1811-1823 in Habsburg

Franz Liszt was born in Western Hungary on 22 October 1811. His native village, Doborján (or Raiding in German), belongs today to Austria. Both of his parents — Adam (1776-1827), an employee in charge of sheep farming of Hungary’s richest and most powerful magnate Prince Miklós Esterházy, and Maria Anna Lager (1788-1866), orphan to an Austrian master baker — were of German origin.

At the time, the whole of Hungary belonged to Austria. Since 1687 and the expulsion of the Turks, the Habsburg Emperors of Austria were the crowned kings of Hungary. The official language was German, and the people of higher classes could not speak Hungarian. Neither did a large number of people who lived like the Liszts on the western border of the country near Austria. The legitimization of the Hungarian language and national culture was to be one of the main aims of the so-called Reform period in the coming decades. It was quite natural, therefore, that Liszt could not speak Hungarian and did not take lessons in this Finno-Ugric language — very different from the Indo-Germanic ones — before he returned to Hungary later in life. Nonetheless, he always declared himself to be a Hungarian, and this was evident for his father and mother as well.

His parents, especially Adam who had not been able to become a career musician himself, were delighted to notice that their only child was undoubtedly a prodigy. The young Liszt possessed an extraordinary musical talent, playing the piano, sight-reading, and improvising in a most brilliant way at an early age. He progressed at a phenomenal speed, leading Adam, his first teacher, to show his fragile son off, fascinating all acquaintances and relatives who heard him. In 1819 Adam took his son to Vienna—at the moment the music center of Europe where Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert were still living. Liszt’s father presented the boy to the famous piano teacher and Beethoven pupil, Carl Czerny, who was much impressed. As a result Adam decided to go to Vienna so that his son would have the opportunity to study with the best teachers. Since Prince Esterházy was not willing to give Adam a job in Vienna, he asked for a year’s leave of absence and moved there with his wife Anna and Franz in the spring of 1822. Before leaving, the child gave some concerts in the nearest towns of his native land, Sopron (Odenburg) and Pozsony (Pressburg or today, Bratislava, Slovakia).

In Vienna, the capital of the despotic, art-detesting Emperor Francis I , the Liszt family, without any income, had serious financial problems. Fortunately, Czerny and an ageing Antonio Salieri, Liszt’s music theory teacher, undertook the brilliant boy’s training without charge. As Liszt’s name became known, he played in various private palaces, and from 1 December 1822 performed several times in public with great success.

His ambitious father wanted his son to continue his studies at the Conservatoire in Paris so that he might become a celebrated artist with a brilliant career in Paris and London, as he himself would have liked to have done. Adam likely anticipated considerable earnings in Western Europe as well. Consequently, he requested that Prince Esterházy extend his leave of absence for two more years, but the prince refused. Adam, therefore, had to make a serious final decision: he would either give up his home and all kind of safe harbour or sell everything he possessed. The example of Leopold and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart who, five or six decades earlier, had toured Western Europe was still vivid at the time and most certainly a contributing factor to Adam’s decision. Before leaving the Austrian Empire he received permission from Prince Esterházy to allow Franz perform in Pest, capital of Hungary. Before his first concert on 1 May 1823 in the Hotel of the Seven Electors, Adam, in the name of his son, announced the event in German: ” I am a Hungarian, and I know of no greater joy than to respectfully present to my dear mother country before my departure to France and England the first fruits of my education and training, as the first offering of the most intimate affection.”

1823-1839 in Paris

Was Adam right to take the child prodigy to the leading metropolis of Europe and take him on concert tours instead of letting him study and develop in peace? Master Czerny, who found Liszt’s playing undisciplined some years later, actually disapproved of it.

From Liszt’s letters, written to his own children, we can see that he always felt handicapped because of his lack of formal education. In his essay “Lettres d’un bachelier es musique” published on 12 February 1837 in the Revue et Gazette music ale, he formulated it with more bitterness, mentioning that his father cast him “into the midst of a glittering society,” exposed him to the stigmatizing “humiliation of artistic dependency,” where he was “patronized and remunerated by” the aristocracy “like a juggler, or like Munito the performing dog.”

Many years later Liszt became much more tolerant of his father and highly appreciated his self-sacrifice. All things considered, Adam, in spite of several negative points, created unique opportunities for his son in his formative years. Thanks to his father, Liszt the prodigy became able to share in the most valuable double heritage of European culture of his time. The future master of romantic music grew up in Paris at the dawn of romanticism and received his education from the great poets, thinkers, and painters of the most important artistic movement of the nineteenth century. This development happened to a young boy whose musical training, artistic taste, and approach to music had been based in Vienna—the best possible place of his time in Central Europe. In this metropolis lived the greatest masters of classicism: Franz Joseph Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. Especially the two latter masters had a definitive influence on Liszt’s own art. Beethoven’s kiss, which Liszt supposedly received in Vienna in 1823, was only a legend. The story, nonetheless, had a symbolic meaning for Liszt. Beethoven remained his idol. In the preface to Liszt’s piano transcriptions of Beethoven’s symphonies (1863-1865), he wrote, “The name of Beethoven is a name sacred in art.” In addition, Liszt donated large amounts for the Beethoven monument and festival in Bonn in 1845 and composed two cantatas in his honour. His composing art is deeply rooted in that of Beethoven’s. As a performer, his Beethoven interpretations were mentioned as sublime by Wagner and nearly everyone who had the chance to hear them. Liszt had a special predilection for the much less appreciated Schubert; he became one of Schubert’s first proponents, performing his own arrangements of Schubert’s songs throughout Europe. On the other hand, Liszt’s own style became fertilized to a high degree by the innovations of the great Austrian composer in the field of form and harmony.

Leaders of the Romantic Movement played a tremendous influence on Liszt. In Paris he met and knew many of these leaders: Victor Hugo, Alphonse de Lamartine, Alfred de Vigny, Alfred de Musset, George Sand, Prosper Merimee, Heinrich Heine, and many others. Paris became his mental homeland and French, which he learned as a teenager, became his favourite language. Liszt became obsessed with French society and his self-study of ancient and contemporary French philosophers and writers. He shared their new aesthetic principles, breaking with the old traditions. Their idolized personalities — Dante Alighieri, William Shakespeare, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Count Claude Henri de Saint-Simon, Vicomte Francois-Auguste-Rene de Chateaubriand, and Lord Byron — became his own. Byron, in particular, influenced Liszt both in substance and appearance. These figures had a significant impact on his life and artistic development. Liszt was clearly drawn to the Christian socialist Utopian theory of his “paternal friend and benefactor,” the Abbe Felicite de Lamennais who soon broke with the Catholic Church. Lamennais had a decisive influence on Liszt, particularly concerning his ideas on the artist’s, especially the musician’s, mission and the ennoblement of mankind.

Even in the domain of music, Liszt’s training was not serious in Paris. Barred from becoming a student of the Conservatoire because he was “non-French” and consequently “a foreigner,” Liszt had to find his teachers outside of the Conservatoire. His father chose two teachers for him in music theory: the conductor and composer Ferdinando Paer, who probably orchestrated the thirteen-year-old’s only opera Don Sanche (1824-1825), and the Czech composer Antonin Reicha, who was an excellent teacher, as Hector Berlioz tells us. The young virtuoso’s career, however, made serious work nearly impossible.

Liszt hardly experienced any normal childhood. From age twelve he supported his parents who had given up everything for his sake. In December 1823 the family with their minimal savings arrived in Paris, the glittering and expensive Western metropolis. The child prodigy, le petit Litz as he was called, began giving concerts in the capital in private palaces as well as in public. By 1826 he was performing outside of Paris in the French provinces. On 17 October 1825 the premier of his opera Don Sanche took place at the Paris Opera. In May and June 1824, 1825, and 1827, he toured England with his father, and at the end of 1826 and beginning of 1827 he performed in Switzerland. His mother Anna returned to Austria to her relatives in the fall of 1825. In August 1827, while having a short rest with his son at Boulogne-sur-Mer, Adam suddenly fell seriously ill and died after a few days on 28 August. At this time Liszt asked his mother to come to France, and they lived together in Paris—Liszt returning home to her at their little Paris flat after his tours.

Developing into a most handsome, elegant, and attractive young man with good manners, Liszt gave piano lessons mainly to distinguished young girls in additions to his concerts in order to support his mother and himself. Admired by his pupils, at seventeen he fell in love with one of them, Countess Caroline de Saint-Cricq. Some months later, however, her father put an end to this relationship with this young “nobody,” triggering in Liszt an acute mental crisis. He retired completely from playing in public and wanted to join the church. His mother, however, prevented him from joining, as had his father not long before his death. Liszt revived during the three glorious days of the Paris revolution in 1830—a time in which he sketched his never-completed “Revolutionary” symphony.

About 1830 Liszt met three great musicians in Paris whose art and personalities produced a great effect and influence on his own evolution: Berlioz, the French composer and father to “program music” and “idee fixe”; Niccolo Paganini, the demoniac Italian violinist who produced fantastic, never before heard effects on his instrument thanks to his unimaginable, transcendental virtuosity; and Frederic Chopin, the Polish composer who created a new kind of a brilliant yet personal and poetic piano style based on improvisation, and rooted in the folk music of his dear, faraway, and oppressed patrie.

Around 1834 Liszt composed his first important piano works: the solo piece Harmonies poetiques et religieuses (S 150), the cycle Apparitions (S 155), and the unfinished piano concerto De profundis (S 691). He dedicated the concerto to Lamennais with whom he spent some wonderful weeks on the Abbe’s estate in La Chenaie, Brittany. At the time Liszt was in love with the Countess Marie d’Agoult, nee de Flavigny (1805-1876)—a beautiful, cultured, dazzling, spiritual, distinguished young lady, fired by literary ambitions and living in an unhappy marriage with an older husband. In May 1835 the already pregnant Countess and Liszt left Paris and rendezvoused in Geneva. The coming years were those of “pilgrimage” where the couple lived and travelled in Switzerland (until August 1837) and Italy (from August 1837). Liszt’s pilgrimage was influenced to a large degree by his model, Lord Byron and his hero, Childe Harold. Liszt made some triumphant returns to Paris during this time as well. He had developed into the most brilliant, incredible virtuoso genius of his time. It was a highly important period for him as a composer as well, creating his own, special musical idiom inspired by literature, nature, and the fine arts. His first cycle Album d’un voyageur (S 156, first version of the Swiss volume of Annees de pelerinage, S 160) as well as many sketches or early versions of later works (Annees, vol. I I : ltalie, S 161, piano concertos, and Grandes etudes S 137) were born in these years. His essays entitled “Lettres d’un bachelier es musique” appeared regularly in the Gazette Musicale de Paris, although Marie had actually written the essays based upon drafts Liszt gave her.

Marie gave birth to their three children: Blandine (1835-1862), Cosima (1837-1930), and Daniel (1839-1859). This period of Liszt’s life ends with his second concert tour to Vienna in November 1839. The first triumphal tour had been given there in April 1838 to benefit his Hungarian compatriots after the flood of the Danube in Pest. By this time, Liszt and Marie had fallen out of love, and in October 1839 Marie returned alone to Paris with the two little girls who were to live with Liszt’s mother. Their baby brother joined them a little later.

1839-1847 The Virtuoso Tours

The years between 1839 and 1847 were unprecedented triumphs for Liszt the virtuoso and creator of modern solo recital. In a few years with dazzling speed, he travelled over nearly the whole of Europe, with the exceptions of Scandinavia and the area south of the Balkan peninsula.

From examining the map of his tours,10 we can see the incredible number of places he toured, including some he visited several times in Germany, Hungary, the Austrian Empire, France, Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, the Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, and the principality of Romania. These tours included cities outlining the vast regions he travelled: Glasgow, Copenhagen, Riga, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, Odessa, Bucharest, Constantinople (Istanbul), Gibraltar, Lisbon, Limerick, and Dublin. Almost impossible to imagine, he toured for the most part in horse-drawn coaches and jolting post-chaises as well as, upon occasion, by ship. He also travelled in numerous regions where public security did not exist during those times.

Never before had an instrumental performer enjoyed such boundless celebration, approaching the star quality and cult following of popular musicians today. The “Liszt-mania” surpassed even that of the Baroque castrato singers a century before. This most attractive young man—a famous Don Juan—became the craze of the entire European continent. The press even suggested that “this man is obviously Satan himself, otherwise he would not be able to accomplish on a piece of wood . . . what he accomplishes.”” Serious musicians, like Robert Schumann, reported as well: “yesterday again he [Liszt] played in his concert like a God, and the furor is not to be described.” Liszt surpassed all the well known piano virtuosos of his time, including Ferdinand von Hiller, Johann Pixis, Alexander Dreyschock, Johann Baptist Cramer, Friedrich Kalkbrenner, Heinrich Herz, Ignaz Moscheles, and Sigismond Thalberg. Liszt was a genial performer, musician, and improviser who produced miracles on his instrument that no other pianist could duplicate. The piano itself had to be reformed to suit his new orchestral and pianistic effects and colours, not to mention his incredible passages of octaves, chords, trills, staccato notes, and fast repeated notes. He would at times fall into ecstasy when playing, being demoniac or seraphic or thousands of emotions in between. He placed the piano with its open lid on the podium parallel to the public in order to get a reverberate sound. As early as 1839, he established the idea of the solo recital, “musical soliloquies,” as he wrote to Princess Cristina Belgiojoso: ” I have devised [them] specially for the Romans, and which I am quite capable of importing to Paris, so boundlessly impudent do I become! Imagine that, failing to concoct a programme which would have any kind of sense, I dared, for the sake of peace and quiet, to give a series of concerts entirely alone, affecting the style of Louis XIV and saying cavalierly to the public, ‘Le Concert—c’est moi.’ Because of his exuberant style of playing, he was called in the English musical world, a “giant,” “tiger-tamer,” “Aurora Borealis of musical refulgence,” and a “Niagara of thundering harmonies.”

The music he performed contained, in great part, concessions to public taste and included pieces of many insignificant composers. Among his own new works were brilliant fantasias on popular songs of several nations and tunes of well-known operas, as well as popular works like the Grand galop chromatique. He played, nonetheless, Preludes and Fugues from Bach’s Das Wohltemperierte Klavier, the Goldberg Variations, as well as his own transcriptions of Bach’s organ works. In the 1830s when Beethoven was not popular in Paris, Liszt performed Beethoven’s sonatas, concerti, and chamber works in addition to his own transcriptions of Schubert’s Lieder, and works by Domenico Scarlatti, George Frideric Handel, Carl Maria von Weber, Felix Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Chopin, and Schumann.

During his glorious tours across Europe, he—in addition to giving concerts and taking part in soirees, balls, and receptions arranged in his honour—found time for composing. Beside many new transcriptions, arrangements, opera fantasias, and his first series of Hungarian national works, he turned to new forms in vocal and orchestral genres. During these eight hectic years he composed the so-called Malediction piano concerto with string accompaniment (S 121), his first secular and sacred choral works, his first Beethoven Cantata (S 67), and a great number of Lieder.

In this period of his career, Liszt visited numerous countries and cities where he met, in two instances, people who were to become important in his future life. The first was Carl Friedrich, Grand Duke of Weimar in whose court he gave his first concerts at the end of November 1841, and where, a year later, he was appointed as court conductor in extraordinary service. The second was Princess Carolyne von Sayn-Wittgenstein (1819-1887), an ultra-rich, Polish, fanatic Catholic landowner in the Ukraine, who was separated from her husband. The princess first heard Liszt in Kiev in February 1847. Liszt, tired of his virtuoso life, had for years sought a companion to settle down with, and longed for quiet work as a composer. The princess—quite different from the beautiful and elegant Parisian Countess d’Agoult—would not be his ideal partner. Her influence turned out to be injurious in many respects, including his relationship to his mother and children as well as his writings and essays. The princess actually wrote large portions of his essays from this period based upon his ideas. Yet, at the moment they met, it was this exceptionally literate, cultured woman of high intellect who succeeded to settle him down and encourage him to compose. It would be with the princess during their twelve years together in Weimar that Liszt composed the greatest part of his well-known, mature works.

1848-1861 Weimar

Liszt summed up his aims in his testament in 1860: “At a certain time (about ten years ago) I envisaged Weimar as a new art period, similar to the one under Carl August, where Wagner and myself should have been leaders just like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller had been earlier, but unfavourable circumstances destroyed this dream.”

In 1848 Liszt settled down with Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein in Weimar, capital of the German feudal Grand Duchy of Sachsen-Weimar. Liszt served as a conductor, Kapellmeister in extraordinary service, at the court of Grand Duke Carl Friedrich and later of his son Carl Alexander. The princess escaped from Russia with her young daughter Princess Marie Sayn-Wittgenstein, leaving behind the greatest part of her immense fortune. For Liszt, it meant a complete change of life, with restrictions and obligations of several kinds. No longer was he a free, travelling, and glorified artist. Now he had a place to live with a steady job and a commitment to the princess with whom he had to accommodate himself. The princess, when they finally set up house together at the villa Altenburg, ran it as a grand house, constantly receiving guests (including the increasing team of students in Liszt’s master classes). Liszt no longer had much privacy, even when composing.

He had also his obligations towards the court and the Court Theatre, where he accomplished outstanding and pioneering work as conductor of operatic performances. He revived twenty operas of great value, among them works by Christoph Willibald von Gluck, Mozart, Beethoven, Andre Gretry, Luigi Cherubini, Schubert, Weber, and Vincenzo Bellini. He also performed twentytwo operas of outstanding contemporaries, including Gioacchino Rossini, Otto Nicolai, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Schumann, Giuseppe Verdi, Peter Cornelius, and, above all Wagner and Berlioz. Liszt led seven world premiers, most notably Wagner’s Lohengrin and Cornelius’s Der Barbier von Bagdad.

Despite his great expectations, Liszt soon realized that living in Weimar placed severe restrictions on his private life as well as on his capacity as a creative artist. Very much in favour at a court that rigidly clung to old ceremonies and formalities, he did not succeed in making them accept the princess who had been unable to get divorced. Instead of his former admirers that had surrounded him before coming to Weimar, he found himself surrounded by the prejudiced dislikes of the drowsy, envious, petty-bourgeois in this legendary town that still promoted their famous and deceased citizens. Liszt’s presence as a foreigner, his French speech, his attitude of a grand seigneur, and his unusual attire evoked the growing indignation of the Weimar residents, not to mention his living with a princess who smoked cigars and was married to someone else.

As a conductor, he had to deal with the immense and increasing material difficulties of the small, provincial, declining, and retrograde German principality, which made work almost impossible for him. As a theatre leader, he had to endure—as long as he was able to—all kinds of intrigues. Above all, Liszt the idolized pianist who had stopped playing in public in order to focus on composing suddenly found himself attacked from all sides as a composer. Liszt, the father and master of the new trend of music mocked by the nickname Zukunftsmusik or “Music of the Future,” had to bear a hostile reception in nearly the whole of Germany.

In spite of all these external difficulties and of the internal one, his own restless spirit, his emphasis grew increasingly on composition. In his duties as theatre conductor, he, over time, became a master of handling the orchestra as well. Weimar became the zenith of his activity as a composer—the period where his most popular, monumental works were born or received their decisive version.

In addition to many of his major piano works and concerti from this period, he also composed his two large-scale symphonies and the majority of his symphonic poems (S 95-104), a one-movement form he invented. External elements inspired each of his symphonic poems, including Hungarian historical themes (Hero’ide funebre and Hungaria), themes of antiquity (Orpheus), and art (Hunnenschlacht). He based several orchestral compositions on literary works of Johann Gottfried Herder, Hugo, Byron, Goethe, Schiller, and Shakespeare.

The main points of Liszt’s style include few themes or short motives suitable to variation and changes of character as well of free use of chromaticism. He also frequently uses “Hungarian” or Gypsy scales and non-diatonic gamuts such as chromatic and whole-tone scales, and individual scale models and constructions.

Although many of Liszt’s Weimar orchestral works included theatrical-isms and bombastic effects, he influenced a large series of outstanding composers through his various innovations. This list includes Cesar Franck, Camille Saint- Saens, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Olivier Messiaen, Wagner, Richard Strauss, Arnold Schoenberg, Bedfich Smetana, Antonfn Dvorak, Edvard Grieg, Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky, Modeste Mussorgsky, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Alexander Borodin, Alexander Skryabin, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Bartok, and Kodaly. Nevertheless, Liszt may have never composed as much orchestral music had not Princess Carolyne continued to encourage him in these efforts, even if some of the loud and theatrical sections occurring in his “grand” works were quite likely because of the princess’s taste and influence.

Liszt wrote a large portion of his essays in this period as well that contained his ideas concerning problems of art, music, and artists. Nevertheless, they also included the princess’s elaborations with her Slavic inclination for loquacity and certain prejudices that in no manner matched the elegant literary French style of the enlightened Parisian, Marie d’Agoult, who had previously assisted him in his essays.

In no other phase of his life did Liszt remain in a single place as in Weimar. He departed only for occasional journeys to take cures, attend music festivals, or visit family or friends. He accompanied the princess and her daughter to Bad Eilsen and later travelled to Aachen to cure his own skin disease. He attended performances of his works in several places in Germany, Prague, Vienna, and Hungary where he was at the world premier of his Gran Mass in 1856. Upon occasion he visited family or friends. In August 1857 he attended his daughter Cosima and his favourite pupil Hans von Billow’s wedding in Berlin. Between 1853 and 1856 he twice visited with Wagner in Switzerland, who, after the uprising of 1849 in Dresden, succeeded to escape from Germany, thanks to Liszt, and lived there in exile. He travelled to Paris in 1853 to see his mother and children, to Amsterdam in 1854 to attend the foundation of the Music Society of the Netherlands, and to Brussels during the same year to meet his two daughters.

His position in Weimar became increasingly difficult. The delays in Princess Carolyne’s divorce proceeding made their position in Weimar socially unendurable. At home, as well as throughout Germany, an anti-Liszt campaign was waged against his works. His authority dwindled to an ever-decreasing extent at the theatre in Weimar because of the new and talented intendant, von Dingelstedt, who, on Liszt’s recommendation, had occupied the post in 1857. By 15 December hostility and intrigue became so intense that an open scandal broke out at the premier of Cornelius’s comic opera Der Barbier von Bagdad that Liszt conducted. Liszt promptly resigned. After Princess Marie Sayn Wittgenstein had married Prince Konstantin von Hohenlohe-Schillingsfiirst (later Lord Steward to the Emperor Francis Joseph) on 15 October 1859, Liszt no longer had reasons to remain in Weimar. After eleven years, it must have been a long and painful process for him to come to this decision. Weimar had turned out to be everything but the “homeland of the Ideal,” as Liszt had written to Carl Alexander (Crown Prince at the time) on 6 October 1846 before settling there.

His deception and bitterness in Weimar were crowned by a terrible blow: his twenty-year-old son Daniel, who was talented, amiable, and similar to the young Franz Liszt, fell seriously ill in Cosima’s home in Berlin. He died in Liszt’s presence. Months later, in May 1860, Princess Carolyne left for Rome in order to petition the pope to dissolve her marriage. Liszt, remaining alone in Weimar, became despondent. As soon as he was able to, he composed the staggering “oraison” Les morts on words of Lamennais in memory of his son. In September, he wrote his moving testament.

The year 1860 also saw the publication of protest against the “new music” of Liszt and Wagner that Johannes Brahms, Joseph Joachim, Julius Otto Grimm, and Bernhard Scholz signed. In August 1861, after a Weimar Festival and the foundation of the German General Music Association, Liszt, alone, liquidated his entire household. He left his home and Weimar. His departure meant the end of this exceptional period of ordered life and work some months before his fiftieth birthday. He visited Paris and arrived in Rome on the eve of his birthday to marry the princess the next day. At the last minute, however, the pope prevented the marriage. Alan Walker details the long, dark, and complicated story of this “thwarted marriage” in his Liszt, Carolyne and the Vatican. The Story of a Thwarted Marriage as it emerges from the original Church documents.

Leaving Weimar meant an end to an important period of his composing. According to several musicologists, Liszt’s compositions during his Weimar period represent the peak of his art. Nevertheless, others and I see his evolution as a composer continuing straight until his death. For me Liszt’s output during the last twenty-six years of his life remains the most important, interesting, and moving music he ever wrote. This music with its incomplete and experimental character and without frills or sensationalism became increasingly dark, lonely, personal, and sincere. This music was an outgrowth of his solitary and homeless life, an errant life of an artist growing old who endured many delusions and unfortunate experiences. Liszt could only have composed this music without the princess by his side because this type of music did not correspond to her taste.

1861-1869 Rome

When Liszt arrived in Rome, capital of the Papal State, the city was passing through its death throes. Though divested of a large part of its territory, Rome was the last island of stubborn resistance to the Risorgimento, the Italian movement of national unification that proclaimed democratic ideas.

The troops of Napoleon I I I , Emperor of France, defended the city. (Liszt, decorated in 1860 with the Croix d’officier and in 1861 with that of the Commander of the Legion d’Honneur, was a great admirer of Napoleon I I I , taking him and his regime for a most democratic and liberal one). In September 1870, with the fall of Louis- Napoleon Bonaparte, Rome “fell.” It became the capital of Victor Emmanuel’s Kingdom of Italy, and the pope lost his temporal power.

The Roman chapter is the most puzzling period of Liszt’s life. When it became clear that he would no longer stay in Weimar, he first wrote to Princess Carolyne, who was already living in Rome, that the Eternal City would not suit him, and they would go somewhere else. (The Princess wrote to Cornelius on 28 July 1865 that she “would rather suffer here [in Rome], than be happy elsewhere.”19) Liszt arrived for the planned wedding only to find the pope had annulled it at the last minute. This annulment must have been a terrible blow to the princess, but i f Liszt felt frustrated or relieved, we do not know. The differences between him and the princess that became more and more pronounced later on suggest that he might have felt relieved. What we do know is that Princess Carolyne would have by all means expected to become his wife. Afterwards, she became increasingly involved in the tenets of religion, sank deeper and deeper into her own exalted, mystical world, and locked herself in her dark rooms. Sometime in 1875 she wrote to Liszt’s “cousin” Eduard Liszt in Vienna, complaining bitterly about the “lack of regard for a woman he [Liszt] has accepted everything from and should be the husband of.” It seems, however, that the topic of their marriage became struck off the agenda for the years to come. Not even the death of Carolyne’s husband, Prince Nicholas Sayn- Wittgenstein in March 1864, altered the silence about this issue so far as we know. Liszt and the princess did not live together, although Liszt visited her regularly, despite all of their increasing differences.

Liszt, nevertheless, still did not leave Rome. He established himself in the Eternal City and did not move at all in Rome until 1864. He remained in the city until 1869 and returned frequently, almost every year until his death. Liszt had several reasons to remain in Rome, although he himself did not reveal them. The first was his long standing attraction towards church music. As early as 1835 in one of his articles, he indignantly lamented the shameful and scandalous situation, the “stupid and pervasive howling” he called it, that prevailed in French churches under the name of church music. His experiences were the same in Italy during 1838 and 1839: the glory of church music in Rome (except in the Sistine Chapel) belonged to the past. Moreover, in Genoa, the unspeakable organ improvisations were based “on bows of the prima donna and the amorous grimaces of the first tenor of last night’s opera performance,” as Liszt wrote in his essay “Genes et Florence” in 1839. From his youth, he was interested in Gregorian chant and in the Renaissance masters, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Orlando di Lasso. Liszt developed their modality into romantic neo-modality. He composed his first Mass (S 8) for male choir in 1848, the Gran Mass between 1855 and 1858, and arrived in Rome with his oratorio Die Legende von der heiligen Elisabeth (S 2) in progress. He had not ceased claiming that he believed his chief duty as a composer was to produce new and valuable church music. The brother-in-law of Princess Marie Sayn-Wittgenstein, the later Cardinal Gustav Hohenlohe, living in Rome, held out the promise of seemingly marvelous opportunities for him in the Eternal City and made Liszt believe that he would be able to reform church music according to his own conceptions. No task more appealing could have been offered to him. His dream (and Carolyne’s) was for him to become a new Palestrina. It was for this reason that he became an abbe. He received the tonsure on 25 April 1865 and minor orders on 30 July. To join the church had never been a strange idea to Liszt since he had been a sincere Catholic, with a certain attraction towards mysticism. In his early youth, his father and later his mother had prevented him from becoming a priest. Neither was Madame Anna Liszt happy to know that on 23 June 1857 he became confrater of the Franciscans in Pest, and she burst into tears when informed about his receiving minor orders. Liszt, nevertheless, soon realized that his reform plans did not interest the church, like those of Gaspare Spontini’s large-scale Rapporto intorno la riforma della musica di chiesa had in 1839. The church was not inclined to accept new ideas, not even in the field of music. Although he had wanted to become the choirmaster at St. Peter’s Basilica, it was impossible for him as a foreigner and still less likely for him as an artist of very subjective religiosity, who as a composer “entered the music of Venusberg into the church.” After his many disappointments in the sphere of secular music, he suffered an even worse lack of comprehension and success in the domain of sacred art.

In addition to the irresistible attraction of the marvellous beauty of Rome and its surroundings, Liszt had another more serious reason to settle down there. He hoped with priestly asceticism to overcome his own self, the demon that dwelt within him. Unfortunately, he was not able to. As a result, he became a “piano playing abbe” (called so by his pupil Carl Tausig in a letter to Cornelius on 24 August 1865) and an “abbe courtesan” (as noted his friend Michelangelo Caetani, Duke of Sermoneta, in a letter to the Grand Duke of Weimar, 21 May 1865). Liszt was seeking tranquillity, yearning to create, and yet thirsting for entertainment and success. He continued to perform on the piano with pleasure in the salons of aristocrats, diplomats, and prelates, and also played at numerous benefit concerts in Rome and Tivoli. In the company of distinguished men, beautiful ladies, strong cigars, wine, and cognac, he soon forgot the behaviour that was part and parcel of his priestly garb. Even when retiring from the centre of Rome, he chose places where visitors could readily reach him. Like Beethoven’s “Prayer for inner and outer peace,” Liszt sought peace in various cloisters and apartments during the 1860s. On 20 June 1863 he moved to the cloister “Madonna del Rosario” at the Monte Mario, where Pope Pius IX visited him on 11 July. For a short time when receiving the tonsure on 25 April 1865, Liszt lived in the Vatican apartment of Monsignor Hohenlohe. On 22 November 1866 he moved to the cloister of Santa Francesca Romana at the Forum and travelled in lovely Umbria, staying by the shore of the Adriatic Sea in Grotta Mare with his friend, the Abbe Solfanelli, during July and August 1868. After a short visit between May and June 1865 and then almost every autumn from 1868 until his death, Liszt lived as a guest of Cardinal Hohenlohe at Tivoli in the chilly and uncomfortable Renaissance Villa d’Este, with its marvellous garden of cypresses and fountains.

In Rome, he continued his activity of teaching without pay and held master classes in which his many pupils from Italy and as well as from abroad performed. Although his projects concerning a church career and reforms of sacred music proved a fiasco, he resumed his interest in secular, symphonic, and chamber music. Interest in these types of music from “beyond the Alps” had slowly developed in Rome. In some of the concerts Liszt’s own works were performed.

From August to October 1864, several journeys took him away from work. He first returned to Germany to take part at Karlsruhe Music Festival. He then visited Munich, Weimar, Berlin, and Paris, and returned to Rome in October. Between 9 August and 12 September 1865, he stayed in Hungary: he attended the premier of his Legend of St. Elisabeth in Pest, and spent a week in the little town Szekszard as guest of his best Hungarian friend, Baron Antal Augusz. From the beginning of March until 15 May 1866, he was in Paris for the performance of his Gran Mass, including a side trip to the Netherlands. In June 1867 he visited Pest again at the coronation of Francis Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth as King and Queen of Hungary because of the country’s compromise with Austria. The ceremony took place in Buda Castle, in the Matthias Church, while Liszt’s Coronation Mass was performed. In July, he returned to Weimar and Meiningen (Music Festival), directed St. Elisabeth at Wartburg castle near Eisenach, and stayed in Munich before returning to Rome. In 1868, his last Roman year, he did not leave Italy, but stayed in the Eternal City except for a short journey to the Villa d’Este.

Several painful incidents occurred making it difficult for Liszt to work at times during the 1860s. On 11 September 1862 he lost his second child: the charming Blandine Ollivier died in Saint-Tropez from complications of childbirth. On 6 February 1866 his mother Anna died in Paris. In addition, his only living child, Cosima, gave him enormous trouble. Liszt knew of Wagner and Cosima’s secret love already in 1864 and tried everything possible to save her marriage with von Biilow. In August 1864 he appealed to Cosima’s feelings in Karlsruhe and to those of Wagner at Lake Starnberg. In August 1865 he invited Cosima and von Biilow to Pest and Szekszard for the same purpose of keeping them together. In April 1866 he tried to speak with his daughter in Amsterdam and attempted to convince her again in Munich as late as October 1867. From the Bavarian capital, he secretly paid a short visit to Wagner who was living in Triebschen, Switzerland, after having been exiled by King Louis I I because of the scandal around Wagner and the Biilow couple in Munich. Neither Cosima nor Wagner listened to him. Cosima finally left her husband in the summer of 1868 and joined Wagner with her four daughters, two of which were Wagner’s children. There followed a terrible, painful break of several years between father and daughter. Wagner and Cosima married in 1870, but it was not until the end of September 1871 that Liszt insisted on reconciliation. The reunion of the three finally took place in September 1872 when Wagner and Cosima visited Liszt in Weimar.

These were the familial sorrows. He also had to endure similar sorrows, in particular, his plans for reforming church music. Never did a failure cause him such tremendous and everlasting grief as the terrible reception of his Gran Mass in Paris on 15 March 1866 at St. Eustache Church. Even the amiable reception in Holland in April, where he always had been popular, was a poor consolation to him.

The result of all these external and internal obstacles was that his works did not progress as he would have liked. On 11 November 1867, he wrote to Baron Augusz: “At least 4 or 5 hours a day writing music should be accomplished, without which [ . . . ] I am in bad humor and lose any sense of what I am doing in this world.” Although neglected for a long time, Liszt’s output during his Roman years is not poor at all; on the contrary, it contains compositions in several genres of great value and importance. As a whole, this Roman chapter of his life could be called L’apres-midi d’un Faune, preceding the last period that the outstanding Hungarian scholar Bence Szabolcsi called “twilight.” The Roman years can be appreciated as a huge step forward after Weimar. Liszt composed many of his most beautiful and moving compositions during this period, pushing in several directions trends that would lead to the coming century.

Heroes such as the rebel Prometheus, symbolizing enlightenment, or the ruminating Faust or Hamlet no longer inspired his works. His motto was caritas (charity), and il gran perdono di Dio—the great remission. His ideals became charitable, and his figures for inspiration became forgiving persons like Saint Elisabeth of the Arpad Dynasty, his patron saint Francis of Paola, Saint Francis of Assisi, or the Redeemer Himself. Literature remained the intermediary, but instead of Byron, Shakespeare, Dante, Schiller, or Nikolaus Lenau, it was the Fioretti (the flower garden), the Cantico del Sol of Saint Francis of Assisi, and other sacred texts that inspired his music.

He wrote a few independent orchestral pieces. La notte (S 699) is a version of the dark and expressive Michelangelo piece entitled II penseroso, from the Italian volume of Annees de pelerinage, with a new, explicitly Hungarian middle section. This work and Le triomphe funebre du Tasse (S 517) constitute, with the “oraison” Les morts (S 516), the Trois odes funebres.

The diverse piano works were all significant, including the grandiose and staggering funeral piece inspired by J. S. Bach, the variations written on the “Crucifixus” bass theme of the Mass in B minor: Weinen, Klagen (S 180) that Liszt composed in memory of Blandine in 1862. Liszt composed another funeral music, a March, in memory of the Habsburg Emperor Maximilian who was executed in Mexico in 1867. This March is an extraordinarily exciting piece and a forerunner of his late style, included in the third volume of Annees de pelerinage (S 163). Liszt further enriched the piano’s potential for musical color in his Zwei Konzertetiiden (S 145) and the Deux Legendes: St. Franqois d’Assise: la predication aux oiseaux and St. Franqois de Paule marchant sur les flots (S 175).

He composed most of his large-scale sacred works during this period as well. The Mass (S 8) for male choir received its final form in 1869 destined for Szekszard. Liszt called it ma messe Sexardique. The Missa Choralis (S 10), composed in 1865, and the Requiem for male choir (S 12), written in memory of Emperor Maximilian, belong to the best of his oeuvre, while the Hungarian Coronation Mass (S 11), completed in 1869, is a more formal, occasional work. The two grandiose oratorios, Die Legende von der heiligen Elisabeth (S 2) and Christus (S 3), are both long, the first taking three hours and the second even more. Neither of these oratorios is homogeneous in style and quality, but each remains of considerable artistic value. Both contain delicately orchestrated and beautiful movements. Christus, especially, contains highly dramatic and moving sections. Liszt also composed a number of small sacred choral works often with organ accompaniment. Mihi autem adhaerere (S 37), Pater noster (S 49), and Tantum ergo (S 42) are expressive works, reduced to essentials and composed with the most economic tools, representing Liszt’s late, ascetic style. In 1862 he composed the beautiful Cantico del Sol di Francesco d’Assisi (S 4) for baritone solo, male choir, and organ that he revised between 1880 and 1881.

His musical language in his Roman period include more extensive and freer use of chromaticism and more frequent use of Gregorian melodies, modality, and his individual neo-modality. Liszt uses Hungarian elements with ever greater frequency in a more and more idealized, abstract, and individual manner. His piano works move toward impressionism, and his sacred works begin to shed any superfluous elements. All of these changes intensify further in his last period, La vie trifurquee.

1869-1886 Weimar-Rome-Pest

This closing chapter of Liszt’s activities lasts seventeen years and constitutes the longest distinct compositional period of his life. When he left Rome in January 1869 at the persuasion of Grand Duke Carl Alexander to continue his work in Weimar, he was fifty-seven. When he died at the end of July 1886, he was nearly seventy-five.

The average person and the majority of artists who reach this age are past their creative best. That was not the case with Liszt. Apart from Verdi and Wagner, Liszt was an exception to this rule in the nineteenth century. Arguably, he composed his most mature, intriguing, and expressive works in this last period despite his disappointments and sufferings from melancholy as well as from his physical decline in health. On 4 February 1876 he expressed his own opinion of these works to Olga von Meyendorff, noting his “increasingly poor opinion of my things.” However, the end of his career, unlike of those of Verdi and Wagner, was not a brilliant conclusion, full of fresh inspiration like Otello and Falstaff or a self-apotheosis like Parsifal. Liszt’s culmination as a composer meant reducing his art to the essential and maintaining a certain unfinished and fragmentary quality that would lead into twentieth-century music.

His style of life as well differed from that of significant composers who reached his age. While many would live in their own homes in perfect comfort, the old Liszt—although complaining about the strains of journeying, and claiming “more than ever, my most ardent wish is to live in seclusion, away from the world, not involved in things—just as you would wish” — the old abbe could not relax in one place. He became a type of Flying Dutchman. Each year of his final period Liszt shuttled between his three “permanent residences,” creating his threefold life that he referred to as ma vie trifurquee. He usually spent his summers in Weimar where he lived in the Grand Ducal gardener’s residence known as the Hofgartnerei. He often spent his falls in Rome, living in different places including the Vicolo de’ Greci, no. 65 Via del Babuino (the princess lived in no. 89 of this street!), in Hotel Alibert, or near Rome in Tivoli at the Villa d’Este. Between November and April Liszt stayed the longest part of each year in the Hungarian capital Pest (called Budapest after November 1873). He lived at 20 Palatine street, 4 Fish Square (which became the first temporary residence of the new Music Academy), in the Hotel Hungaria on the shore of the Danube, and at last in Radial street (today: Andrassy street)—residence of the Music Academy (today called “Old Music Academy”) where the Liszt Museum and the Liszt Society are today. These three distant towns—Weimar, Rome, and Budapest—formed the axis of his life where he spent weeks or months nearly every year. There were some exceptions, however. In 1874 he did not go to Weimar because of his resentment against Grand Duke Carl Alexander who omitted sponsoring Wagner’s theatre and festival in Bayreuth. In 1872, 1876, 1882, and 1883, he did not return at all to Rome because of his anger with Princess Carolyne. He was upset with the princess’s incitement against Cosima and Wagner in the 1870s and her new notorious edition of his “Gypsy Book” in 1881 without his consent.

These were only the “permanent” residences, however. Annually, he visited his cousin Eduard Liszt and his family in Vienna, usually at Easter. From 1873 he often visited the Wagners in Bayreuth, usually in August. In addition, he often was the guest of royal and ducal families in Germany and the Netherlands or attended various music festivals in Germany or Zurich. He returned to Paris in 1878 as one of the judges at the World Exhibition and paid visits to illustrious friends in different parts of Italy, Austria, and Hungary. In 1881, 1882, and 1885 he was honoured by festivals in Belgium, organized as hommages a Liszt, and during his last spring, he took part at the brilliant celebrations given in his honour in Paris and London. Had his death not prevented him, he would have accepted an invitation to St. Petersburg. “Believe me,” wrote von Biilow to his daughter Daniela in December 1881, “movement is a need, a medicine for him [Liszt]. It belongs to his diet.”

Liszt did not long for an elegant home of his own. He lived modestly and his way of life was unbelievably ascetic. He absolutely did not care for money. He taught his students without charge and was always ready to help almost everyone who asked. After he had retired as a touring virtuoso, he continued to raise large sums for charitable and cultural purposes, although he himself owned little.

In his “twilight years,” Liszt—the travelling black-clad abbe, speaking French and German with sparkling wittiness—could upon occasion be heard as a conductor or a pianist (where he remained unrivalled). With his Mephistophelean smile and sarcastic humour, his wonderful eyes and long white hair, his legendary goodness and tolerance, his brilliant culture and manners of a grand seigneur, Liszt remained a captivating, colourful personality with a magic emanation until his end. He still drove the ladies wild and enjoyed the homage of young female pupils who swarmed around him in spite of his growing warts, false or missing teeth, or neglected external appearance (including his wornout cassock and shabby slippers he had to wear because of his dropsy, which are to be seen now in the Bayreuth Liszt-Museum). He remained a great, radiating, often impetuous, and indefatigable personality, even during the last months filled with great ovations in Western Europe—although upon occasion he fell asleep during a dinner given in his honour.

The extreme contradictions of his character became crystallized. As often as he actually attained the yearned-for creative solitude, he suffered from it as well. He passionately wished for the world and its homage as a man and an artist. The grim struggle against “the old and bitter enemy which is not the little devil of going out into society, but the real demon of extremity in emotion and excitation!” dwelling within him, raged on. He smoked cigars and consumed increasing quantities of alcohol. Carl Lachmund recorded that in 1882 Liszt drank “daily one bottle of cognac and two or three bottles of wine” in addition to drinking absinthe upon occasion. Through his undiminished and sincere faith, nevertheless, Liszt managed to survive his deep depression, weariness of life, and constant dissatisfaction with his own compositions in this last, declining period of health and life.

In his old age Liszt was celebrated in several countries. He had many admirers, but with the passing of time, several fell away from him. He continued to have lady-friends, old and new ones who came forward with arbitrary demands. In addition to the princess, Baroness Olga von Meyendorff nee Princess Gortchakova (1838-1926) filled this role. He had some faithful pupils of both sexes—in particular Lina Schmalhausen, August Gollerich, August Stradal, Bernhard Stavenhagen, and Istvan Thoman—who cared for him until the end. Yet he had no close and altruistic friend of his own to whom he could have spoken freely about his intellectual, physical, or psychological problems. Cosima could have been the only suitable person for this task, but she was under the complete influence of Wagner and cared only for her husband and Bayreuth. The ageing Liszt was poor, homeless, and lonely after all.

Liszt remained an extraordinary teacher. In Weimar numerous students, several of whom flocked to him solely because of his fame, surrounded him. In Rome his teaching was in a more intimate setting. In Budapest, where he was appointed President of the new Academy of Music in 1875, he taught classes from four to six o’clock four times a week. He consumed a great amount of his time and energy with house concerts held in his apartment in Fish square and later in the concert hall of Radial street. He also was confronted with bureaucratic misunderstandings in Hungary because of its historic and economic situation. Hungary had only recently, after the compromise with Austria in 1867, embarked on a bourgeois and capitalist development. The general attitude, nevertheless, did not keep up with the industrial revolution. Hungary remained stingy, feudal, and provincial in many respects.

His earlier works were played sometimes in Germany, Prague, Vienna, the Netherlands, Belgium, Zurich, and Rome. Performances of his work even spread to America because of the efforts of the conductor Leopold Damrosch. His music was heard little in Paris and London until near his death. In Italy only a narrow circle who had no interest in his secular music esteemed Liszt as a master of sacred music. Because of his presence in Rome, nonetheless, orchestras and chamber ensembles grew in the city, and Liszt often gave advice to the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia. His church music continued to be neglected in Rome and by the German Cecilians in Regensburg.

Liszt was celebrated at first in Hungary. The country felt honoured to have its great master at home for part of the year. King Francis Joseph granted him the rank of a councillor and an annual fee of 4,000 Forints. In 1873 Hungary brilliantly commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of his artistic career, and this tribute gave Liszt great pleasure. On 12 November 1873 he wrote to Cosima: “the success of this feast extraordinary indeed, is complete. No dissonance has troubled the general agreement.” He soon found he was laden with “obligations and irritations quite contrary to what I desire” while back in his native land. He continued in his letter to the princess on 7 October 1870: “Now I am to be thrust back into a busy life, and my friends devolve upon me the heavy burden of seeing to the prosperity and glory of all music, sacred and secular, in Hungary!”

Yet, Liszt accepted his burden, and largely because of his self-sacrifices, music institutions and musical life flourished in Hungary. Unfortunately, after a certain time, Hungary grew accustomed to his presence and gradually took him for granted, perhaps, in part, because of its provincial attitude and old resentment concerning his errors in the unfortunate “Gypsy book.” (By declaring in his book that Hungarian national music was of Gypsy origin, the Hungarian state refused to initiate him being buried in his native land.)

To make matters worse, the princess, without Liszt’s knowledge, republished the book in Leipzig in 1881 with all the old errors intact. In addition, the fiercely anti-Semitic princess rewrote and enlarged the chapter “Les Israelites,” adding to the allegations in the earlier version and including the latest slogans of the new race theory. In effect, she formulated one of the first inciting documents on the persecution of the Jews. Not only was this publication an absolutely unfair gesture towards the composer, it could not have happened at a worse historical moment. At the time, of all national minorities of Hungary, it was the Jews, at last achieving their emancipation, who most sincerely desired to become assimilated. Although the Government was liberal, a Parliament Party called “Anti-Semitic” existed promoting anti-Semitic manifestations. Consequently, in 1882, a false “blood trial” started, preceding the Dreyfuss affair in France by some years. A poor kosher butcher of a little village called Tiszaeszlar was accused of killing a young girl to use her blood in the Passover cake. In this tense atmosphere it is easy to imagine what a shocking effect the princess’s chapter (under the abbe” Liszt’s name!) produced. The princess wrote that “the Jews” were a parasite, unable to assimilate, that “their” very existence was a threat to people in their own countries, and that “this perilously noxious, bloodsucking race, thirsting for power, must be forcibly deported to Palestine.” These sentiments conformed perfectly to the slogans of the Anti-Semitic Party in Hungary and of those similar movements in Germany and France. In February 1883, when the Tiszaeszlar trial was still in progress, Liszt felt it necessary—without alluding to the fact that he was not the author of that chapter—to make clear publicly that he was a friend, not an enemy of the Jews. Despite Liszt’s noble attitude, the book had terrible consequences for him in the Budapest and in the Viennese press. His compositions were ill-treated with a prejudiced, stupid hatred equal to the princess’s notorious chapter.

These events contributed to the indifference and hostility with which many Hungarians viewed Liszt in his final years. Even the performance of his earlier works in Germany and the great ovations he enjoyed so much in Paris and London in the spring of 1886 turned out to be temporary. His late works were declared incomprehensible, and the immortality of his art was questioned. In the decades immediately following his death, when the irresistible charm of his personality could no longer win adherents, Liszt was, for a time, a neglected and scorned composer.

Throughout his life Liszt had been an extraordinarily healthy man in spite of his style of life. Walker documented that his “decline into the infirmities of old age can be traced” from 2 July 1881, when he fell down the stairs of the Hofgartnerei. “The accident seemed to trigger a number of ailments that until then had been lying dormant within him—including dropsy, asthma, insomnia, a cataract of the left eye, and chronic heart disease. This latter illness would kill him within five years.” His symptoms included “swelling of the ankles, loss of appetite, feelings of nausea in the mornings, a serious open wound in the right thigh . . . two fractured ribs with the possibility of bruising of the lungs, [and] pleurisy.”

Liszt’s final days were spent in Bayreuth and Luxemburg. Cosima, who had refused to meet her father, write to him, or accept his letters after Wagner’s death in 1883, had, unexpectedly, personally invited him to come to Bayreuth. At the beginning of July 1886, he attended the wedding of his favourite granddaughter Daniela, renting a private flat in Siegfriedstrasse near Villa Wahnfried. (The street is now called Franz Liszt Strasse, and the flat has been transformed into a Liszt Museum.) Then he visited his friends, the Hungarian painter Mihaly Munkacsy and his French wife at their villa in Colpach, Luxemburg. Despite his cold, Liszt returned to the Bayreuth Festival. His cold led to pneumonia, and he died on 31 July 1886. He was buried in Bayreuth in the municipal cemetery.