Letters of Franz Liszt to, and regarding, Draeseke

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F LisztFranz Liszt (1811-1886) was renowned both as a composer and pianist. As a performing artist, he was noted particularly for his showmanship and great skill. As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the "Neudeutsche Schule" ("New German School") and, while predominantly known for his piano oeuvre, he composed works in nearly all musical genres.

Liszt's charisma, charm, worldliness, and gregarious manner are legendary. His life centered around people; he knew them, worked with them, remembered them, thought about them, and wrote about them using an almost poetic language, while pushing them to reflect the high ideals he believed in. He also did as much as he could to promote and compliment those whose music he believed in. Liszt was among the most prolific letter-writers of the 19th century and this page collects those where he writes to, or about, Felix Draeseke.

Portions from: Letters of Franz Liszt, Volumes 1 & 2, collected by La Mara (pseud. Maria Lipsius) and translated by Constance Bache, 1893

1858.01.10 To Felix Dräseke

Your articles [Published in the paper started by Brendel, "Hints" (or "Suggestions")], which were so universally suggestive, my dear and valiant friend, have given great pleasure to us on the Altenburg. I hope to have an opportunity of showing you my gratitude in a lasting and abiding fashion. Meanwhile be satisfied with a good conscience in having strengthened and sustained an honest man in his better purpose.

I have received through Brendel an invitation to Prague, which I shall probably accept for the beginning of March. I am delighted to think of seeing you again, dear friend, in passing through Dresden, and perhaps you might make it possible to accompany me to Prague. The "Dante Symphony" and the "Ideale" are again to be given there, and, if I am not mistaken, you will rather like the former work in its present shape. The Dresden performance was a necessity to me, in order to realize its effect. As long as one has only to do with lifeless paper one can easily make a slip of the pen. Music requires tone and resonance!--I cannot at first lay claim to effectual results, because I have to meet too much opposition. The chief thing is that my present works should prove themselves to be taking a firm footing in musical matters, and should contribute something towards doing away with what is corrupt...

What is Reubke [A pupil of Liszt's.] doing, and how does he like Dresden?--Take him most friendly greetings from me. By-the-by ask him also to give me tidings as soon as possible (through Herr Menert) about the copying of the orchestral parts of the Rubinstein Oratorio "Paradise Lost," and to get Herr Menert to send me these parts to Weymar by the end of this month at latest. It is to be hoped that Reubke won't have left the score in his box like Pohl! But if by chance he has committed such a transgression I beg that he will make amends as speedily as possible.

Fischer (the organist) wrote to me lately, to ask me for a testimonial to his musical ability, as he wants to have one to show in Chemnitz. Please to make my friendly excuses to him for not fulfilling his wish--possibly, in view of the enmity which I have to bear on all sides, such a document would do him more harm than good; apart from the fact that I very unwillingly set about drawing up such testimonials. He must not, however, misconstrue this disinclination on my part, and may rest assured of my readiness to be of use to him.--

I would still draw your attention to Bronsart's concert in Leipzig. It will take place in a few days, and if you can get free I invite you to it. Bronsart is a very dear friend of mine; I value him as a character and as a musician. If you go to Leipzig go and see him; he will please you, and will receive you in the most friendly manner. He is a friend of Bulow's. Both names have the same initials, and for a long time Bronsart signed himself "Hans II." in his letters to me.--

In the virtuoso line we have lately been hearing Sivori and Bazzini here several times. The latter is now in Dresden; I told him that Reubke would perhaps call on him. Get Reubke to do so, and assure him that he will be most friendlily received. A well- known piece of Bazzini's, "La Ronde des Lutins," was, by a printer's error, called "Ronde des Cretins!" ["Rondo of Idiots."] What an immeasurably large public for such a "Rondo"! If only half of them would become subscribers to the Anregungen (Hints)!

Once more a thousand thanks, dear friend, for your courageous battling; I on my side will endeavour not to let us have to acquiesce with too overpowering a modesty! [An untranslatable pun on the words "beseheiden" and "Bescheidenheit."

Yours ever,

F. Liszt

[Weimar,] Sunday, January 10th, 1858

1859.01.12 To Felix Dräseke

My very dear Friend,

Herewith the piano edition of the two first acts of "Sigurd." [Opera by Dräseke.]--Imagining that you may also want the score of the first act, which had remained here, I send it also, sorry as I am to part from this monumental work. Under present existing circumstances, which on my side are passive and negative, as I intimated to you after the performance of Cornelius's Opera, there is no prospect of putting Sigurd on the boards at present. But I promise myself the pleasure and satisfaction of letting all your "Tamtis" and "Beckis" be heard, when I have again resumed my active work at the Weymar theater, for which there may probably be an opportunity next season.

After you left Weymar we had to swallow a kind of second piece or supplement to the performance of the "Barber of Baghdad," on occasion of Madame Viardot's performance as "guest" here. But I will not weary you with tales of our local miseries and crass improprieties. I will only intimate thus much--that, under the present Intendant régime, to my sorrow, the inviting of Frau Schroder-Devrient to play here as guest is met by almost unconquerable difficulties from within. Tell our excellent friend Bronsart this, and tell him into the bargain that a concert (in the room in the Town Hall), at which he and Frau Schroder- Devrient should appear without any other assistance, would certainly be very welcome to the public, and I should look upon this as in any case a practical introduction to the performance as guest. This matter lies outside my present sway, but it goes without saying that I will not fail to let my slight influence towards a favorable solution of the matter be felt.--

The day before yesterday I heard at Gotha your countryman's new opera (Diana von Solange) for the second time. The work was received with great approval, and is shortly to be given in Dresden, where you will be best able to judge of it. Mitterwurzer and Frau Ney have some very effective moments in it.

The concerts of the joint Weymar and Gotha orchestras (a matter which I broached long ago) again came under discussion, and possibly this March an attempt will be made to set them going. Meanwhile let us look after our cordial [Magen-Starkung] "mentre che il danno e la vergogna dura," ["Whilst prejudice and shame last."] as Michael Angelo says.--

Friendly greetings from your faithful and devoted

F. Liszt

January 12th, 1859

Will you give the enclosed letter to Bronsart?

1859.05.23 To Peter Cornelius In Vienna Weymar

May 23rd, 1859

Dearest Friend,

I learn with joy from your letter (which has just crossed mine from Lowenberg), that things are going well and comfortably with you in Vienna. It is easy to see that your stay there, when once you have made a firm footing, will become very advantageous--and whatever I can do towards helping this you may be sure I shall do. Herewith a few lines for Herr von Villers, Secretary of the Saxon Embassy (where you will learn his address). He is one of my older friends who has remained very dear to me. In his refined poetic and musical feeling many kindred tones will sound for you. Tell him all about Weymar and play him something from the "Barbier". [Cornelius' Opera] Although he lives somewhat a part, he can prove himself agreeable to you in many things,--firstly, by his own personal intercourse--and then also by his relations with Baron Stockhausen (the Hanoverian Ambassador), at whose house there is frequently really good music, etc.--Don't delay, therefore, looking up Villers.

For today I must beg you also to get the Prologue for the Leipzig days [The Leipzig Tonkunstler-Versammlung (Meeting of Musicians), from which the Allgemeine Deutsche Musikverein (Universal German Musical Society) sprang] ready as quickly as possible. I shall settle down at the end of this week (Saturday) in Leipzig--Hotel de Pologne. It would be very good of you if you could send me the Prologue to Leipzig within eight days. Address to Brendel, Mittelstrasse, 24. I still do not possess a single copy of my Mass, because I sent on the two or three that had been previously sent to me at once to M[usic]-D[irector] Riedel for studying the work. But my cousin, Dr. Eduard Liszt, will certainly be delighted to give you your copy at once. You have only to tell Daniel to bring it to you, if you have not time to call on Eduard.

Frau von Milde, Bulow, Bronsart, Dräseke, Lassen, etc., etc., etc., are coming to Leipzig from Monday, 30th May, until Sunday, 4th June. You must not fail us, dearest friend, and we await you with open arms and loving hearts. Your

F. Liszt

The Princess stays a little longer in Munich, and will not get to Leipzig till towards the end of this month. Remember me most respectfully and warmly to Hebbel.

Best greetings to Catinelli.

Once more, please send the "Prologue".

1859.07.19 To Felix Dräseke

Where, my dear, excellent friend, have you got hold of the extraordinary idea that I could be angry with you? How to begin such a thing I really should not know. You are far too good and dear to me for me not to remain good to you also in all things!-- Herewith are a few lines for Wagner, which however you don't in the least need. I am glad that you are not putting off this journey any longer. But before you set out WRITE to Wagner (you can add my lines to your letter extra), and inquire whether he will be staying at Lucerne still, so that your Swiss pilgrimage may not be in vain.--You will be certain to get an answer from Wagner by return of post, and will thus be sure of your object.

Schuberth tells me that "King Helge" will ride into his shop almost immediately...to Sigrun, the ever blooming delicious sorrow!--How scornfully, "without greeting or thanks," will "King Helge" look down upon all the other wares in Schuberth's shop. Somewhat as the hippopotamus looks on toads and frogs.--But it is quite right to let the Ballade come out, and I am impatiently awaiting my copy.--[Liszt subsequently formed out of Dräseke's song the melodrama of the same name.]

I hope it may be possible for me to come to Lucerne at the end of August. But send some tidings of yourself before then to

Your sincere and faithful

F. Liszt

[Weimar,] July 19th, 1859

1859.08.23 To Peter Cornelius in Vienna

Dearest Friend,

You are quite right in setting store upon the choice and putting together of the three Sonatas. The idea is an excellent one, and you may rest assured of my readiness to help in the realization of your intention as well as of my silence until it is quite a settled thing. If Bronsart could decide on going to Vienna, his cooperation in that matter would certainly be very desirable. Write about it to him at Dantzig, where he is now staying with his father (Commandant-General of Dantzig). Tausig, who is spending some weeks at Bad Grafenberg (with Her Highness the Princess von Hatzfeld), would also adapt the thing well, and would probably be able to meet your views better than you seem to imagine. As regards Dietrich, I almost fear that he does not possess sufficient brilliancy for Vienna--but this might, under certain circumstances, be an advantage. He plays Op. 106 and the Schumann Sonata capitally--as also the "Invitation to hissing and stamping," as Gumprecht designates that work of ill odor--my Sonata. Dietrich is always to be found in the house of Prince Thurn and Taxis at Ratisbon. He will assuredly enter into your project with pleasure and enthusiasm, and the small distance from Ratisbon makes it not too difficult for him. You would only have to arrange it so that the lectures come quickly one after the other.

Where Sasch Winterberger is hiding I have not heard. Presupposing many things, he might equally serve your purpose.

In order to save you time and trouble, I will send you by the next opportunity your analysis of my Sonata, which you left behind you at the Altenburg.

Dräseke is coming very shortly through Weymar from Lucerne. I will tell him your wish in confidence. It is very possible that he would like to go to Vienna for a time. I have not the slightest doubt as to the success of your lectures, in conjunction with the musical performance of the works.--I would merely advise you to put into your programme works which are universally known--as, for instance, several Bach Fugues (from "Das wohltemperierte Clavier"), the Ninth Symphony, the grand Masses of Beethoven and Bach, which you have so closely studied, etc. [The proposed lectures did not come off.]

Well, all this will come about by degrees. First of all a beginning must be made, and this will be quite a brilliant one with the three Sonatas. Later on we will muster Quartets, Symphonies, Masses, and Operas all in due course!

A propos of operas, how are you getting on with the "Barbier" and the publication of the pianoforte edition? Schuberth told me for certain that printing would begin directly they had received the manuscripts. Don't delay too long, dearest friend--and believe me when I once more assure you that the work is as eminent as the intrigue, to which it momentarily succumbed, was mean-spirited.

Schuberth has no doubt told you that I want to make a transcription of the Salamaleikum. But don't forget that another Overture is inevitably NECESSARY, in spite of the refined, masterly counterpoint and ornamentation of the first. The principal subject

[Figure: Musical example of the principal subject.]

must begin, and the "Salamaleikum" end it. If possible, bring in the two motives together a little (at the end). In case you should not be disposed to write the thing I will do it for you with pleasure--but first send me the complete piano edition for Schuberth. The new Opera can then afford to wait a while, like a "good thing"--only may weariness at it remain long absent [Untranslatable play on the words Weile and Langeweile]!--In order that you may not have a fit of it in reading this letter, I will at once name to you the magic name of Rosa [Rosa von Milde, the artist and friend of Cornelius, who wrote poetry upon her]...

In consequence of an insinuating intimation of our mutual patroness, I have still to add the excuses of our good friend Brendel to you. When I have an opportunity I will tell you in person about the Prologue disturbances at the Leipzig Tonkunstler Versammlung. Pohl had also supplied one--but the choice was given over to Frau Ritter, and she chose her good "Stern," whose prologue was indeed quite successful and made a good effect. But oblige me by not bearing any grudge against Brendel, and let us always highly respect the author of "Liszt as a Symphonic Writer"!--

A thousand heartfelt greetings from your faithful

F. Liszt

Weymar, August 23rd, 1859

Princess Marie will thank you herself for the Sonnet, and at the same time tell you about the musical performances of the 15th August. Lassen's song, "Ave Maria," of which you gave him the poem long ago, was especially successful. The Quartet:

"Elfen, die kleinen, Wollen dich grussen, Wollen erscheinen Zu deinen Fussen"

["Elfin world greeting To thee is sending, Fairy forms lowly At thy feet bending."]

composed by Lassen), and

"Wandelnde Blume, athmender Stern, Duftende Bluthe am Baum des Lebens"

["Swift-changing flowers, pulsating star, Sweet-scented blossoms on life's living tree."]

(composed by Damrosch), which we had sung together two years ago, rejoiced us anew and most truly this time.

1859.09.02 To Dr Franz Brendel

[In this letter, the programme refers to some theater concerts, which were to be arranged according to Brendel's design. The sketch was as follows:--

"1st Concert: Paradise and the Peri. 2nd Concert: Eroica, Prometheus. 3rd Concert: Overture of Wagner. Solo (Bronsart). Overture of Beethoven. 2nd part: L'enfance du Christ of Berlioz. 4th Concert: Festival Song of Liszt. Solo. Dräseke. Chorus for men's voices from his Opera. 2nd part: Walpurgisnacht of Mendelssohn. 5th Concert: Overture of Berlioz, Wagner, or Beethoven. Solo. Preludes. 2nd part: Manfred. 6th Concert: Overture. Solo. Tasso. 2nd part: B-flat major Symphony."

To this Liszt adds, besides some remarks about getting the parts for No. 5:

"An orchestral work of Hans von Bulow (possibly the Caesar Overture) would be suitable for this concert. I would also recommend that Bronsart's "Fruhlings-Phantasie" ["Spring Fancy"] should be included in one of the programmes.

"Of Berlioz' works I should recommend the following as the most acceptable for performance:--

"The festival at Capulet's house (Romeo), The Pilgrims' March (from Harold), Chorus and Dance of Sylphs (Faust), Terzet and Chorus (from Cellini), with the artists' oath, Overture to Lear.

"N.B.--We can bring out the Terzet from Cellini at the next Tonkunstler-Versammlung. It is a very important and effective piece."]

Dear Friend,

The sketch for your programme is excellent, and if I have some doubts as to the entire project, yet your proposed programme seems to me in any case the most suitable, both as regards choice of works and their order and grouping. With regard to the doubts which I have so often mentioned I will only make the general remark that a competition with the Gewandhaus in Leipzig brings a good deal of risk with it, and for this winter a passive attitude on our side would not specially injure our cause (at least not according to my opinion). Whether Wirsing and Riccius will be able to give the requisite support to the theater concerts, or are willing to do so, I cannot undertake to say, as the ground of Leipzig lies in many ways too far removed from me. In this I rely entirely on your insight and circumspection, dear friend. In case you end by deciding in the affirmative I will willingly do something to help--as, for instance, to undertake the conducting of the "Prometheus." I would rather not let myself in for much more than that, because conductings in general become more burdensome to me every year, and I don't in the least desire to offer further active resistance to the ill-repute with which I am credited as a conductor. Indeed I owe my friend Dingelstedt many thanks for having (without perhaps exactly desiring to do so) given me the chance of freeing myself from the operatic time- beating here, and I am firmly resolved not to wield the baton elsewhere except in the most unavoidable cases! Bülow must now often mount the conductor's desk. He has the mind, liking, talent, and vocation for this. If the theater concerts should be arranged, be sure to secure his frequent co-operation. He will certainly bring new life into the whole affair, and possesses the necessary amount of experience and aplomb, [Employed in French by Liszt] to be their solid representative.

I have just written to Klitzsch [Music-conductor at Zwickau] and promised him to conduct the "Prometheus" in Zwickau. The concert will take place at the end of October (perhaps on my birthday, the 22nd). Although you have heard the Prometheus choruses in Dresden, I wish very much that you could come to Zwickau this time. I have again worked most carefully at it, have amplified some things, and have arranged others in a simple and more singable manner, etc. Now I hope that it will thoroughly hold its ground and stand the test of proof. So do come to Zwickau.

I have still one more request to make to you today, dear friend. P. Lohmann [A music colleague of the Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik, living in Leipzig] was so kind as to send me his drama some weeks ago. I have read The Victory of Love with much interest, but I have not yet been able to get so far as the other, and as little have I been able to express my thanks to him in writing. Kindly undertake my excuses to him, and tell him that I am exceedingly obliged by his letter and what he sent me. On the occasion of my journey to Zwickau I will call on Lohmann in Leipzig, and tell him personally what an impression his dramas make on me. I specially take notice of his article in the paper.

I thank you most truly for the kindness which you have shown to B. He is in many things somewhat awkward, impractical--and almost looks as though he could not devote himself to any productive and consistently carried-out form of activity. None the less is there in him a certain capacity and worth which, in a somewhat more regular position than he has yet been able to attain, would make him appear worth more. A more frequent application of a few utensils such as soak tooth-brush, and nail brush might also be recommended to him!--I expect much good to result from your influence on B.'s further work and fortunes, and hope that your store of patience will not be too sorely tried by him.

With heartfelt greetings, your

F. Liszt

Weymar, September 2nd, 1859

Herewith the programme scheme with two or three little remarks appended. Weigh again the pros and cons of the matter, and keep the right balance between the risk and the possible gain. Motto: "First weigh, then risk it!"--[The nearest English equivalent seems to be "Look before you leap."

.--. I have had so much of notes [musical] to write lately that my writing of letters [of the alphabet] has got still worse. But where you can't read what I have written, you can guess it all the easier.--

  September 3rd, 1859 218. To Louis Koehler

Dear Friend,

Your letter was a real joy to me, for which I thank you heartily. You are far too honorable, brave, and admirable a musician for our paths to remain long sundered. For the very reason that people cannot (as you so wittily remark) immediately "label and catalogue me correctly and place me in an already existing drawer," I am in hopes that my efforts and working will eventually prove in accordance with the spirit of the time, and will fructify. I promise you also that I am not wanting in pains and labour in honor of my friends. But I certainly cannot recognize weaklings and cowards as such. It is only with high- minded, brave, and trusty comrades that we move forwards, no matter though the number remain small. In matters of intelligence the majority always follows the minority, when the latter is sufficiently strong to hold its own.--Welcome, therefore, dear friend, welcome most truly. If there is still a lot of scandal which we have to bear quietly and without mortification, we will by no means let ourselves be confounded by it!

I have written at once to Hartel to send you the arrangements for two pianofortes of the Symphonic Poems that you wished for. But there is a better way for the scores than that of a bookseller. Fraulein Ingeborg Stark is going to St. Petersburg on the 20th of this month, and will stay a day in Konigsberg. She will bring you the Dante Symphony, etc., and if there should be an opportunity she will play the things through with Bronsart (who is also going to Konigsberg at the same time). I have grown very much attached to Fraulein Stark, as hers is a very particularly gifted artistic nature. The same will happen to you if you hear her striking Sonata. Ingeborg composes all sorts of Fugues, Toccatas, etc., into the bargain. I remarked to her lately that she did not look a bit like that. "Well, I am quite satisfied not to have a fugue countenance," was her striking answer.

The Pohls are both still in Baden-Baden (whence I hear the excerpts from Berlioz' manuscript opera Les Troyens [The Trojans] spoken of with enthusiasm). Madame Viardot sang a grand scena and a duet from it in the concert conducted by Berlioz--and Fraulein Emilie Genast is staying a couple of weeks longer with her sister Frau Raff in Wiesbaden. On her return I will give her your greetings, and Emilie will certainly be glad to make known the concert song which you mention to her. In her performance a beautiful and sympathetic "melody of speech" is reflected. As I write this word I can't help at the same time wishing that you may find in my "Gesammelte Lieder" something that appeals to your feelings, which you have so cleverly represented in the "melody of speech." You will receive a proof-copy of the six numbers at the same time as the Dante Symphony. I wanted to dedicate the last number, "Ich mochte hingehn" (poem by Herwegh), specially to you, and when next you have occasion to come to Weymar, I will look for the manuscript for you on which your name is put. But as I have left out all other dedications in this complete edition, I propose to dedicate something else to you later--probably some bigger and longer work.

A Ballade of Draeseke's--"Koenig Helge"--has just appeared, which pleases me extremely. You must look closely into this wonderful Opus 1.

In conclusion one more request, dear friend. Do me the kindness to be perfectly free and open and regardless of consequences in the discussion of my works. Do not imagine that the slightest vanity comes over me or impels me. I have long ago done with all that sort of thing. So long as you allow that I possess the necessary musical equipments to create freely in Art, as I gather from your letter that you do, I can but be grateful to you for all else, even were it severe blame. I have often expressed my opinion to my friends that, even if all my compositions failed to succeed (which I neither affirm nor deny), they would not on that account be quite without their use, owing to the stir and impetus which they would give to the further development of Art. This consciousness so completely satisfies me that I can consistently persevere and go on composing.

With all respect and attachment I remain,

Yours most sincerely,

F. Liszt

Weymar, September 3rd, 1859

If the Koenigsberg Academy does not take alarm at my name (as has indeed been the case in other places, owing to the foolish prattle of the critics), they might try the "Prometheus" choruses there by-and-by. They are to be given almost directly (at the end of October) at Zwickau, and probably later on in Leipzig, where I shall then also have them published.

In the matters of the prize-subject we will wait and see what comes. You very justly remark that it hinges now upon enharmony.

It is a pity that you do not bring something. Perhaps you will still find time to do so.

September 8th, 1859 To Dr. Franz Brendel

Dear Friend,

I beg you to send me by return of post a copy of the intricate biography ("Liszt's Life and Work"--if I am not mistaken) by Gustav Schilling. Siegel and Stoll in Leipzig have taken the work from the Stuttgart publisher, and there will surely be some way of getting a copy in Leipzig. Ask Kahnt to be so good as to see after one and to send it me immediately by post, for I require the work in connection with a special and pressing question which I can best answer by a quotation from Schilling's book.

With friendliest greetings, your

F. Liszt

Weymar, September 8th, 1859

Why does not Schuberth send me my dedicatory copy of Draeseke's Ballade "Koenig Helge"?

October 20th, 1859 221. To Felix Dräseke

Dear excellent friend,

Your surmise that I could not go away from Weymar at present was quite correct. The Altenburg is indeed very deserted, as Princess Marie went away directly after her marriage on the 15th October, and the Princess went to Paris yesterday for several days--yet I will not leave my own hearth so soon, even if my outward activity be much limited henceforth (as I have already intimated to you) both here and elsewhere.--I require my whole time for my further works, which must go on incessantly--consequently I have resolved to keep at a distance all the delights of conductorship, and to give the baton a rest equally with the piano.--

On the 9th November the festival play by Halm, "A Hundred Years Ago," will be given here with the music I have composed to it-- and on the 11th the "Kuenstler-Chor" is to introduce the Festival-oration by Kuno Fischer at Jena. Damrosch writes to me also from Berlin that he intends to include the "Kuenstler-Chor" in the programme of the Schiller Festival there. The Zwickau Concert is fixed for the 15th November--and I am delighted to think of meeting the Ritters there. By the way, I am of opinion that Sasch [Sasch, i.e., Alexander, Ritter's Christian name] will undertake two numbers of the programme, and will fulfill Klitzsch's wish with the "Chaconne" as well as mine with the original Concerto, on the same evening. Zwickau chances to belong to the few towns where the "Chaconne" (so Klitzsch writes me word) has never been heard in public. Sasch can take this fact into consideration, and without doing anything derogatory can grant the public the enjoyment of the "Chaconne." The assured success which he will have with it may also act beneficially on the receptiveness of the audience in connection with his Concerto. Tell our dear friend this, with the proviso that, if he only undertakes one number on the programme, I advise him in any case to choose his Concerto. The piece has much that is interesting and effective in itself, and it will be useful to Sasch to test the relation of the orchestra to the solo part by a public production. If necessary, therefore, force him to do it, by my order.

With regard to the causes and excuses for your pretended "obstinacy, dogmatism," and imaginary "arrogance," I beg you, dearest friend, to rest assured that you will never find any such suspicion in me. What you think, feel, compose, is noble and great--therefore I take a sympathetic interest in it.--The next time we are together I will merely endeavour to make "amputation" more bearable to you by chloroform!--

With highest esteem I remain,

Yours in all friendship,

F. Liszt

[Weimar,] October 20th, 1859

[March or April 1860] 235. To Dr. Franz Brendel

[March or April 1860]

Dear Friend,

Do not blame me if this time I follow Pohl's example and keep you waiting for the promised article. I have been working at it pretty continuously during the past week, and the sketch of it is quite ready; but I am not quite satisfied with it, and about Berlioz and Wagner I must say the right thing in the right manner. [No article of the kind by Liszt is contained in the Neue Zeitschrift for the year in question; probably it was unfinished.] This duty requires me to spend more time on it, and unfortunately I have so much on hand this week that it is hardly possible for me to busy myself with polemics. Tomorrow is again a grand Court concert; Bronsart and Fraulein Stark arrived yesterday; Frau von Bulow comes today, and I expect Hans on Saturday. Besides this, there is still more important work for me, which will take up my time entirely till the end of this month.

Well, I will see to it that, if possible, Berlioz and Wagner do not remain forgotten!--

Let me first of all answer your questions.

Whether it would be desirable to hold the second Tonkunstler- Versammlung this year, I already left it to you, at our last meeting, to decide. In my opinion we might wait till next year without injury to the affair. [This was done.] As long as I myself have not made a secure and firm footing in Weymar, I cannot invite you to convene the meeting here. If you hold to the dates of the 17th, 18th, and 19th June, we are bound to Leipzig, where I can then tell you with certainty whether Weymar will suit for the next meeting.

It goes without saying that you, dear friend, must arrange about everything that I can undertake and do for the Tonkunstler- Versammlung. Only my personal help as conductor must be excepted. At our next consultation we shall easily come to an understanding as to the desirability of one conductor or several.

I would indicate and emphasize, as absolutely necessary, the performance of new works by Bulow, Dräseke, Bronsart, Singer, Seifriz, etc. I think I understand and can manage the art of programme-making in a masterly manner. When once matters have got so far, I will fix with you the programme of the three performances.

I agree with the choice of the "Prometheus," and at the religious performance, if the latter is not filled up with one single great work, I would suggest perhaps the "Beatitudes," or the 13th Psalm (the former last about ten minutes, the latter twenty-five).

Will you therefore decide definitely where the Tonkunstler- Versammlung shall be held this year and the date of it, about which I have nothing further to say? We will then discuss and settle the rest together.

You will find my remarks as to the statute scheme on the last page of it.

With hearty greetings, your

F. Liszt


A. The revising of the "Leonore" shall be attended to immediately.

B. I shall welcome Fraulein Brauer most cordially.

C. I recommend to you again the manuscripts of Pasque and Councillor Muller. Have you replied to Muller?

Herewith is a letter from Weitzmann (14th June, 1859), in which you will find much worthy of consideration and use.

Important! N.B.--When you convene the Tonkunstler-Versammlung, add to it at once the following: "For the foundation of the German Universal Musical Society." This is the principal aim, toward the accomplishment of which we have to work.

[Liszt was, as Princess Wittgenstein distinctly told the editor, the actual founder of the "German Universal Musical Society." He conceived the idea and plan of it, and it was only at his wish that Brendel gave his name to it, and undertook to be president, etc.]

September 14th, 1860 To Princess Caroline Sayn-Wittgenstein.

[Portions of the above were published in the Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik of 4th May, 1887.]

Weymar, September 14th, 1860

I am writing this down on the 14th September, the day on which the Church celebrates the Festival of the Holy Cross. The denomination of this festival is also that of the glowing and mysterious feeling which has pierced my entire life as with a sacred wound.

Yes, "Jesus Christ on the Cross," a yearning longing after the Cross and the raising of the Cross,--this was ever my true inner calling; I have felt it in my innermost heart ever since my seventeenth year, in which I implored with humility and tears that I might be permitted to enter the Paris Seminary; at that time I hoped it would be granted to me to live the life of the saints and perhaps even to die a martyr's death. This, alas! has not happened--yet, in spite of the transgressions and errors which I have committed, and for which I feel sincere repentance and contrition, the holy light of the Cross has never been entirely withdrawn from me. At times, indeed, the refulgence of this Divine light has overflowed my entire soul.--I thank God for this, and shall die with my soul fixed upon the Cross, our redemption, our highest bliss; and, in acknowledgment of my belief, I wish before my death to receive the holy sacraments of the Catholic, Apostolic, and Romish Church, and thereby to attain the forgiveness and remission of all my sins. Amen.

I thank my mother with reverence and tender love for her continual proofs of goodness and love. In my youth people called me a good son; it was certainly no special merit on my part, for how would it have been possible not to be a good son with so faithfully self-sacrificing a mother?--Should I die before her, her blessing will follow me into the grave.

I owe it to my cousin Eduard Liszt (Dr. and Royal County Councillor of Justice in Vienna) to repeat here my warm and grateful affection for him, and to thank him for his faithfulness and staunch friendship. By his worth, his talents, and his character he does honor to the name I bear, and I pray God for His blessings on him, his wife, and his children.

Among our Art-comrades of the day there is one name which has already become glorious, and which will become so ever more and more--Richard Wagner. His genius has been to me a light which I have followed--and my friendship for Wagner has always been of the character of a noble passion. At a certain period (about ten years ago) I had visions of a new Art-period for Weymar, similar to that of Carl August, in which Wagner and I should have been the leading spirits, as Goethe and Schiller were formerly,--but unfavorable circumstances have brought this dream to nothing.

To my daughter Cosima I bequeath the sketch of Steinle representing St. Francois de Paul, my patron saint; he is walking on the waves, his mantle spread beneath his feet, holding in one hand a red-hot coal, the other raised, either to allay the tempest or to bless the menaced boatmen, his look turned to heaven, where, in a glory, shines the redeeming word "Caritas."-- This sketch has always stood on my writing-table. Near it there is an ancient hour-glass in carved wood with four glasses, which is also for my daughter Cosima. Two other things which have belonged to me are to be given as a remembrance to my cousin Eduard Liszt and to my much-loved and brave son-in-law Hans von Bulow.

Some of the members of our Union of the "New German School"--to whom I remain deeply attached--must also receive some remembrance of me; Hans von Bronsart, Peter Cornelius (in Vienna), E. Lassen (in Weymar), Dr. Franz Brendel (in Leipzig), Richard Pohl (in Weymar), Alex. Ritter (in Dresden), Felix Dräseke (in Dresden), Professor Weitzmann (in Berlin), Carl Tausig (from Warsaw)-- either a ring with my sign-manual, a portrait, or coat-of-arms.-- May they continue the work that we have begun--the honor of Art and the inner worth of the artist constrains them to do so. Our cause cannot fail, though it have for the present but few supporters.--

One of my jewels set as a ring is to be sent to Madame Caroline d'Artigaux, nee Countess de St. Cricq (at Pau, France). To the Princess Constantin Hohenlohe (nee Princess Marie Wittgenstein) I bequeath the ivory crucifix (cinque-cento) which was given to me by my kind patron the Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen--also a pair of studs with five different stones, which form the five initials of my name.

And now I kneel down once more to pray "Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us; and deliver us from evil. Amen."

F. Liszt

Written the 14th September, 1860, on the Festival of the raising of the Holy Cross.


To Herr Gross, a member of the Weymar Grand Ducal Royal Orchestra (trombone and double-bass player), who has for a number of years looked after the copying of my works and the arranging of the orchestral and voice parts of them in the library of the Altenburg, I bequeath a present of one hundred thalers for the faithful, devoted service he has rendered me.

To the names of my friends of the New German School is to be added one more, or rather I ought to have mentioned it first; it is that of Mr. Gaetano Belloni (in Paris).--He was my Secretary during the period of my concert tours in Europe, from 1841 to 1847, and was always my faithful and devoted servant and friend. He must not be forgotten. Moreover, whether he will or no, he belongs to the New German School, by his attachment to me, and also by the part he took later on in the Berlioz and Wagner concerts. I wish to be buried simply, without pomp, and if possible at night.--May light everlasting illumine my soul!

September 20th, 1860 To Dr. Franz Brendel

September 20th, 1860

Dear Friend,

I send you by my friend Lassen [Born 1830, became Court music- director 1858, and Court conductor in Weimar after Liszt's withdrawal (1861); celebrated as a composer of songs] a little parcel of songs (eight numbers), which I beg you to give to Kahnt. Of several of them I have kept no copy--and I therefore beg Kahnt not to lose them. As regards the numbering of them (the order of succession), they are to be kept as I noted down some time ago (on a bit of paper which I gave Kahnt when he was here).

I also add a Quartet for men's voices. It is the Verein song "Frisch auf zu neuem Leben," ["Uprouse to newer life."] written for the New Weymar Verein by Hoffmann von Fallersleben. The passage "von Philister Geschrei;" ["Of Philistine cry."] will probably amuse you, and the whole thing is kept rather popular and easy to be performed. If it does not make a bother let it be tried in Leipzig when you have an opportunity.

N.B.--If you think the designation on the title-page "Written and composed for the New Weymar Verein" will give offence, it can be left out, and the title can run simply, "Vereins Lied," by Hoffmann von Fallersleben, composed for male chorus by F. L. In any case I shall be glad if Kahnt can bring the little thing out soon, and will give some sort of illustrated title-page, expressive of the sense of the poem.

The remarks which I have added in pencil are to be engraved with it. I hope the printer will be able to read my bad writing--if not will you be so kind as to make it clear to him?

I am writing to Vienna today. The "Prometheus" parts and score will be sent to you immediately.

I expect Bronsart here at the end of this month..--.

Your statute-sketch is in all essential points as judicious as it is practical. It offers a sure basis of operations for the next Tonkunstler-Versammlung, where assuredly the great majority of the members will agree with your proposals. Then the point will be to work on vigorously towards the accomplishment, and to put aside the much that is "rotten in the State of Denmark."

Before the Euterpe concerts begin I shall in any case see you. Next Sunday I go to Sondershausen, where Berlioz' "Harold," a new Oboe Concerto by Stein, Schumann's "Genoveva" Overture, the Introduction to "Tristan and Isolde," and my "Mazeppa" will be given. The latter piece is popular to wit...in Sondershausen!--

Very sonderhauslich, [A play on the words Sondershausen and sonderbar = strange] isn't it?

Hearty greetings to your wife from your

F. Liszt

P.S.--The ninth song by Cornelius is still wanting. [The song "Wieder mocht' ich Dir begegnen" ("Once again I fain would meet thee")] But in the meantime the printing can be going on. The nine numbers form the seventh part of the "Gesammelte Lieder." If Kahnt wishes, each song can be published separately, especially the Zigeuner; Nonnenwerth, etc.

Dräseke has been with me a couple of days, and is coming shortly to you. His works captivate me in a special degree, and personally I am very fond of him, which indeed I also was formerly, but this time still more. Capacity and character are there in abundance.

1860.12.30 To Felix Dräseke

You have again encouraged and rejoiced me, my excellent friend, by your affectionate comprehension of my meaning and endeavors in the "Dante" Symphony.

Once more my heartfelt thanks for it. Later on, when "Hamlet" and the "Hunnenschlacht" are published, please do not refuse me the special satisfaction of publishing the whole of your articles on the Symphonic Poems in the form of a pamphlet. We will speak further of this by word of mouth, and possibly a few musical examples could be added to the earlier ones.

How far have you got with the "Loreley"?--Only take hold of the witch with tender force.--Geibel has lately brought out his opera-text to the "Loreley," and several composers are already setting to work on it (or under it). In the present state of things there is not much to be expected from effusions and feeble attempts of that kind. On the other hand I am expecting something great, beautiful, and magical from the Symphonic form into which you will shape this story--a story which just as easily becomes dry and tedious as, on the other hand, it can be melting. Take care that we bring your work to a hearing at the next Tonkunstler-Versammlung (in July-August) here.

O. Singer's "Entschwandenes Ideal" ["Vanished Ideal"] is full of music; noble in conception and powerfully worked out. I shall write to him shortly about it, and send him my seventh book of songs, as you told me that he rather liked the earlier ones.--

An excellent little work by our friend Weitzmann lies before us again: "The New Science of Harmony at Variance with the Old." The "Album Leaves for the Emancipation of Fifths" as a supplement are stirring; and the "Anthology of Classical Following Fifths," with quotations from Hiller and Hauptmann,. is especially instructive. In Harmony, as in other things, it is no longer a question of reforming what has been laid aside, but rather of the fulfilling of the law.------

On any day, my dear friend, you will be heartily welcome to

Yours very gratefully,

F. Liszt

December 30th, 1860

Towards the middle of January I am going to Paris or a couple of weeks to see my mother (who is still constantly ill).

1861.07.12 To Peter Cornelius

[Autograph in the possession of Constance Bache.]

Dearest Cornelius,

Will you quickly sign the accompanying announcement to the Tonkunstler-Versammlung with your good, beautiful name? You must not fail me on this occasion in Weymar!

And yet another request, dearest friend. Will you go and see F. Doppler and tell him that I very much wish he could arrive with you on the 4th August at latest? I hope he will not refuse me this pleasure--and if it is not inconvenient to him will he also bring his flute and undertake the part in Faust?

With regard to the travelling expenses I have already written to my cousin Eduard; he is to put a couple of hundred florins at your disposal; for it goes without saying that neither you nor Doppler will be allowed to spend a groschen out of your own purse for the journey.

You will meet Eduard here--and also Wagner, Hans, Dräseke, Damrosch, Tausig, Lassen, and my daughter (Madame Ollivier).

To our speedy meeting then, my best Cornelius!

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

F. Liszt

Weymar, July 12th, 1861

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

1861.09.16 To Dr. Franz Brendel

Dear Friend,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Has Bronsart's marriage taken place yet?

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

With friendliest greetings to your wife,

Most faithfully,

F. Liszt

Lowenberg, September 16th, 1861

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

1861.12.20 To Dr. Franz Brendel

[Rome,] December 20th, 1861

Dear Friend,

For the New Year I bring you nothing new; my soon ageing attachment and friendship remain unalterably yours. Let me hope that it will be granted to me to give you more proof of it from year to year.

Since the beginning of October I have remained without news from Germany. How are my friends Bronsart, Dräseke, Damrosch, Weissheimer? Give them my heartiest greetings, and let me see some notices of the onward endeavors and experiences of these my young friends, as also of the doings of the Redactions-Hohle [Editorial den] and the details of the Euterpe concerts.

Please send the numbers of the paper, from October onwards, to me at the address of the library Spithover-Monaldini, Piazza di Spagna, Rome. Address your letter "Herrn Commandeur Liszt," Via Felice 113. "Signor Commendatore" is my title here; but don't be afraid that any Don Juan will stab me--still less that on my return to Germany I shall appear in your Redactions-Hohle as a guest turned to stone!--

Of myself I have really little to tell you. Although my acquaintance here is tolerably extensive and of an attractive kind (if not exactly musical!), I live on the whole more retired than was possible to me in Germany. The morning hours are devoted to my work, and often a couple of hours in the evening also. I hope to have entirely finished the Elizabeth in three months. Until then I can undertake nothing else, as this work completely absorbs me. Very soon I will decide whether I come to Germany next summer or not. Possibly I shall go to Athens in April-- without thereby forgetting the Athens of the elms! .--.

First send me the paper, that I may not run quite wild in musical matters. At Spithover's, where I regularly read the papers, there are only the Augsburger Allgemeine, the Berlin Stern-Zeitung [Doubtless the Kreusseitung], and several French and English papers, which contain as good as nothing of what I care about in the domain of music.

Julius Schuberth wrote a most friendly letter to me lately, and asks me which of Dräseke's works I could recommend to him next for publication. To tell the truth it is very difficult for me in Rome to put myself in any publisher's shoes, even in so genial a man's as Julius Schuberth. In spite of this I shall gladly take an opportunity of answering him, and shall advise him to consult with Dräseke himself as to the most advisable opportunity of publishing this or that Opus of his, if a doubt should actually come over our Julius as to whether his publisher's omniscience were sufficiently enlightened on the matter!--

Remember me most kindly to your wife.

Yours most sincerely,

F. Liszt

Please give my best greetings to Kahnt. Later on I shall beg him for a copy of my songs for a very charming Roman lady.

1866.10.02 To Dr. Franz Brendel

Dear Friend,

Your last letter but one, the registered one, has reached me safely. As it contained more in the way of answers than was wanted I hesitated to write to you. As already said, I have made up my mind to wait another year before publishing the "Elizabeth." In the first place it is necessary that I should correct the frequent errors in the copy of the score--a piece of work that will take a couple of weeks.--Then, before its appearance, I should like an opportunity of quietly hearing the work once in Germany, and this perhaps might occur next year. Meanwhile give Kahnt my best thanks for his ready consent, of which, however, I cannot make use till later, provided that an honorarium of a couple of thousand francs (which has been offered me elsewhere) does not frighten him. .--. So far as one can plan a journey nowadays, I intend to be in Germany again for a few weeks during the summer of 1867.--Tomorrow I shall write to Dr. Hartel and tell him that you have kindly expressed yourself ready to discuss with him the small matter about the Dräseke brochure. It would please me greatly to hear that some amicable arrangement had been made.

With regard to the publications of the Allgemeine Deutsche Musikverein, I would vote for the Overture by Seifriz. Likewise for the continuation of the Chamber music performances in Leipzig--and, of course, for the compensation from the Society's purse due to you.

Stade's article on the "Faust Symphony" I have not yet received. My last number of the Zeitschrift is that of July 6th. I am glad that Stade does not disapprove of these Faust-things.-- Schondorf's Polonaise, Impromptu, etc., which Kahnt has sent me, I have read through with pleasure and interest. With the next sending to Rome please enclose the "Petrus" Oratorio by Meinardus (the pianoforte score). In case the pianoforte score has not appeared, then let me have the full score. And together with the "Petrus" Oratorio please also send me the fragment of the "Christus" Oratorio by Mendelssohn (published by Hartel).

My "Christus" Oratorio has, at last, since yesterday got so far finished that I have now only got the revising, the copying and the pianoforte score to do. Altogether it contains 12 musical numbers (of which the "Seligkeiten" and the "Pater Noster" have been published by Kahnt), and takes about three hours to perform. I have composed the work throughout to the Latin text from the Scriptures and the Liturgy. After a time I shall ask Riedel for his assistance and advice with regard to the German wording.

Please give Alex Ritter my cordial thanks for his Amsterdam report.

I cannot, at present, promise you any literary contributions for the proposed Annual of the D. M. If the instrumental Introduction to the "Elizabeth" (for piano-forte) would suit you I would gladly place it at your disposal, reserving the copyright for the subsequent publisher of the score, that is, his right to publish the same Introduction again.

As far as I can foresee I shall remain here the whole winter. My address is simply: To Commandeur Abbe Liszt--Rome.

Fuller performances of the Beethoven Symphonies and of the Dante Symphony are to be given next Advent in the Dante Gallery. Sgambati is to conduct them, and I have promised to attend the rehearsals.

Heugel of Paris (Director of the Menestrel) is shortly to publish a new edition of my Franciscus-legends.

With friendliest greetings, your attached

F. Liszt

October 2nd, 1866

1866.10.04. To Breitkopf and Hartel

Much Esteemed Herr Doctor,

It is very mortifying to me to have to confess that I have most awkwardly come to a standstill with the transcription of the Beethoven Quartets. After several attempts the result was either absolutely unplayable--or insipid stuff. Nevertheless I shall not give up my project, and shall make another trial to solve this problem of pianoforte arrangement. If I succeed I will at once inform you of my "Heureka." [Discovery (from a Greek word).- TRANS.] Meanwhile I am occupied exclusively with the "Christus Oratorio," which has, at last, advanced so far that all I have now to do is to put the marks of expression in the score and the pianoforte score.

Pray kindly excuse me if a small piece of vanity leads me to address you with a wish. My "Symphonic Poems" have, as you know, had a regular deluge of halberds hurled at them by the critics. After all these murderous and deadly blows that have been aimed at them, it would be very gratifying to me if the analyses of these "Symphonic Poems" in which, a few years ago, Felix Dräseke discussed them severally in the Anregungen [Notices] could now be published by you all together in the form of a brochure, for they are written with a thorough knowledge of the subject, yet in a kindly spirit.

On this account I begged Dr. Brendel to discuss the matter with you, and now take the liberty of addressing you personally on the subject of my wish.

With much esteem, yours sincerely,

F. Liszt

Rome, October 4th, 1866

Will you kindly send Cantor Gottschalg in Tieffurt a good copy of my pianoforte scores of the nine Beethoven Symphonies?

1868.01.26 To Dr. Franz Brendel

Dear Friend,

My hearty congratulations upon our Falcon-colleagueship [Brendel had received the Weimar Order of the Falcon of Watchfulness (Falkenorden der Wachsamkeit)] and henceforth always, "Vigilando ascendimus."

As I was expecting parcels and news from Leipzig I delayed answering your friendly letter. I have not yet received either the Almanack, or the corrected proofs of the "Elizabeth". How did the performance in the Pauliner Church [Riedel had arranged a performance of the "Elizabeth" in Leipzig.] go off? Ask Kahnt to let me have one or two of the notices of it--especially the unfavorable ones. Remind him also to write to Otto Roquette about the translation of the Latin chorus at the end, to which I referred in my last letter to him.

Berlioz's "Requiem" is the corner-stone of the programme for the Altenburg Tonkunstler-Versammlung. I have often speculated about the possibility of having this colossal work produced. Unfortunately the Weimar churches were not sufficiently spacious, and in Brunswick, where the Egidien church would be a magnificent place for musical festivals of any kind, other difficulties stood in the way. Probably Altenburg also does not possess any building sufficiently large to hold an orchestra for the "Dies Irae", and Riedel will have to reduce the 16 drums, 12 horns, 8 trumpets and 8 trombones to a minimum. But, even though it should not be possible to give a performance of the whole work, still there are portions of it--such as the "Requiem Aeternam," the "Lacrymosa and Sanctus"--that are extremely well worth hearing and appreciating.

The sketch of the programme furnishes an excellent antidote to Berlioz's Requiem, in Handel's "Acis and Galatea"; and some smaller things of Dräseke, Lassen and my humble self might be introduced in between.

Sgambati's co-operation will depend upon my journey. I am unable as yet to say anything definite about it. Not till June can I decide whether I can come or not. To speak frankly it will be difficult for me to leave Rome at all this year.

With regard to your personal affairs I can but again assure you that I take the liveliest interest in them. The modesty of your claims, dear friend, is very much out of proportion with the importance of the services you have rendered. One rarely meets with demands that are as just and as unpretending as yours. Be assured of my sincere readiness to promote your interest in higher quarters, and to do what I can to satisfy you.

With warmest thanks and kindest greetings yours,

F. Liszt

Rome, January 26th, 1868

Sgambati's matinees for Chamber-music are better attended than ever this winter. They include all that is musically interesting as regards Rome.

1882.12.09 To Professor Carl Riedel

Dear Friend,

Dräseke's "Requiem" is such a first-rate work, and is so likely to obtain a good reception from the public, that I again recommend the performance of it at the next Tonkunstler- Versammlung. Dräseke will presumably also agree to it in the end.

Gustav Weber's Trio, Op. 5, published by Siegel, and dedicated to me, I consider an eminent work, worthy of recommendation and performance. I am sure you think the same.

I should like to add to the vocal programme of the Tonkunstler- Versammlung two songs by your name-sake Riedel, now Hofkapellmeister in Brunswick. [Hermann Riedel, born 1847, made a special success with songs from Scheffel's "Trompeter von Sakkingen."] If they should be ascribed to you they will please you all the better for that. And a propos, why do you let your valuable, excellent works be so seldom heard in public? I shall reproach you further with this injustice to yourself when we come to talk over the programme, and I hope that you won't continue to overdo your reserve as a composer. Without pushing one's-self forward one must still maintain one's position, to which you, dear friend, are fully entitled. Will you be so kind as to tell Hartel to send me here quickly 25 sheets of to line, and 25 sheets of 12 line music paper (oblong shape, not square) for cash, together with a few of the small books of samples, containing all kinds of music paper, which I have recommended several musical friends of mine here and elsewhere to buy. One can rub out easily on this paper, which is one of the most important things--that is to say, unless one tears up the whole manuscript, which would often be advisable.

A happy Christmas, and a brave New Year '83.

Ever your faithfully attached

F. Liszt

Venezia, Palazzo Vendramin, December 9th, 1882


To Richard Wagner


My excellent friend, Felix Dräseke, is on his way to you. Receive him kindly as one of "ours," and reveal to him your "Nibelungen" treasure, on which he is worthy of gazing with heart and soul.

I hope to be with you at the end of August; let me know where I shall find you then.


F. L.

WEYMAR, July 19th, 1859.

1859.08.19 Reply from Richard Wagner to Liszt

LUCERNE, August 19th, 1859.


I should like to thank Princess M. for the news contained in her last letter, and to congratulate her cordially on her impending marriage, but I am ill, and a feverish cold has suppressed all rational thoughts in me. But as I wanted to give you some news of me without delay, I ask you, for the present, to be the very eloquent interpreter of my sincere feelings to our amiable Child. The effort thus made, in spite of my indisposition, enables me to add that, although the disappointed hope of your visit, which would have been most welcome just now, fills me with grief, I fully understand that the sacrifice in my favour would have been too great. On the other hand, I lay the sacrifice made by me at the feet of the happy Child with joyful pride.

As to my fate I can tell you nothing, not knowing myself whither I shall direct my steps. I should like to live in Paris in absolute retirement, but the French Minister refuses to give me his vise for my passport. In answer to my remonstrances, he wrote to Paris a fortnight ago, but has had no answer. I am probably taken for an obstinate conspirator, an opinion which the treatment I receive at the hands of Germany seems to countenance. I wait for my fate in my little room here, neither longing for Paris nor attracted by any other place that is open to me. Dräseke is still with me, and I enjoy his visit. Soon he will go too.

Excuse me from writing any more. Even the effort of these few lines has put me in a perspiration.

Continue to love me, and greet Altenburg a thousand times from


R. W.

"Tristan" has received your welcome with pride and joy.


To Richard Wagner


Your letter, received today, has increased my grief at not being able to be with you. Although I am not much worth as a sick nurse, I should nurse you well, and assist you in passing the time with more ease. Alas! we are miserable creatures, and the few who have penetrated the deepest secrets of life are the most miserable of all. That snarling old cur, Schopenhauer, is quite right in saying that we are ridiculous in addressing each other as MONSIEUR or citizen. Compagnon de misere et de souffrance, or fellow-sufferers, and worse we are, TUTTI QUANTI, and nothing we can do can make any essential change in this. The worst is that we know it quite well, and yet never like to believe it.

What is this about the vise of your passport? Probably the impediment has been removed by this time; otherwise make inquiries as to the quarter from which it arises, whether from the Saxon embassy in Paris, or from the French police. Steps must be taken accordingly. It is understood that I am quite at your service in this matter, but I should not like to make a faux pas, and it is necessary, therefore, that I should be more accurately informed by you, in order to apply at once to the right people.

In my opinion Paris is the most comfortable, most appropriate and cheapest place for you while things in Germany remain in their wretched state. Although you may not agree with the artistic doings there, you will find many diverting and stimulating things, which will do you more good than your walks in Switzerland, beautiful though the Alpine landscape may be. I am surprised, it is true, at your speaking of a permanent settlement in Paris at this moment. I thought that your relations to Carlsruhe had reached such a point as to secure to you an asylum in the Grand Duchy of Baden (perhaps at Heidelberg, unless the PROFESSORS should frighten you there). How about the first performance of "Tristan" at Carlsruhe? Devrient informed me, with tolerable certainty, that the intention was to give the work on the birthday of the Grand Duchess in December, and that you would be invited to conduct it. I hope no change has taken place in this. Let me have particulars. Perhaps I shall be able to assist you in simplifying the matter.

Do you know what I did a few days ago? Looking at your portrait, which you had signed "Santo Spirito Cavaliere", it occurred to me to write a "Rienzi fantasia" for pianoforte. If it should amuse you for a moment my time will have been well employed. I should tell you that your little bust adorns my writing desk. You are of course without the company of any other celebrities--no Mozart, no Beethoven, no Goethe, or whatever their names may be. To this room, which is the heart of the house, none of them is admitted. What a beautiful day it will be when I see you here.

M. will leave us soon, probably in October; until then I cannot get away from here. If you should happen to remain in Switzerland till after that, I shall visit you in the late autumn. Otherwise I shall see you at Carlsruhe or Paris.

Remember me cordially to Dräseke. I am very glad you have taken a liking to him. He is a splendid fellow. In our small circle of most intimate friends he is called the "hero." Has he shown you his ballad, "Konig Helge?" It is a glorious thing.

Be good enough to tell him that _I_ INVITE HIM SPECIALLY to stay with me on his return journey, and that I should think it very shabby of him if he played me the trick of flying past me under my very nose.

Try to get well again as soon as possible, dearest friend, and continue to love



WEYMAR, August 22nd, 1859.

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