Franz Liszt and His World (The Bard Music Festival)
No nineteenth-century composer had more diverse ties to his contemporary world than Franz Liszt (1811-1886). At various points in his life he made his home in Vienna, Paris, Weimar, Rome, and Budapest. In his roles as keyboard virtuoso, conductor, master teacher, and abbé, he reinvented the concert experience, advanced a progressive agenda for symphonic and dramatic music, rethought the possibilities of church music and the oratorio, and transmitted the foundations of modern pianism.
The essays brought together in Franz Liszt and His World advance our understanding of the composer with fresh perspectives and an emphasis on historical contexts. Rainer Kleinertz examines Wagner's enthusiasm for Liszt's symphonic poem Orpheus; Christopher Gibbs discusses Liszt's pathbreaking Viennese concerts of 1838; Dana Gooley assesses Liszt against the backdrop of antivirtuosity polemics; Ryan Minor investigates two cantatas written in honor of Beethoven; Anna Celenza offers new insights about Liszt's experience of Italy; Susan Youens shows how Liszt's songs engage with the modernity of Heinrich Heine's poems; James Deaville looks at how publishers sustained Liszt's popularity; and Leon Botstein explores Liszt's role in the transformation of nineteenth-century preoccupations regarding religion, the nation, and art.
Franz Liszt and His World also includes key biographical and critical documents from Liszt's lifetime, which open new windows on how Liszt was viewed by his contemporaries and how he wished to be viewed by posterity. Introductions to and commentaries on these documents are provided by Peter Bloom, José Bowen, James Deaville, Allan Keiler, Rainer Kleinertz, Ralph Locke, Rena Charnin Mueller, and Benjamin Walton.
of Beethoven-Haus, Bonn; ﬁgure 3 is reproduced from Festgabe zu der am 12ten August 1845 stattﬁndenden Inauguration des Beethoven Monuments, by H. K. Breidenstein (Bonn: 1845) “‘Just Two Words. Enormous Success’”: all ﬁgures reproduced by permission of the Archiv, Bibliothek und Sammlungen der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna; translation by Charles Suttoni of Franz Grillparzer’s “Clara Wieck und Beethoven (f-moll Sonate)” quoted from Franz Liszt, An Arist’s Journey: Lettres d’un bachelier
between public and private, and especially the need to keep a common ground between them, produced some of the deepest anxieties and conflicts experienced by the nineteenth century middle classes. The fight against virtuosity necessarily engaged with these tensions. It was constantly marking and policing a boundary between a privileged inner self and a devalued “performativity” construed as external and lacking in substance. One reason the battle was strongest in central-northern Germany may be
book is volume 4 of Gay’s five-volume series The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud. 34. A characteristic complaint of this kind comes from the article “Virtuoso Nonsense”: “So long as one has not seen these heros [virtuosos], like one has not read the novel that is momentarily en vogue, merely to have seen him or read it, a person is far behind in culture, and must catch up in order to pass as educated” (p. 218). 35. See also Gollmick’s essay “Die Epidemie des Klavierspielens” in Feldzüge
Nineteenth-Century Music (New York: 2001), pp. 287–317, here 295. 22. Liszt, “De la situation des artistes,” p. 59. 23. Alan Walker, Franz Liszt: The Final Years 1861–1886 (New York: 1996), p. 209 n. 36. 24. On the change in German choral aesthetics following unification in 1871, see chapter 3 of my “National Memory, Public Music: Commemoration and Consecration in Nineteenth-Century German Choral Music,” Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 2005. 25. There are several first-person accounts of the
this month. We are making the public aware of the modest young artist who ranks alongside Liszt and Chopin in Germany. Vienna shall decide if she can hold her own next to Thalberg.”27 • 173 • “JUST TWO WORDS. ENORMOUS SUCCESS” Such comparisons were not only made in the press and among the musical cognoscenti, but also were very much on the minds of the artists themselves. As Clara Wieck’s father, Friedrich, a noted piano pedagogue, was preparing her for her first concert, he wrote in her