I. FRANZ LISZT
II. RICHARD WAGNER
III. TSCHAIKOVSKI, THE WOMAN-DREADER
IV. THE HEART OF A VIOLINIST
V. AN OMNIBUS CHAPTER
VI. ROBERT SCHUMANN AND CLARA WIECK
VII. MUSICIANS AS LOVERS
GEORGE SAND, FROM THE PORTRAIT BY L. COLAMATTA
PRINCESS CAROLYNE VON SAYN-WITTGENSTEIN AND CHILD
RICHARD AND COSIMA WAGNER
RICHARD WAGNER AT BAYREUTH
MARTIN LUTHER AND CATHERINA VON BORA
GIOACCHINO A. ROSSINI
OLYMPE PELISSIER, AS "JUDITH" IN THE PAINTING BY VERNET
CLARA WIECK, AT THE AGE OF FOURTEEN
CLARA AND ROBERT SCHUMANN
CLARA (WIECK) SCHUMANN
Liszt's life was so lengthy and so industriously
amorous, that it is possible only to float along
over the peaks, to touch only the high points.
Why, his letters to the last of his loves alone
make up four volumes! And yet, for a life so
proverbially given over to flirtations as his, the
beginnings were strangely unprophetic. He had
reached the mature age of six before he began
to study the piano; compared with Mozart, he
was an old man before he gave his first
concert\ue000namely, nine years. Then the poverty
of his parents and the ambition of his father
found assistance in a stipend from Hungarian
noblemen, and he was sent to Vienna to study.
When he was eleven years old, after one of his
concerts, Beethoven kissed him. He survived.
Then on to Paris and duchesses and princesses
galore. Here he became a proverb of popularity
as "Le petit Litz"\ue001the French inevitably gave
some twist to a foreign name, then as to-day,
when two of their favourite painters are
"Wisthler" and "Seargent."
Liszt's childhood was therefore largely fed upon
the embraces and kisses of rapturous women, even as was the young Mozart's, the difference
being that it became a habit in Liszt's case. Even then he used to throw money among the gamins,
as later he scattered it in how many directions, with what liberality, and with what princeliness, and
from what a slender purse!
The father and mother had gone to Paris with him; but soon the mother went back to Austria\ue002she
was a German, the father alone being Hungarian. With his father the lad remained, and found him a
severe and domineering master. But in 1827 he died, leaving his sixteen-year-old son alone in
Paris. That stalwart self-reliance and sense of honour, which gave nobility to so much of Liszt's
character, now showed itself; he sold his grand piano to pay the debts his father had left him, and
sent for his mother to come to Paris, where he supported her by giving piano lessons. Then, as
later, he found plenty of pupils, the difference being that then, as not later, he took pay for his
lessons, though not even then from all.
Here he was at sixteen, tall and handsome, and with a face of winsomeness that never lost its spell
over womankind. Sixteen-year-older that he was, he was a man of great fame, and the grind of
acquiring technic was all passed. Moscheles had already said of him in print: "Franz Liszt's playing
surpasses everything yet heard, in power and the vanquishing of difficulties." Here he was, then,
young, beautiful, famous, a dazzling musician, and Hungarian. What do you expect?
It makes small difference what you expect, for the reality was that his heart was eager for the
seclusion of a monastery; his soul pined for religious excitement only! At fourteen he had begun to
rebel against his nickname, "Le petit Litz." It was with the utmost difficulty that his father had been
able to keep him from making religion his career, and giving up his already glittering fame. Never in
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