Franz Liszts Wahrnehmung in Frankreich als Komponist setzte ab 1869 ein und erweiterte das bis dahin gewohnte Bild vom Pianisten. Liszts Orchesterwerke wurden zunächst im Lichte der Bewertung der Neudeutschen Schule gesehen, und auch die Kontroversen um die Programmmusik und das dahinterstehende Problemfeld ‚Klassizismus vs. Romantik‘ schufen erschwerte Rezeptionsbedingungen. Behindert wurde die Wahrnehmung zudem durch die selektive und verzögerte Aufführung der Werke. Bis zum aufwändig gefeierten
im Jahre 1911 war Liszt somit der ‚geborene‘ Vorläufer. Der Versuch einer Rehabilitierung kam angesichts der selektiven Wahrnehmung auf der einen und der rasanten Musikentwicklung nach 1900 auf der anderen Seite — zu denken ist an Ravel oder Strawinsky — sehr spät.
The image of Liszt at the piano has been a favorite with artists. This article examines two paintings: an 1868 painting of Liszt at a Chickering piano by G. P. A. Healy and a 1919 painting of Liszt at a Steinway piano by John C. Johansen. Due to recent publications, the Chickering painting and its story are fairly well-known. In contrast, the Steinway painting is almost unknown. Healy’s portrait (1868) was done in his studio in Rome as Liszt sat playing for him. While Healy had seen Liszt’s Chickering piano, the instrument in his studio was not that piano and, despite the name “Chickering” on the fallboard, the painting does not faithfully convey the details of Liszt’s Chickering. Johansen’s portrait (1919) was done by an artist who had never met Liszt and almost certainly had never seen his Steinway piano. Because of the Chicago connection, this article proposes that Johansen took his inspiration from Healy.
The article aims to clarify some intricate points about the interpretation of Liszt’s Petrarch Sonnet Benedetto sia ‘l giorno throughout its many settings (manuscripts and prints). The author discusses first the problem of Liszt’s knowledge of the Italian language and metric norms, usually taken for granted; then that of the dates — of composition, of revision(s), of publication(s) — which has been covered much more widely in the literature than that of the language, but that still presents uncertainties. Taking the correspondence between the rhythm of the poem and that of the music as a means of analysis, the author suggests the cooperation of external hands in the setting of the words. Discussing the form of the piece, the paper tries to confute the various commonplaces of the literature; the difficulties inherent in the meter (the hendecasyllable) and the various ways in which its rhythm is interrupted — through repetitions, pauses and vocalizations etc. — are examined. The conclusion is that in Benedetto sia ‘l giorno the relationship between music and poetry does not reflect any particular model of lied nor of opera aria; the piece instead hints slightly to the old Italian madrigal. Benedetto is not the occurrence of a known musical form, but an example of the crisis of the form.
In German literature Heinrich Heine is regarded as one of the founders of musical feuilleton, a genre that he developed to the highest mastery with the means of irony and satire. In his music reviews Heine discussed repeatedly many of his musical contemporaries; he met leading composers of his time like Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Meyerbeer, Berlioz, Chopin, Liszt, and Wagner personally. The fact that the relationship between Heine and Liszt (they got to know each other in 1831 in Paris) was not without problems, is a commonplace. Rainer Kleinertz describes it as ambivalent. The essay examines Heine’s musical judgements about Liszt, focussing on the question of Liszt’s interest in the fine arts. In the tenth letter from Über die Französische Bühne. Vertraute Briefe an August Lewald (1837), Heine accused Liszt of philosophical eclecticism, because he would change his beliefs like hobbyhorses. Are there contradictions and inconsistencies also in Liszt’s thinking about art and music that justified such an ambivalent attitude on the part of Heine? Finally, Liszt replied Heine in the seventh of his Lettres d’un bachelier ès musique, dated Venice, 15 April 1838.
Franz Liszt’s residency in Rome (1861–1869) was a period not only of important premières of his works, but also of a new compositional emphasis on sacred music. Further, one can observe drastic changes in both the private and public persona of Liszt
Sposalizio, the piece opening the “Italian year” of Franz Liszt's Années de pèlerinage (first published in 1858), is one of the most analyzed and interpreted compositions in this piano cycle. Much attention has been paid to its connection with the painting of the same title by Raphael, which was printed as an internal title page for the piece's first edition at the explicit request of the composer. This connection has inspired many studies on the relationship between image and music, reinforcing the notion of Sposalizio as a musical realization of Raphael's painting as seen by Liszt for the first time in February 1838 at the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan. Adopting a critical view of the hermeneutical tradition, which has an impact on the interpretation of the piece still today, and assuming that its composition began in Weimar only around 1848, the article proposes an alternative reading of the piece. By connecting pictorial and musical elements, Sposalizio seems to evoke several cultural discourses and practices fundamental to Liszt's artistic and biographical background, such as Raphael's image as a genius, the revival of Marian devotion, and marriage as a sacrament of the Catholic Church.
By the time of his death in 1827, the image of Beethoven as we recognise him today was firmly fixed in the minds of his contemporaries, and the career of Liszt was beginning to flower into that of the virtuosic performer he would be recognised as by the end of the 1830s. By analysing the seminal artwork Liszt at the Piano of 1840 by Josef Danhauser, we can see how a seemingly unremarkable head-and-shoulders bust of Beethoven in fact holds the key to unlocking the layers of commentary on both Liszt and Beethoven beneath the surface of the image. Taking the analysis by Alessandra Comini as a starting point, this paper will look deeper into the subtle connections discernible between the protagonists of the picture. These reveal how the collective identities of the artist and his painted assembly contribute directly to Beethoven’s already iconic status within music history around 1840 and reflect the reception of Liszt at this time. Set against the background of Romanticism predominant in the social and cultural contexts of the mid 1800s, it becomes apparent that it is no longer enough to look at a picture of a composer or performer in isolation to understand its impact on the construction of an overall identity. Each image must be viewed in relation to those that preceded and came after it to gain the maximum benefit from what it can tell us.
This paper deals with an Abgar image in the Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum (Budapest), which was used as a devotional image by the composer. First the relationship of this representation to its prototype, the cult image of S. Silvestro in Capite in Rome is examined. Second we discuss information about the panel's first possessor, an abbess of the Poor Clares in Pozsony (today's Bratislava), whose name is known from the inscription of the verso. Not only do we attempt a more precise dating based on this information, but also endeavour to place the picture in its original context. The use of images among the nuns of the order of St. Clare, and the question on what occasion the abbess may have received this panel are also considered. The third part addresses the issue of Liszt's relations with Rome, in particular the role his cordial relationship with Pope Pius IX may have played from his painting's point of view. As music and visual arts were considered closely related in Liszt's eyes, in the last part of the paper an analogy is drawn between the composer's Abgar image and his sacred choral works in terms of their archaicism.
Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein’s unpublished Nouvel essai esthétique was certainly written in the 1860s in Rome. Dedicated to Adélaïde-Louise d’Eckmühl, marquise de Blocqueville, it is composed of 4 chapters presenting both general issues on art and religion, and detailed presentation of nine arts. Among them, the chapter on music contains many ideas strongly connected to Liszt’s writings, e.g. influence of Fétis and Hegel, idea of progress, historicism, harmony, catholic music, symphonic music, opera, writings about music, piano, etc. The present article is a first attempt to establish connections between the Lisztian topics and the catholic-historicist aesthetics of the princess Sayn- Wittgenstein, which can be seen as a privileged source for the Neudeutsche Schule.