Letters of Franz Liszt Volume I Part 15

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61. To Robert Schumann

[original in the Royal Library in Berlin]

Best thanks, dear friend, for your kind information about the performance of your "Faust" on the 28th of August.

To draw "das Ewig-Weibliche" rightly upwards ["Das Ewig-Weibliche zicht uns hinan" ("The Eternal-Womanly draws us upwards").-- Goethe's "Faust"] by rehearsing the chorus and orchestra would have afforded me great pleasure--and would probably have succeeded. ["Gelangen" and "gelingen"--untranslatable little pun.] But unfortunately obstacles which cannot be put aside have intervened, and it will be utterly impossible for me to be present at the Goethe Festival, as I have to betake myself in a few days' time to an almost unknown but very efficacious bath resort, and my doctor's orders are most strict that I must not make any break in my "cure" during six weeks.

Notwithstanding this very deplorable contretemps for me, I immediately informed Herr Councillor A. Scholl, as head of the Goethe Committee, of your friendly proposal. Herewith his answer.

Allow me meanwhile to refresh your memory with an old French proverb, "Ce qui est differe n'est pas perdu" [What is put off is not given up], and give me the hope that soon after my return to Weymar we may occupy ourselves seriously with the performance of your "Faust."...

Hearty greetings to your dear wife, and believe me yours ever most sincerely,

F. Liszt Weymar July 27th, 1849

62. To Robert Schumann

[autograph in the Royal Library in Berlin]

Dear Friend,

A summons which cannot be put off obliges me to be present at the Goethe Festival here on the 28th of August, and to undertake the direction of the musical part.

My first step is naturally to beg you to be so good as to send us soon the score of your "Faust." If you should be able to spare any of the voice or orchestral parts it would be a saving of time to us; but if not we shall willingly submit to getting the parts copied out as quickly as possible.

Kindly excuse me, dear friend, for the manner in which this letter contradicts my last. I am very seldom guilty in such a way, but in this case it does not lie in me, but in the particulars of the matter itself.

For the rest I can a.s.sure you that your "Faust" shall be studied with the utmost sympathy and accuracy by the orchestra and chorus.--Herr Montag, the conductor of the Musik-Verein [Musical Union], is taking up the chorus rehearsals with the greatest readiness, and the rest will be my affair!--Only, dear friend, don't delay sending the score and, if possible, the parts.

Sincerely yours,

F. Liszt

Weymar, August 1st, 1849

If your opera is given not later than the 1st of September I shall certainly come to Leipzig.

63. To Carl Reinecke

Heligoland, September 7th, 1849

I am very sorry, my dear M. Reinecke, not to have met you at Hamburg. It would have been such a real pleasure to me to make acquaintance again with your Nonet, and it seems to me, judging from its antecedents in the form of a Concerto, that by this decisive transformation it ought to be a most honorably successful work.

The "Myrthen Lieder" have never been sent to me. If you happen to have a copy I should be very much obliged if you would send it me to Schuberth's address.

With regard to the article which has appeared in "La Musique" I have all sorts of excuses to make to you. The editors of the paper thought fit, I do not know why, to give it a t.i.tle which I completely disavow, and which would certainly have never entered into my mind. Moreover the printer has not been sparing of changing several words and omitting others. Such are the inevitable disadvantages of articles sent by post, and of which the proof correctors cannot read the writing.

Anyhow, such as it is, I am glad to think that it cannot have done you any harm in the mind of the French public, which has customs and requirements that one must know well when one wishes above all things to serve one's friends by being just to them.

Two numbers of your "Kleine Fantasie-Stucke" have been distributed, up to about a thousand copies, with the paper "La Musique," under the t.i.tle of "Bluettes,"--a rather ill-chosen t.i.tle to my idea,--but, notwithstanding this t.i.tle and the words "adopted by F. Liszt," which the editors have further taken the responsibility of putting, I am persuaded that this publication is a good opening (in material) into the musical world of France, and, looking at this result only, I am charmed to have been able to contribute to it.

I shall return to Hamburg by the last boat from Heligoland on the 27th of September, in order to go to the baths of Eilsen, where I expect to spend all the month of October. In November I shall be back in Weymar for the rest of the winter.

If you would have the kindness to send to Schuberth's address a case of 250 cigars of a pretty good size from the Bremen Manufactory, I should be very much obliged to you, and would take care to let you have the money (which in any case will not be a very great sum) through Schuberth. The samples you sent me to Weymar did reach me, but at a moment when I was extremely occupied, so that I forgot them. Pray let me hear from you from time to time, my dear M. Reinecke, and regard me as a friend who is sincerely attached to you.

F. Liszt

64. To Breitkopf and Hartel

My dear Sir,

The arrival of your piano is one of the most pleasant events in my peacefully studious life at Weymar, and I hasten to send you my best thanks. Although, to tell the truth, I don't intend to do much finger-work in the course of this year, yet it is no less indispensable for me to have from time to time a perfect instrument to play on. It is an old custom that I should regret to change; and, as you kindly inquire after the ulterior destination of this piano, allow me to tell you quite frankly that I should like to keep it as long as you will leave it me for my private, personal, and exclusive use at Weymar. In being guilty of the so-called indiscretion I committed in claiming of your courtesy the continued loan of one of your instruments I thought that, under the friendly and neighborly relations which are established between us (for a long time to come, I hope), it would not be unwelcome to your house that one of its productions should play the hospitable to me, whilst receiving my hospitality at the same time. However retired and sheltered I live from stir and movement at Weymar, yet from time to time it does happen that I receive ill.u.s.trious visitors, or curious and idle ones who come and trouble one for this or that; henceforth I shall be delighted to be able to do the honors of your piano both to the one and to the other, and that will be, besides, the best proof of the strength of the recommendation that I have had the pleasure of making, for a long time past, of your manufactory. If however, contrary to expectation, it should happen that you were in pressing need of an instrument, very little played upon, the one at Weymar would be at your disposal at any moment.

With regard to the Beethoven Lieder-Cyclus I have just received a letter from Mr. Haslinger which I do not communicate in full because of the personal details it contains, but this is the pa.s.sage, as laconic as it is satisfactory, with regard to this publication:--

"I give you with pleasure my fullest consent to the edition of the Beethoven Liederkreis by Breitkopf and Hartel."

So by tomorrow's post I shall have the honor of returning you the proofs of the Lieder-Cyclus, which forms a continuation to the Beethoven Lieder which you have already edited, and which you will publish when you think well. .--.

With the proofs of my third piece on the "Prophete" I will also send you all the pieces on it (piano and voice) which you have been so good as to lend me, as well as the piano score, which I don't require any more; for, unless I should have a success which I dare not hope for (for these three pieces), and an express order from you for another series of three pieces, which I could easily extract from that vast score, I shall make this the end of my work on the "Prophete." I come at last to a question, not at all serious, but somewhat embarra.s.sing for me,--that of fixing the price of the ma.n.u.scripts that you are so good as to print. I confess that this is my "quart d'heure de Rabelais!" [The "quart d'heure de Rabelais" refers to an incident in his life, and means, in round terms, the moment of paying--i.e., any disagreeable moment.] In order not to prolong it for you, allow me to tell you without further ceremony that the whole of the six works together, which are as follows:--

Lieder of Beethoven, Lieder-Cyclus of Beethoven, Consolations (six numbers), Ill.u.s.trations of the "Prophete" (three numbers), published by your house, are worth, according to my estimation, 80-100 louis d'or.

If this price does not seem disproportionate to you, as I am pleased to think it will not, and if it suits you to publish other pieces of my composition, I shall have the pleasure of sending you in the course of the year:--

1. A "Morceau de Concert"(for piano without orchestra), composed for the compet.i.tion of the Paris Conservatoire, 1850.

2. The complete series of the Beethoven Symphonies, of which you have as yet only published the "Pastorale" and the "C minor." (In the supposition that this publication will suit your house, I will beg you to make the necessary arrangements from now onwards with Mr. Haslinger; perhaps it will even be expedient that the Symphony in A (7th), which Haslinger published several years ago from the arrangement that I had made, should reappear in its proper place in the complete series of the symphonies.)

3. Bach's six fugues (for organ with pedals), arranged for piano alone.

In the middle of February I shall send you the complete ma.n.u.script of my little volume on Chopin, and a little later in the same month we shall set ourselves to work here on the study of Schubert's opera, the performance of which will take place in the first days of April. If, as I do not doubt, the performance of the "Prophete" draws you to Dresden, I shall certainly have the pleasure of seeing you there, for I have just begged Mr. de Luttichau to be so good as to reserve me a place for that evening, and I shall not fail to be there. Meanwhile, my dear M.

Hartel, believe me,

Yours sincerely and affectionately,

F. Liszt Weymar, January 14th, 1850

On the occasion of Schubert's opera I shall probably set to work on the arrangement of the symphony, of which, meanwhile, I hold the score.--Compliments and best regards to Madame Hartel, which I know you will be kind enough to convey to her.

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Letters of Franz Liszt Volume I Part 15 summary

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