excerpt from 'Music-Study in Germany: The Classic Memoir of the Romantic Era' pp. 208-209 (337 words)

excerpt from 'Music-Study in Germany: The Classic Memoir of the Romantic Era' pp. 208-209 (337 words)

part of

Music-Study in Germany: The Classic Memoir of the Romantic Era

original language

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

in pages

208-209

type

text excerpt

encoded value

After he had finished his cigar, Liszt got up and said, "America is now to have the floor," and requested Miss W. to play for him. This was a dreadful ordeal for us new arrivals, for we had not expected to be called upon. I began to quake inwardly, for I had been without a piano for nearly a week, and was not at all prepared to play to him, while Miss W. had been up since five o'clock in the morning, and had travelled all day. However, there was no getting off. A request from Liszt is a command, and Miss W. sat down, and acquitted herself as well as could have been expected under the circumstances. Liszt waved his hand and nodded his head from time to time, and seemed pleased, I thought. He then called upon Leitert, who played a composition of Liszt's own most beautifully. Liszt commended him and patted him on the back. As soon as Leitert had finished, I slipped off into the back room, hoping Liszt would forget all about me, but he followed me almost immediately, like a cat with a mouse, took both my hands in his, and said in the most winning way imaginable, "Mademoiselle, vous jouerez quelque-chose, n'est-ce-pas?" I can't give you any idea of his persuasiveness, when he chooses. It is enough to decoy you into anything. It was such a desperate moment that I became reckless, and without even telling him that I was out of practice and not prepared to play, I sat down and plunged into the A flat major Ballade of Chopin, as if I were possessed. The piano had a splendid touch, luckily. Liszt kept calling out "Bravo" every minute or two, to encourage me, and somehow, I got through. When I had finished, he clapped his hands and said, "Bravely played." He asked with whom I had studied, and made one or two little criticisms. I hoped he would shove me aside and play it himself, but he didn't.

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excerpt from 'Music-Study in Germany: The Classic Memoir of the Romantic Era' pp. 208-209 (337 words)

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