a melodic interval of a third and an augmented sixth chord that first appears in b. 14 and reappears throughout the framing sections. In a letter of 1862, Liszt mentioned changes to his setting of Psalm 137, An den Wassern zu Babylon, which he had begun in 1859 at the same time as Psalm 23. He published both in 1864. His setting of Psalm 137 is for solo voice, women’s chorus, solo violin, harp or piano, and organ or harmonium. Whereas Psalm 23 has a peaceful topos, Psalm 137 has one of lament, capturing that affect in a quasi-Baroque operatic manner. He opens the piece with unison fragments from the Hungarian scale on C, with its two inherent augmented seconds.17 While this lamentary motivic approach is carried into the vocal line, the line at times also assumes an operatic sweep

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that is equally expressive. Perhaps most surprising to a listener today is the setting of the captors’ words Des Zion’s Lieder singet uns doch eins! (Sing for us the songs of Sion!) The unaccompanied utterance is indicated mit fremdartiger Betonung, then bitter, f¨ur sich hinstarrend, to which the obbligato violin responds sehr d¨uster und ausdrucksvoll and weinend, leading back to the words of the captive Jews. Their personification, the solo voice, responds in fragments underscored by a tremolo diminished seventh chord in harp and piano. A small melodrama has unfolded. It continues as the captors, sung for the first time by the women’s chorus, utter the word Jerusalem in a clear hopeful C major. Although the solo voice inserts two further laments, the stability of the choral utterances perseveres. In the final two phrases, the first a cappella, the second accompanied, Liszt inserts C into his rising motive (B C D E). That tone is a reminder of modulations to the key of D earlier in the piece, but its yearning inflection upward also leaves us with a lingering sense of the Jews’ struggles.18 The 1850s yielded a few short pieces: Te Deum I and Domine salvum fac regem of 1853 and Te Deum II of 1859.19 Te Deum I for mixed chorus, organ, brass, and percussion ad lib. presents a unison chant with changing metres to fit the declamation. Only the middle section involves vocal harmony, but here and throughout the piece, Liszt retains a modal flavour that is not regularly encroached upon by leading tones. When Liszt wrote Te Deum II in 1859, he enlarged the harmonic palette, harmonising line endings with a variety of cadence types in a wider variety of keys. This version is for men’s chorus and organ only. Liszt wrote Domine salvum fac regem for a ceremony held in Weimar in 1853 to mark the accession of Carl Alexander as Grand Duke. Liszt’s setting for men’s chorus, tenor solo, and organ has outer sections that suggest a coronation anthem, with the organ providing a trumpet-like fanfare. The middle section highlights the tenor solo in soaring lines on et exaudi nos in die qua invocaverimus (and hear us on the day we shall call upon Thee).20 Liszt’s setting of Les b´eatitudes (Die Seligkeiten), composed 1855–9, is for mixed chorus, baritone solo, and organ. The piece unfolds as a sort of litany, with each full invocation stated first by the soloist, then by the chorus either in unison or in harmony. At letter H, the discourse becomes more interactive as solo and chorus alternate short utterances on Gl¨uckselig (Blessed), after which they join together at times. This almost totally syllabic setting is unified by a motive that consists of descending minor third, ascending perfect fourth, descending major second. The highly affective quality of the piece arises in part from the pause after each invocation and in part from the overarching line moving slowly from B chromatically upwards to E.

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Liszt wrote a second Mass, his Missa solemnis zur Erweihung der Basilika in Gran (Gran Mass), in 1855–8, which is scored for soprano, alto, tenor, and bass solos, mixed chorus and orchestra. Liszt had apparently promised Bishop J´anos Scitovsky of F¨unfkirchen to write the Mass as early as 1846, but the work only came to fruition when Scitovsky, now Archbishop, renewed the commission in 1855; the Mass had its first performance in Esztergom (Gran) for the reconsecration of its cathedral in 1856. Liszt continued to revise the work after the first performance and published it in 1859. In practically every respect, the Gran Mass reveals a Mass conception that has changed since Liszt embarked on the Mass for Male Voices. While the organ played a somewhat limited role in the earlier Mass, the orchestra in the Gran Mass is essential. At times it has a primary responsibility for creating a particular atmosphere, e.g. in the Sanctus at b. 6 via a triumphant fanfare, and at b. 15 via repeated notes in the strings played pp and misterioso. In the two longer movements, the Gloria and Credo, the orchestra often animates the texture, but may make a fugal entry (Gloria, cum sancto spiritu section) or carry the main motive (Credo, B major credo unam ecclesiam section). In varying his forces, Liszt puts solos in every movement and pits the solo(s) against chorus in the first Kyrie and in the Sanctus. The Credo is particularly rich in changing textures. In comparison to the Male-Voice Mass, Liszt conceived this Mass with a much higher degree of motivic integration within and between movements. In the former, the ‘Gloria’ motive returns in that movement’s final two sections, as does the ‘Credo’ motive in its final section. The Gran Mass exhibits a more complex network of returning gestures, largely tied to its ‘Christe’ and ‘Gloria’ motives. The opening ‘Gloria’ motive, characterised by its dotted rhythm and fanfare-like unfolding, returns to underscore the triumphant sentiments of et resurrexit tertia die (on the third day He rose again) in the Credo and hosanna in excelsis (hosanna in the highest) in the Sanctus, and finally in the Agnus Dei as part of the dona nobis pacem (grant us peace), to which I will return shortly. The ‘Christe’ motive, a poignant and lyrical request for Christ’s mercy, returns in chromatic guise at the similar invocation qui tollis peccata mundi miserere nobis (Thou that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us) in the Gloria, in its diatonic form as the main motive of the Benedictus, which acknowledges Christ as qui venit in nomine Domini (He who comes in the name of the Lord), and chromatically in the first and second Agnus, which again invoke Christ’s mercy (qui tollis peccata mundi miserere nobis). The ‘Christe’ motive, in diatonic form, also opens the dona nobis pacem section, to which we now turn. In his setting of ‘Grant us peace’, ‘Kyrie’ and ‘Credo’, Liszt successively introduces the following motives: ‘Christe’, ‘Gloria’, ‘et in terra pax’ Amen,

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from the Gloria, Kyrie, and Credo. The combined message is simple and profound: Christ, the triumphant Lord, in whom Liszt believes, brings mercy and peace to us on earth. These motives flow effectively together to end this work about which Liszt said: 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 (L I, 292)21 more prayed than composed.

With respect to internal unification, the Credo can be singled out for Liszt’s use of thematic transformation of the opening orchestral motive.22 The Credo is also notable for its rich rhythmic palette. Liszt underscores the very affective et homo factus est (and was made man) section with an insistent syncopated pattern that builds to a climax at crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato passus, et sepultus est. For judicare vivos et mortuos (to judge the living and the dead) a repeated-note fanfare sounds, to return again at the complementary words et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum (and I look for the resurrection of the dead). Finally, the Gran Mass shows a similar harmonic vocabulary to the MaleVoice Mass on the local level – third relationships between chords are common. Its overall key scheme from movement to movement, D B C G D, is less homogeneous.23 Liszt conceived the idea of a piece to St Cecilia in this first period, but the early version does not survive; he returned to the concept in 1874 and published his Die heilige C¨acilia Legende (Sainte C´ecile) in 1876.24 Its text is a twelve-stanza poem to St Cecilia by Madame Emilie de Girardin (1804– 55); the poem describes how Cecilia worshipped God through song, how she was martyred, and how subsequently she has been celebrated in winter concerts, but also through Raphael’s portrait of her. Liszt focuses on the power of song by setting the poem primarily for mezzo-soprano solo, who sings verses 1–9 a cappella or with minimal accompaniment.25 When verse 10 begins Tous les arts lui rendent hommage (All of the arts pay her homage), the full orchestra effectively joins in, and in the middle of verse 11 the chorus enters for the first time, highlighting Sainte C´ecile in unison. The soloist returns for the final verse, which ends in an ethereal ascending line.26 The main unifying motive of the piece is taken from Antiphon 1 for the feast of St Cecilia. A consistent lyricism and a homogeneous triadic language dominate the Legende, with the exception of verses 5–6 where Liszt uses short gasping phrases and diminished seventh chords to underscore the drama of Cecilia’s martyrdom. If the piece has a weakness, it would be its preponderance of consecutive third relationships. Some passages project a nebulous

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harmonic mixture of the major and its relative minor (E/c at Sur sa tˆete il suspend le glaive and E/c for Et tous les ans dans cette enceinte). Liszt set a second legend, Die Legende von der heiligen Elisabeth, between 1857 and 1862, overlapping the end of his employment in Weimar and his move to Rome.27 Liszt subtitled it Oratorium, and thus arose the first of his two oratorios. He stated that the main impetus came from the frescoes painted in 1855 by Moritz von Schwind depicting the life of St Elisabeth of Hungary.28 Otto Roquette, a well-known writer and poet, prepared the libretto at Liszt’s direction; both knew Montalembert’s Vie de Sainte Elisabeth: Sancta Elisabeth Hungarica, patrona pauperum, which emphasised her devotion to the poor.29 The turning point of Elisabeth’s legend occurs when she is covertly carrying food to the poor, is confronted by her husband, and, opening her cape, finds it filled with exquisite roses. This ‘miracle of roses’ results in her husband’s decision to follow another God-given cause, the Crusades. Thus, in one work, Liszt highlighted several of his own concerns: social justice through religion and his Hungarian heritage. The oratorio is divided into two parts, each with three sections. As in the St Cecilia Legend, Liszt employs melodic motives relevant to the saint’s feast day: the opening of the fifth antiphon for the feast of St Elisabeth is the main unifying ‘Elisabeth’ motive, and a Hungarian folk hymn to Elisabeth appears in the ‘Chorus of the Poor’.30 The Hungarian side is further emphasized by Liszt’s use of a lively folk tune as the Hungarian Princess Elisabeth is introduced to her new people through marriage, the people of Wartburg.31 In the ‘March of the Crusaders’, Liszt introduces an old pilgrim song from the Middle Ages, ‘Sch¨onster Herr Jesu’, which is performed in a devout, quiet manner.32 He further emphasises the religious essence of those historical events by integrating into ‘The Chorus of Crusaders’ and the ‘March of the Crusaders’ what he called the ‘Cross’ motive (G A C).33 In some ways, the St Elisabeth oratorio fits squarely into Liszt’s conception of sacred music in the 1850s, particularly his attention to clear choral declamation and use of orchestral colouring. But the work diverges in two related ways: its extensive dramatic content and its operatic vocal writing. Certainly Liszt highlighted obvious dramatic moments in his Mass and Psalm texts, but in the St Elisabeth oratorio, the actual flow of music in some sections takes on the rapidly changing emotional inflections of its characters, perhaps best illustrated in section 4 when Elisabeth’s motherin-law Sophie coldly bans Elisabeth from the kingdom after learning that her son was killed in the Crusades; Elisabeth responds with pleas for mercy and Sophie counters with power-grasping, imperious resolve. The recit-like declamation, harmonic language, and orchestral interjections aptly dramatise the characters’ conflicting emotions. Moreover, Elisabeth’s several arias

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and the duet for her and her husband in the ‘Miracle of the Roses’ present exquisite examples of Liszt’s ability to write in an operatic idiom, despite the fact that he never completed an opera. Liszt refused to put on a staged performance, despite urgings from various quarters, because of the work’s central sacred message. In any case, the St Elisabeth oratorio was performed more often and better received than any other work in Liszt’s lifetime. A final point concerns the vital importance of choruses and orchestral preludes/interludes. There is a major chorus in each of the work’s six scenes, except the second, which is dominated by the interaction of Elisabeth and her husband. These choruses evoke an appropriate atmosphere and introduce some of the major motives mentioned above. Whereas the opening orchestral introduction is rather brief, Liszt prefaces the final scene with a full-fledged orchestral piece that brings together the main musical motives much as an opera overture would, but also includes a triumphant thematic transformation of Elisabeth’s signature motive. This orchestral ‘interlude’ thus reveals Liszt’s fusion of an opera overture and the technique he developed in his symphonic programme music.34 Whereas the period 1842–59 yielded some fifteen sacred works, Liszt conceived an even greater number between 1860 and 1886: three Masses (Missa choralis, Ungarische Kronungsmesse, and a Requiem), one oratorio (Christus), three psalm settings (Psalm 18 (19), Psalm 116 (117), and 129 (130)), plus two German pieces that include psalm texts, and settings of Via crucis, Septem sacramenta and Rosario. St Francis of Paula, Liszt’s name saint, figures in An den heiligen Franziskus von Paula and St Francis of Assisi in Mihi autem adhaerere and Cantico del Sol di San Francesco. Liszt turned to St Cecilia again in 1879 with Cantantibus organis. Antiphone zum Feste der hl. C¨acilie, and to St Christopher in his Sankt Christoph legend of 1881, still unpublished (scored for female voices, piano, harmonium, and harp ad lib.). Liszt also composed some twenty-nine shorter choral pieces. Responsorien und Antiphonen for men’s chorus and organ ad lib. of 1860 begins our discussion of this period when Liszt was about to move to Rome, prepare for and take minor orders in the Church. In this work, Liszt provides harmonised plainchant settings for five occasions including Christmas and the Office of the Dead. Liszt had been interested in reforming church music since his earlier involvement with Lamennais, but his interest in doing so was renewed in Rome. On 24 July 1860 he wrote to Princess Carolyne asking her to send to him a copy of an 1839 report by Spontini to Pope Gregory XVI in which Spontini had begun discussing how to clean up church music, particularly by ridding it of operatic influences. Liszt also mentioned that he himself was conceiving something to send to the Pope, namely plainchant settings that could be universally adopted in church use (BR V, 34–5).35 Only

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the Responsorien und Antiphonen of 1860 survive, perhaps intended as part of his larger liturgical concept; they were not published until 1936.36 Responsorien und Antiphonen are homophonic settings, including judicious use of some chromatic harmony. Like some other church music reformers in the 1850s and 1860s, Liszt generally stayed with the nineteenthcentury tradition of harmonising chants rather than returning to their proper monophonic performance. All chords are written in whole notes with no bar lines imposed.37 Despite Liszt’s plan for reforming plainchant settings, he did not intensify his reliance on plainchant in his sacred works from 1860 on. In the first period, he had used plainchant in his Pater noster I, his Mass for Male Voices, his two Te Deum settings, and in the St Cecilia and St Elisabeth Legends. In this second period with its greater number of sacred works overall, he uses plainchant only in the Missa choralis, the Coronation Mass, the oratorio Christus, and in Via Crucis. The earlier Pater noster and Te Deum are harmonised or unison settings of the entire plainchants. But in other pieces Liszt tends to present an unaccompanied chant intonation, after which the reference to chant ceases or the motive may become the basis for the movement’s compositional unfolding. In Christus and the legends, some of the plainchant borrowings are not even initially highlighted by solo or unison performance, but are integrated into the prevailing texture. In short, Liszt’s treatment of chant within many of his sacred compositions does not follow the simple and overt harmonisation method he propounded in Responsorien und Antiphonen; Liszt was interested in bringing a chant’s historical and liturgical essence into his works without necessarily invoking its associated performance modes. In 1860, the same year he wrote Responsorien und Antiphonen, Liszt set in German Psalm 18 (19), Die Himmel erz¨ahlen die ehre Gottes, for men’s chorus. He published it in 1871, allowing varying accompaniments: full orchestra and organ ad lib., organ alone, brass and wind instruments with percussion ad lib.38 The choral writing in this psalm of praise is largely homophonic or unison, with only limited imitative passages. The work’s three strophes share the same melodic material. Two other German works use psalm texts: Gott sei uns gnaedig meine Seel’ erhebt den Herrn! (Psalm 67) from 1878 (for mixed chorus and organ, unpublished) which asks God to continue His blessings on His people; and Der Herr bewahret die Seelen seiner Heiligen (Psalm 97:10–12), which expresses confidence in the Lord’s justice. The latter was composed as the festival song for the unveiling of the Carl August Monument in Weimar on 3 September 1875.39 Scored for mixed chorus, brass, timpani, and organ, the work features the voices in thirds on a descending motive; each time the motive appears it descends from a higher starting pitch than previously. Of

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the two published endings, the second is more effective with its third-related altered harmonies at preiset that relieve the diatonic sameness. Liszt composed a Latin setting of Psalm 116 (117), Laudate Dominum, in 186940 and published this psalm the same year, the score allowing for men’s or mixed chorus with piano or orchestral accompaniment. Liszt incorporated the orchestral version into his Coronation Mass two years after the latter work’s premiere in 1867. The version with piano is examined here. As in the other psalm of praise that Liszt set, Psalm 18 (19), the vocal setting of 116 (117) is entirely homophonic or in unison, proclaiming its textual message without textural complications. The voices deviate from their forceful utterances only at the words misericordia ejus (His mercy), where suspensions restrain the drive forward. The piano part, with its ascending scalar passages, syncopated chordal punctuation, and tremolandos, increases the rhythmic vitality of the psalm setting. When Liszt wrote his Testament in 1860, he mentioned An den heiligen Franziskus von Paula as one of his works in manuscript, so presumably it had been finished in some form by then (BR, V, 61); it was not published until 1875. Liszt called it a ‘prayer’ for men’s voices – soloists and chorus, with harmonium or organ and three trombones and timpani ad lib. In addition to its prayer-like phrases, the work evokes the tempestuous waters upon which St Francis miraculously walked, brought to life by the men’s chorus singing undulating agitato lines. Liszt composed Mihi autem adhaerere in 1868 as an Offertory for the Mass of St Francis of Assisi; it is scored for men’s chorus and organ. The words are taken from the wisdom Psalm 73, specifically verse 28, Mihi autem adhaerere Deo bonum est, ponere in Domino Deo spem meam (But for me it is good to be near God, to place my hope in the Lord God). They are set simply, but with nuanced harmony and arching melodic line to match Liszt’s intention, particularly for the words my hope: ‘I did not want it to be too restful, nor too agitated – simple and effusive, tender and serious, ardent and chaste, all at the same time.’41 The other piece for St Francis of Assisi is Cantico del Sol, for baritone solo, men’s chorus, orchestra and organ, composed in 1862 and revised c. 1879–82. At roughly 15 minutes in length, this is Liszt’s longest work for a solo male voice. It sets the Canticle of the Sun written by St Francis, which praises God for each of his creations in eight successive stanzas. The chorale theme In dulci jubilo appears in stanzas 2, 4, and 6, the other major melodic idea beginning with an ascending perfect fourth. On one hand, the work has an overt structure, with the stanzas progressing as a series of variations on these two elements; on the other, the stanzas are not of equal length and Liszt’s different ways of handling them, particularly with respect to orchestral accompaniment, gives Cantico del Sol a more subtle unfolding than its stanzaic background would suggest. Particularly striking

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is the change to 44 time from the prevailing 34 for stanza 7’s praise of God’s creation madre terra; in addition the accompaniment thins out following stanza 6’s full and animated texture in praise of fire. Liszt’s writing for baritone solo demands stamina, but never empty virtuosity. The Missa choralis for mixed chorus and organ was composed largely in 1865.42 Liszt apparently intended to dedicate the Mass to Pope Pius IX, but it bore no dedication when published in 1869. Liszt incorporated plainchant in two movements: the Credo is based on a fragment that also appears in the Male-Voice Mass,43 and the Kyrie uses an antiphon from Vespers on Corpus Christi, whose text Sacerdos in aeternum Christus Dominus secundum ordinem Melchisedech panem et vinum obtulit (Christ the Lord a priest for ever in the line of Melchisedech brought bread and wine) is perhaps a reflection on Liszt’s taking minor orders in 1865. Unlike the Gran Mass, the Missa choralis does not reveal a high degree of motivic unification among movements. Only at the dona nobis pacem does an earlier motive recur, that of the Kyrie. On the other hand, the Credo is almost dogmatic in its reuse of its opening motive throughout. The Mass’s most compelling musical feature is its effective array of textures. Whereas the Credo has a significant portion of unison writing, the Kyrie, Gloria, and Sanctus have a number of passages with quick, staggered entrances. The Benedictus puts each voice in dialogue with the other three who respond homophonically, while in the Agnus Dei each voice is given miserere in turn, but now answered by the other voices in contrapuntal interaction. The Christe has an extended hocket on eleison which also ends the final Kyrie. The key scheme of the Missa choralis is d-D G D BD, which is similar to that of the Gran Mass. As he did in that Mass ten years earlier, Liszt uses third relationships in the Missa choralis, but the overall language is relatively diatonic. The most striking harmonic effect occurs in the Agnus Dei, whose first two sonorities are D minor to the Neapolitan, a progression that also sounds on the last peccata mundi; after a pause, the two tones E and G carry over to dona nobis pacem, introducing a nebulous tonal passage before the piece returns solidly to D. With his Ungarische Kr¨onungsmesse (Coronation Mass), composed in 1866–7, Liszt returned to an orchestrated setting for soprano, alto, tenor, and bass soloists, mixed chorus, full orchestra, and organ. Its commission was occasioned by the coronation of Francis Joseph I of Austria as King of Hungary in 1867, an appointment Liszt coveted ‘to show myself worthy of it as a Catholic, a Hungarian, and a composer’.44 Two years later he made some revisions and added as the Graduale the orchestral version of his Psalm 116 (117) setting, publishing the entire work in 1869. Apparently Liszt received instructions to write this Mass so that it could be performed easily. Consequently, the accompaniments move

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predominantly in even note values and the choral writing is largely homophonic with a limited number of imitative passages. The Mass’s interest lies in its varying dispositions of solos and chorus, including their simultaneous utterance of different texts in the Benedictus, which does not happen often in Liszt’s sacred choral writing. The composer’s orchestration also changes effectively both within and between movements. For example, the Sanctus surprisingly highlights the organ when it sustains its incomplete V9 harmony (A C E G/B) through two bars of rest (bb. 17–18) after the orchestra suddenly breaks off; and during the qui tollis peccata mundi section of the Gloria the solo voices exchange motives with the paired oboes and bassoons. In the Benedictus Liszt offers one of his few examples of obbligato solo violin writing. Perhaps what distinguishes the Coronation Mass most from Liszt’s other Masses is its heavy reliance on Hungarian musical gestures, intended, as Liszt’s quoted words suggest, to bring his Hungarian allegiances to the forefront. In the Gloria the words qui tollis peccata mundi are set to a descending fragment of the Hungarian scale, and qui sedes ad dexteram Patris (Thou that sittest at the right hand of the Father) adapts a fragment of the R´ak´oczy March. Liszt characterised the instrumental Offertory as a sort of Magyar hymn;45 its cantabile expressiveness changes to a forceful declaration by the movement’s end. And the obbligato violin melody of the Benedictus uses the repeated appoggiatura figures typical of the verbunkos dance, but that also appear in the R´ak´oczy March. Whereas a number of the larger sacred works to date had revealed an operatic strain in their vocal writing, Liszt infused the vocal solos of his Coronation Mass with a lyrical simplicity. Because of this quality, he was able to incorporate into the Mass a Credo from the seventeenth-century composer Henri Dumont, largely a unison plainchant setting, without any jarring stylistic incongruity.46 The cyclic element of the Coronation Mass is focused on the return of the qui tollis peccata mundi music from the Gloria in the first two statements of the Agnus Dei, followed by a closing Tempo del Kyrie which is reminiscent of the Christe with its successive appoggiatura figures. As part of Liszt’s desire that the work be easy to perform, he limited its harmonic complexities.47 The Gloria, Graduale, and Agnus Dei reveal fairly typical Lisztian writing in which an upper voice gradually traces a chromatic line to a climax or nadir. The key scheme of the movements unfolds EC C d E E A E. On the heels of composing the Coronation Mass, Liszt wrote a Requiem (1867–8) for two tenor and two bass soloists, men’s chorus, organ, and brass ad lib. The motivation for the Requiem’s composition remains uncertain, with theories pointing to the recently executed Emperor Maximilian, Liszt’s

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recently deceased mother and children, and anticipation of his own funeral. In any case, Liszt expressed his feeling that composers had generally ‘colored the Requiem black, quite unrelentingly black’, whereas he ‘tried to give to the feeling of death a character of sweet Christian hope’.48 Liszt’s claim is not entirely borne out in a hearing of the Requiem, since its predominant harmonic language is highly chromatic, lending it a discomforting tone. The tension is relieved periodically: in the Kyrie that ends the Requiem aeternam, in the Andante maestoso section of the Offertorium, in the hosanna sections of the Sanctus and Benedictus, and at the end of the Agnus Dei. Liszt originally concluded the Requiem at this point, but then added Libera me in 1872. The latter is very different from the rest because of its more animated rhythmic quality, involving the organ in a driving accompanimental figure that sounds as late as twelve bars from the end. Furthermore, Liszt does not end Libera me with its usual ‘Grant eternal rest to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them’, but rather he returns to its opening lines, ‘Deliver me, O Lord, from death eternal, on that dreadful day, when the heavens and the earth shall quake, when Thou shalt come to judge the world by fire.’49 In view of this call for deliverance and the driving movement that accompanies it, the concluding organ plagal cadence is far from settling. This Libera me conclusion notwithstanding, the general mood of Liszt’s Requiem is more restrained than those by Mozart, Cherubini, Berlioz, and Verdi, which Liszt knew (BR, VII, 177, 293). Liszt uses the brass and timpani only in the hosanna sections of the Sanctus and Benedictus and in three related spots in the Dies irae: at Tuba mirum spargens sonum, Judex ergo cum sedebit, and judicandus homo reus, the first in response to its imagery of the trumpet, and the latter two dealing with the Last Judgement. The Dies irae is unified by a motive of a semitone up, diminished third down (G A F), necessary in view of the inordinate length of the Dies irae, which lasts 16 minutes versus the 5–9 minutes of the other five movements. The chromatic language of the Requiem has already been mentioned. Liszt uses augmented triads judiciously for selected words with rhetorical impact.50 His most dissonant sonority falls within the Dies irae in the Recordare section at ne me perdas (do not forsake me): E sounds simultaneously with E in the outer voices.51 Also noteworthy in the Offertorium is the setting of Hostias et preces, tibi, Domine, laudis offerimus (O Lord, we offer to Thee sacrifices and prayers of praise) with unclear tonal implications, designated misterioso. Finally, the key scheme of the movements unfolds: A C A F A A; the plan is fairly typical of Liszt’s multiple-movement works from this time period, except for the A of the added on Libera me. Liszt’s second oratorio, Christus, was largely composed in 1865–6, though he continued working on it until its publication in 1872.52 One is struck by how differently Liszt conceived this work in comparison to the

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St Elisabeth oratorio, despite their proximity in time. Christus unfolds in three main parts, which Liszt labels Weihnachts-Oratorium, Nach Epiphania, and Passion und Auferstehung. The first two parts each contain five separate movements, while part 3 has four movements. Unlike in St Elisabeth, there are no connecting recitatives. With a few exceptions, solo voices emerge out of the chorus for textural contrast or in evocation of liturgical responsorial singing. Two exceptions occur when the baritone solo ‘speaks’ as Christ: in part II, no. 9: Quid timidi estis modicae fidei? (Why are you fearful, o ye of little faith?) and then in part III, no. 11: Tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem. Pater, si possibile est transeat a me calix iste, sed non quod ego volo, sed quod tu (My soul is sorrowful even unto death. My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt). Another occurs when the mezzo-soprano solo sings ‘above’ the chorus in Part II, no. 10, ‘The Entry into Jerusalem’, much as would occur in an operatic scene. Christus’s subtitle, Oratorio on Texts from the Holy Scripture and the Catholic Liturgy, helps put Liszt’s musical choices in perspective. Unlike St Elisabeth, Christus does not unfold as a narrative per se, but instead reminds us of significant moments in Christ’s life by allusion to certain biblical passages or liturgical texts/melodies. Liszt himself assembled these texts. The oratorio’s movements and their associations are as follows: Part I. Weihnachts-Oratorium 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Part II. Nach Epiphania 6.

Introduction Pastorale and Annunciation Stabat mater speciosa Shepherd’s Song at the Manger The Three Holy Kings The Beatitudes


Pater noster


The Foundation of the Church The Miracle The Entry into Jerusalem

9. 10.

Part III. Passion und Auferstehung 11. 12. 13. 14.

Tristis est anima mea Stabat mater dolorosa O filii et filiae. Easter hymn Resurrexit. Christus vincit

Rorate coeli melody and Angelus ad pastores melody Angelus ad pastores text (Luke 2: 10–14) and melody hymn of same name German tune Es flog ein T¨aublein weisse von Himmel an Matthew 2: 9, 11 Matthew 5: 3–10 and Angelus ad pastores melody Pater noster text (Matthew 6: 9–13) and melody Tu es Petrus from Matthew 16: 18 and John 21: 15–17 Matthew 8: 24–6 Hosanna, benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini (Matthew 21:9) and Benedicamus Domino melody Mark 14: 34–6 hymn of same name anonymous Easter hymn (text and music) Rorate coeli melody, Angelus ad pastores melody, and Hosanna melody from no. 10

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Part I, the Christmas story, opens with a movement based on the melody Rorate coeli, an Advent chant that gives expression to the prophet Isaiah’s longing for the coming of the Messiah (Isaiah 45:8). Nos. 1 and 4 are solely orchestral pieces, pastoral in character; they are separated by two largely choral movements – no. 2 consists of the angel’s solo announcement to the shepherds, women’s chorus responding alleluia, then full chorus; and no. 3 a choral setting of the hymn ‘Stabat mater speciosa’, about Mary at the manger. Whereas nos. 1–4 suggest calm joy at Christ’s birth, Part I closes with a march (no. 5), presumably to suggest the travels of the kingly trio. But the march-like frame of no. 5 encases two other contrasting materials, the first of which Liszt labels with these words from Matthew 2:9: Et ecce stella, quam viderent in Oriente, antecedebat eos, usque dum veniens, staret supra ubi erat Puer (And lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the Child was). Clearly this sustained unfolding of an arching diatonic line is meant to evoke the kings’ calm wonder at the sight of the star. And the strangely chromatic music to which Liszt attaches Matthew 2:11, Apertis thesauris suis, obtulerunt Magi Domino aurum, thus et mirrham (Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh), suggests the gifts’ foreignness, but without any dramatic impact. In its own way, no. 5 too captures the simplistic calm of the Christmas story. Part II has a more dramatic shaping, gradually building in intensity. It opens with two prayers uttered by Christ during his Sermon on the Mount. The Beatitudes (no. 6) involve responsorial alternation between the baritone solo and the chorus; Pater noster (no. 7) uses sustained choral homophony, with only a few contrasting imitative passages. Liszt originally composed the music for no. 8 to the text Dall’ alma Roma in praise of Pius IX.53 The opening text, Tu es Petrus, is boldly declaimed by men in unison, accompanied by an orchestral tremolo on E, the fifth of an augmented triad on A. This stark opening is followed by a lyrical setting of the words from John, Simon Joannis, diligis me? Pasce agnos meos, pasce oves meos (Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? Feed my lambs. Feed my sheep), and then a return to Tu es Petrus as a triumphant major-mode proclamation. The Miracle (no. 9) clearly depicts the passage from Matthew in which a storm overtakes the boat carrying Christ and his disciples. The orchestra’s agitato chromatic oscillations are finally overlaid with the men’s choir singing Domine, salva nos, perimus (Lord save us, we perish), to which Christ answers unaccompanied, ‘Why are ye fearful, o ye of little faith?’ An orchestral calm ensues, and Liszt reintroduces the music that accompanied regnum caelorum (kingdom of heaven) in the Beatitudes. Whereas no. 9 is a descriptive piece, no. 10, The Entry into Jerusalem, is a ceremonial climax to Part III, its instrumentation including even cymbals. The text unfolds with phrases beginning Hosanna

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and Benedictus (blessed), in most cases uttered by full chorus with full orchestral accompaniment, suggesting the exultation at Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. Liszt’s concession to the pictorial lies in a sort of walking bass at the outset and again at letter Q; it captures well the idea of a jubilant entry. Whereas the numbers within the first two parts of the oratorio were roughly equal in length, those in Part III are strangely uneven, running 14, 40, 3, and 7 minutes respectively. The longest are Tristis est anima mea (no. 11) and Stabat mater dolorosa (no. 12). No. 11 focuses on Christ’s sorrow as he anticipated his death and no. 12 on his Mother’s suffering at the foot of his cross. After the generally diatonic nature of Parts I and II, Liszt imbues these two numbers with a highly chromatic language to capture Christ’s and his Mother’s anguish. Tristis est anima mea is the oratorio’s only aria, for baritone solo. Liszt set the entire hymn text Stabat mater dolorosa, which accounts for this number’s inordinate length. He alternated the hymn tune and a newly composed melody that first appears in connection with the words Eja mater, fons amoris. In the climactic passage Inflammatus et accensus, the speaker asks for Mary’s protection when reflecting on the fires of Judgement Day; orchestral tremolos support the choral exclamation of the hymn tune, now momentarily in a diatonic guise. Two verses later the number ends with an effective alternation between the soloists and chorus moving stepwise upwards on the words paradisi gloria. In no. 13, O filii et filiae, Liszt set an anonymous Latin Easter hymn text and melody for sopranos and altos with harmonium, never rising above a piano dynamic level. Each of the three strophes unfolds with the same diatonic chord palette, in startling contrast to the two preceding sections. After the mysterious quiet of the Easter hymn, no. 14 Resurrexit conveys exultation at Christ’s resurrection. Liszt effectively unifies the entire oratorio by returning to several earlier materials: at the outset clarinets and bassoons intone the Rorate coeli melody from no. 1; a large part of what follows uses the Hosanna melody from no. 10, ‘The Entry into Jerusalem’; the melody of the alleluia from no. 2, The Annunciation, returns at alleluia here; the orchestra again intones the Rorate coeli melody as support for the Amen. Thus, the concluding Resurrexit brings back into focus the prophet Isaiah’s prophecy about the coming of a Messiah and its earthly fulfilment through Christ’s communion with his followers in Jerusalem and through his resurrection. The link to and among these ideas is found at the words Christus vincit (Christ triumphs), which Liszt sets initially with a rising fifth, the same interval that opens Rorate coeli and the plainsong on which no. 2 is based. Overall, Christus does not have the outward operatic trappings of St Elisabeth, but its dramatic choral utterances in nos. 8, 10, and 14 bring Christ’s earthly triumphs into vivid focus. At the same time the lengthy emphasis on Christ’s suffering and loss in nos. 11 and 12 remind us that Liszt

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was drawn to this aspect of Christ’s life; they allow us to see into Christ’s and his Mother’s quiet suffering and intense anguish. Their genuineness of expression suggests that Liszt understood these human experiences.54 Liszt composed Via Crucis c. 1877–9;55 the Regensburg publisher Pustet rejected it for publication in 1884, together with Septem sacramenta and Rosario. It was first performed in 1929 in Budapest and was published in 1936. It is scored for solo voices, mixed chorus, and organ or piano. Like Liszt’s Masses, this work is intended for use in church, in this case for the devotional service known as the Stations or Way of the Cross, in which the people make in spirit ‘a pilgrimage to the chief scenes of Christ’s sufferings and death’.56 When the Stations of the Cross are performed publicly, it is usual to sing a stanza of Stabat mater dolorosa while passing from one Station to the next. Liszt adapted this custom by having the chorus sing the hymn in the second half of Stations 3, 7, and 9 (the Stations that commemorate Jesus’s successive falls), and in the penultimate 13, to which we will return. Liszt prefaces the Stations with the hymn Vexilla regis sung in unison, a hymn praising God who reigned from the Cross, then uses the hymns O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden in Station 6 and Crux fidelis and O Traurigkeit in Station 12, then returns to the 6th stanza of Vexilla regis, O crux, ave (varied as Ave crux) in Station 14.57 Despite these familiar hymn and chorale tunes, the work leaves an aural impression of an unsettled tonal language. Specifically, nos. 4, 8, and 10 involve sliding chromatic lines and harmonies; when they do come to rest, the harmony is either diminished or unique (no. 10 ends on the pitches B D F G A). No. 12 has a series of augmented triads after the words Eli Eli lama sabacthani (My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?). Other Stations use successive chromatic chords and may, like no. 5, abruptly end on a single tone, or like no. 11, on an unusual linear unfolding (A B D F G A B).58 In this latter case, Liszt may have been projecting a form of his ‘Cross’ motive. In fact, the Cross motive underlies many of the sections: its basic intervals (up major 2nd, up minor 3rd) appear in nos. 7, 12 and 14; up minor 2nd, up major 3rd in nos. 2, 4, 11 and 12; up minor 2nd, down minor 3rd in nos. 5 and 13. Liszt also provides a unification in Station 13, Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross, by bringing back the Stabat mater dolorosa, as well as melodies from Stations 4 and 6. As a whole, the work begins in d minor and moves to D major in its last thirty-two measures; but even there Liszt inflects the F a semitone lower three times. This rhetorical gesture on the words Ave crux, an abbreviation of the hymn text Hail Cross, our only hope, is a final reminder that our hope was made possible through Christ’s suffering. In the preface to his Septem sacramenta (composed 1878), Liszt said, ‘The following compositions may be sung in churches and chapels shortly

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before or during the administering of the Holy Sacraments.’59 Thus, like Via Crucis, the parts of this work were intended for church services. Liszt retained the official church ordering: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Orders, and Matrimony. The scoring is for mezzo-soprano and baritone solos, mixed chorus, and organ, harmonium or piano; the men’s voices predominate, with the women’s choir providing a colour contrast in Confirmation and Eucharist, and the mezzo soloist in Matrimony. Liszt’s vocal writing in this work is varied, though he uses a significant amount of choral unison and simple block harmony. Notable is the motivic character of most of the movements. Confirmation has a recurring motive that outlines a triad, then progresses to an open fifth; Eucharist is united by a motive A B A G (F); Penance by F B A; Extreme Unction by movement from E1 F1 G1 A1 to D1 E1 E1 F1 ; and Orders by E1 G1 A1 C2 . The outer two movements, Baptism in C, Matrimony in F, form a frame in which a gesture that appears in Baptism (b. 47 D1 B C1 D1 D1 B C1 D1 , b. 122 C2 D2 D2 E2 ) resolves at the end of Matrimony (b. 67 D1 C1 ). Rosario, composed in 1879, is the other piece Liszt unsuccessfully submitted for publication in 1884. In the preface, Liszt wrote, ‘I lived for some time in two rooms next to the church of the Madonna del Rosario at Monte Mario, near Rome. There I sometimes followed the devotions to the Rosary, to which I am adding this musical accompaniment.’60 Scored for mixed chorus and organ or harmonium, Rosario consists of three settings of the Hail Mary and a concluding Pater noster for baritone solo or unison men’s voices. This work has neither the complexity nor the sophistication of either Via Crucis or Septem sacramenta. The first and third Ave Marias (Mysteria gaudiosa and Mysteria gloriosa) are essentially the same, but the middle one (Mysteria dolorosa) reshapes the melody slightly so that diminished chords result. The concluding Pater noster is largely a cappella. Liszt’s Cantantibus organis of 1879 is scored for alto solo, mixed chorus, and orchestra. It sets the text of the antiphon for St Cecilia whose melody Liszt had used earlier in the St Cecilia Legend: Cantantibus organis Caecilia Domino decantabat dicens: fiat cor meum immaculatum ut non confundar.

To the sound of musical instruments Cecilia sang to the Lord, saying: Let my heart be unstained So that I suffer no shame.

Liszt wrote the piece for the Palestrina ceremony of the Societ`a musicale romana in 1880 and it is noteworthy that Palestrina had also set this text. The unaccompanied soloist sings Cecilia’s lines at two points, using the same poignant motive heard at the outset in unison strings and at letter F in unison chorus.

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In addition to what has already been discussed, Liszt composed between 1860 and 1886 some twenty-nine shorter choral works and a Latin setting of Psalm 129 (130). Six are occasional: Slavimo slavno, Slaveni! for men’s chorus and organ (1863–6), for the millennium celebration of the Slav Saints Cyril and Methodius; Crux! Hymne des marins for men’s chorus a cappella or for women’s or children’s chorus with piano (1865), Liszt’s setting of a text by Guichon de Grandpont, head commissioner of the Marines (the text ends with a blessing of the marines by Pius IX); Dall’ alma Roma sommo Pastore (1866) in praise of Pius IX;61 Inno a Maria Vergine (1869) for mixed chorus with harp and organ or with harp, piano 4 hands, and harmonium, asking Mary’s protection for Pius IX; Pro papa I for men’s chorus and organ and II for mixed chorus and organ (1880) in honour of Leo XIII; Nun danket alle Gott for organ [with mixed or men’s chorus, brass, percussion ad lib.] (1883) for installation of an organ in Riga. Slavimo uses a harmonic progression in G major where G is followed by an F chord, lending this a momentary modal character. Inno a Maria Vergine offers wonderful timbral changes through its use of organ and harp in addition to the mixed chorus. Another eight of the twenty-nine shorter choral works are prayer settings: Pater noster II for mixed voices and organ (1860?);62 Pater noster III in two arrangements, one for mixed chorus with organ, one for men’s chorus with organ or harmonium or piano (1869); Ave Maria II for mixed chorus and organ (1869); two versions of Anima Christi for men’s chorus and organ (1874); Sposalizio-Trauung. Ave Maria III for organ or harmonium [with alto solo and unison soprano and alto voices ad lib.] (1883); Pax vobiscum for four male voices (solo or chorus) with organ ad lib. (1885); Pater noster IV for four mixed voices and organ (unverifiable date, unpublished). Whereas the Ave Maria II and Pater noster III settings are simple and homophonic, Pater noster II offers more variable textures; neither Pater noster II nor III is based on plainchant. Sposalizio-Trauung. Ave Maria III is based on Liszt’s ` piano piece of that name from the second book of Ann´ees de pelerinage. Anima Christi is a prayer to Christ, focusing particularly on the healing powers of his Passion via the blood and water that flowed from his side. Anima Christi I opens in E minor, then its four middle lines intra vulnera tua absconde me, ne permittas me separari a te, ab hoste maligno defende me, in hora mortis meae voca me (Within thy wounds shelter me; never let me be separated from thee; from the wicked foe defend me; at the hour of my death please call me) are set for unison voices in a gradually ascending chromatic line, preparing for a jubilant end in E major. Anima Christi II also moves from E minor to E major, but its setting of those internal lines is more subtly inflected. Furthermore, the fluid declamation of Anima Christi I contrasts with the more four-square articulation of Anima Christi II.

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The remaining shorter choral pieces include a song in praise of Rome, O Roma nobilis for mixed chorus and organ (1879); two Christmas songs, Christus est geboren in two versions with arrangements for mixed chorus, male chorus, and women’s chorus (1863)63 and O heilige Nacht for tenor solo, women’s chorus and organ or harmonium (after 1876);64 a funeral responsory Libera me for men’s chorus and organ which Liszt incorporated into his Requiem (c.1870–1); two Marian antiphons, Ave Maris stella in two arrangements, one for mixed chorus and organ or harmonium, one for men’s chorus and organ or harmonium (1865/66–8) and Salve regina for mixed chorus (1885); and four hymns: a Vespers hymn for Corpus Christi Tantum ergo in two arrangements, one for women’s chorus and organ, one for men’s voices and organ (1869); another hymn for Corpus Christi O Salutaris hostia in two versions, one for women’s chorus and organ (1869), one for mixed voices and organ (c. 1869–70); a hymn for the Elevation of the Host, Ave verum corpus, for mixed chorus and organ ad lib. (1871); another hymn for the Eucharist, O sacrum convivium for alto solo and mezzo-soprano/alto chorus ad lib. with harmonium or organ (after 1880).65 Liszt used the traditional hymn texts in all four cases, but not their associated melodies. All four focus on Christ’s bodily sacrifice, as did Anima Christi, Christus, and Via Crucis. Thus, from 1865 on, Liszt seems to have concentrated intensely on Christ’s Passion and its redemptive power. All four hymns use chromaticism or unresolved chords to evoke Christ’s suffering. Ave verum corpus overlays chromatic tones on a series of suspensions in bb. 11–30. O salutaris hostia I for women’s chorus sets the words bella premunt hostilia (our foes press on from every side) first with a three-chord progression of diminished, major, diminished, then with diminished, augmented, diminished.66 Tantum ergo is set for women’s chorus and for men’s chorus with slight differences between the two. Here chromaticism is minimally apparent except for an F–F inflection in bb. 23–4 and 45–6; Liszt thus incorporated a rhetorical gesture associated with suffering, although of the four hymn texts this one speaks least directly to Christ’s suffering. O sacrum convivium sets the words recolitur memoria passionis ejus (the memory of his Passion is renewed) with an augmented triad; more will be said below. Five shorter pieces and Psalm 129 (130) remain: Ossa arida for men’s chorus and organ or piano 4 hands (1879); In domum Domini ibimus for mixed chorus, organ, brass and percussion (after 1880);67 Mariengarten. Quasi Cedrus! for SSAT and organ (before 1885);68 Qui seminant in lacrimis for mixed chorus and organ (1884); Qui Mariam absolvisti for baritone solo, mixed chorus, organ or harmonium (1885); Psalm 129 (130) De profundis for bass or alto voice and piano or organ (1883–6).69 As a group, they share certain features of textual content and tonal language. Ossa arida sets Ezekiel 37:4: ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!’ The context is a vision in which God instructs Ezekiel to speak to the piled

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bones so that they coalesce into living beings; God tells Ezekiel that these resurrected bones are the house of Israel, giving him hope that his people will be restored from their exile. Thus, the passage tells of national and spiritual restoration. Liszt mentioned the work in connection with his desire to depict the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, another vision, so, at least in part, the passage’s evocation of a visual image was what attracted Liszt to it (BR VII, 393). The next three pieces, In domum Domini, Mariengarten, and Qui seminant, also set Old Testament passages, from Psalm 122:1, Ecclesiasticus 24:13–15 (Sirach 24:13–15), and Psalm 126:5 respectively. All three passages are used in the liturgy of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, and, therefore, with Rosario, may suggest an increased devotion to Mary on Liszt’s part.70 More specifically, Psalm 122:1 reads, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’; its context is a praise of Zion as the pilgrim’s goal. Ecclus. 24:13–15 reads: I grew tall like a cedar in Lebanon, and as a cypress tree on Mount Sion. I was exalted like a palm tree in Cades and as a rose-plant in Jericho. As a fair olive tree in the plains, and as a plane tree by the water in streets, was I exalted. I gave forth a sweet fragrance like cinnamon and aromatic balm. I yielded a sweetness of odour like the choicest myrrh.

The context of this excerpt is a praise of Wisdom, who ‘took root in an honoured people’, in Jerusalem. Psalm 126:5 reads, ‘May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy!’ Its context is a prayer that God’s favour be granted to his people once again. In addition to their Marian connection, Liszt may have been attracted to the message of these three texts praising God’s people and their quest for Zion and heaven. In domum Domini is particularly telling in this regard, because twenty-four bars from the end it quotes the bell motif from Wagner’s Parsifal where the bells accompany a procession of knights bearing Amfortas to the Grail Hall. The bells signify a ceremonial movement towards God and thus Liszt alludes to them in highlighting the Psalm’s message of moving into the house of the Lord. The source of the last of the five shorter pieces, Qui Mariam absolvisti, is the Dies irae of the Requiem Mass. Its text reads: ‘Thou who didst absolve Mary (Magdalene), and heeded the thief, hast also given hope to me.’ It shares the sentiment of hope expressed in Ossa arida and the three other Old Testament pieces. Psalm 129 (130) De profundis is a prayer asking for God’s mercy in the face of personal difficulty and also expressing hope in his redemptive power for the nation of Israel. De profundis is most commonly recited in prayers for the dead.71 With this overview of textual content in mind, we turn to the tonal language of these late pieces, adding O sacrum convivium to the discussion.

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Excepting O sacrum convivium and Qui Mariam absolvisti, the other pieces close on a major chord, signalling a hopeful message. Ossa arida is most often discussed because its first twenty bars consist almost entirely of superimposed rising thirds, building from p sotto voce to fortissimo at the utterance of the words ‘Dry bones!’ This strange passage evokes an unworldly mood appropriate to Ezekiel’s vision. The next section of the piece uses harmonic progression by thirds, grounded in A major; the successive chromatic shifts are colourful and again provoke awe, giving way to a diatonic ending. In the case of Qui seminant in lacrimis, Liszt infuses it with more overt melodic chromaticism to evoke a sense of sorrow up to the words ‘reap with shouts of joy’. This is really the same illustrative approach he took in the 1870s for his Corpus Christi and Eucharist hymns. Similarly, Mariengarten uses its chromaticism at the mention of exotic spices beginning at sicut cinnamomum (like cinnamon), while the previous lines and the ending in plenitudine sanctorum detentio mea (and my abode is in the full assembly of the saints) are diatonic. The piece also reveals a certain tonal manipulation that does not proceed from a textual response. The opening line suggests a tonal ambiguity between A major and F minor that lingers at the end when the three final chords are C F and A. Furthermore, Liszt unfolds a large-scale chromatic movement from F1 to F2 that persists even when the local passage is diatonic. In domum Domini seems to progress solely according to a tonal plan, given that it repeats the same text line over and over. Liszt unfolds a linear movement between E1 and B1 three times, each time filling it in with different forms of the intervening tones. Then, after the Parsifal bell insertion, he sounds B1 C2 D2 E2 , with a final diatonic ascent from E1 to E2 minus the pitch D. O sacrum convivium and Qui Mariam absolvisti also display a distinctive tonal language that goes beyond the sort of local word- or affect-colouration mentioned earlier for O sacrum wherein Liszt sets ‘the memory of his Passion is renewed’ with an augmented triad. Both use a linear unfolding similar to that found in Mariengarten and In domum Domini, but both end somewhat open-ended, suggesting a more generalised affective response to the text. O sacrum sets its text O sacrum convivium, in quo Christus sumitur, recolitur memoria passionis ejus, mens impletur gratia, et futurae gloriae nobis pignus datur.

O sacred banquet, in which Christ is received, the memory of his Passion is renewed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.

and then closes with a return to the initial phrase O sacrum convium. Rather than solidify the E major focus that has returned with that phrase, the

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keyboard accompaniment ends with an E chord in second inversion, followed by a single descending line that settles yearningly on B (E D CB F GC A B). The remainder of the hymn, which Liszt did not set, beseeches God to grant us reverence for the sacred mysteries of Christ’s Body and Blood so that we can experience the Eucharist as redemptive fruit. The final yearning gesture A-B, which permeates the piece, captures this sense of longing and mystery. Qui Mariam absolvisti is the sparsest of all the shorter choral pieces. It consists mostly of a single line, never sounding more than two tones at once. Liszt reduces his materials here to one basic motif that expands and contracts, finally outlining the fifth F-C1 , and ending with the single line C1 F D1 C1 . Although an E leading-tone is not present in the last twentyeight bars, the melodic unfolding informs us that F should be the tonic, so that the final C suggests a latent resolution yet to come. The sigh figure D C furthermore lends a sad tone, just as the A-B of O sacrum yields a sense of yearning. So, the music of Qui Mariam interprets its words mihi quoque spem dedisti (Thou hast also given hope to me) with a somewhat complicated affect of sad anticipation. Given that these lines are from the Dies irae, the sad anticipation ties into Liszt’s attitude towards death. Finally, our discussion turns to Liszt’s setting of Psalm 129 (130) De profundis, whose music he intended to use in his unfinished oratorio St Stanislaus.72 This work too ends with a major chord, signalling a hopeful message; in fact approximately one third of the way through at the words quia apud te propitiatio est (because there is forgiveness with Thee), Liszt adds a four-sharp key signature announcing an E major anchor for the remainder of the piece. But the opening of the work reveals Liszt using an unusual tonal gesture to evoke the ‘depths’ from which the cry for help is uttered, here a series of ascending major sevenths rising from a low to higher range in the organ.73 Paul Merrick relates the pitches that form the sevenths, as they are sounded linearly in the solo voice – B C E F – to a form of the Cross motive.74 If he is correct, then from the outset this work shows us Liszt’s focus on the redemptive powers of Christ’s Crucifixion. Certainly the work’s last twenty-four bars emphasise redemption by abstracting from et ipse redimet Israel ex omnibus iniquitatibus ejus (and God will redeem Israel from all their sins) the two words ipse redimet and repeating them twice more; significantly, only with these two repetitions does Liszt reduce the section’s tendency to chromatic chords.75 In conclusion, Liszt composed some sixty pieces of sacred choral music between age 33 and his death at 75. These works included oratorios, Masses, settings of psalms, prayers and hymns, pieces for Sts Cecilia, Francis of Assisi and Francis of Paula, and Christopher,76 and settings of devotions,

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specifically the Way of the Cross, the Rosary, and the Seven Sacraments. Many of these pieces, particularly after 1860, were intended for use within the liturgy or extra-liturgical devotions. Given their functional nature, there can be no doubt about Liszt’s sincere desire to serve his religion through his art. Also suggestive of his conviction is the fact that, when he was urged to stage the most popular of his sacred works, the St Elisabeth oratorio, he refused to have it secularised. An overview of the texts Liszt set is revealing.77 Ave Maria, Pater noster, and Te Deum are common prayers and therefore not of special consequence, which is also true of his two Christmas songs, Christus ist geboren and O heilige Nacht. His settings of Rosario and two Marian antiphons indicate an increased attention to Mary at the end of his life, prompted, as suggested above, by religious doctrine of the time. The psalm texts fall into four categories: praise of God (18 (19), 67, 97, 116 (117), 122), expressions of hope and trust in God in times of adversity (23), lament (120 (130), 126, 137), and a wisdom psalm (73).78 The other Old Testament texts, Ezekiel 37:4 and Ecclesiasticus 24:17–20, speak of spiritual restoration and praise of Wisdom. A significant number of texts focus on Christ’s bodily sacrifice, evidenced in the four hymns Tantum ergo, O Salutaris hostia, Ave verum corpus, and O sacrum convivium, as well as in the prayer setting Anima Christi, the oratorio Christus, and Via Crucis. In the light of this combined textual content, Liszt’s turn to Sts Francis of Assisi and Christopher among the five saints he treats is of interest.79 St Francis of Assisi, the saint who received the stigmata, or five wounds of Christ, showed his willingness to take on physical suffering as a sign of Christ’s suffering and death on the Cross. St Christopher is the saint who willingly accepted the task of carrying people, for God’s sake, across a raging stream. One day he was carrying a child who continually grew heavier, and who eventually revealed himself as Christ. Many interpret the stream and weight of the child to denote the trials and struggles of a soul taking upon itself the yoke of Christ in this world. Liszt was thus drawn to two Christian figures who linked to his almost obsessive evocation of the pained, yet comforting, image of Christ who redeemed us through his sufferings, death and resurrection. That Liszt identified with such earthly struggles, particularly those of St Francis, can be corroborated in his writings. As he sought to endure the human condition, he also turned to Old Testament texts that express hope in God and the possibility of redemption. In short, Liszt played out his heartfelt spiritual search through the sacred choral music he composed, particularly in the coherent body of works that emerged from 1860 to the end of his life.


1 Liszt: the Romantic artist 1. The explication of Romanticism as a paradox of internal contradictions has a long and distinguished history, reflective perhaps of the frustration experienced by cultural historians who have attempted to forge a coherent definition with its roots in the artworks themselves. It is far easier to define Romanticism in terms of that which its exponents rejected (rigidity, compromise, ease, predictability, pragmatism, slavishness to tradition) or to define the elements of a Romantic attitude to life and art (vocation, integrity, idealism, self-sacrifice, minoritarianism) than to bring the artworks of European Romanticism tidily under a single roof. Excellent examples of the ‘contradictions’ approach are given in Alfred Einstein, Music in the Romantic Era (London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1947), pp. 37–52; and Isaiah Berlin, The Roots of Romanticism, ed. Henry Hardy (London: Pimlico, 2000), pp. 14–20. 2. Liszt, An Artist’s Journey. Lettres d’un bachelier `es musique 1835–41: Franz Liszt, ed. and trans. Charles Suttoni (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 1989), p. xiv. 3. Heinrich Heine, ‘Lettre confidentielle II’, Revue et Gazette musicale de Paris (henceforth RGM), 4 February 1838, given in An Artist’s Journey, p. 221. 4. Ibid. 5. After the tormented hero of Chateaubriand’s novel of the same name. Eleanor Per´enyi in particular is dismissive: Liszt: the Artist as Romantic Hero (Boston & Toronto: Atlantic – Little Brown, 1974), p. 19. For an alternative interpretation, see Alan Walker, Franz Liszt: the Virtuoso Years 1811–1847 (rev. edn, London & Boston: Faber and Faber, 1989), p. 138. 6. Robert Wangerm´ee, ‘Conscience et inconscience du virtuose romantique: a` propos des ann´ees parisiennes de Franz Liszt’, in Music in Paris in the Eighteen-Thirties, ed. Peter Bloom (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon, 1987), pp. 553–73. Three recent essays have centred on aspects of this contradiction, which is central to an understanding of Liszt as a Romantic artist: Kerry Murphy, ‘Liszt and Virtuosity in Paris in the 1830s: the Artist as Romantic Hero’, in Frank Calloway, ed., Essays in Honour of David Evatt Tunley (Nedlands, AUS: Calloway International


Resource Centre for Music Education, the School of Music, University of Western Australia, 1995), pp. 91–104; Richard Leppert, ‘Cultural Contradiction, Idolatry, and the Piano Virtuoso: Franz Liszt’, in James Parakilas et al., eds., Piano Roles: Three Hundred Years of Life with the Piano (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1999), pp. 252–81; and Lawrence Kramer, ‘Franz Liszt and the Virtuoso Public Sphere: Sight and Sound in the Rise of Mass Entertainment’, in idem, Musical Meaning: Towards a Critical History (Berkeley, Los Angeles & London: University of California Press, 2001), pp. 68–99. However, the most sophisticated exposition to date of the Lisztian virtuoso/work-concept problem occurs in Jim Samson, Virtuosity and the Musical Work: the ‘Transcendental Studies’ of Liszt (Cambridge University Press, 2003), esp. pp. 66–86; see also my ‘Berlioz, the Sublime and the Broderie Problem’, in Hector Berlioz: Miscellaneous Studies, ed. Fulvia Morabito and Michela Niccolai (Bologna: Ut Orpheus Edizioni, 2005), 1–31. On Schumann’s criticism, see Leon B. Plantinga, Schumann as Critic (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967); on Herz in Schlesinger’s journal, see my Music Criticism in Nineteenth-Century France: ‘La Revue et Gazette musicale de Paris’, 1834–1880 (Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 143–5. 7. The central figure in Hoffmann’s Kreisleriana, a cycle of musical essays dating from 1814–15; Kreisler reappears in Hoffmann’s satirical novel Kater Murr (1820–1). 8. Balzac, Gambara (1837), given in my Music Criticism, p. 51. 9. Liszt, Lettres d’un bachelier, La Revue et Gazette musicale (RGM) (22 July 1838), given in An Artist’s Journey, 66. I follow the now broad consensus that in these and other early writings the message is Liszt’s, the medium often d’Agoult. 10. Liszt, Lettres d’un bachelier, RGM (12 February 1837), given in An Artist’s Journey, p. 13. 11. Liszt, Lettres d’un bachelier, RGM (16 July 1837), given in An Artist’s Journey, p. 28. 12. Liszt, Lettres d’un bachelier, RGM (25 March 1838), given in An Artist’s Journey, p. 62. 13. Liszt, Lettres d’un bachelier, Gazette musicale (24 October 1839), given in An Artist’s Journey, 186. As a composer, Liszt was always attracted to

250 Notes to pages 4–10 the idea of ‘translating’ literature and visual images into music: Vall´ee d’Obermann (Senancour) and the Harmonies po´etiques et religieuses (Lamartine) are early examples of a long-standing practice. 14. See the reviews quoted in Murphy, ‘Liszt and Virtuosity’, p. 100. 15. Relevant extracts from his letters of 10 and 16 September 1840 are given in Williams, Portrait of Liszt, pp. 142–3. 16. Though unnamed, Liszt was recognised by his contemporaries as the model for the pianist-composer Brand-Sachs – an identity which he was later at pains to deny (see Correspondance de Liszt et de la comtesse d’Agoult, ed. Daniel Ollivier (Paris: Bernard Grasset, 1934), vol. II, 1840–1864, 372). Extracts from the story are available in Pierre-Antoine Hur´e and Claude Knepper, eds., Liszt en son temps (Paris: Hachette, 1987), pp. 170–4. 17. De Ferri`ere, Brand-Sachs, RGM (1 May 1836), p. 138. Further references to Brand-Sachs’s artistic contacts, lifestyle, enthusiasm for philosophy and vision of the artist’s priestly role cement the identity of Brand-Sachs and Liszt (ibid.). 18. My translation. It is notable that Marie d’Agoult described Liszt in similar terms in her M´emoires, even using the word ‘fantˆome’ to describe her impression of him at their first meeting. See Bellas, ‘Du fantastique au merveilleux: Liszt, fils d’Hoffmann, chez M. de Pontmartin’, in Missions et d´emarches de la critique: m´elanges offerts au professeur J.-A. Vier (Paris: Klincksieck, 1973), pp. 157–70, at p. 158. 19. RGM, 24 April 1836, p. 133. Translations mine. 20. De Ferri`ere, Brand-Sachs, given in Hur´e and Knepper, Liszt en son temps, 173. Translation mine. De Ferri`ere’s description accords precisely with accounts of Liszt’s playing which emphasised the Romantic sublime, discussed below. 21. De Ferri`ere was indeed ambivalent towards the Romantic movement; but he was also enamoured of Marie d’Agoult, and Brand-Sachs was undoubtedly motivated by a desire for revenge – a desire which lay behind two other famous portrayals of Liszt, in Balzac’s B´eatrix, ou les amours forc´es of 1839 (instigated by George Sand) and Marie d’Agoult’s own N´elida (1846). Liszt refused to recognise himself in any of these romans a` clef. 22. Liszt, article in L’Artiste, 16 June–11 August 1839, given in An Artist’s Journey, pp. 114–15. 23. Bellas, ‘Du fantastique au merveilleux’, p. 158. Translation mine.

24. Liszt, Lettres d’un bach´elier, RGM (2 September 1838), given in An Artist’s Journey, p. 88. 25. Hanska, ‘Journal’, given in Williams, Portrait of Liszt, p. 199. 26. Cited in Murphy, ‘Liszt and Virtuosity’, p. 102. For more detail on Liszt, Berlioz and the place of the sublime in French Romantic musical thinking, see my ‘Berlioz, the Sublime, and the Broderie Problem’. 27. On Liszt and the sublime, see also Leppert, ‘Cultural Contradiction’, p. 259. 28. The relevant section of Burke’s treatise is given in Music and Aesthetics in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries, ed. Peter Le Huray and James Day (abridged edn, Cambridge University Press, 1988), pp. 61–2. 29. Berlioz’s first account appeared in the Journal des d´ebats, 12 March 1837; the second was the revision he prepared for A travers chants (for a modern edition, see Hector Berlioz: ‘The Art of Music’ and Other Essays (‘A travers ´ chants’), trans. Elizabeth Csicsery-Ronay (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1994), 40. Legouv´e’s account appears in his Soixante ans de souvenirs, 4th edn (Paris, 1886), given in Williams, A Portrait of Liszt, pp. 42–3. 30. Kramer, ‘Franz Liszt’, pp. 74 and 79. Kramer advances both these hypotheses, thereby neatly illustrating the paradox of the virtuoso interpreter that underlies his essay. He does, however, favour the ‘invisible showman’ interpretation (p. 79). 31. Berlioz, Evenings in the Orchestra, trans. C. R. Fortescue (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1963), p. 152. 32. Th´eophile Gautier, ‘Franz Liszt’, in La Presse, 22 April 1844. 33. Heinrich Heine, ‘Lettres confidentielles II’, RGM, 4 February 1838, given in An Artist’s Journey, p. 223. 34. Caroline Barbey-Boissier, La comtesse Ag´enor de Gasparin et sa famille: correspondance et souvenirs 1813–1894 (Paris: Plon-Nourrit et al., 1902), given in Williams, Portrait of Liszt, p. 49. 35. Journal entry from Robert Bory, Une retraite romantique en Suisse (Lausanne: Editions SPES, 1930), given in Williams, Portrait of Liszt, p. 71. 36. Ibid., p. 79. 37. A more detailed analysis of this painting is given by Richard Leppert in ‘Cultural Contradiction’, pp. 256–7. Like so many of his predecessors, however, Leppert sees the all-important bust of Beethoven as placed within the room, on the piano, and not belonging to a different world. 38. Balzac, B´eatrice, given in Per´enyi, Liszt, p. 89.

251 Notes to pages 10–16 39. Samson analyses Liszt’s relationship to the archetype of the alienated Romantic hero in similar vein, noting that he ‘bought into this understanding of the hero . . . but only up to a point’, and that his heroic ideal was less the angst-ridden or stoic sufferer than the ‘Byronic actor and doer’ (Samson, Virtuosity, 181). On the relation of Liszt to progress, reform and an avant-garde, see John Williamson, ‘Progress, Modernity and the Concept of an Avant-Garde’, in The Cambridge History of Nineteenth-Century Music, ed. Jim Samson (Cambridge, 2002), 287–317. 40. Ralph P. Locke, Music, Musicians and the Saint-Simonians (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 1986), pp. 58–9. 41. Emile Barrault, Aux artistes. Du pass´e et de l’avenir des beaux-arts. (Doctrine de Saint-Simon) (Paris: A. Mesnier, 1830), given in Locke, Saint-Simonians, p. 57. 42. Barrault, Aux artistes, given in Locke, Saint-Simonians, p. 49. What may not have been apparent to Liszt was that Barrault’s manifesto – with all its Romantic images of soaring birds and heavenly fire – was a personal one, intended as a persuasive tool in the evolving debates about social hierarchies within the movement. Official documents from 1830 and 1831 made clear that the Saint-Simonian artist was not priest, but only populariser – the essential mediator between the leaders of the movement and the common people. See Locke, Saint-Simonians, pp. 47–52. Part of Liszt’s essay ‘De la situation des artistes et de leur condition dans la soci´et´e’ of 1835 may be indebted to Barrault’s manifesto. Artists become: ‘predestined, thunderstruck, enthralled men who have carried off the sacred flame from heaven . . . these priests of an ineffable, mystical and eternal religion which takes root and grows incessantly in our hearts’. Given in An Artist’s Journey, p. xxii. 43. Translated extracts from this aphoristic work are given in Paul Merrick, Revolution and Religion in the Music of Liszt (Cambridge University Press, 1987), pp. 12–13. 44. Liszt, Lettres d’un bachelier, RGM (11 February 1838), given in An Artist’s Journey, p. 50. 45. Liszt, Lettres d’un bachelier, RGM (12 February 1837), given in An Artist’s Journey, pp. 20–1. 46. Liszt,‘De la situation des artistes’, RGM (3 May 1835). Given in An Artist’s Journey, p. 237. For the complete text, see Franz Liszt: Pages romantiques, ed. Jean Chantavoine (Paris and Leipzig: Editions d’Aujourd’ hui, 1912), pp. 1–83. 47. Liszt, Lettres d’un bachelier, RGM (28 March 1838), given in An Artist’s Journey, p. 168.

48. Ibid., p. xvii. 49. As, for instance, in Berlioz’s utopian town of Euphonia, where ‘In spite of the tremendous curiosity which [the town’s music festivals] excite throughout the empire, under no circumstances would a listener be admitted if he was known to be unsuited and therefore unworthy to attend’ (Berlioz, ‘Euphonia, or the Musical Town, a Tale of the Future’, from Evenings in the Orchestra, p. 255). 50. His transcriptions of Berlioz’s orchestral music are particularly important in this respect. 51. Liszt,‘De la situation des artistes’, in Pages romantiques, p. 58. 52. A key document in this respect is Liszt’s letter of 23 January to Marie d’Agoult, in which he proposed to rebuild Weimar’s cultural life around the three institutions of Court, Theatre and University. See Correspondance de Liszt et de la comtesse d’Agoult, vol. I, 1833–1840, p. 323. 53. My thanks to Ken Hamilton for pointing out this relationship. 54. See Paul A. Munson,‘The Librettos for Liszt’s Oratorio St Stanislaus’, in Music & Letters 78(4) (November 1997), pp. 532–50, esp. pp. 548– 50. 55. Williamson, ‘Progress’, p. 308. 2 Inventing Liszt’s life: early biography and autobiography 1. La Mara [Marie Lipsius], ed., Franz Liszts Briefe, 2nd edn (Leipzig: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 1900), p. 316. ‘Zu einer H¨alfte Zigeuner, zur andern Franziskaner’. 2. Alan Walker, Franz Liszt: The Virtuoso Years 1811–1847 (rev. edn, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1988), p. 1. 3. Joseph d’Ortigue, ‘Etude biographique’, Gazette musicale de Paris (1835). Translated into German as ‘Franz Listz’ [sic] by Emil Flechsig, in Neue Zeitschrift f¨ur Musik 4 (1836), pp. 13–16, 19–21, 23–4, 27–30, 31–5, 39–40. 4. Walker, The Virtuoso Years, p. 1. 5. Lina Ramann, Lisztiana, ed. Arthur Seidl (Mainz: Schott, 1983), p. 50. ‘Biographisch habe ich viel umzustoßen und richtig zu stellen: Gustav Schilling hat manches ges¨undigt – Geschichtenschreibung anstatt Geschichtsschreibung. Ich hatte mehrfach auf ihn gefußt, habe nun eine heillose Arbeit, und muß dazu ganze Parthien, auf die ich große Sorgfalt verwendet, streichen.’ 6. Eva Rieger, ‘So schlecht wie ihr Ruf?: Die Liszt-Biographin Lina Ramann’, Neue Zeitschrift f¨ur Musik 147 (1986), pp. 16–20, James Deaville, ‘Lina Ramann und La Mara: Zwei Frauen, ein ´ Schicksal’, in Cornelia Szabo-Knotik and Markus Grassl, eds., Frauen in der Musikwissenschaft (Vienna: Universit¨at f¨ur Musik und Darstellende

252 Notes to pages 16–23 Kunst, 1999), pp. 239–52, and James Deaville, ‘Writing Liszt: Lina Ramann, Marie Lipsius and Early Musicology’, Journal of Musicological Research 21 (2002), pp. 73–98. 7. These include Johann Wilhelm Christern’s Franz Liszt nach seinem Leben und Wirken of 1841; Ramann’s Franz Liszt als K¨unstler und Mensch, Vol. I, and a copy of P. Trifonoff ’s ‘Franc¸ois Liszt’, an article that was not published until 1884. See Walker, The Virtuoso Years, pp. 4, 10, 18. Liszt further made substantial additions to the proofs of an encyclopedia entry in Biographie des Contemporains (Paris: Glaeser & Co.), which was sent to him in 1881. See Julius Kapp, ‘Autobiographisches von Franz Liszt’, Die Musik 11 (1911), pp. 10–14. 8. ‘Mehrmals ersuchten mich Verleger, Memoiren zu schreiben: ich lehnte es ab mit der Entschuldigung, dass es mir mehr als gen¨ugt, mein Leben zu durchleben, ohne es dem Papier zu u¨ berliefern.’ Letter to Otto Lessmann, Weimar 4 November 1882. In La Mara, ed., Franz Liszts Briefe (Leipzig: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 1893), Vol. II, p. 334. 9. Ibid. 10. The authorship of Liszt’s writing has been under dispute since Emile Haraszti claimed controversially, in his pioneering 1937 article ‘Le probl`eme Liszt’ (Acta Musicologica 9 (1937), pp. 123–36, 10 (1938), pp. 32–46), that none of Liszt’s writings, save for his private correspondence, was authored by him. To this day, the issue remains unsettled; the focus, however, has become a question of degree. 11. Franz Liszt, ‘Paganini’, in Gesammelte Schriften, ed. Lina Ramann (reprint, Hildesheim Georg Olms, 1978), Vol. II, p. 112. 12. Leslie Stephen, ‘Autobiography’, Cornhill Magazine 43 (April 1881), p. 410. 13. Anon., ‘Famous Autobiographies’, Edinburgh Review (1911), p. 345. See Laura Marcus, Auto/Biographical Discourses (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1994), p. 58. 14. Marcus, Auto/Biographical Discourses, p. 58. 15. See ibid., pp. 56–89. 16. Philippe Lejeune, who is intent on rescuing the authenticity of the genre, has proposed the notion of an ‘autobiographical pact’ between the author and his readership, centring on the truth and authenticity of the written text. The readership necessarily believes that author, narrator and narrated subject are one and the same person. 17. See Paul de Man, ‘Autobiography as Self-Defacement’, in The Rhetoric of Romanticism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1984), p. 69. 18. Ramann, Lisztiana, p. 407.

19. Eleanor Per´enyi, Franz Liszt, the Artist as Romantic Hero (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1974), pp. 43–4. This issue, with reference to Per´enyi, has been reconsidered in a recent article, Ben Arnold, ‘Franz Liszt: An Autobiographical and Virtuosic Revolution’, in Hans Kagebeck and Johan Lagerfelt, eds., Liszt the Progressive (Lewiston, Queenston, Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press, 2001), pp. 3–14. 20. I have discussed this event in somewhat greater detail in ‘Liszt’s Musical Monuments’, 19th-Century Music 26(1) (2002), pp. 52–72. 21. For details on the event from the perspective of the organising committee, see Heinrich K. Breidenstein, Inauguration des Beethoven Monuments zu Bonn (Bonn, 1846; reprint, Bonn: Ludwig R¨ohrscheid Verlag, 1983). 22. Remarkably, Liszt made a plea to erect statues for great women, too. See ‘Weimars Septemberfest: Zur Feier des hundertj¨ahrigen Geburtstags Carl Augusts 1857’ in Franz Liszt, Gesammelte Schriften, Vol. V, trans. Lina Ramann (reprint, Hildesheim: Olms, 1978), p. 127. 23. K¨olnische Zeitung, Beilage 183 (2 July 1845). See also Hans-Josef Irmen, ‘Franz Liszt in Bonn, oder: Wie die erste Beethovenhalle entstand’, in Marianne Br¨ocker and G¨unther Massenkeil, eds., Studien zur Bonner Musikgeschichte des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts (Cologne: Arno Volk Verlag, 1978), p. 52. 24. This celebrated incident has been reported repeatedly; see, for instance, Ramann, Liszt als K¨unstler und Mensch; La Mara, ‘Beethovens Weihekuß’, Allgemeine Musikzeitung 40 (1913), pp. 544–6; Allan Keiler, ‘Liszt and Beethoven: The Creation of a Personal Myth’, Nineteenth Century Music 17 (1988), pp. 116–31, and Walker, The Virtuoso Years, pp. 417–26. For a somewhat self-indulgent queer reading see Kevin Kopelson, Beethoven’s Kiss: Pianism, Perversion and the Mastery of Desire (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996). In connection with the surrounding Beethoven celebrations, see also Susanne Schaal, ‘Das Beethoven-Denkmal von Julius H¨ahnel in Bonn’, in Ingrid Bodsch, ed., Monument f¨ur Beethoven (Bonn: Bonner Stadtmuseum), p. 51; Michael Ladenburger, ‘Wie sich das “neue Bonn” bew¨ahrte oder: Das Musikfest zwischen den Fronten’, in Bodsch, ed., Monument f¨ur Beethoven, pp. 148–9, and Irmen, ‘Franz Liszt in Bonn’, p. 57. 25. See Ladenburger, ‘Wie sich das “neue Born” bew¨ahrte’. 26. A[ugust] S[chmidt], ‘Fliegende Bl¨atter aus meinem Reise-Portefeuille’, Wiener Allgemeine Musik-Zeitung 5 (1845), p. 402. 27. Ibid., p. 403.

253 Notes to pages 23–30 28. This is confirmed from all critical quarters: the tenor is that Liszt possesses ‘enormous talent’, that he shows ‘great promise’, and possesses ‘princely gifts’. (See, for instance, Moscheles, as quoted in Adrian Williams, Portrait of Liszt (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), p. 216.) 29. See G¨unther Massenkeil, ‘Die Bonner Beethoven-Kantate von Franz Liszt’, in Jobst Peter Fricke, ed., Die Sprache der Musik: Festschrift f¨ur Klaus W. Niem¨oller zum 60. Geburtstag (Cologne: Arno Volk, 1989), pp. 395–7. 30. The allegorical bas-reliefs of the Beethoven statue endeavour to represent Beethoven’s excellence in the fields of dramatic music, sacred music, symphony and fantasy – which, from the perspective of the twenty-first century, would seem to constitute a serious distortion of Beethoven’s oeuvre. For a discussion of the Beethoven statue from an art-historical viewpoint, see Schaal, ‘Das Beethoven-Denkmal’. 31. Letter of 28 April 1845 to Abb´e de Lamennais, in La Mara, ed., Franz Liszts Briefe, Vol. I, p. 55. ‘Le texte du moins en est assez neuf; c’est une sorte de Magnificat du G´enie humain conquis par Dieu a` la r´ev´elation e´ ternelle a` travers le temps et l’espace; texte qui pourrait aussi bien s’appliquer a` Goethe ou Raphael, ou Colomb, qu’`a Beethoven.’ On Liszt’s relation to Beethoven see also Axel Schr¨oter, ‘Der Name Beethoven ist heilig in der Kunst’: Studien zu Liszts Beethoven-Rezeption (Sinzig: Studio, 1999). 32. On aspects of this issue see Matthias Wiegandt, Vergessene Symphonik?: Studien zu Joachim Raff, Carl Reinecke und zum Problem der Epigonalit¨at in der Musik (Sinzig: Studio, 1997); Penelope Murray, ed., Genius: the History of an Idea (Oxford: Blackwell, 1989), and Jochen Schmidt, Die Geschichte des Genie-Gedankens in der deutschen Literatur, Philosophie und Politik, 1750–1945 (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1985). 33. ‘Wenn sein Volk der F¨urst vertritt / In den sp¨ateren Annalen, / Wer vertritt denn ihre Qualen, / Wer verk¨undet, was sie litt? / Wer steht im Buch der Weltgeschichte f¨ur sie auf? / L¨asst ihren Namen strahlen durch der Zeiten Lauf? / Arme Menschheit, schweres Loos! / Wer wird von dir entsendet an der Tage Schluss? / Der Genius! / In seinem Wirken ewig gross!’ Printed in Breidenstein, Festgabe zur Inauguration des Beethoven-Monuments, pp. 36–7. 34. See Kapp, ‘Autobiographisches von Franz Liszt’, p. 11. 3 Liszt and the twentieth century 1. A number of people provided valuable assistance with this essay. I am most indebted to Michael Saffle, whose encyclopedic knowledge

of Liszt bibliography and editorial skills have been of great help. Also, I thank Evelyn Liepsch of the Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv, Stiftung Weimarer Klassik, Tamara Levitz of UCLA, and Alan Walker and Pauline Pocknell for their answers to specific questions. 2. A whole discourse against virtuosity had developed in Germany of the nineteenth century. See James Deaville, ‘The Making of a Myth: Liszt, the Press, and Virtuosity’, in Michael Saffle and James Deaville, eds., New Light on Liszt and His Music: Essays in Honor of Alan Walker’s 65th Birthday, Analecta Lisztiana II, Franz Liszt Studies Series 6 (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1997), pp. 181–95. 3. See Michael Saffle’s Liszt in Germany 1840–1845: A Study in Sources, Documents, and the History of Reception (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1994) for a detailed study of the ‘Lisztomania’ in Germany. The term was coined by Heine in response to the audience’s enthusiasm at Liszt concerts. 4. James Deaville, ‘The Controversy Surrounding Liszt’s Conception of Programme Music’, in Jim Samson and Bennett Zon, eds., Nineteenth Century Music: Selected Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002), pp. 98–124. 5. Sacheverell Sitwell, Liszt (London: Faber and Faber, 1934), p. 323. 6. Walter Abendroth, ‘Sechzig Jahre Bayreuth’, Allgemeine Musik-Zeitung 63 (1936), p. 493. 7. Harold Bloom, The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry (New York: Oxford University Press, 1973), and Kevin Korsyn, ‘Towards a New Poetics of Musical Influence’, Music Analysis 10 (1991), pp. 3–72. 8. About intertextuality, see Julia Kristeva, ‘Word, Dialogue, and the Novel’ (1969), reprinted by Toril Moi in The Kristeva Reader (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986), pp. 34–61. Among others, Adam Krims has provided an interesting model for the application of intertextuality to music in his article ‘Music Theory as Productivity’, Canadian University Music Review 20 (2000), pp. 16–30. 9. These and other aspects of Bakhtin’s thought are explored by Kevin Korsyn in ‘Beyond Privileged Contexts: Intertextuality, Influence, and Dialogue’, in Nicholas Cook and Mark Everist, eds., Rethinking Music (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), pp. 55–72. 10. Hans-Robert Jauss, Toward an Aesthetic of Reception, trans. Timothy Bahti (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1982), and Pierre Bourdieu, ‘The Production of Belief: ‘Contribution to an Economy of Symbolic Goods’, in Randal Johnson, ed., The Field of

254 Notes to pages 31–5 Cultural Production (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993), pp. 74–111, especially pp. 76–7. 11. The argument recently put forward is that these composers were striving for the same goals as Liszt (above all, dissolution of tonality), and thus they necessarily struck upon the same path. Through this reassessment, Liszt may have lost in influence but gained in the genius of foresight. 12. See, for example, Detlef Altenburg, ‘Zum Geleit’ and ‘Franz Liszt und das Erbe der Klassik’, in Detlef Altenburg, ed., Liszt und die Weimarer Klassik, in Weimarer Liszt-Studien, Vol. I (Laaber: Laaber, 1997), respectively pp. 7–8 and 9–32. Although Altenburg does not directly mention the European Union, he is clearly making a connection between Liszt and political developments in Europe. 13. Oliver Rathkolb, ‘Zeitgeschichtliche Notizen zur politischen Rezeption des “europ¨aischen Ph¨anomens Franz Liszt” w¨ahrend der ¨ , in Gerhard nationalsozialistischen Ara’ Winckler and J. L Mayer, eds., Liszt heute: Bericht u¨ ber das internationale Symposion in Eisenstadt 8.–11. Mai 1986 (Eisenstadt: Burgenl¨andisches Landesmuseum, 1987), p. 51. 14. Dieter Torkewitz, ‘Die neue Musik und das Neue bei Liszt’, Studia Musicologica, 28 (1986), p. 122. See also Otto Kolleritsch, ‘Bemerkungen zur neuen Liszt-Rezeption’, Musicologica 25 (1983), pp. 141–2. 15. There were at least five reasons for the ‘Nazification’ of Liszt: his friendship with Richard Wagner; his character that displayed Nazi virtues; his allegedly anti-Semitic views; the ‘heroic’ aspects of his music; and his role as cultivator and organiser of German musical life. Once ideologists proved his Germanic family roots, his music could be used for propaganda purposes. Thus the fanfare from Les Pr´eludes was used to introduce ‘Sondermeldungen’ on the radio and the Deutsche Wochenschau. Also, Joseph Goebbels himself oversaw a thorough reworking of Les Pr´eludes into a cantata (with text) called Lied von Feldzug im Osten, first performed in June 1941. 16. The emphasis in Hungarian Liszt research of the 1930s was establishing the Hungarian basis of his life, music and activities. 17. These observations are based on a study of surviving business records preserved in the Staatsarchiv Leipzig. 18. James Deaville, ‘The Making of a Myth: Liszt, the Press, and Virtuosity’. 19. Michael Saffle, ‘Liszt Studies: Past and Present’, in Franz Liszt: A Guide to Research (New York: Garland, 1991), pp. 15–19. 20. See Humphrey Searle, ‘The Breitkopf Collected Edition of Liszt’s Works’, in Series VII,

Vol. III of the Gregg International reprint (33 vols., 1966) of the Musikalische Werke, for a discussion of the first collected edition. 21. Dezs¨o Leg´any, ‘Liszt, the Future’s Musician and Man’, Hans Kagebeck and Johan Lagerfelt eds., Liszt the Progressive (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2001), p. 116. 22. See Imre Sulyok, ‘The New Liszt Edition’, The New Hungarian Quarterly 22 (1985), pp. 188–9. 23. The edition became the opportunity for the further politicisation of Liszt: it was made possible through a cultural agreement of the two socialist countries, Hungary and the German Democratic Republic. Zolt´an Gardonyi, ‘Hauptprobleme der Neuen Liszt-Ausgabe’, in Wolfgang Suppau, ed., Liszt-Studien, Vol. I: Kongress-Bericht Eisenstadt 1975 (Graz: Academische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1977), p. 73 and Otto Goldhammer, ‘Die neue Liszt-Ausgabe. Der kulturelle Beitrag der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik zum Liszt-Jahr 1961’, Beitr¨age zur Musikwissenschaft 2 (1960), pp. 69–85. 24. Sulyok claims that the New Liszt Edition ‘is the only publication of its kind to have been initiated and maintained by a publishing house, without the financial sponsorship of any company or scholarly institution’, ‘The New Liszt Edition’, p. 188. 25. Alan Walker, Review of Franz Liszt: Neue Ausgabe s¨amtlicher Werke, Ser. 1: Werke f¨ur Klavier in 2 H¨anden, Band 10: Verschiedene zyklische Werke II, Notes 38 (1982), pp. 919–20. 26. Here are the names of the nineteen composers, all of whom except for Alfred Reisenauer lived well into the twentieth century: Eug`ene d’Albert, Conrad Ansorge, Richard Burmester, Arthur Friedheim, Arthur de Greef, Emma Koch, Frederick Lamond, George Liebling, Sophie Menter, Jos´e Vianna da Motta, Alfred Reisenauer, Julie Rive-King, Moriz Rosenthal, Bertrand Roth, Emil Sauer, Alexander Siloti, Bernhard Stavenhagen, Vera Timanova, Jozef Weisz. Runolfur Thordarson has evaluated the recorded legacy of these Liszt students in detail in his article ‘Recordings of Works of Liszt Played by his Pupils – A Discography and Evaluation’, Journal of the American Liszt Society 47 (2000), pp. 7–67. 27. A number of these students of Liszt, including Mason, G¨ollerich, Friedheim, Lachmund, Stradal and Siloti, left behind valuable, detailed accounts of Liszt’s teaching and master classes. Although the memoirs differ in details, they enable a reconstruction of Liszt’s thoughts and practices as teacher and performer. Lina Ramann gathered certain of Liszt’s pieces and edited them with performance instructions

255 Notes to pages 35–9 and commentary by students and Liszt himself in the invaluable Liszt-P¨adagogium (Leipzig: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 1901). 28. Busoni spent so much of his career in Germany that most biographical notes make reference to an Italian–German dual national identity. 29. William W. Austin, Music in the 20th Century (New York: W. W. Norton, 1966), p. 110. 30. Marc-Andr´e Roberge, ‘The Busoni Network and the Art of Creative Transcription’, Canadian University Music Review 11 (1991), p. 70. 31. Antony Beaumont, Busoni the Composer (London: Faber and Faber, 1985), p. 21. 32. Roberge, ‘Busoni Network’, p. 70. Busoni tended not to perform paraphrases and transcriptions in his programmes, in favour of ‘original’ pieces like the sets mentioned above, the Sonata in B Minor, selections from the Harmonies po´etiques et r´eligieuses and certain late works, including the Weihnachtsbaum, the Valses oubli´ees and Hungarian Rhapsody No. 19. 33. The case of what Kenneth Hamilton calls the Liszt–Busoni ‘Figaro Fantasy’ is interesting, because, as Hamilton points out, Busoni’s rather far-reaching changes to the score, mainly excisions, have been overlooked by scholars, which is a tribute to Busoni’s deft hand at editing. See Hamilton, ‘Liszt’s Fantasies – Busoni Excises: The Liszt–Busoni “Figaro Fantasy”’, Journal of the American Liszt Society 30 (1991), pp. 21–7. 34. See, for example, ‘Franz Liszts Variante zur ersten Kollektivausgabe von Fields Nocturnes’, Die Musik 16 (1924), pp. 309–15 and Daniel Raessler, ‘Ferruccio Busoni as Interpreter of Liszt,’ Journal of the American Liszt Society 9 (1981), p. 32. 35. Already in 1900, Busoni agitated for a collected edition containing not only all works, but also all of the variant versions of those compositions. See Albrecht Riethm¨uller, Ferruccio Busonis Poetik, Neue Studien zur Musikwissenschaft, Vol. IV (Mainz: Schott, 1988), p. 96. 36. Sitwell, Liszt, p. 180. 37. Roberge, ‘Busoni Network’, pp. 68–88. 38. About Sorabji, see Paul Rapoport, ed., Sorabji: A Critical Celebration (London: Scolar Press, 1994). A collection of his essays entitled Around Music (London: Unicorn Press, 1932) contains several contributions about Liszt. 39. Michael Habermann, ‘Sorabji’s Piano Music’, Sorabji: A Critical Celebration, p. 340. 40. For example, the Great Romantic Festivals in Hamilton, Ontario of the late 1990s, under the direction of Alan Walker, would always feature a ‘piano gala’ at which different pianists

would play individual movements from sets like the Transcendental Etudes, the Ann´ees de p`elerinage or the song transcriptions. 41. Kenneth Hamilton, Liszt: Sonata in B Minor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996). 42. Released by Hyperion over fourteen years (1985–2000). 43. As the first complete recording of the symphonic poems, Bernard Haitink’s set on Philips (1969–1971) was a landmark in the history of Liszt recording, which may well have stimulated research into that body of music. 44. Michael Saffle, ‘Liszt und der angels¨achsische Raum’, in Liszt heute, p. 147. Liszt’s symphonic works enjoyed special popularity in the United States, owing to their effectively descriptive qualities. See James Deaville, ‘ ‘‘Westw¨arts zieht die Kunstgeschichte’’: Liszt’s Symphonic Poems in the New World’, in Susan Ingram, Markus ´ Reisenleitner and Cornelia Szabo-Knotik, eds., Identit¨at – Kultur – Raum: Kulturelle Praktiken und die Ausbildung von Imagined Communities in Nordamerika und Zentraleuropa (Vienna: Turia & Kant, 2001), pp. 223–43. 45. Dani`ele Pistone, ‘Liszt et Paris au XXe Si`ecle’, in Actes du colloque international Franz Liszt, La Revue musicale, 405-406-407, Special issue (1986), p. 241. 46. Regarding Liszt and the ADMV, see James Deaville, ‘ ‘‘. . . im Sinne von Franz Liszt . . .’’: Reger and the Allgemeine Deutsche Musikverein’, in Alexander Becker, Gabriele Gef¨aller and Susanne Popp, eds., Reger-Studien 6: Moderne und Tradition, Schriftenreihe des Max-Reger-Instituts, Vol. XIII (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 2000), pp. 121–43. 47. Surprisingly, there exist very few studies (and no monographs) about the relationship between Strauss and Liszt, perhaps owing to the complexity of the topic. 48. Willi Schuh, Richard Strauss: A Chronicle of the Early Years, 1864–1898, trans. Mary Whittall (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), p. 209. 49. Charles Youmans, ‘The Letters from Alexander Ritter to Richard Strauss, 1887–1894’, Richard Strauss-Bl¨atter 35 (1996), pp. 3–24. 50. Strauss caused a minor scandal by replacing Brahms’s German Requiem with the Liszt symphonic poem. See Schuh, Strauss: A Chronicle, pp. 159–60. 51. Michael Walter, Richard Strauss und seine Zeit (Laaber: Laaber, 2000), pp. 86–7. 52. Regarding the Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein, see the introductory chapter to Irina Kaminiarz, Richard Strauss: Briefe aus dem Archiv des Allgemeinen Deutschen Musikvereins (1880–1909) (Weimar: B¨ohlau, 1995).

256 Notes to pages 39–43 53. See Detlef Altenburg, ‘Franz Liszt und das Erbe der Klassik’, p. 24. 54. Robert M¨unster, ed., Jugendstil-Musik? M¨unchner Musikleben 1890–1918 (Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1987). ´ ‘Liszt-probl´em´ak’, 55. See above all B´ela Bartok, Nyugat 29 (1936), pp. 24–8. 56. Dezs¨o Leg´any, ‘Die j¨ungere musikalische Vergangenheit von Budapest’, Liszt Saeculum, No. 44 (1990), pp. 3–7. 57. For example, the academy library preserved scores donated by Liszt and offered students a ´ received. See ‘Liszt Stipend’, which Bartok Halsey Stevens, The Life and Music of B´ela Bart´ok, 3rd ed, ed. by Malcolm Gillies (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), pp. 12–14. ´ Jr., ‘Let Us Speak about Liszt’, 58. B´ela Bartok, Journal of the American Liszt Society 9 (1981), p. 65. ´ travelled to Budapest to 59. In 1899, Bartok study piano with Liszt pupil Istv´an Thom´an at the Academy of Music. ´ ‘Liszt zen´eje e´ s a mai k¨oz¨ons´eg’, 60. B´ela Bartok, N´epm vel [¨u vel] es 6 (1911), pp. 359–62. 61. Translation by Colin Mason, published in ´ on Liszt’, Storm Bull, ‘Recollections: Bartok Journal of the American Liszt Society 37 (1995), p. 58. ´ ‘Liszt-probl´em´ak’, trans. Andor 62. B´ela Bartok, C. Klay, Journal of the American Liszt Society 21 (1987), p. 28. ´ regarded Liszt’s ‘Jeux 63. Ibid., p. 29. Bartok d’eau a` la Villa d’Este’ (and similar unnamed compositions) as essential to the creations of the two ‘French masters’. 64. Ibid., p. 30. 65. L´aszlo´ Somfai, ‘The Liszt Influence on ´ Reconsidered’, The New Hungarian Bartok Quarterly 27 (1986), pp. 210–19. 66. Somfai, B´ela Bart´ok: Composition, Concepts, and Autograph Sources (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), p. 105. 67. Stevens, Life and Music of Bart´ok, p. 110. 68. M´aria Eckhardt, ‘Liszt’s 125-Year-Old Academy of Music: Antecedents, Influences, Traditions’, in M´aria Eckhardt, ed., Franz Liszt and Advanced Musical Education in Europe, Studia Musicologica 42 (2001), pp. 109–32. 69. J´anos Breuer, ‘Zolt´an Kod´aly on Liszt’, The Liszt Society Journal 42 (1997), pp. 9–11. 70. Allen Forte, ‘Liszt’s Experimental Idiom and Music of the Early Twentieth Century’, 19th-Century Music 10 (1987), pp. 209–28. 71. Herman Sabbe has rather unsuccessfully attempted to link Liszt with Ligeti through language and ideology. See his ‘Qu’est-ce qui constitue une “tradition”? Liszt–Ligeti: Une

Lign´ee?’, Studia Musicologica 35 (1993–4), pp. 221–7. 72. Richard Toop, Gy¨orgy Ligeti (London: Phaidon Press, 1999), p. 164. 73. Constantin Floros, Gy¨orgy Ligeti: Jenseits von Avantgarde und Postmoderne (Vienna: Lafite, 1996), p. 201. 74. The ‘hommages a` Liszt’ include the following works: Jeno Tak`acs, ‘Le Tombeau de Franz Liszt’ for piano (1979); Frigyes Hidas, Fantasia per organo: Hommage a` Franz Liszt (1984); Manfred Niehaus, ‘Tombeau de Liszt’ for orchestra (1985); Ronald Stevenson, ‘Symphonic Elegy for Liszt’ for piano (1986); and York H¨oller, Zweite Sonate f¨ur Klavier: Hommage a` Franz Liszt (1991). 75. See Deaville, ‘“. . . im Sinne von Franz Liszt . . .”: Reger and the Allgemeine Deutsche Musikverein’. 76. Wolf’s most notorious pronouncement, that ‘there is more intelligence and sensitivity in a single cymbal crash of Liszt’s than in all three of Brahms’s symphonies’, appeared in an untitled review in the Wiener Salonblatt of 24 April 1887. An English translation of the article was published by Henry Pleasants, in The Music Criticism of Hugo Wolf (New York: Holmes and Meier Publishers, 1978), pp. 42–6. 77. James Zychowicz, ‘Liszt and Mahler: Perspectives on a Difficult Relationship’, Journal of the American Liszt Society 36 (1994), pp. 1–18. 78. Ibid., p. 4. Zychowicz refers to an unpublished letter allegedly from Liszt to Mahler, from 1883, in which the writer responds unfavourably to a submitted manuscript of Das klagende Lied (p. 4). The letter, preserved in the Mahler–Ros´e Collection of the University of Western Ontario, is not in Liszt’s hand, however, and it does not correspond in tone to other assessments by Liszt from the time. This raises the question of how and when Mahler received the letter – if the letter is not authentic and yet was a reason for Mahler’s problematic relationship with Liszt, it would be a great tragedy of musical history. 79. ‘Meine k¨unstlerische Entwicklung’ (1949), ¨ Osterreichische Musikzeitschrift 24 (1969), p. 282. 80. Record jacket note for recordings by the Kolisch Quartet in 1938; see Fred Steiner, ‘A History of the First Complete Recordings of the Schoenberg String Quartet’, Journal of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute 2 (1978), p. 132. 81. Arnold Schoenberg, ‘Franz Liszts Werk und Wesen’, Allgemeine Musik-Zeitung 42 (1912), pp. 1088–90. However, this article is more about Schoenberg than it is an assessment of Liszt. 82. Charles Timbrell, ‘Liszt and French Music’, Journal of the American Liszt Society 6 (1979), pp. 28–9.

257 Notes to pages 43–8 83. Derek Watson, Liszt (New York: Schirmer, 1989), p. 140. 84. According to Timbrell, ‘Liszt and French Music’, p. 33, Ravel worked through Liszt’s ‘Mazeppa’ and ‘Feux Follets’ in 1917, in order to prepare for writing Le Tombeau de Couperin (!). 85. Christian Goubault, ‘Le Centi`eme Anniversaire de la naissance de Liszt: Un g´enie ignor´e ou boycott´e en France?’, in Actes du colloque international Franz Liszt, pp. 245–60. 86. Dani`ele Pistone, ‘Liszt et Paris au XXe Si`ecle’, p. 240. 87. Konstantin Zenkin, ‘The Liszt Tradition at the Moscow Conservatoire’, in Franz Liszt and Advanced Musical Education in Europe, p. 94. 88. In some cases, Liszt never met the individuals, the works of these composers coming to his attention through parcels sent by the publisher Ivan Bessel. 89. See, for example, Dorothea Redepenning’s work, in particular ‘Liszt und die russische Symphonik’, in Gerhard Winkler, ed., Liszt und die Nationalit¨aten: Bericht u¨ ber das internationale musikwissenschaftliche Symposion Eisenstadt, 10.–12. M¨arz 1994 (Eisenstadt: Burgenl¨andisches Landesmuseum: 1996), pp. 138–50. 90. Barrie Martyn, Rachmaninoff: Composer, Pianist, Conductor (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1990), p. 326. 91. Sergei Prokofiev, Prokofiev by Prokofiev: A Composer’s Memoir (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1979), p. 126. 92. Laurel Fay, Shostakovich: A Life (Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 21. 93. Ibid., p. 28. 94. Cited in Vera Stravinsky and Robert Craft, Stravinsky in Pictures and Documents (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), p. 204. 95. Cited in David Haas, ‘Sibelius’s Second Symphony and the Legacy of Symphonic Lyricism’, in Glenda Goss, ed., The Sibelius Companion (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996), p. 79. 96. James Deaville, ‘ ‘‘Westw¨arts zieht die Kunstgeschichte’’: Liszt’s Symphonic Poems in the New World’, pp. 223–43. 97. The three volumes appeared in 1880, 1887 and 1894. Liszt had substantial input into the first volume, which he had a chance to see before it was published. See Deaville, ‘Writing Liszt: Lina Ramann, Marie Lipsius, and Early Musicology’, Journal of Musicological Research 21 (2002), pp. 87–90. 98. The six volumes appeared between 1880 and 1883 – Ramann had translated the French writings into German.

99. Kl´ara Hamburger, Franz Liszt (Budapest: Corvina, 1973). 100. Peter Raabe, ‘Vorwort’ to Liszts Leben, in Franz Liszt, Vol. I (Stuttgart: Cotta, 1931), [iii]. 101. This was a decision of Carl Alexander, made immediately upon receipt of the news of Liszt’s death. See Evelyn Liepsch, ‘Ergebnis der Nachforschungen: Neue Fragen zur Weimarer Nachlaßgeschichte’, in M´aria Eckhardt and Evelyn Liepsch, eds., Franz Liszts Weimarer Bibliothek (Laaber: Laaber, 1997), p. 57. 102. She also donated 70,000 Reichsmark to the Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein for the purpose of creating a Franz-Liszt-Stiftung that would support young artists and composers (for example, Arnold Schoenberg was the recipient of money from the foundation). Among other projects, the Franz-Liszt-Stiftung sponsored the first collected edition of Liszt’s music. It ceased to exist only with the dissolution of the ADMV in 1937. See Evelyn Liepsch, ‘Der Nachlaß Franz Liszts in Weimar’, in Jochen Golz, ed., Das Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv 1896–1996 (Weimar: B¨ohlau, 1996), p. 348. 103. Peter Raabe, ‘Die Entstehungsgeschichte der Orchesterwerke Franz Liszts’, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Jena, 1916. 104. Breitkopf & H¨artel were responsible for most of the early publications related to Liszt, including Ramann’s biography and La Mara’s letters. While Breitkopf was the primary German publisher for musicology at the turn of the century, the firm also had a personal reason to promote Liszt, since it was his publisher for large projects like the Beethoven symphony transcriptions and the symphonic poems. 105. Franz Liszt: Briefe an seine Mutter (Leipzig: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 1918). 106. Of course, it also was a matter of claiming some of the fame attached to Liszt. 107. See Saffle, ‘Liszt Studies’, pp. 100–8, for an annotated list of these ‘primary sources’, which await serious comparative study. 108. Detlef Altenburg, ‘Er¨offnungsvortrag: Auf dem Weg zu einem neuen Liszt-Bild’, in Detlef Altenburg and Gerhard Winkler, eds., Die Projekte der Liszt-Forschung: Bericht u¨ ber das internationale Symposion in Eisenstadt 19.–21. Oktober 1989 (Eisenstadt: Burgenl¨andisches Landesmuseum, 1991), p. 10. 109. For a brief overview of Wagner scholarship, see the ‘Introduction’ to Michael Saffle’s meritorious study, Richard Wagner: A Guide to Research (New York: Routledge, 2002), pp. 3–10. Of course, the guide itself is a testimony to the prodigious research devoted to Wagner. 110. About the 1855 catalogue, see Klaus Wolfgang Niem¨oller, ‘Werkbegriff und Werkverzeichnis bei Liszt’, in Altenburg and

258 Notes to pages 48–51 Winkler, eds., Die Projekte der Liszt-Forschung, pp. 37–46. 111. Chopin, Schumann, Liszt: The New Grove Early Romantic Masters I (New York: Norton, 1985), pp. 322–68. See Rena Charnin Mueller, ‘Liszt’s Catalogues and Inventories of His Works’, Studia Musicologica 34 (1992), pp. 231–50, for a survey of the catalogues. 112. For example, in his study Franz Liszt: Abstammung, Familie, Begebenheiten (Vienna: Braum¨uller, 1937), Liszt’s nephew Eduard von Liszt produced a detailed and extended argument for Liszt’s Germanic roots. 113. Zolt´an G´ardonyi, Die ungarischen Stileigent¨umlichkeiten in den musikalischen Werken Franz Liszts, Ungarische Bibliothek, 1/16 (Berlin: de Gruyter 1931) and Liszt Ferenc magyar stilusa/La Style hongrois de Franz Liszt, Musicologica Hungarica, 3 (Budapest: Az Orsz. Sz`echenyi K¨onyvt´ar Kiad´asa, 1936). 114. Oliver Rathkolb, ‘Zeitgeschichtliche Notizen zur politischen Rezeption des “europ¨aischen Ph¨anomens Franz Liszt” ¨ , p. 48. w¨ahrend der nationalsozialistischen Ara’ 115. Correspondance de Liszt et de la comtesse d’Agoult, ed. by Daniel Ollivier (Paris: Grasset, 1933); Correspondance de Liszt et de sa fille Madame Ollivier, 1842–1862, ed. by Daniel Ollivier (Paris: Grasset, 1933). 116. Emile Haraszti, ‘Liszt a` Paris: Quelques documents in´edits’, Revue musicale 165 (1936), pp. 241–58 and 166 (1936), pp. 5–16. 117. Michael Saffle, ‘Liszt Studies Past and Present’, Franz Liszt: A Guide to Research, p. 13. 118. Haraszti first wrote about the topic in 1941, but his most important publication about Liszt’s authorship was ‘Franz Liszt: Author Despite Himself ’, in Musical Quarterly 33 (1947), pp. 490–516. The Countess Marie d’Agoult and Princess Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein substantially contributed to the writings of Liszt that appeared during his years respectively in Paris and Weimar. 119. As Werner Felix wrote in 1961, ‘many of the bold, forward-pointing ideas that Liszt said or wrote down 100 years ago are finding the fulfilment just now under the banner of socialism. In this way, socialist society has not only become the best protector of his artistic legacy, but also the real executor of his grand thoughts and plans.’ Werner Felix, Franz Liszt: Ein Lebensbild (Leipzig: Reclam, 1961), p. 214. Translation by the present author. 120. Hans-Rudolf Jung, ‘Liszt-Pflege in der DDR’, Liszt heute, pp. 113–26. 121. Detlef Altenburg, ‘Schwerpunkte und Tendenzen der Liszt-Forschung in Deutschland nach 1945’, Liszt heute, p. 88.

122. Detlef Altenburg, ‘Eine Theorie der Musik der Zukunft: Zur Funktion des Programms im symphonischen Werk von Franz Liszt’, in Liszt-Studien, Vol. I, pp. 9–25; Norbert Miller, ‘Musik als Sprache: Zur Vorgeschichte von Liszts Symphonischen Dichtungen’, in Beitr¨age zur musikalischen Hermeneutik (Regensburg: Bosse, 1975), pp. 223–87; Dieter Torkewitz, Harmonisches Denken im Fr¨uhwerk Franz Liszts, in Freiburger Studien zur Musikwissenschaft, Vol. X (Munich: Katzbichler, 1978). 123. Werner Felix, Franz Liszt: Ein Lebensbild; Hans-Rudolf Jung, Franz Liszt in seinen Briefen (Berlin: Henschel, 1987); Wolfram Huschke, Musik im klassischen und nachklassischen Weimar (Weimar: B¨ohlau, 1982). 124. The congress report, consisting of almost 600 pages (half of them about Liszt), was published in Budapest in 1963. 125. Bence Szabolcsi, ‘Liszt Ferenc est´eje’, in Zenetudom´anyi Tanulm´anyok 3 (1955), pp. 211–65; Istv´an Szelenyi, ‘Az ismerleten Liszt’, Magyar Zene 1 (1961), pp. 11–25; L´aszlo´ Somfai, ´ aj´anak alakv´alt´asai’, Magyar ‘Liszt Faust-szimfoni´ Zene 1 (1961), pp. 559–73 and 78–102; Margit Prah´acs, Franz Liszt: Briefe aus ungarischen Sammlungen 1835–1886 (Budapest: Akademiai ´ 1966); Kl´ara Hamburger, Franz Liszt; and Kiado, Dezs¨o Leg´any, Liszt Ferenc Magyarorsz´agon 1869–1873 (Budapest: Corvina, 1976). 126. Serge Gut, Franz Liszt: Les El´ements du langage musical (Paris: Klincksieck, 1975). 127. Reprinted as Ernest Newman, ‘A Study of Liszt’, The Liszt Society Journal 8 (1983), p. 33. 128. The book remained his only contribution to the Liszt literature. 129. New Grove, pp. 263–314 of Vol. V. 130. Alan Walker, ed., Franz Liszt: The Man and His Music (London: Barrie and Jenkins, 1970). 131. Michael Saffle, ‘Franz Liszt’s Compositional Development: A Study of the Principal Published and Unpublished Instrumental Sketches and Revisions’, Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, 1977. 132. The latter journal began publication in 1972 as the International Liszt Quarterly. After the death of founder Lennart Rabes in 1998, the International Liszt Centre ceased to exist. 133. While there is no such research centre in the United States or England, the Liszt societies of those countries have taken on the roles of the continental research centres. Nevertheless, the Franz Liszt Studies Series of Pendragon Press, edited by Michael Saffle, may be the only publisher’s monograph series that is

259 Notes to pages 51–4 devoted to Liszt, without an affiliation with a society or research centre. 134. The nine-volume edition began publication in 1989 with Vol. IV, Lohengrin et Tannh¨auser and Vol. V, Dramaturgische Bl¨atter. Since then, Die Goethe-Stiftung (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & H¨artel Vol. III, 1997) and Fr¨uhe Schriften, (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & H¨artel Vol. I, 2000) have appeared in print. Altenburg has written about Liszt for various publications, but his most important activities have been as editor and organiser. 135. See above all his edited volumes Lohengrin et Tannh¨auser, and Liszt und die Nationalit¨aten (q.v.), as well as articles ‘Liszt’s “Weimar Mythology” ’, in Michael Saffle, ed., Liszt and His World (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon, 1998), pp. 61–73 and ‘Liszts “An die K¨unstler” ’, in Liszt und die Weimarer Klassik, pp. 83–99. 136. Among her many publications, the following monographs and editions are especially important: Franz Liszt und sein Kreis, in Briefen und Dokumenten aus den Best¨anden des Burgenl¨andisches Landesmuseums (with ´ Cornelia Szabo-Knotik, Eisenstadt: Burgenl¨andischen Landesmuseum, 1983); Franz Liszt’s Music Manuscripts in the National Sz´ech´enyi Library, Budapest (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon, 1986); Liszt Ferenc hagyat´eka a budapesti. Zenemuv´ezeti Foiskol´an (Budapest: ˆ eszeti F˜oiskola, 1986); Liszt Ferenc Zenemuv´ Liszt Ferenc v´allogatott levelei: ifj´us´ag, virtu´oz ´evek, Weimar, 1824–1861 (Budapest: ´ 1989); and Franz Liszts Weimarer Zenem¨ukiado, Bibliothek (with Evelyn Liepsch, Laaber: Laaber, 1999). She has also edited Liszt’s Consolations and Zwei Konzertet¨uden for Henle in Munich (respectively 1992 and 1994). 137. See among others M´aria Eckhardt, ‘Thematic Catalogue of Liszt’s Compositions’, Hungarian Musical Quarterly 1 (1989), pp. 4–7 and ‘The Liszt Thematic Catalogue in Preparation: Results and Problems’, Studia Musicologica 23 (1992), pp. 221–30. 138. Published in Studia Musicologica 42 (2001), pp. 2–212. 139. Dezs¨o Leg´any, Franz Liszt: Unbekannte Presse und Briefe aus Wien, 1822–1886 (Vienna–Budapest: Corvina, 1984) and Kl´ara Hamburger, Franz Liszt: Briefwechsel mit seiner Mutter (Eisenstadt: B¨urgenlandisches Landesmuseum, 2000). 140. Franz Liszt: Vol. I: The Virtuoso Years 1811–1847 (New York: Knopf, 1983); Vol. II: The Weimar Years 1848–1861 (New York: Knopf, 1989); Vol. III: The Final Years 1861–1886 (New York: Knopf, 1996). Each volume appeared in

revised paperback edition, published by Cornell University Press (1987, 1993, 1997). 141. Alan Walker, ed., Franz Liszt: The Man and His Music (London: Barrie and Jenkins, 1970); Liszt (London: Faber and Faber, 1971); Liszt, Carolyne, and the Vatican: The Story of a Thwarted Marriage (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon, 1991); and Living with Liszt, from the Diary of Carl Lachmund (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon, 1995). 142. Franz Liszt and Agnes Street-Klindworth: A Correspondence (Hillsdale, NJ: Pendragon, 2000). 143. Derek Watson, Liszt (New York: Schirmer, 1989). 144. Adrian Williams, ed., Portrait of Liszt, by Himself and His Contemporaries (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990) and Williams ed. and trans., Selected Letters of Franz Liszt (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998). 145. See, for example, Hamilton’s aforementioned studies of the Liszt–Busoni ‘Figaro Fantasy’ and the Sonata in B Minor and Howard’s copious notes to his recordings of the Liszt piano music. 146. The first book is published by Garland/ Routledge Press, the latter by Pendragon Press. 147. Suttoni’s Liszt Correspondence in Print first appeared in Fontes Artis Musicae in 1979. A revised edition was published as Vol. 25 of the Journal of the American Liszt Society in 1989 and a supplement to that article also appeared in JALS, as Vol. 46 (1999). Suttoni also edited and translated the Lettres d’un bachelier `es musique as An Artist’s Journey (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989). 148. The works list appeared in ‘Franz Liszt’, New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, rev. edn, Vol. XIV (New York: Macmillan, 2001), pp. 785–872. The article was written by Alan Walker (pp. 755–85 and 872–7). 149. Richard Leppert, ‘Cultural Contradiction, Idolatry, and the Piano Virtuoso: Franz Liszt’, in Piano Roles, ed. by James Parakilas (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), pp. 252–81, and Lawrence Kramer, ‘Franz Liszt and the Virtuoso Public Sphere: Sight and Sound in the Rise of Mass Entertainment’, in Musical Meaning: Toward a Critical History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), pp. 68–99. 150. Susan Bernstein, Virtuosity of the Nineteenth Century: Performing Music and Language in Heine, Liszt, and Baudelaire (Stanford University Press, 1998); Paul Metzner, Crescendo of the Virtuoso: Spectacle, Skill, and Self-Promotion in Paris during the Age of Revolution (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998); and James Deaville, ‘Liszt’s

260 Notes to pages 54–87 Virtuosity and His Audience: Gender, Class and Power in the Concert Hall of the Early 19th Century’, in Annette Kreutziger-Herr, ed., Das Andere. Eine Spurensuche in der Musikgeschichte des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts (Frankfurt: Lang, 1998), pp. 281–300. 151. The biography appeared as Franz Liszt (Paris: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 1989), and it called forth a lively exchange in the Journal of the American Liszt Society of 1989 and 1991 between reviewer Alan Walker and author Gut. More recently, he co-edited the S¨amtliche Schriften Vol. I (Fr¨uhe Schriften) with Rainer Kleinertz (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 2000) and the Franz Liszt–Marie d’Agoult Correspondence with Jacqueline Bellas (Paris Editions de Fallois: Fayard, 2001). 152. See in particular Franz Liszt: la vita, l’opera: i testi musicale (Milan: Feltrinelli, 1983) and ‘Liszt’s “Lieder”: An Essay in Formalization’, in Saffle, ed., Liszt and His World, pp. 271–94. 153. John Tibbetts, ‘The Truth in Masquerade: Images of Franz Liszt in the Movies’, in Liszt the Progressive, p. 222. 4. Liszt’s early and Weimar piano works 1. Arthur Friedheim, Life and Liszt: Recollections of a Concert Pianist, ed. Theodore L. Bullock (New York: Taplinger, 1961), p. 138. 2. From a letter of 1868 in Selected Letters of Franz Liszt trans. and ed., Adrian Williams (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), pp. 692–3. 3. Helene Raff, ed., ‘Franz Liszt and Joachim Raff im Spiegel ihrer Briefe’, Die Musik 1 (1901), p. 866. 4. Friedrich Schnapp, ‘Verschollene Kompositionen Franz Listzs’, in Alfred Morgenroth, ed., Von Deutscher Tonkunst: Festschrift zu Peter Raabes 70. Geburtstag (Leipzig: C. F. Peters, 1942), p. 22. 5. La Mara, ed., Franz Liszt: Briefe an seine Mutter (Leipzig: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 1918), p. 30. 6. August G¨ollerich, Franz Liszt (Berlin: Marquardt, 1908), p. 298. 7. J. d’Ortigue, ‘Franz Lizst’ [sic], in Revue et Gazette musicale 21 (14 June 1835), p. 201. 8. Adrian Williams, Portrait of Liszt by Himself and His Contemporaries (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), p. 28. 9. Daniel Ollivier, ed., Correspondance de Liszt et de la comtesse d’Agoult, Vol. I (Paris: Grasset, 1933), p. 157. 10. Jean Chantavoine, Franz Liszt: Pages Romantiques (Paris: F. Alcan, 1912), pp. 135–6. 11. Robert Schumann, ‘Symphonie Fantastique von Hector Berlioz’, in Neue Zeitschrift f¨ur Musik (1835). 12. Hector Berlioz, Literarische Werke, Vol. III (Leipzig: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 1904), p. 86.

13. Chantavoine, Franz Liszt, pp. 134–5. 14. La Mara, Franz Liszt: Briefe an seine Mutter, Vol. I, pp. 7–8. In his Liszt biography (London: Dent, 1990, 28) Derek Watson points out that the remark Liszt quotes was in fact made by Correggio, not Michelangelo. 15. See Alexander Main, ‘Liszt’s “Lyon”: Music and the Social Conscience’, in 19th Century Music 4/3 (1981), pp. 228–43. 16. See the present author’s ‘ “Not with a Bang but with a Whimper”: The Death of Liszt’s Sardanapale’, in The Cambridge Opera Journal 8/1 (1996), pp. 45–58. 17. Richard Louis Zimdars, trans. and ed., The Piano Masterclasses of August G¨ollerich, ed. Wilhelm Jerger (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996), p. 61. 18. For more information on the Liszt Sonata, its genesis and related works, see my Liszt: Sonata in B Minor (Cambridge University Press, 1996), from which some parts of this chapter have been adapted. 19. Franz Liszt, Gesammelte Schriften, ed. Lina Ramann (Leipzig: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 1880–3), Vol. II, p. 106. 20. Amy Fay, Music Study in Germany (London: Macmillan, 1893), p. 198. 21. Berlioz, in Revue et Gazette Musicale 24 (12 June 1836), p. 200. 22. Carl Czerny, The Art of Playing the Ancient and Modern Pianoforte Works (London: Cocks and Co., n.d.), p. 3. 23. Ollivier, ed., Correspondance de Liszt et de la comtesse d’Agoult, Vol. I, p. 190. 24. G¨ollerich, Franz Liszt, p. 184. 25. Nadine Helbig, ‘Franz Liszt in Rome’, in International Liszt Society Quarterly 15/(16) (1976), p. 8. 26. Alan Walker, ed. Living with Liszt, from the Diary of Carl Lachmund (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1995), p. 249. 27. See the present author’s ‘Reminiscences of a Scandal – Reminiscences of La Scala: Liszt’s Fantasy on Mercadante’s Il giuramento’ in The Cambridge Opera Journal 5/(3) (1993), pp. 187–98. 28. See the present author’s ‘Liszt’s Fantasies – Busoni Excises: The Liszt–Busoni “Figaro Fantasy”’, in The Journal of the American Liszt Society 30 (1991), pp. 21–7. 5. Liszt’s late piano works: a survey 1. Letter from Franz Liszt to Marie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, 26 October 1869, H. E. Hugo, ed., The Letters of Franz Liszt to Marie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, 1953 (reprint, Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1971), p. 141. 2. Letter to Olga von Meyendorff, 20 November 1875, Villa d’Este, W. R. Tyler, ed., The Letters of

261 Notes to pages 88–127 Franz Liszt to Olga von Meyendorff, 1871–1886 (Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1979), p. 213. 3. Letter to Olga von Meyendorff, 4 February 1876, Villa d’Este, Tyler, Letters of Liszt to von Meyendorff, p. 229. 4. Letter to Walter Bache,19 March 1878, Budapest, La Mara, ed., Letters of Franz Liszt, trans. Constance Bache, 2 vols. (London: H. Grevel, 1894), Vol. II, p. 238. 5. Letter to Marianne Brandt, 3 December 1876, La Mara, Letters of Liszt, Vol. II, pp. 310–11. 6. A. Walker, Franz Liszt, 3 vols. (rev. edn, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1983–96), Vol. III, p. 412. 7. Letter to Princess Carolyne von Sayn-Wittgenstein, 15 June 1877, Weimar, A. Williams, ed., Franz Liszt: Selected Letters (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), p. 818. 8. Letter to Marie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, 30 May 1884, Weimar, Hugo, Letters of Liszt to M. zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, p. 272. 9. Letter to Olga von Meyendorff, 26 February 1885, Budapest, Tyler, Letters of Liszt to von Meyendorff, p. 476. 10. Letter to Frau Anna Benfey-Schuppe, 11 November 1880, Villa d’Este, La Mara, Letters of Liszt, Vol. II, pp. 368–9. 11. Letter to Marie d’Agoult, 16 November 1842, on a steamer from Mainz to Rotterdam, Williams, p. 188, and fn. 17. Note that the contents of this letter cast doubt on the date of 1841 conventionally assigned for the composition of the song. The earliest publications of the work were in 1843; so the song could well have been composed after this letter was written. 12. Walker, Liszt, Vol. III, p. 317. 13. Liszt finally published the fourth version in the 1 October 1883 issue of the Neue Musikzeitung with the following title: ‘Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth-Elegie/ after a poem by Count Felix Lichnowsky/Last, considerably revised edition [sehr ver¨anderte Ausgabe].’ It is clear from the title that he had had his final say on this topic. 14. In a letter to Emile Ollivier, Liszt wrote: ‘The memory I retain of Mme d’Agoult is a secret sadness; I confide it to God, and beseech Him to grant peace and light to the soul of the mother of my three dear children.’ Quoted in Walker, Liszt, Vol. III, pp. 317–18. 15. Letter to Borodin, Cui, Liadov, and Rimsky-Korsakov, 15 June 1879, Weimar, La Mara, Letters of Liszt, Vol. II, pp. 353–4. 16. In a letter to Olga von Meyendorff of 26 February 1881 from Budapest, Liszt wrote:

FL is much at fault. Stupidly he’s been doing nothing these last two weeks but blackening music sheets. I’ve been tempted by Pet¨ofi’s The God of the Magyars. I boldly composed it, then arranged it for the left hand only for my friend G´eza Zichy, and also for both hands for normal pianists. For good measure I have also written a Cs´ard´as Macabre which I shall dedicate to Saint-Sa¨ens. His Danse Macabre is worth more and is better, but I want to offer him my Cs´ard´as because of its Hungarian character. (See Tyler, Liszt to von Meyendorff, p. 396.) 17. Liszt, New Edition I/14: xi–xii; and J. Ogdon, ‘Solo Piano Music (1861–86)’, in Alan Walker, ed., Franz Liszt: The Man and his Music (New York: Taplinger, 1970), pp. 134–67. 18. Letter to Princess Carolyne, 30 July 1885, Weimar, Williams, p. 928. 19. For a full discussion of Via Crucis, see pp. 120–6. 20. See, for instance, J. Baker, ‘The Limits of Tonality in the Late Music of Franz Liszt’, Journal of Music Theory, 34 (1990), pp. 145–74, and A. Forte, ‘Liszt’s Experimental Idiom and Music of the Early Twentieth Century’, 19th-Century Music, 10 (1987), pp. 209–28. 21. Walker, Liszt, Vol. III, p. 441 n. 11. 22. Ibid., Vol. III, p. 441. 6. Liszt’s late piano works: larger forms 1. Liszt to von Meyendorff, 22 September 1878, Villa d’Este, Tyler, Letters of Liszt to Marie von Meyendorff, p. 318. The equality of the various versions of Via Crucis is reflected in a composite manuscript score signed by Liszt and dated ‘Budapest 26 F´evrier 79’ (Ms. C, 6a in the Goethe and Schiller Archives, Weimar) containing three versions of the work: (1) vocal soloist and choir with organ (or piano); (2) solo organ; and (3) solo piano. 2. See p. 112. 3. Letter to Princess Carolyne, 1 January 1874, Pest, Williams, Franz Liszt: Letters, p. 770. 4. Letter to Olga von Meyendorff, 23 October 1878, Rome, Tyler, Liszt to von Meyendorff, p. 320. 5. Walker, Liszt, Vol. III, p. 382. 6. Letter to Ferdinand Taborszky, Music Publisher in Budapest, 8 June 1885, Antwerp, La Mara, Letters of Franz Liszt, Vol. II, pp. 472–3. 7. Friedheim stated that he orchestrated only four of the pieces for lack of time to do all seven. See A. Friedheim, ‘Life and Liszt’, in Remembering Franz Liszt, 1961 (reprint, New York: Limelight, 1986), p. 165.

262 Notes to pages 131–50 8. This type of ending is familiar in Liszt’s late music. For a thorough analysis of a similar ending, see the discussion of Schlaflos! on pp. 113–16. 9. The original piece on which this composition was based, Dem Andenken Pet¨ofis, begins in E minor and ends definitively in E major (on an E-major sixth chord with G in the upper voice). For the Historical Portraits Liszt added the introduction and close, and also incorporated numerous repetitions of phrases that appear only once in the original: bars 20, 27, 32, 37–9, 54, 56, 58, and 60 of the version in Historical Portraits. 10. Williams, Franz Liszt: Letters, pp. 927–8. It would appear that at this time he had not settled on the ordering of the pieces in the set, although he might have decided on using ‘Sz´echenyi’ and ‘Mosonyi’ as opening and closing numbers. 11. Letter to Princess Carolyne, 15 June 1877, Weimar, Williams, Franz Liszt: Letters, p. 818. Liszt had set this text to begin Part III of Christus. 12. Letter to Princess Carolyne, 23 September 1877, Villa d’Este, Williams, Liszt: Letters, p. 821. 13. Letter to Olga von Meyendorff, 27 September 1877, Villa d’Este, Tyler, Liszt to von Meyendorff, p. 293. 14. Letter to Olga von Meyendorff, 14 October 1877, Villa d’Este, Tyler, Liszt to von Meyendorff, pp. 294–5. 15. Ibid. 16. Letter to Princess Carolyne, 4 February 1883, Budapest, Williams, Franz Liszt: Letters, p. 896; postscript to undated letter to Olga von Meyendorff, March 1878?, Tyler, Liszt to von Meyendorff, p. 313. 17. Walker, Liszt, Vol. III, p. 394. 18. Letter to Olga von Meyendorff, 13 September 1877, Rome, Tyler, Liszt to von Meyendorff, p. 292. 19. Walker, Liszt, Vol. I, pp. 367–8. The Lorelei, according to legend, was a lovely maiden chained to a promontory overlooking the Rhine, from which she lured sailors to their deaths. For a discussion of the significance of Nonnenwerth, see pp. 97–8. 20. Perhaps not coincidentally, Liszt’s song ‘Die Lorelei’ also features the chromatic relation A-B, but in the context of the key of G. The key of E appears in the song to set the first verse, depicting the peaceful scene before the siren employs her wiles. 21. This passage was one of Liszt’s favourites. In a letter to Agnes Street-Klindworth of 12 April 1855, Weimar, Liszt made a direct connection between the symbol of the water and the art of music, which he called ‘the tangent of the infinite: the living water which, like love, springs

up into everlasting life’. See P. Pocknell, ed., Franz Liszt and Agnes Street-Klindworth: A Correspondence, 1854–1886, Hillsdale, NJ: Pendragon, 2000. p. 9. 22. Vergil [sic], The Aeneid, trans. J. H. Mantinband (New York: Ungar, 1964). 23. My thanks to Michael Hendry of North Yarmouth Academy (Maine, USA) and director of the Propertius website ( for his translation and the following explication of Propertius’ text (in a personal communication). In Propertius’ poem, the poet addresses Augustus in self-deprecating flattery in order to get out of his obligation to write an epic. He claims to be incapable of such great work, offering to provide instead what little he can. Liszt would certainly not have intended any of the irony contained in the original poetry. Indeed, he may well have identified with both the poet and the dead Emperor, his dedicatee. Liszt, too, felt the pain of not accomplishing all he would have wished. 24. Letter to Lina Ramann, 22 February 1883, Budapest, La Mara, Liszt, Vol. II, pp. 431–2. 25. Letter to Princess Carolyne, 30 July 1885, Weimar, Williams, Franz Liszt: Letters, pp. 927–8. The full quotation is given on p. 132. 26. Franz Liszt, New Edition of the Complete Works, ed. I. Sulyok and I. Mez¨o (Kassel: B¨arenreiter, 1970–), I, 8, xi. 27. Letter to Olga von Meyendorff, 14 October 1877, Villa d’Este, Tyler, Liszt to von Meyendorff, p. 294. 28. In a letter to Olga von Meyendorff, 26 December 1879, Villa d’Este [Tyler, Liszt to von Meyendorff, p. 363], Liszt wrote: ‘I’m so weary and even so harassed by the music I am writing, while composing it, revising the copy and the proofs, that afterwards I don’t like to talk about it.’ 29. Letter to Princess Carolyne, 23 September 1877, Villa d’Este, Williams, Franz Liszt: Letters, p. 821. 30. Letter to Olga von Meyendorff, 27 September 1877, Villa d’Este, Tyler, Liszt to von Meyendorff, p. 293. 31. British Museum, London, shelf mark: ADD 34 182. This autograph is labelled source F by the editors in Liszt, New Edition of the Complete Works, Vol. I, 8, 48. 32. One recognises that the chiastic concept is also the basis for Liszt’s final cyclic work, the Historical Hungarian Portraits. The central movement of this set, however, is the rather devilish ‘Teleki’, causing one to wonder whether, by analogy to Liszt’s successor Skryabin, this latter set is Liszt’s equivalent of a ‘Black Mass’ composition, as compared with the ‘White Mass’ celebrated in Ann´ees III.

263 Notes to pages 152–62 7. Liszt’s piano concerti: a lost tradition 1. Jos´e Vianna da Motta, Ferruccio Busoni’s Cyclus von vier Clavier-Orchester-Abenden (Berlin: Concert-Directionen Hermann Wolff, 1898), 9 and 11. All translations are mine unless noted otherwise. 2. August Riessmann, Musikalisches Conversations-Lexikon: Eine Encyklop¨adie der gesammten musikalischen Wissenschaften f¨ur Gebildete aller St¨ande (Berlin: R. Oppenheim, 1880–2). 3. Leon Botstein, ‘The Concerto – the 19th Century’, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie (London: Macmillan, 2002). 4. Stephan D. Lindeman, Structural Novelty and Tradition in the Early Romantic Piano Concerto (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1999), Michael Thomas Roeder, A History of the Concerto (Portland: Amadeus Press, 1994), Jay Michael Rosenblatt, ‘The Concerto as Crucible: Franz Liszt’s Early Works for Piano and Orchestra’ (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Chicago, 1995), Michael Steinberg, The Concerto: A Listener’s Guide (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998). 5. Rosenblatt, ‘The Concerto as Crucible’, 6. 6. La Mara [Marie Lipsius], Classisches und Romantisches aus der Tonwelt (Leipzig: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 1892), 260. The letter is also quoted in Julius Kapp, Franz Liszt (Berlin and Leipzig: Schuster & Loeffler, 1909), 31–2; and Rosenblatt, ‘Concerto as Crucible’, 165. 7. Weimar: Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv, MS Z18, no. 30 and MS Z31, no.10. See Rosenblatt, ‘Concerto as Crucible’, 173–87. 8. Ignaz Moscheles, Aus Moscheles’ Leben: Nach Briefen und Tageb¨uchern herausgegeben von seiner Frau (Leipzig: Dunker und Humblot, 1872–3), vol. I, 138; article in The Morning Post on 11 June 1827 quoted in William Wright, ‘Liszt’s 1827 Concert Appearances in London: Reviews, Notices, Playbills, and Programs’, Journal of the American Liszt Society 29 (1991), p. 65. 9. Sketchbook N6 is described in Keith T. Johns, ‘Franz Liszt’s N6 Sketchbook Held at the Goethe–Schiller Archive in Weimar’, Journal of the American Liszt Society 20 (December 1986), pp. 30–3 and Rosenblatt, ‘Concerto as Crucible’, pp. 40–1. 10. For transcriptions and a more detailed description of these sketches see Rosenblatt, ‘Concerto as Crucible’, pp. 226–31. 11. Robert Bory, ‘Diverses lettres in´edites de Liszt’, Schweizerisches Jahrbuch f¨ur Musikwissenschaft 3 (1928), p. 10. 12. Weimar: Goethe–Schiller Archive, Liszt Collection: H3b, H3c.

13. See Rosenblatt, ‘Concerto as Crucible’, pp. 241–3, who speculates that the ending would have been dramatic and quite virtuosic. 14. Lindeman, Structural Novelty and Tradition, p. 175. 15. Franz Liszt, Briefe an seine Mutter (Leipzig: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 1918), p. 21. 16. For a detailed description of the reviews see Rosenblatt, ‘Concerto as Crucible’, 276–88. 17. Weimar: Goethe–Schiller Archive, Liszt Collection: H5c (orchestral parts dated ‘Gombo, 13 Sept 39’) and H5d (piano part). 18. NZfM, Bd. 4, No. 29 (8 April 1836), pp. 122–4. And in an essay published in Bd. 10, No. 2 (4 January 1839), pp. 5–6, Schumann wrote: ‘The Scherzo . . . would it not be an effective addition to the concerto?’ 19. Liszt, Gesammelte Schriften, ed. Lina Ramann (Leipzig, 1880–3), Vol. II, p. 106. 20. Adrian Williams, Portrait of Liszt: By Himself and his Contemporaries (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), pp. 50 and 72. 21. Roeder, History of the Concerto, p. 246. 22. Steinberg, The Concerto, 241. As Kenneth Hamilton notes in Liszt: Sonata in B Minor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), p. 11, although numerous fantasies, for example those by Beethoven, Hummel, or Kalkbrenner, were ‘composed of short, contrasting sections in a variety of keys and tempi’, Schubert followed a more complex plan, ‘using thematic transformation to link sections together in a scheme of first section (C major), slow section (C-E major), scherzo (A major) and finale (C major beginning with a fugal exposition)’. 23. In a letter to Carl Alexander of Weimar dated October 1846 Liszt wrote: ‘The time has come for me to break my virtuoso chrysalis and give full flight to my thoughts.’ Cf. La Mara, ed., Letters of Franz Liszt, trans. Constance Bache (London, 1894), vol. I, p. 106. 24. Alfred Brendel, ‘Musical Thoughts and Afterthoughts’ (London: Robson Books, 1976), pp. 79–80. 25. Weimar: Goethe–Schiller Archive, Liszt Collection: H3a (autograph for Concerto No. 1); H5a (autograph for Concerto No. 2, orchestral part, dated ‘5 May 1849’) and H5b (autograph for Concerto No. 2, piano part). 26. Rosenblatt, ‘Concerto as Crucible’, pp. 3–4. 27. It is interesting to note that Liszt saw his quest for creative growth as being parallel to that of Beethoven, as shown in a letter to Wilhelm von Lenz dated 2 December 1852: ‘Were it my place to categorise the different periods of the great master’s symphonies and quartets, I should certainly . . . divide his work . . . into two categories: the first, that in which traditional and recognized form contains and governs the

264 Notes to pages 162–92 thought of the master, and the second, that in which the thought stretches, breaks, recreates and fashions the form and style according to its needs and inspirations.’ (La Mara, vol. I, pp. 151–2). 28. For a detailed description of the sources, evolution, and programmatic layout of Liszt’s Totentanz see: Anna Harwell Celenza, ‘Death Transfigured: the Origins and Evolution of Franz Liszt’s Totentanz’, Nineteenth-Century Music: Selected Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference, ed. Jim Samson and Bennett Zon (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002), pp. 125–54. 29. Weimar: Goethe–Schiller Archive, Liszt Collection: N1. For a fuller discussion of this notebook see Rena Mueller, ‘Liszt’s “Tasso” Sketchbook: Studies in Sources and Revisions’, (Ph.D. dissertation, New York University, 1986), p. 149 n. 67. 30. In 1919 Busoni published an edition of Totentanz that purported to be the ‘first version completed on 21 October 1849’, but a study of the manuscripts shows that the version he published was actually the one completed in 1853. 31. English translation taken from The Dance of Death by Hans Holbein, ed. Frederick Evans (London, 1916). 32. Vladimir Vasilevich Stasov, Selected Essays on Music, trans. Florence Jonas (London: Barrie & Rockliffe Cresset Press, 1968), p. 50. 8. Performing Liszt’s piano music 1. Mrs W. Chanler, Roman Spring (Boston, 1934), quoted from Adrian Williams, A Portrait of Liszt by Himself and his Contemporaries (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), p. 552. 2. La Mara, ed. [Marie Lipsius], Franz Liszts Briefe (Leipzig: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 1893–1905), Vol. VIII, p. 161. 3. Charles Suttoni, Franz Liszt: An Artist’s Journey. Lettres d’un bachelier `es Musique (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1989), p. 31. 4. Williams, Portrait of Liszt, pp. 41–2. 5. Ibid., pp. 17–18. 6. Ibid., p. 136. 7. Ibid., p. 135. 8. Heard in 1858 by the composer Wendelin Weissheimer. See Williams, Portrait of Liszt, p. 342. 9. Alan Walker, ed., Living with Liszt from the Diary of Carl Lachmund, an American pupil of Liszt, 1882–84 (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1995), pp. 134–5. 10. Richard Zimdars, trans. and ed., The Piano Masterclasses of Franz Liszt, 1884–6. Diary notes of August G¨ollerich, Edited by Wilhelm Jerger

(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996), pp. 126–8. 11. Walker, Living with Liszt, p. 156. 12. Ibid., p. 35. 13. Williams: Portrait of Liszt, p. 557. 14. Ibid. pp. 561–2. 15. Adrian Williams: Liszt: Selected Letters of Franz Liszt (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), p. 256. 16. Reprinted for the centenary of Liszt’s death with a new foreword by Alfred Brendel (Wiesbaden, 1986). 17. Tilly Fleischmann, Aspects of the Liszt Tradition, ed. Michael O’Neill (Cork: Adore Press, 1986). 18. Walker, Living with Lizst, p. 224. 19. Zimdars, Piano Masterclasses, p. 140. 20. Ibid., p. 116. 21. Williams, Portrait of Liszt, p. 287. 22. Walker, Living with Liszt, p. 149. 23. Zimdars, Piano Masterclasses, p. 58. 24. Walker, Living with Liszt, p. 234. 25. Ibid., p. 53. 26. Ibid., p. 234. 27. Ibid., pp. 210 and 271. 28. Ibid., p. 33. 29. Ibid., p. 324. 30. Ibid., p. 194. 31. Ibid., p. 14. 32. Ibid., p. 214. 33. Zimdars, Piano Masterclasses, p. 134. 34. Ibid., p. 87. 35. Ibid., p. 140. 36. Ibid., p. 87. 37. Walker, Living with Liszt, p. 271. 38. Zimdars, Piano Masterclasses, p. 19. 39. Lina Ramann, Liszt P¨adagogium, Serie 2, p. 3. 40. Walker, Living with Liszt, p. 275. 41. Zimdars, Piano Masterclasses, p. 22. 42. Ibid., p. 21. 43. Williams, Portrait of Liszt, p. 291. 44. Walker, Living with Liszt, p. 151. 45. Zimdars, Piano Masterclasses, p. 141. 46. Walker, Living with Liszt, p. 308. 47. Paderewski’s recording of La Leggierezza, however, is one of the finest examples of Liszt playing ever recorded and his jeu perle seems to sum up many of Liszt’s general injunctions on beauty, lucidity and evenness of tone. 9. Liszt’s Lieder 1. Michael Saffle, Franz Liszt: A Guide to Research (New York and London: Garland, 1991), p. 307. 2. Francis Hueffer, ‘Liszt’, in Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Sir George Grove (London: Macmillan, 1880), Vol. II, p. 148.

265 Notes to pages 193–213 3. Hueffer, ‘Liszt’, p. 148. 4. Eduard Hanslick, Aus meinem Leben, Vol. II (Berlin: Allgemeiner Verlag f¨ur Deutsche Literatur, 1894), p. 189. 5. Adrian Williams, Portrait of Liszt (Oxford: Clarendon, 1990), p. 568. 6. La Mara [Pseud. Marie Lipsius] (ed.), Franz Liszt’s Briefe (Leipzig: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 1893–1905), Vol. IV, pp. 38–9. 7. George Steiner, After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation (Oxford University Press, 1975), p. 420. 8. Steiner, After Babel, p. 422. 9. La Mara (ed.), The Letters of Franz Liszt, trans. Constance Bache (New York: Scribner’s, 1894), Vol. I, pp. 413–14. 10. La Mara, Franz Liszts Briefe, Vol. IV, p. 89. 11. La Mara, The Letters of Franz Liszt, Vol. II, p. 502. 12. Letter of Liszt to Marie d’Agoult, 8 October 1846, quoted in Adrian Williams (ed. and trans.), Franz Liszt: Selected Letters (Oxford: Clarendon, 1998), p. 238. 13. Letter of Liszt to Giuseppe Ferrazzi, May 1880, quoted in Williams, Franz Liszt: Selected Letters, p. 852. 14. Performed on 24 July 1886 by his pupil Bernhard Stavenhagen in the house in Bayreuth in which Liszt lived out his last few days. See Alan Walker (ed.), The Death of Franz Liszt, Based on the Diary of his Pupil Lina Schmalhausen (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2002), p. 61. 15. Richard Louis Zimdars (ed. and trans.) The Piano Master Classes of Franz Liszt, 1884–1886: Diary Notes of August G¨ollerich, Edited by Wilhelm Jerger (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1996), p. 48. 16. Adrian Williams, Portrait of Liszt, p. 460. 17. Adrian Williams, Liszt: Selected Letters (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), p. 417. 10. Liszt’s symphonic poems and symphonies 1. Wagner to Liszt, London, 7 June 1855, S¨amtliche Briefe, vol. VI: January 1854–February 1855, ed. Johannes Forner (Leipzig: VEB Deutscher Verlag f¨ur Musik, 1986), 203; Correspondence of Wagner and Liszt, ed. W. Ashton Ellis (New York: Greenwood Press, 1969), pp. 91–2. 2. Alan Walker, Franz Liszt: Virtuoso Years, 1811–1847 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1983), p. 370. 3. Detlef Altenburg, ‘Franz Liszt and the Legacy of the Classical Era’, 19th-Century Music 18(1) (Summer 1994), pp. 47–8. 4. Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein worked closely with Liszt on the creation of the Prefaces.

5. Alan Walker, Franz Liszt: The Weimar Years, 1848–1861 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1989), pp. 119–20. 6. Franz Liszt, Preface to Tasso: Lamento e Trionfo; English trans. Humphrey Searle (London: Eulenburg, 1976), pp. iii–vii. 7. See Richard Kaplan, ‘Sonata Form in the Orchestral Works of Liszt: The Revolutionary Reconsidered’, 19th-Century Music 8/(2) (Fall 1984), pp. 142–52. 8. Translation by Ralph Nash in Torquato Tasso, Jerusalem Delivered (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1987). Other authors also commented on the gondoliers singing Tasso, including Madame de St¨ael in Corinne. 9. Douglass Seaton, ‘Interpreting Schubert’s Heine Songs’, The Music Review 53 (May 1992), p. 98. 10. Albert Joseph George, Pierre-Simon Ballanche: Precursor of Romanticism (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1945), pp. 95–6. 11. George, Pierre-Simon Ballanche, pp. 119–42. 12. Jeanne Pohl was the wife of Richard Pohl. 13. See Paul Allen Bertagnolli, ‘From Overture to Symphonic Poem, From Melodrama to Choral Cantata: Studies of the Sources for Franz Liszt’s Prometheus and his Ch¨ore zu Herder’s Entfesselte Prometheus’, Ph.D. diss., Washington University, 1998. 14. Wulf Koepke refers to Herder’s dramatic works as Festspiele that draw on the tradition of the cantata, oratorio, monodrama, and allegory. Herder’s artistic goal was a public-minded Gesamtkunstwerk – a Festspiel employing all the arts to celebrate a communal spirit and informed by his moral and philosophical concerns. Wulf Koepke, Johann Gottfried Herder (Boston, MA: Twayne, 1987), p. 114. 15. Richard Pohl, Prologues to Franz Liszt, Ch¨ore zu Herders ‘Der entfesselte Prometheus’ (Leipzig: C. F. Kahnt Nachfolger, 1874), p. 4. 16. In the Prologues Pohl emphasised how Prometheus was not afraid of the wrath of Zeus. Of course, later on in the drama Prometheus refuses a false gift from the gods presented by Hermes, for he will not allow his fate nor the fate of mankind to be tainted by the gods. 17. See Seaton, ‘Interpreting Schubert’s Heine Songs’, p. 98. 18. See Kenneth Hamilton, ‘Liszt’, in The Nineteenth-Century Symphony, ed. D. Kern Holoman (New York: Schirmer, 1997), p. 145 for this reference. 19. See Andrew Bonner, ‘Liszt’s Les Pr´eludes and ´ emens: A Reinvestigation’, Les Quatre El´ 19th-Century Music 10(2) (1986), p. 98 for a detailed chronological chart of the progression from the choral work to the symphonic poem.

266 Notes to pages 213–23 20. See Vera Micznik, ‘The Absolute Limitations of Programme Music: The Case of Liszt’s Die Ideale’, Music and Letters 80 (1999), pp. 207–40 for an in-depth discussion of this piece. 21. See Walker, The Weimar Years, p. 70 fn 26. 22. Letter to August von Trefort, Budapest, 1 March 1876, Franz Liszts Briefe, ed. La Mara [Marie Lipsius] (Leipzig: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 1893–1905), Vol. II, p. 293. 23. Bence Szabolsci, A Concise History of Hungarian Music (Budapest: Corvina, 1974), p. 63. 24. Szabolsci, Hungarian Music, p. 63. Szabolsci also points out that a collected edition ´ of Rozsav¨ olgyi’s works was begun in 1844. 25. Kenneth Hamilton reminds us that Lina Ramann recounts which scenes from the play are depicted in the music. Lina Ramann, Lisztiana, ed. Arthur Seidl (Mainz: Schott, 1983), 258; Hamilton, ‘Liszt’, in The Nineteenth-Century Symphony, ed. D. Kern Holoman (New York: Schirmer, 1997), p. 145. 26. Ibid. 27. Keith Johns, The Symphonic Poems of Franz Liszt (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1997), pp. 71–2. 28. Humphrey Searle, The Music of Franz Liszt, 2nd ed (New York: Dover, 1966), p. 77. 29. Searle, The Music of Franz Liszt, p. 78. 30. See Kaplan, ‘Sonata Form in the Orchestral Works of Liszt’, pp. 142–52. 31. According to Searle, the first motive ‘might be said to represent the mystical and magical element in Faust’s nature’ while the second motive ‘generally represents Faust’s emotional character, whether passionate, amorous, or melancholy’. ‘Franz Liszt’ in The Symphony, vol. I, ed. Robert Simpson (New York: Drake, 1972), p. 265; Alan Walker agrees with Searle that M1 represents Faust as a magician; however, he interprets M2 as Faust the Thinker, The Weimar Years, p. 329. 32. Lawrence Kramer, ‘Liszt, Goethe, and the Discourse of Gender’, in Music as Cultural Practice, 1800–1900 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), pp. 108, 115. 33. Mephistopheles: ‘I am the spirit which eternally denies!’ (Ich bin der Geist, der stets verneint!) Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust: A Tragedy, trans. Walter Arndt, ed. Cyrus Hamlin (New York: Norton, 1976), Vol. I, p. 1338. 34. ‘Alles Verg¨angliche/ist nur ein Gleichnis,/das Unzul¨angliche/hier wird’s Ereignis,/das Unbeschreibliche/hier ist’s getan./Das Ewig-Weibliche/zieht uns hinan.’ 35. Liszt, ‘Journal des Z¨yi’, in [Marie de Flavigny, Comtesse D’Agoult], M´emoires par

Daniel Stern [pseud.], ed. Daniel Ollivier (Paris, 1927), 180; quoted in Sharon Winklhofer, ‘Liszt, Marie d’Agoult, and the Dante Sonata’, 19th-Century Music 1 (July 1977), p. 27. 36. Liszt to Berlioz, San Rossore, 2 October 1839; Gazette musicale, 24 October 1839, p. 418; An Artist’s Journey: Lettres d’un bachelier `es musique, 1835–1841. Trans. and ed. Charles Suttoni (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), p. 186. 37. Walker, Weimar Years, pp. 50, 260. 38. Liszt to Wagner (Weimar, 2 June 1855) Correspondence of Wagner and Liszt, ed. W. Ashton Ellis (New York: Greenwood Press, 1969), p. 89. 39. Pagan philosophers and other souls who have not been baptised inhabit the first circle of Hell, Limbo. Their souls live in a castle and wander around in a fresh meadow, and, even though they are without hope, their intellectual torment does not evoke fear like the physical punishments described in the rest of the circles. Liszt’s depiction of Hell, therefore, begins with the circle of the lustful, who are actively guilty of sin. 40. Liszt, Dante Symphony (Budapest: Editio Musica, 1970); rpt. (London: Ernst Eulenburg), p. 68; ‘Diese ganze Stelle als ein l¨asterndes Hohngel¨achter aufgefaßt, sehr scharf markiert in den beiden Klarinetten und den Violen.’ 11. Liszt’s sacred choral music 1. Many of Liszt’s sacred choral works are available in a modern edition in Franz Liszt: Muskalische Werke, ed. F. Busoni, P. Raabe, P. Wolfrum et al. (Leipzig, 1907–36) [hereafter MW] V/5–7. In some cases, a work is available only in the original publication. The only major study of Liszt’s sacred choral music is Paul Merrick, Revolution and Religion in the Music of Liszt (Cambridge University Press, 1987). 2. The work list by Rena Charnin Mueller and Maria Eckhardt in the 2003 on-line version of The New Grove Dictionary (hereafter NGD) suggests some revisions to the dates of composition given by Humphrey Searle/Sharon Winklhofer in the 1982 NGD edition. The revision of the conception date generally involves only a year or two, in several cases four to five years, and in the case of Psalm 116 and of Der Herr bewahret die Seelen seiner Heiligen, more than fifteen. I have given dates prefaced by circa to account for some of the minimal discrepancies. When the redating is more substantial, I acknowledge when I have adopted it or the possibility of a changed conception date in an accompanying note. 3. Quoted in Merrick, Revolution and Religion, p. 11.

267 Notes to pages 224–31 4. Quoted in Merrick, Revolution and Religion, pp. 18–19. 5. Franz Liszt, S¨amtliche Schriften, ed. Detlef Altenburg (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & H¨artel, c. 1989–), Vol. I, ed. Rainer Kleinertz, p. 58: ‘la musique doit s’enqu´erir du peuple et de dieu; aller de l’un a` l’autre; am´eliorer, moraliser, consoler l’homme, b´enir et glorifier Dieu’. In 1836 Liszt, Marie d’Agoult and George Sand spent a two-and-a-half months period in Paris writing articles for Lamennais’s newspaper Le Monde. The focus of these articles was the subject of humanitarian art. Merrick, Revolution and Religion, p. 23. 6. S¨amtliche Schriften, Vol. I, 58: ‘les beaux chants de la r´evolution’. In fact, Liszt had sketched a Revolutionary Symphony in 1830 in reaction to the Paris revolution that year; he incorporated into it the Marseillaise. 7. De profundis was also used in the middle of the piano piece Pens´ee des morts, itself a reworking of the piano piece Harmonies po´etiques et religieuses of 1833–4. Pens´ee was eventually incorporated into Liszt’s piano cycle Harmonies po´etiques et religieuses, published in 1853. See note 10. 8. Searle’s catalogue numbers for the two versions of Ave Maria I are S20/1 and 20/2; NGD worklist calls them J1, first and second version. With respect to Pater noster, MW V/6 labels the 1852 version Pater noster II. Searle accordingly calls both early versions Pater noster II (S21/1 and 21/2). NGD work list calls them Pater noster I, J3, first and second version. 9. The third statement begins with dona nobis pacem instead of Agnus Dei, thereby shortening the whole. 10. Liszt also began a piano version of Hymne in 1847, later incorporated into his piano cycle entitled Harmonies po´etiques et religieuses, published in 1853. 11. Carl Dahlhaus, ‘Liszt: Mazeppa’, Analyse und Werturteil. P¨adagogik 8 (1970), pp. 86–7; Dolores Pesce, ‘Expressive Resonance in Liszt’s Piano Music’, R. Larry Todd, ed., Nineteenth-Century Piano Music (New York: Schirmer Books, 1990), pp. 369–70. 12. Nos. 1–4 are for four mixed voices, no. 5 for three equal voices. 13. Liszt did not consistently follow one psalm numbering system. For psalms 13, 23, 137, he used the Hebrew numbering. For Psalms 18, 116, and 129 he used the Greek numbering; to these I have added the Hebrew numbering (1 higher) in parentheses. In the cases where he set a psalm text but did not include the psalm number in the title, I have referred to the psalm text by the Hebrew numbering system.

14. For Psalm 13 I have used dates from NGD worklist which acknowledges two versions, whereas Searle does not. 15. Liszt unifies the work additionally by having the melody at letter G return intact at letter Q, and that of letter O at fourteen bars after Y. Opening as these two melodies do with a descending fifth and descending sixth respectively, one might relate them to Liszt’s main motive, although only loosely and not as transformations per se. 16. A second version dating c. 1859–62 was never published. 17. In ‘Program and Hungarian Idiom in the Sacred Music of Liszt’, Michael Saffle and James Deaville, eds. New Light on Liszt and His Music. Essays in Honor of Alan Walker’s 65th Birthday, Analecta Lisztiana II (NY: Pendragon Press, 1997), pp. 239–51, Kl´ara Hamburger overviews occurrences of this scale in Liszt’s sacred music. 18. Liszt has the dynamics diminish from p to pppp, and includes the remark: NB. Die 6 letzten Takte in den Singstimmen immer schw¨acher und g¨anzlich verhallend – (ohne Athem zu holen). 19. MW V/7 labels the version for mixed chorus I and that for men’s chorus II, as does Searle. NGD calls the men’s version I and the mixed chorus version II. In the absence of an explanation for the changed numbering, I have followed the MW labelling. 20. The organ score contains Liszt’s ideas for woodwind, brass, and timpani parts. Raff created an orchestral version for publication. Both are found in MW V/5. 21. Letters of Franz Liszt, trans. Constance Bache, 2 vols. (London: 1894; reprinted New York, Greenwood Press, 1969) [hereafter L I or II]. 22. This is the same motive that returns in the dona nobis pacem section of the Agnus. 23. Liszt’s Gran Mass is discussed by Helmut Loos, ‘Franz Liszts Graner Festmesse’, Kirchenmusikalisches Jahrbuch 67 (1983), pp. 45–59. 24. Liszt’s idea for the work may have originated as early as 1839 when he published an article in the Gazette musicale entitled ‘La Sainte C´ecile de Rapha¨el’, reprinted in S¨amtliche Schriften, Vol. I, pp. 296–301. Although the music’s title is in German, he set the original French text first, adding on staves below it a setting in Italian and one in German. 25. The scoring is for mezzo-soprano solo, chorus ad lib., with orchestra or piano, harmonium, and harp. 26. After the soloist presents verse 12, Liszt largely recaps verses 10–12 for the chorus. 27. The scoring is for soprano, alto, three baritone, and bass solos, chorus, orchestra, and organ.

268 Notes to pages 231–9 28. The Letters of Franz Liszt to Olga von Meyendorff 1871–1886, trans. William R. Tyler, introd. and notes by Edward N. Waters (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979), p. 347. 29. Briefe hervorragender Zeitgenossen an Franz Liszt, ed. La Mara [Marie Lipsius] (Leipzig: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 1895–1904), p. 72; and Correspondance: Lettres choisis, ed. Pierre-Antoine Hur´e and Claude Knepper (Paris: Jean-Claude Latt`es, 1987), pp. 453–4. 30. The folk hymn occurs on p. 240 of the Kahnt full score, thirty bars before cue T in section 5. In the endnotes to the published edition, Liszt credits various Hungarian individuals who provided him with antiphons, graduals, hymns, etc. which are preserved in the Feast of St Elisabeth and in breviaries and chant books of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 31. The tune occurs on p. 30 of the Kahnt full score, eighteen bars before cue F in section 1. 32. It appears on p. 160 of the Kahnt full score, thirty-five bars before cue N in section 3. 33. In the endnotes to the edition, Liszt mentions that the Cross motive appears in the Magnificat opening and in the hymn Crux fidelis. He states that he used the Cross motive in the fugue of the Gloria from the Gran Mass, in the final chorus of the Dante Symphony, and in the symphonic poem Hunnenschlacht. 34. Paul Merrick contributes an insightful discussion of this oratorio in Revolution and Religion, pp. 161–82. See also Paul Allen Munson, ‘The Oratorios of Franz Liszt’ (Ph.D. diss., 1996), pp. 20–62. 35. See Franz Liszt’s Briefe, ed. La Mara, 8 vols. (Leipzig: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 1893–1905) [hereafter BR]. Spontini was one of the composers associated with the nineteenth-century Cecilian movement who wanted to restore to church music traditional religious feeling. Cecilianism’s proponents emphasised Gregorian chant as performed in the chapels of Rome and favoured a cappella polyphony, of which Palestrina was the leading master. 36. Merrick states that the work Liszt planned, but never carried out in full, was to be entitled Liturgie catholique, liturgie romaine. Merrick, Revolution and Religion, p. 92. 37. Paul Merrick discusses this work in ‘Responses and Antiphons: Liszt in 1860’, Studia musicologica 28 (1986), pp. 187–94. 38. NGD worklist states there were two versions, the first completed in 1860 and published in 1861, the second completed in 1870 and published in 1871. The 1871 version is discussed here. 39. Searle dates it 1875, NGD ?1860s–1875.

40. NGD worklist suggests it may have been conceived as early as 1849. 41. BR VI, 179–80: ‘Je ne le voulais ni trop repos´e, ni trop agit´e – simple et abondant, tendre et grave, ardent et chaste, tout ensemble!’ 42. NGD worklist gives dates of 1859–65. 43. It appears in the dona nobis pacem section of the Agnus Dei. 44. Franz Liszt’s Briefe an Baron Anton Augusz, 1846–1878, ed. Wilhelm von Csapo´ (Budapest: [F. Kilian’s nachf.], 1911)[hereafter LAA], 101: ‘de m’en montrer digne comme catholique, comme hongrois et compositeur’. 45. LAA, p. 131. 46. The Credo is taken from Dumont’s Messe royale. Liszt added an organ accompaniment and has the full choir sing in unison except for brief passages in thirds at letters C and F and at some cadences. 47. ‘Ich versagte mir Enharmonien um Disharmonien vorzubeugen’ (I renounced enharmonics in order to eliminate discord), LAA, p. 128. 48. BR VII, 383: ‘En g´en´eral, les grands et petits compositeurs colorent le Requiem en noir, du plus impitoyable noir’ and ‘Dans tout cet ouvrage, e´ crit a` Sta Francesca Romana, j’ai tˆach´e de donner au sentiment de la mort un caract`ere de douce esp´erance chr´etienne.’ See also L II, 431: ‘I endeavored to give expression to the mild, redeeming character of death.’ 49. The Latin for the two lines reads: Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis and Libera me, Domine, de morte aeterna in die illa tremenda: Quando coeli movendi sunt et terra: Dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem. 50. Specifically, they appear at de ore leonis (from the lion’s mouth), tartarus (hell), and morte (death) in the Offertorium, at in quo totum continetur (in which all shall be contained), referring to the Book of Judgement, in the Dies irae, and at aeterna (eternal) and tremenda (dreadful) in the Libera me. 51. The Recordare music returns at the Qui Mariam absolvisti section of the Dies irae, but the phrase in question has been altered for the new words. 52. Liszt planned Christus in 1853 and composed no. 6, ‘The Beatitudes’, in 1855 and 1859. Although Liszt wrote in 1866 that he had finished the work, he added two more numbers before its publication in 1872. It is scored for soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, and bass solos, mixed chorus, orchestra, and organ. See Merrick, Revolution and Religion, pp. 182–4. 53. Paul Merrick states, ‘Liszt’s music [for Tu es Petrus] was composed originally to an anonymous Italian text in praise of Pius IX,

269 Notes to pages 241–8 “Dall’ alma Roma sommo Pastore”, published in 1866 as Inno del Papa.’ Merrick, Revolution and Religion, p. 196. 54. Klaus Wolfgang Niem¨oller discusses Christus in ‘Das Oratorium Christus von Franz Liszt: Ein Beitrag zu seinem konzeptionellen Grundlagen’, Beitr¨age zur Geschichte des Oratoriums seit H¨andel. Festschrift G¨unther Massenkeil zum 60. Geburtstag, ed. Rainer Cadenbach and Helmut Loos (Bonn: Voggenreiter Verlag, 1986), pp. 329–43. See also Munson, The Oratorios of Franz Liszt, pp. 63–135. 55. According to Liszt, he started the work ‘at the Colosseum, when I lived very close by, at Santa Francesca Romana’. Letters to Olga von Meyendorff, p. 214. Liszt began that residency in the winter of 1866, so possibly Via Crucis was sketched as early as that year. 56. The Catholic Encyclopedia, ‘Way of the Cross’. 57. O Haupt voll Blut, O Traurigkeit, and Vexilla regis were among the hymn tunes that Liszt harmonised for Cardinal Hohenlohe c. 1878–9, most likely to be played by Hohenlohe at the piano. See Merrick, Revolution and Religion, pp. 227–31. This set is most commonly known as Zw¨olf alte deutsche geistliche Weisen, and is edited in Franz Liszt: Neue Ausgabe s¨amtlicher Werke/New Edition of the Complete Works, 1st ser. ed. Z. G´ardonyi, I. Sulyok, I. Szel´enyi, and others, 2nd ser. ed. I. Sulyok and I. Mez¨o (Kassel and Budapest, 1970–), i/10, pp. 87–100. Vexilla regis is a Vespers hymn for the first Sunday of the Passion, for second Vespers on May 3, the Finding of the Holy Cross, and for second Vespers on Sept 14, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. 58. The ‘fall’ Stations begin with a series of chromatic chords over a tonic pedal that finally resolve to the tonic. 59. MW V/7, 47: ‘Les compositions suivantes pourraient se chanter dans les e´ glises et les chapelles, peu avant ou durant la dispensation des Saints Sacrements.’ NGD gives 1878–84 as dates of composition. 60. MW V/7, 81: ‘J’ai habit´e quelque temps deux chambres contigues a` l’´eglise de la Madonna del Rosario au Monte Mario, pr`es de Rome. L`a j’ai suivi parfois les d´evotions du Rosaire, auxquelles j’ajoute ci-apr`es un accompagnement musical.’ 61. Searle dates it 1866, NGD work list 1867–68. Merrick suggests 1866 as well. See note 53 above. 62. MW V/6 labels this Pater noster I. Accordingly, Searle calls it Pater noster 1, S29; NGD work list calls it Pater noster II, J14. Searle dates it ‘before 1861’, NGD ?1860. 63. Searle categorised two versions, numbered 31 and 32 (each with subdivisions). NGD worklist states there are three versions, J15a, b,

and c. Searle numbered J15c 32/3 because it preserves the voice-parts found in 32/1 and 32/2, omitting only the six-bar postlude. 64. Searle dates it after 1876, NGD 1881. 65. Searle dates it after 1880, NGD 1880–85. 66. O salutaris II for mixed chorus, generally simpler, highlights the words by a texture change from homophonic to unison singing. 67. Searle dates it after 1880, NGD 1884. 68. Searle dates it before 1885, NGD c. 1884. 69. Searle gives 1881, NGD 1883–6, based on Maria P. Eckhardt, ‘Ein Sp¨atwerk von Liszt: der 129. Psalm’, Studia musicologica 18/1–4 (1976), pp. 295–333. The latter is given priority here. 70. This would not be surprising since Pope Leo XIII preached the importance of the rosary in encyclicals of 1 September 1883 and 30 August 1884 and prescribed on 6 January 1884 the recitation of the Little Office after every Low Mass. 71. It is specifically used at funerals by the priest, but also every Wednesday at Vespers, at second Vespers of Christmas, in ferial prayers of Lauds, and in the Office of the Dead at Vespers (ferial pertains to the days of the week, or to a weekday as distinguished from a festival). It is also used at Compline in the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin. 72. The compositional history of St Stanislaus is discussed in Munson, The Oratorios of Franz Liszt, pp. 136–93. 73. At the word iniquitates (sins) an augmented triad appears. 74. Merrick, Revolution and Religion, p. 156. 75. On the other hand, the section’s tendency to vacillate between E major and G minor continues through those two utterances, the organ following with a dyad B-D, then chords on C major, C minor, and E major. For a discussion of Psalm 129 and other late sacred choral pieces, see Dorothea Redepenning in ‘Meditative Musik: Bemerkungen zu einigen sp¨aten geistlichen Kompositionen Franz Liszts’, Hamburger Jahrbuch f¨ur Musikwissenschaft 8 (1985), pp. 185–201. 76. Liszt left unfinished two oratorios on Sts Stephen and Stanislaus, representing Hungary and Poland, respectively. Paul Munson states, ‘It is tempting to see in this Hungarian–Polish pairing an apostrophe to the Liszt–Wittgenstein friendship, along lines similar to the ´ “R´akoczi–Dabrowski” movement Liszt had planned for the Revolutionary Symphony, or the “Ungarisch” and “Polnisch” numbers from Weihnachtsbaum.’ Munson, The Oratorios of Franz Liszt, p. 137. 77. The overview does not consider occasional pieces.

270 Notes to page 248 78. Psalm 20 Domine salvum fac regem, stands apart as a coronation anthem. 79. The three other saints are Elisabeth, Cecilia, and St Francis of Paula. Elisabeth was a Hungarian personage, to whom Liszt was attracted because of his Hungarian heritage; she also represented

the cause of the poor, which mattered to Liszt as well. Cecilia, a martyr, was the patron saint of music and glorified God through her art. St Francis of Paula was the patron saint of the Franciscan Friars Minor and epitomised humility; he was also Liszt’s name saint.

Select bibliography

G¨ollerich, August, Franz Liszt (Berlin: Marquardt, 1908) Liszt, Franz, Gesammelte Schriften, ed. Lina Ramann (Leipzig: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 1881–99), S¨amtliche Schriften, ed. Detlef Altenburg et al. (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 1989–) Merrick, Paul, Revolution and Religion in the Music of Liszt (Cambridge University Press, 1987) Ramann, Lina, Franz Liszt als K¨unstler und Mensch (Leipzig: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 1880–94) Ramann, Lina, Liszt P¨adagogium, ed. Alfred Brendel (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & H¨artel, 1996) Saffle, Michael: Franz Liszt-A Guide to Research (New York: Garland 1991, rev. edn, Routledge, 2004) Searle, Humphrey, The Music of Franz Liszt, 2nd edn (New York: Dover, 1966) ` Musique Suttoni, Charles, Franz Liszt: An Artist’s Journey. Lettres d’un Bachelier es (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989) Walker, Alan, Franz Liszt, 3 vols. (Vols. I and II New York: Macmillan 1983–9, Vol. III New York: Random House, 1996, rev. edn. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press) Walker, Alan, ed., Living with Liszt, from the Diary of Carl Lachmund (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 1995) Walker, Alan, ed., The Death of Franz Liszt, Based on the Diary of his Pupil Lina Schmalhausen (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2002) Watson, Derek, Liszt (New York: Schirmer, 1989) Williams, Adrian, Portrait of Liszt by Himself and His Contemporaries (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990) Williams, Adrian, trans. and ed., Selected Letters of Franz Liszt (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998) Zimdars, Richard Louis, trans. and ed., The Piano Masterclasses of August G¨ollerich, ed. Wilhelm Jerger (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996)


Index of Liszt’s musical works

Orchestral works Piano and orchestra early (unpublished) concerti, 154–5 Concerto no. 1 in E major, 28, 38, 44, 154, 155–7, 159–60, 161, 162, 170 Concerto no. 2 in A minor, 28, 154, 159, 160–1, 162, 170 ‘Concerto no. 3 in E major’ (published posthumously), 58, 60 De profundis: Psaume Instrumentale, 71, 158–9, 161, 169, 224 Festvorspiel, 57 Grande Fantaisie Symphonique (‘L´elio Fantasy’, after Berlioz), 157–9 Hungarian Fantasy, 38 Totentanz, 41, 44, 154, 158, 162–70, 264 Symphonic works Dante Symphony, 57, 210, 219–22 Faust Symphony, 28, 38, 42, 44–5, 68, 75, 77, 80, 195, 208, 216–19, 266 Mephisto Waltz no. 1, 34 Symphonic Poems, ix, 42, 66, 206–7, 255 Ce qu’on entend sur la montagne, 213 Festkl¨ange, 214–15 Hamlet, 215, 220 H´ero¨ıde fun`ebre, 39, 213–14 Hunnenschlacht, 215 Die Ideale, 213, 220 Mazeppa, 43, 70, 210 Orpheus, 208–9, 222 Les Pr´eludes, 28, 38, 41, 42, 213 Prometheus, 208, 209–10, 216 Tasso, 207–8, 216 Von der Wiege bis zum Grabe, 215–16 Symphonie r´evolutionnaire, 214, 267 Organ works Miscellaneous Fantasy and Fugue on ‘Ad nos, ad salutarem undam’ (after Meyerbeer), 57–8, 76 Prelude and Fugue on the name BACH, 76, 106–7


Piano works Cycles and collections Album d’un Voyageur, 64, 66–70 ‘La Chapelle de Guillaume Tell’, 67–8, 224 ‘Les Cloches de G[en`eve]’, 67–8, 224 Fleurs M´elodiques des Alpes, 66–7 Impressions et Po´esies, 66–7

‘Lyon’, 67, 224 Paraphrases, 66–70 ‘Psaume’, 67, 224 ‘Vall´ee d’Obermann’, 68–9, 72, 76, 114 Ann´ees de P`elerinage, 36, 37, 42, 163 Book I, 66–70, 150 Book II, 150 Book III, 89–90, 99, 112, 119, 120, 132, 135–50, 151 ‘Angelus!’, 93, 114, 115, 136, 137–8, 140, 144, 145, 147–8 Apr`es une lecture de Dante, 69, 219 ‘Au bord d’une source’, 142, 174–5 ‘Aux Cypr`es de la Villa d’Este’, nos. 1/2, 111, 136, 138–41, 144, 145, 146–8, 149, 150 Ave Maria, 243 ‘Canzonetta del Salvator Rosa’, 69 ‘Les Jeux d’eau a` la Villa d’Este’, 43, 136, 140–2, 148–50, 256 Marche fun`ebre: en m´emoire de Maximilien I, 141, 143–4, 145, 146, 148, 149, 150 ‘Orage’, 201 ‘Il Penseroso’, 69, 139 Petrarch Sonnets, 69, 114, 200 ‘Sposalizio’, 69 ‘Sunt lacrymae rerum’, 124–41, 142, 146, 148, 149, 150 ‘Sursum Corda’, 114–15, 136, 137, 141, 144–6, 147, 148, 150 Venezia e Napoli, 44, 208 Concert Studies, 37 Consolations, 186, 187 Five Little Piano Pieces, 103, 104–6 Harmonies po´etiques et religieuses, 61, 62, 70–2, 186, 224, 226 ‘B´en´ediction de Dieu dans la Solitude’, 71, 178, 182 ‘Fun´erailles’, 71–2, 178, 182, 184–5 ‘Hymne’, 267 ‘Invocation’, 79, 180–1 ‘Pens´ee des morts’, 71, 267 Hungarian Historical Portraits, 89–90, 110, 112, 119, 120, 126–35, 136–7, 146, 151, 262 1. Stephan Sz´echenyi, 128, 132, 133, 134 2. Joseph E¨otv¨os, 128–9, 130, 134 3. Michael V¨or¨osmarty, 129, 130, 133, 134 4. Ladislaus Teleki, 129–30, 133, 134, 140 5. Franz De´ak, 130, 133, 134 6. Alexander Pet¨ofi, 131, 133, 134–5, 262

273 Index of Liszt’s musical works Cycles and collections (Cont.) 7. Michael Mosonyi (Mosonyis Grabgeleit/Trauerkl¨ange), 127, 128, 129, 131–2, 133, 134, 135 Hungarian Rhapsodies, 28, 43, 44, 45, 84 no. 2, nos. 16–19, 36, 110 Liebestr¨aume, 28 ‘Drei notturnos’, 192 no. 3, 184 no. 3 (‘O lieb, so lang du lieben kannst’), 204 Weihnachtsbaum, 89–90, 121 Etudes ‘Ab Irato’, 74–75 Douze Grandes Etudes, 59–60, 64, 65–6, 72–4, 76 Vision (G minor), 185–6 Etude en douze exercices dans tous les tons majeurs et mineurs, 59–60, 65, 73, 74 Etudes d’apr`es Paganini, 64–5, 74 ‘La Campanella’, 74, 184 Etudes d’ex´ecution transcendante, 36, 42, 72, 73 Eroica, 59, 188 ‘Harmonies du soir’, 43, 73, 183 ‘Mazeppa’, 73–4, 210 ‘Wilde Jagd’, 73 Feux follets, 188 ‘Gnomenreigen’, 75 ‘Morceau du Salon, Etude de Perfectionnement’ see ‘Ab Irato’ Ricordanza, 178, 190 Technische Studien, 103 Trois Etudes de concert, 75 ‘La Leggierezza’, 264 ‘Un sospiro’, 75, 178, 185, 189 ‘Waldesrauchen’, 75, 189 Juvenilia Allegro di Bravura, 58, 59 Diabelli variation, 58 early sonatas, 59 Eight Variations on an original theme in A major, 58 Impromptu on themes of Rossini and Spontini, 59, 84 Rondo di Bravura, 58 Scherzo in G minor, 59 Seven Brilliant Variations on a theme of Rossini, 58–9 Mourning/Elegiac Am Grabe Richard Wagners, 113 Elegie (‘Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth’), 90–8 La lugubre gondola, nos. 1/2, 90, 113 R. W. – Venezia, 113 ‘Schlaflos! Frage und Antwort’, 34, 113–16 ‘Unstern! Sinistre, disastro’, 34, 90, 113, 116

Nationalistic Cs´ard´as macabre, 102, 109–10 Five Hungarian Folksongs, 107 ‘Heroic March in Hungarian Style’, 36, 215 Sz´ozat und Ungarischer Hymnus, 107, 127–8 Ungarischer Geschwindmarsch, 107 Sacred keyboard music Ave Maria, 111, 184 chorale settings, 111 In domum Domini ibimus, 111 In festo transfigurationis Domini nostri Jesu Christi, 111, 113, 114 Prelude and Hymn of St Francis, 111 Sancta Dorothea, 111 ‘Vexilla Regis’, 111 Via Crucis, 89–90, 112, 119, 120–6, 151, 261 O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden, 123, 269 O Traurigkeit, O Herzeleid, 124–5, 269 Stabat Mater, 122, 124, 125 Vexilla Regis, 122, 125, 269 Sonatas/extended forms Ballade no. 2 in B minor, 57, 79–80, 186, 189 Grand Concert Solo in E minor, 75–6, 186, 189 Mephisto Waltz no. 1, 80 Mephisto Waltzes nos. 3 and 4 (see also Bagatelle ohne Tonart), 116 Scherzo and March, 76–7, 184, 186 Sonata in B minor, 37–8, 40, 41, 44, 70, 75–6, 77–9, 185, 187, 190, 226–7 Transcriptions and arrangements of own Lieder, 203–5 A la chapelle Sixtine (Mozart/Allegri), 57, 84–5 Dance of the Sylphs (Berlioz, Damnation of Faust), 187 Danse macabre (Saint-Sa¨ens), 102, 184 Fantasia on Don Giovanni/The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart), 57, 80, 83–4 Fantasia on Der Freisch¨utz (Weber), 83 Fantasia on Guitarero (Hal´evy), 83 Fantasia on Les Huguenots (Meyerbeer), 81 Fantasia on La Juive (Hal´evy), 81–4 Fantasia on Maometto (Rossini), 82 Fantasia on Norma (Bellini), 81–2, 83–4 Fantasia on Il Pirata (Bellini), 81 Fantasia on I Puritani (Bellini), 82, 84, 154 Fantasia on Rienzi (Wagner), 84 Fantasia on Rigoletto (Verdi), 189 Fantasia on La Sonnambula (Bellini), 83–4 Fantasia on ‘I tuoi frequenti palpiti’ (Pacini, Niobe), 81, 154 Fantasie and Fuge in G minor (Bach), 103 Grande Fantaisie de Bravoure sur La Clochette (Paganini), 64 Grande Fantaisie sur la tyrolienne de l’op´era ‘La fianc´ee’ (Auber), 60–1, 65 Gretchen am Spinnrade (Schubert), 184

274 Index of Liszt’s musical works Hexameron (Bellini), 82, 154 My Joys (Chopin), 190 Overture to Les Francs-Juges (Berlioz), 62 Overture to Tannh¨auser (Wagner), 185 Overture to William Tell (Rossini), 82–3 Reminiscences de Boccanegra (Verdi), 99 Reminiscences de la Scala (after Mercadante’s Il giuramento), 83, 84 Reminiscences de Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti), 81–2, 83 Reminiscences de Lucrezia Borgia (Donizetti), 83 Reminiscences de Robert le Diable (Meyerbeer), 80, 83–4, 178, 183, 188, 189 ‘Salve Maria’ (Verdi, I Lombardi), 175 Sarabande and Chaconne from Almira (Handel), 103 Soir´ees de Vienne (Schubert), 61–2, 174 Symphonie Fantastique (Berlioz), 57, 62–3, 187 Symphonies nos. 5, 6, 7 (Beethoven), 62–3 Tarantelle (Cui), 99 Tarantelle de Bravura (Auber, La Muette de Portici), 174 Waltz from Faust (Gounod), 84 Two pianos Concerto Path´etique, 76 Miscellaneous Apparitions, 61–2 Bagatelle ohne Tonart, 116–19 Berceuse, 79 ‘En rˆeve. Nocturne’, 106 Fantasy and Fugue on the name BACH, 106–7 Grand Galop chromatique, 42 Impromptu, 106 ‘Nuages gris’, 34 R´ak´oczy March, 236 Rhapsodie espagnole, 37, 40 Romance Oubli´ee, 196–7 St Francis de Paolo Walking on the Waves, 80, 174, 183 St Francis of Assisi: the Sermon to the Birds, 80 Toccata, 103–4 Trois Morceaux Suisses, 67 ‘Tr¨ube Wolken’, 113 Valse Oubli´ee, 184 Variations on a theme of Bach: ‘Weinen, klagen, sorgen, zagen’, 76 Vocal works Lieder ‘A Magyarok Istene’ (‘Ungarns Gott’), 127–41, 195 ‘Angiolin dal biondo crin’ (Bocelli), 194, 195, 203

‘Comment, disaient-ils’ (Hugo), 192 ‘Der du von dem Himmel bist’ (Goethe), 194, 199, 201–2, 203–4 ‘Drei Lieder aus Schillers Wilhelm Tell’, 200–1, 204 ‘Die drei Zigeuner’ (Lenau), 198, 204 ‘Du bist wie eine Blume’ (Heine), 192, 199 ‘Enfant, si j’´etais roi’ (Hugo), 201 ‘Es muss ein Wunderbares sein’ (Redwitz), 192, 193 ‘Es war ein K¨onig in Thule’ (Goethe), 193–4, 196, 198, 201, 203 ‘Die Fischerstochter’ (Heine), 195 ‘Go not, happy day’ (Tennyson), 196 ‘Ich m¨ochte hingehn’ (Herwegh), 198 ‘Ihr Glocken von Marling’, 198 ‘Il m’aimait tant’ (Gay), 194, 203 ‘Im Rhein’ (Heine), 194, 198 ‘Isten veled’ (Horvath), 195 ˆ ‘Jeanne d’Arc au bucher’ (Dumas), 204 ‘Die Liebe des toten Dichters’ (Jokai), 128 ‘Die Lorelei’ (Heine), 139, 193, 194, 196, 197–8, 199, 201, 203, 204, 262 ‘Magyar Kiraly-dal’, 195 Mignons Lied (‘Kennst du das Land’) (Goethe), 194, 195, 204 ‘Ne brani menya, moy drug’ (Tolstoy), 195–6 ‘O lieb, so lang du lieben kannst’ (Freiligrath), 192, 204 ‘Oh pourquoi donc’, 196–7 ‘Oh! quand je dors’ (Hugo), 199 ‘La Perla’ (Hohenlohe), 195 ‘Schwebe, schwebe, blaues Auge’, 199 ‘Die tote Nachtigall’, 198 Tre Sonetti Di Petrarca, 195, 200, 203, 204 ¨ ‘Uber allen Gipfeln ist Ruh’ (Wanderers Nachtlied II) (Goethe), 192, 199 ‘Und wir dachten der toten’ (Freiligrath), 198 ‘Die V¨atergruft’ (Uhland), 195, 198, 204 ‘Vergiftet sind meine Lieder’ (Heine), 198, 203 ‘Wie singt die Lerche sch¨on’ (Fallersleben), 198 ‘Die Zelle in Nonnenwerth’ (Lichnowsky), 90–1, 97–8, 194, 203, 261 Masses Gran Mass (Missa solemnis zur Erweihung der Basilika in Gran), ix, 229–30, 235 Mass for Male Voices (Szeksz´ard Mass), 225–6, 229, 230 Missa choralis, 235 Ungarische Kr¨onungsmesse (Coronation Mass), 234, 235–6, 268 Opera Don Sanche, 194 Sardanapale (unfinished), 70, 204

275 Index of Liszt’s musical works Oratorios Christus, 34, 237–41, 268 Die Legende von der heiligen Elisabeth, 34, 42, 231–2, 237–8, 240, 248, 268 St Stanislaus (unfinished), 89, 119, 269 St Stephen (unfinished), 269 Other sacred choral works An den heiligen Franziskus von Paula, 234 Anima Christi I/II, 243 Ave Maria I, 111, 224–5 Ave Maria II/III, 243 Ave Maris stella, 244 Ave verum corpus, 244 The Bells of Strassburg Cathedral, 113 Cantantibus organis, 242 Cantico del Sol, 234–5 Christus est geboren, 244, 269 Crux! Hymne des marins, 243 Dall’ alma Roma sommo Pastore, 243 Domine salvum fac regem, 228, 267 Die heilige C¨acilia Legende, 230–1, 242, 267 In domum Domini ibimus, 244–5, 246 Inno a Maria Vergine, 243 Libera me, 244 Mariengarten. Quasi cedrus!, 244–5, 246 Mihi autem adhaerere, 234 Nun danket alle Gott, 243 O heilige Nacht, 244 O Roma nobilis, 243–4 O sacrum convivium, 244, 245–7 O salutaris hostia, 244, 269 Ossa arida, 244–5, 246

Pater noster I, 224–5 Pater noster II/III/IV, 243 Pax vobiscum, 243 Pro papa I, 243 Psalm 13 (Herr, wie lange?), ix, 41, 226–7, 267 Psalm 18 (Die Himmel erz¨ahlen die Ehre Gottes), 233, 234 Psalm 23 (Mein Gott, der ist mein Hirt), 227 Psalm 67 Gott sei uns gnaedig (Meine Seel’ erhebt den Herrn!), 233–4 Psalm 97 (Der Herr bewahret die Seelen seiner Heiligen), 233–4 Psalm 116 (Laudate Dominum), 234, 235 Psalm 129 (De profundis), 244, 245, 247, 269 Psalm 137 (An den Wassern zu Babylon), 227–8, 267 Qui Mariam absolvisti, 244, 245–7 Qui seminant in lacrimis, 244–5, 246 Requiem, 236–7, 244, 268 Responsorien und Antiphonen, 232–3 Rosario, 241, 242 Salve regina, 244 Die Seligkeiten, 228–9 Septem sacramenta, 241–2 Slavimo slavno, Slaveni!, 178, 243 Tantum ergo, 244 Te Deum I/II, 228, 267 Via crucis, 241, 269 Secular choral works Arbeiterchor, 210 Festival cantata, 21, 22–7 Five Choruses on French Texts, 226 Hymne de l’enfant a` son r´eveil, 226

General index

Abendroth, Walter, 29 ´ anyi, K., 107, 110 Abr´ Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, 209 alienation, relationship with creativity, 2–3, 208 Allegri, Gregorio, Miserere, 84 Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein, 38, 39, 255, 257 Altenburg, Detlef, ix, 46, 47, 49, 206, 254, 259 American Liszt Society, 51, 258 Andersen, Hans Christian, 8 ‘Armonipiano’, 175 Auber, Daniel-Franc¸ois, 60 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Transcriptions and arrangements Augusz, Baron, 87 autobiography Liszt’s attitude to, 16–17, 18, 19, 20 ‘moments’ in, 20, 25, 26–7 theories of, 17–19, 20–1, 252 Autran, Joseph, 213


Bach, Johann Sebastian, 76, 149–50, 172–3 Bache, Walter, 103 Bakhtin, Mikhail, 30 Ballanch´e, Pierre-Simon, 1, 11 Orph´ee, 208 ballets, based on Liszt’s works, 45 Balzac, Honor´e de, 1 B´eatrice, 10, 13, 250 Gambara, 3 Barrault, Emile, 10–11, 251 ´ B´ela, 31, 33–4, 109 Bartok, comments on Liszt, 40, 76, 256 Liszt’s influence on, 38, 40–1 Bayreuth, 29 Beethoven, Ludwig van, 8–10, 59, 72, 77, 81, 175 Liszt’s views on, 89, 150, 174, 206, 219, 263–4 relationship with Liszt, 21–2, 252 Festival/Monument (Bonn, 1845), 21–5, 253 ‘Appassionata’ sonata, 73 Archduke Trio in B major, 23–5, 26 Diabelli variations, 58 ‘Emperor’ Concerto, op. 73, 156 Hammerklavier sonata, 65, 173–4 ‘Moonlight’ sonata, op. 27, no. ix, 7, 59, 71, 73, 78, 190 Piano Concerto no. 5, 21 Piano sonata, op. 101, 1, 138

Piano sonata, op. 27, no. 1 Symphony no. 9, x, 23, 77, 150 transcriptions of, 57, 62–3, 174 (see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Transcriptions and arrangements) Waldstein sonata, 68 Belgiojoso, Cristina, Princess, 81, 82, 195 Bellas, Jacqueline, 5 Bellini, Vincenzo see Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Transcriptions and arrangements Berlioz, Hector, 1, 3–4, 12, 72, 159, 204, 206, 216 comments on Liszt, 6, 12, 65, 81–4, 173–4 Liszt’s letters to, 4, 169, 219 Liszt’s transcriptions of, 57, 62–3 (see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Transcriptions and arrangements) Euphonia, 251 L´elio, ou le retour de la vie, 157–8 Requiem, 237 Bernstein, Susan, 54 Bloom, Harold, 30 Bogarde, Dirk, 55 Boissier, Caroline, 8 Bononcini, Giovanni, 69 Borodin, Alexander, 86, 102–3, 195–6 Bory, Robert, 49 Bourdieu, Pierre, 30 Bourgeois, Louis, 67 Brahms, Johannes, 41, 57, 74, 79, 107, 154, 162, 188, 191 German Requiem, 255 Breidenstein, Heinrich Karl, 21, 22 Brendel, Alfred, 37, 161, 185 British Liszt Society, 34, 51, 258 B¨ulow, Cosima von, n´ee Liszt see Wagner B¨ulow, Hans von, 45, 142, 163, 169–70, 174, 195 Burke, Edmund, 6–7 Busoni, Ferruccio, 33–4, 36–7, 42, 76, 83, 84, 103, 152, 153, 170, 172–3, 191, 255, 264 Byron, George Gordon, Lord, 4 The Lament of Tasso, 207, 208 Mazeppa, 210 Carl Alexander, Grand Duke, 86, 206, 228, 257 Carl August, Duke of Weimar, 213 Carlyle, Thomas, Sartor Resartus, 18–19

277 General index Cecilia, St, 270 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Other sacred choral works Cecilian movement, 268 Cellini, Benvenuto, 18 Chantavoine, Jean, 49 Chateaubriand, Franc¸ois-Ren´e, 226, 249 Cherubini, Luigi, Requiem, 237 Chopin, Fr´ed´eric Franc¸ois, 1, 33, 65, 66, 71–2, 85, 106, 152, 171 Liszt’s comments on, 77, 174, 184 Ballades, 176 Berceuse, 79 Etude op. 10, no. 9, 779 Fantasy in F minor, 75 Hexameron, 82 Nocturne in G major, op. 37, no. 2, 138 Nocturne in G minor, 68 Polonaise, op. 53, 189 Polonaise-Fantaisie, 150 Study in F minor, op. 25, no. 2, 75 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Transcriptions and arrangements ‘Chopsticks’, variations on, 102–3 Chorley, Henry, 6 Christopher, St, 248 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Other sacred choral works collected works (of Liszt, publishing project), 33–4, 254, 255 concerto form development/critiques, 152–3 sub-genres, 153–4 Correggio (Antonio Allegri), 260 Cortot, Alfred, 190 Cui, C´esar, 86, 102–3, 195–6 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Transcriptions and arrangements Czerny, Karl, 81, 82, 154–5 d’Agoult, Marie, 267 dedications to, 139, 194 Liszt’s comments on, 261 Liszt’s letters to, 49, 200, 251 M´emoires, 250 N´elida, 15, 250 relationship with Liszt, 66–7, 97–8, 135, 150, 258 travels with Liszt, 3, 6, 67, 159, 195 Dahlhaus, Carl, 49, 226 d’Albert, Eugen, 33–4, 172–3, 179, 182 Dalmonte, Rossana, 51, 54 Daltrey, Roger, 55 Danhauser, Josef, Liszt am Fl¨ugel, 8–10, 250 Dante (Alighieri), Divine Comedy, 70, 150, 219–22, 266

Dargomizhsky, Alexander Sergeyevich, 102 De´ak, Franz, 127 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Historical Hungarian Portraits death, role in Liszt’s thought/work, 87, 90, 112–16, 145–6, 236–7 Debussy, Claude Images, 104 Liszt’s relationship with/influence on 43, 86, 141–2 Delacroix, Eug`ene, 1 Des Boh´emiens et leur musique en hongrie (Liszt), 46 Diabelli, Anton, 58 ‘Dies Irae’ (plainchant), 163, 167–9 d’Indy, Vincent, 43 Dohn´anyi, Ernst von, 41, 60 Donizetti, Gaetano see Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Transcriptions and arrangements Dumas, Alexandre, 196 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Lieder Dumont, Henri, 236 Messe royale, 268 Eastern Europe (Iron Curtain), Liszt studies in, 32–3, 49–254 see also Hungary Eckhardt, M´aria, ix, 34, 49, 53, 259 Edinburgh Review, 17–18 Egressy, B´eni, 107, 129 Eisenstadt conference (1986), 33 Eliot, George, 216 Elisabeth, St, 270 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Oratorios Enfantin, Prosper, 10 E¨otv¨os, Joseph, 127 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Historical Hungarian Portraits Erard family, 175, 177 Erkel, Ferenc, 41 ‘Farinelli’s Ground’, 169 Fay, Amy, 47 Felix, Werner, 50, 258 Ferrazzi, Giuseppe, 200 Ferri`ere, Th´eophile de, Brand-Sachs, 4–5, 250 F´etis, Franc¸ois Joseph, 12, 74, 75 Field, John, Piano Concerto no. 7, 78 film soundtracks, use of Liszt on, Fleischmann, Tilly, Aspects of the Liszt Tradition, 177–8 Floros, Constantin, 42 France, Liszt’s influence in, 43–4 Francis of Assisi, St, 234, 248 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Other sacred choral works

278 General index Francis of Paula, St, 270 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Other sacred choral works Franck, C´esar, 43 Franz Josef II, Emperor, 127, 143, 235 Freiligrath, Ferdinand von, 196, 204 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Lieder Friedheim, Arthur, 47, 127, 182, 183, 189, 190, 261 F¨ussmann, Werner, 48 G´ardonyi, Zolt´an, 48 Gautier, Th´eophile, 8 Geibel, Emanuel, 196 Genast, Emilie, 194 G´enie oblige (Liszt’s motto), 17, 25, 26, 29 Germany, Liszt’s influence/Liszt studies in, 42–3, 49 Gershwin, George, 45 Girard, Narcisse, 159 Girardin, Emilie de, 230 Gluck, Christoph Willibald, Orfeo ed Euridice, 208 Godowsky, Leopold, 37, 189 Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 22–3, 206 Dichtung und Wahrheit (autobiography), 18–19 Faust, 42, 77, 193–4, 195, 216, 217–19 Letters from Italy, 3 Liszt’s settings of, 196 (see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Lieder) Torquato Tasso, 207 G¨ollerich, August, 47, 177, 181, 188, 189 Grainger, Percy, Rosenkavalier Ramble, 172 Grandpont, Guichon de, 243 Gregory XVI, Pope, 232 Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 192–3 new (online) edition, 266 Gut, Serge, 48, 50, 53, 54, 260 Habermann, Michael, 37 Haitink, Bernard, 255 Hal´evy, Jacques see Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Transcriptions and arrangements Halle, Charles, 188 Hamburger, Kl´ara, 50, 53 Hamilton, Kenneth, 37–8 Handel, George Frideric Almira, 103 Fugue in E minor, 174 Hanska, Eva, 6 Hanslick, Eduard, 176, 188–9, 193, 205 Haraszti, Emile, 49 Haselb¨ock, Martin, 35 Hausegger, Friedrich von, 39

Heine, Heinrich, 1 Buch der Lieder, 203 comments on Liszt, 1, 8, 15, 253 Liszt’s settings of, 196 (see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Lieder) Henselt, Adolf, 173, 179 Herder, Johann Gottfried, 265 Der entfesselte Prometheus, 209–10, 265 Mein Gott, der ist mein Hirt (Psalm 23), 227 Herwegh, Georg see Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Lieder Herz, Heinrich, 2, 60–1, 78, 82 Hiller, Ferdinand, 173 Hindemith, Paul, 121 Hinson, Maurice, 51 Hoffmann, E. T. A., 2, 4–5, 6–7, 10–11, 249 Hoffmann von Fallersleben, August Heinrich, 196 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Lieder Hofmeister, Friedrich, 33 Hohenlohe, Gustav Adolf, Cardinal, 269 Hohenlohe, Ther`ese von, 195 Hohenlohe-Schillingsf¨urst, Marie von, F¨urstin, 47, 257 Holbein, Hans, Todtentanz, 162, 163–5, 167 Horovitz, Vladimir, 179 Horvath, Emmerich, 51 Howard, Leslie, ix, 37–8, 83 Huber, Ferdinand, 67 Hueffer, Francis, 192–3 Hugo, Victor, 1, 69, 74 Liszt’s settings of, 196, 203 (see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Lieder) Feuilles d’Automne, 213 Mazeppa, 210 Hummel, Johann Nepomuk, 77, 81, 206 Hungary Liszt studies in, 29, 32, 41–2, 48, 254 place in Liszt’s life/music, 40, 71–2, 79, 86, 107–10, 127, 214–15, 231, 236 political events, 71–2, 142 Huschke, Wolfram, 49 Impromptu (1990), 55 interpretation, composers’ attittudes to, 172–3 Ives, Charles, 45, 115 Janina, Olga, 15 Jauss, Hans-Robert, 30, 253 Jean Paul (Johann Paul Richter), 18–19 Jokai, Maurus, 128 Joseffy, Rafael, 179 Jung, Hans-Rudolf, 49 Kalkbrenner, Friedrich, 65, 74 Effusio Musica, 77 Kant, Immanuel, 6

279 General index Kaulbach, Wilhelm von, 215 Kellermann, Berthold, 33–4 Kleinertz, Rainer, 53 Klindworth, Agn`es, 53 Knopf, Ernst, 67 Kod´aly, Zolt´an, 41 K¨ohler, Louis, 177 Kramer, Lawrence, 217, 250 Kristeva, Julia, 30 Kurt´ag, Gy¨orgy, 41–2 Lachmund, Karl, 177, 182, 184–5, 189 Lamartine, Alphonse-Marie-Louis de, 1, 61 Hymne de l’enfant a` son r´eveil, 226 M´editations Po´etiques, 213 Lambert, Constant, 45 Lamennais, Abb´e Robert-F´elicit´e de, 1, 10, 11, 13, 158, 223–4, 232, 267 Lamond, Frederick, 182, 189 Leg´any, Dezs¨o, 48 Legouv´e, Ernest, 7 Lejeune, Philippe, 252 Lenau, Nikolaus, 196 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Lieder Leo XIII, Pope, 243, 269 Leppert, Richard, 250 Leschetitsky, Theodore, 185 Lewes, George Henry, 216 Liadov, Anatol, 102–3 Liapunov, Sergei, 44 Lichnowsky, Felix, Count, 97–8 Ligeti, Gy¨orgy, 41–2, 256 Lipsius, Marie (‘La Mara’), 45–6, 47 Liszt, Adam (father), 1, 5, 87, 154–5 Liszt, Anna (mother), 158, 226, 236 Liszt, Blandine (daughter), 66, 68, 87, 194, 237 Liszt, Cosima see Wagner Liszt, Daniel (son), 76, 87, 237 Liszt, Franz artistic persona, 3–4, 10, 14, 20–1, 28 autobiographical statement, 26–7 (see also autobiography as main heading) biographical studies/researches, 14–15, 19–20, 30–1, 45, 252 as composer (for titles of works see Index of Liszt’s Musical Works) attitude to interpretations, 171–2, 179, 180–2, 183–5, 189–1 biographical interpretations of music, 19–21, 77 contemporary reputation, 159, 223 creativity in later years, 87–9, 119, 120, 150–1 imitations/homages to, 30, 42, 256 influence on later composers, 31, 36, 37, 38–5, 161–2, 254

national(istic) character, 29, 32–3, 107–10, 236, 258 (see also Hungary) pedal markings, 185–7 performances/recordings, ix, 30, 32, 35–8, 39, 40, 44, 183, 190, 255, 264 posthumous recognition, 28–9, 31–3, 39, 90, 152 publication of works, 32, 33–5, 257 (see also collected works) reuse of old material, 60 selection of material, 248 transcriptions of others’ works, 57–8, 80–5, 99–3 use of multiple media, 120–1 use of traditional material, 66–7 contradictions of personality, 5–6, 14, 20–1, 32, 249, 250 correspondence, 47, 259 (see also names of correspondents) fictionalised depictions, 4–5, 14–15, 250 health (mental/physical), 8, 87, 119 images of, 8–10, 48–9 literary/cultural interests, 1–2, 4, 249–50 motto see G´enie oblige as pianist, 2 contemporary reputation, 4, 6–10, 21–2, 28, 66, 80–1, 252–3 impact on composing career, 65–6 instruments, 175–7 performance style, 173–4, 175–6, 188–9, 191 repertoire, 81 political outlook, 5–6, 10–2, 67, 143, 214, 224, 231, 258 religious beliefs, 112, 126, 133, 150, 223–4, 248 romantic attachments, 1–2, 5, 13, 15 (see also d’Agoult, Marie; Sayn-Wittgenstein, Carolyne von) as teacher, 31, 32, 35–6, 86, 171, 174–5, 177–5, 254–5 travels, 3–4, 87, 135 writings, 252, 258 De la musique religieuse, 224 Lettres d’un bachelier, 3–4, 11–2, 249 Lisztomania (1975), 15–18, 55 Litolff, Henry, 162 Louis-Philippe of France, 1 Mahler, Gustav, 39, 42, 256 Mainzer, Joseph, 11 Maria Pawlowna, Grand Duchess, 208 Mason, William, 45, 182, 188 M´at´eka, B´ela, 48 Maximilian I, Emperor, 87, 143, 236 Mendelssohn, Felix, 78, 194 Capriccio brillante, 158, 160

280 General index Menter, Sophie, 82, 174 Merrick, Paul, 247 Messiaen, Olivier, 121 Metzner, Paul, 54 Meyendorff, Olga von, 104–6, 147–8, 261, 262 Meyerbeer, Giacomo, 78 Les Huguenots, 79 Le Proph`ete, 57–8, 75 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Transcriptions and arrangements Michelangelo (Buonarotti), 69, 136, 139 Milhaud, Darius, 45 Miller, Norbert, 49 Milton, John, 77 Montalembert, Charles, Comte de, Vie de Sainte Elisabeth, 231 Moscheles, Ignaz, 160 Piano Concerto in G minor, op. 60, 157 Piano Concerto no. 6 in B minor (‘Concert Fantastique’), op. 90, 78, 159 Mosonyi, Mih´aly, 41, 87, 127–8 Trauerkl¨ange zum Tode Istv´an Sz´echenyis, 129 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Historical Hungarian Portraits Mottl, Felix, 193 Mouchanoff, Marie, 87 Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 84 Piano Concerto in C Minor, 36 Requiem, 163, 169, 237 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Transcriptions and arrangements Mueller, Rena, 53, 54 ‘Munich School’, 39 Musorgsky, Modest Petrovich, Pictures at an Exhibition, 121 Musset, Alfred de, 1, 196 Napoleon III, 143 Nazism, appropriation of Liszt’s memory, 29, 32, 46, 48, 254 Newman, Ernest, 50 Niecks, Friedrich, 46 Ollivier, Daniel, 49 Ortigue, Joseph d’, 60–1 Paderewski, Ignacy Jan, 44, 177, 190, 264 ` 8, 17, 64, 65 Paganini, Niccolo, see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Transcriptions and arrangements Palestrina, Giovanni Pierluigi da, 71, 242, 268 Paris, as cultural centre, 1 Pasta, Giuditta, 81 Pet¨ofi, Alexander, 127–39 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Historical Hungarian Portraits Petrarch, 69 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Lieder

‘piano-organ’, owned by Liszt, 175 piano(s) construction, 175–6 performance techniques, 65 Pictet, Adolphe, 11, 62, 63–4 Pistone, Daniel, 38 Pius IX, Pope, 235, 239, 243 Pixis, Johann Peter, 82 plainchant, Liszt’s use of, 232–3, 235 Pleyel, Marie, 82 Pocknell, Pauline, 53 Pohl, Jeanne, 209 Pohl, Richard, 47, 209–10, 265 politics, impact on Liszt studies, 32–3 see also Nazism Pourtal`es, Guy de, 49 Prah´acs, Margit, 50 Prokofiev, Sergei, 44 Propertius, 143, 262 Raab, Antonia, 113 Raabe, Peter, 33–4, 38, 46–7, 48 Rabes, Lennart, 258 Rachmaninov, Sergei, 44 Racine, Jean, 226 Raff, Joachim, 57–8, 71 Ramann, Lina, 47, 59 Franz Liszt als K¨unstler und Mensch, 15–16, 17, 23, 45–6, 257 Liszt-P¨adagogium, 177, 178, 179, 183, 184, 185, 187–8 Lisztiana, 251, 266 Liszt’s letters to, 19, 145 Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio), 69 Rathkolb, Oliver, 31–2 Ravel, Maurice, 43, 141, 257 Redepenning, Dorothea, 52 Redwitz, Oscar von see Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Lieder Reger, Max, 42 Reissmann, August, 153, 170 Rellstab, Ludwig, settings of, 196 Remenyi, Mih´aly, 188 research centres, 258–9 Ricordi, Aldo, 175 Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai, 86, 102–3 Ritter, Alexander, 38–9 Rive-Necker, Albertine de la, 8 Roberge, Marc-Andr´e, 37 Romanticism, 1–4, 10, 249, 251 Liszt’s relationship with, 5, 7–10, 12–13, 85 Roquette, Otto, 231 Rosenblatt, Jay, 162 Rosenthal, Moritz, 177, 183, 189, 190 Rossini, Gioacchino, 58–9, 82–3 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Transcriptions and arrangements ´ Rozsav¨ olgyi, M´ark, 214 Rubinstein, Anton, 102, 173, 182, 188, 190

281 General index R¨uckert, Friedrich, 196 Russell, Ken, 15 Russia, Liszt’s influence in, 44–9 Saffle, Michael, x, 53–4, 192 Saint-Cricq, Caroline de, 1–2, 61 Saint-Sa¨ens, Camille Danse macabre, 109 Liszt’s relationship with/influence on, 43 transcriptions of, 99 (see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Transcriptions and arrangements) Saint-Simon, Claude-Henri de Rouvroy, Comte de, 10, 11, 12 Sand, George, 1, 267 Lettres d’un voyageur, 3, 66 Liszt’s letters to, 3, 11 Sauer, Emil von, 35, 179, 190 Sayn-Wittgenstein, Carolyne zu, F¨urstin, 13, 46, 47, 216, 222 dedications to, 66, 206 Liszt’s letters to, 14, 88–90, 98, 112, 121, 132, 135–6, 147, 232 relationship with Liszt, 194, 214, 219–20, 258, 265 Schiller, Johann Christoph Friedrich von, 67, 196 Die Ideale, 213 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Lieder Schilling, Gustav, 15–16 Schillings, Max von, 39 Schindler, Anton, 21–2 Schlegel, Friedrich, 6–7 Schlesinger, Maurice, 1, 2, 12 Schmalhausen, Lina, x Schnapp, Friedrich, 47 Schoenberg, Arnold, 31, 39, 42–3 Schubert, Franz, 58, 107, 174, 263 Liszt’s comments on, 57 transcriptions of, 61–2, 194, 205 (see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Transcriptions and arrangements) Ave Maria, 111 Schwanengesang, 208 Wanderer-Fantasy, 77, 160 Schumann, Clara, n´ee Wieck, 64, 83, 99, 158, 182 Schumann, Robert, 2, 33, 64, 79, 81, 99, 113–14, 159–60, 176 comments on Liszt, 8, 57, 60, 63, 65–6 Liszt’s comments on, 78, 160 Dichterliebe, 198 Schwind, Moritz von, 231 Scitovsky, J´anos, Archbishop, 229 Searle, Humphrey, 48, 266 Senancour, Etienne Pivert de, 68 Shakespeare, William, 215 Shaw, George Bernard, 84

Shostakovich, Dmitri, 44 Sibelius, Jean, 44–5 Siloti, Alexander, 44, 47, 174, 190 Sitwell, Sacheverell, 28–9, 37 societies (Liszt appreciation/performance), 51 ´ 40–1 Somfai, L´aszlo, Song of Love (1947), 55 A Song to Remember (1943), 55 Song Without End (1960), 55 Sorabji, Kaikhosru, 37 Spohr, Louis, Violin Concerto no. 8 in A minor, 156 Spontini, Gasparo Luigi Pacifico, 59, 232, 268 Stasov, Vladimir, 170 Steiner, George, 193 Steinway, Henry, 176, 187 Stephen, Leslie, 17–18, 19 Stradal, August, 47, 106, 179 Strauss, Richard, Liszt’s influence on, 38–40 Stravinsky, Igor, 44 Suk, Josef, 44 Sulyok, Imre, 34 Suttoni, Charles, 12 Szabolcsi, Bence, 50 Sz´echenyi, Istv´an, 127 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Historical Hungarian Portraits Szelenyi, Istv´an, 50 T´aborszky, Ferdinand, 109, 126–7 Tausig, Carl, Ungarische Zigeunerweise, 185 Tchaikovsky, Piotr, 102 Teleki, Ladislaus, 127 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Historical Hungarian Portraits Tennyson, Alfred Lord see Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Lieder Thalberg, Sigismond, 5, 65, 72, 74, 75, 81–2, 83, 152, 189 Thomas, Theodore, 45 Tibbetts, John, 55 Tolstoy, Nikolai see Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Lieder Torkewitz, Dieter, 49 ‘Trionfo della Morte’ (fresco), 162, 165–7, 169 Uhland, Ludwig see Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Lieder Venantius Fortunatus, 122 verbunkos (Hungarian dance), 214 Verdi, Giuseppe, 13 transcriptions of, 99–102 (see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Transcriptions and arrangements) Requiem, 237 Vianna da Motta, Jos´e, 33–4, 152, 153, 170, 179

282 General index Vigny, Alfred de, 1 Villa d’Este, as Liszt’s residence, 86, 135–6 Vi˜nes, Riccardo, 43 Virgil (P. Vergilius Maro), Aeneid, 142, 143 V¨or¨osmarty, Mih´aly, 107, 127–8 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Historical Hungarian Portraits Wagner, Cosima, n´ee Liszt (daughter), 29, 46, 137, 142 Wagner, Daniela (Liszt’s granddaughter), 137 Wagner, Richard, 12, 31, 48, 49, 206 comments on Liszt, ix, 76, 222 death, 87, 113, 145 dedications to, 220 Liszt’s views on, 89, 150 relationship with Cosima, 137, 142 relationship with Liszt, 13, 29, 204, 206 transcriptions of, 99 (see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Transcriptions and arrangements) Lohengrin, 184 Die Meistersinger von N¨urnberg, 83–4 Parsifal, 113, 150, 245, 246 Tristan und Isolde, 139, 140, 197, 201 Walker, Alan, 48, 114, 115, 255, 266 The Death of Franz Liszt, x Liszt, 3 vols., ix–x, 14, 15, 19, 48, 53

Watson, Derek, 51 Liszt, x Weber, Carl Maria von, 78, 81 Konzertst¨uck, 154, 158, 160, 173 Rondo in E, 173 Sonata in E minor, 68 see also Index of Liszt’s Musical Works: Transcriptions and arrangements Wegelius, Martin, 36, 44–5 Weimar Liszt Museum, 47 as Liszt’s place of employment, 70, 86, 206 Weingartner, Felix, 190 Weissheimer, Wendelin, 264 Wieck, Clara see Schumann, Clara Wild, Earl, 37 Williams, Adrian, Franz Liszt: Selected Letters, x A Portrait of Liszt by Himself and His Contemporaries, x Winkler, Gerhard, 53 Winklhofer, Sharon, 48 Wolf, Hugo, 42, 256 Wolff, O. F. Bernhard, 25–7 Zichy, Mih´aly, Count, 215 Zychowicz, James, 42