excerpt from 'Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character' pp. 226-227 (275 words)

excerpt from 'Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character' pp. 226-227 (275 words)

part of

Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

226-227

type

text excerpt

encoded value

To hear him [Franz Liszt] play his own compositions or arrangements in private was almost to hear him extemporise. When performing them in public, I believe he usually adhered to their printed text ; but in the salon or club-room (as when I listened to him during a soirée given by the German Club at Rome, in December, 1869), surrounded by intimate friends or approved musicians, he could seldom resist the temptation of trying experiments in the way of treatments or cadences, and especially delighted in surprising those familiar with his piano-forte works, by interpolating therein new episodes or novel effects. I particularly remember hearing him dealing in this irreverent and startling way with his admirable transcriptions of Faust and The Flying Dutchman, to the rapturous astonishment of all the pianists present, who were "note-perfect" in those chefs-d'œuvre of mechanical contrivance. Upon the occasion referred to, Cardinal Haynald, Liszt's dearest friend and the companion of his boyhood — himself, moreover, an excellent pianist — who, like myself, was standing close to the piano, threw his arms round his illustrious fellow-countryman's neck, kissed him on both cheeks, and then, turning to the electrified group of listeners, exclaimed, "Was there ever such a God-gifted creature, so fertile in invention, so strangely enabled to realise in sound the beautiful thoughts that incessantly surge up from the depths of his soul to its surface? We must all reverence as well as love this great man, recognising in him an elect recipient of Divine favour, grace, and inspiration!"That night was an ambrosial one, ever to be gratefully remembered by those who were privileged to participate in its delights. 

To hear him [Franz Liszt] play his own compositions or arrangements in private was almost to hear him extemporise. When performing them in public, I believe he usually adhered to their printed text ; but in the salon or club-room (as when I listened to him during a soirée given by the German Club at Rome, in December, 1869), surrounded by intimate friends or approved musicians, he could seldom resist the temptation of trying experiments in the way of treatments or cadences, and especially delighted in surprising those familiar with his piano-forte works, by interpolating therein new episodes or novel effects. I particularly remember hearing him dealing in this irreverent and startling way with his admirable transcriptions of Faust and The Flying Dutchman, to the rapturous astonishment of all the pianists present, who were "note-perfect" in those chefs-d'œuvre of mechanical contrivance. Upon the occasion referred to, Cardinal Haynald, Liszt's dearest friend and the companion of his boyhood — himself, moreover, an excellent pianist — who, like myself, was standing close to the piano, threw his arms round his illustrious fellow-countryman's neck, kissed him on both cheeks, and then, turning to the electrified group of listeners, exclaimed, "Was there ever such a God-gifted creature, so fertile in invention, so strangely enabled to realise in sound the beautiful thoughts that incessantly surge up from the depths of his soul to its surface? We must all reverence as well as love this great man, recognising in him an elect recipient of Divine favour, grace, and inspiration!"That night was an ambrosial one, ever to be gratefully remembered by those who were privileged to participate in its delights. 

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excerpt from 'Music and manners; personal reminiscences and sketches of character' pp. 226-227 (275 words)

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