excerpt from 'Music-Study in Germany: The Classic Memoir of the Romantic Era' pp. 253-258 (403 words)

excerpt from 'Music-Study in Germany: The Classic Memoir of the Romantic Era' pp. 253-258 (403 words)

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

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The other day an excursion was arranged to Sondershausen, a town about three hours' ride from Weimar in the cars. There was to be a concert there in honour of Liszt, and a whole programme of his music was to be performed. About half a dozen of the "Lisztianer"—as the Weimarese dub Liszt's pupils—agreed to go, I, of course, being one. Liszt himself, the Countess von X. and Count S. were to lead the party...

After dinner he [Liszt] said, "Now let us go and see Fräulein Fichtner." Fräulein Fichtner was the young lady who was going to play his concerto in A major at the concert that evening. She is a well-known pianist in Germany, and is both pretty and brilliant...

The concert hall was behind the palace and seemed to form a part of it... I was amazed at the orchestra, which was very large and played gloriously. It seemed to me as fine as that of the Gewandhaus in Leipsic, though I suppose it cannot be.—"Why has no one ever mentioned this orchestra to me?" I asked of Kellermann, who sat next, "and how is it one finds such an orchestra in such a place?" "Oh," said he, "this orchestra is very celebrated, and the Prince of Sondershausen is a great patron of music." This is the way it is in Germany. Every now and then one has these surprises. You never know when you are going to stumble upon a jewel in the most out-of-the-way corner.

We were all greatly excited over Fräulein Fichtner's playing, and it seemed very jolly to be behind the scenes, as it were, and to have one of our own number performing. We applauded tremendously when she came out. She was not nervous in the least, but began with great aplomb, and played most beautifully. The concerto made a generally dazzling and difficult impression upon me, but did not "take hold" of me particularly. I do not know how Liszt was pleased with her rendering of it, for I had no opportunity of asking him. She also played his Fourteenth Rhapsody with orchestral accompaniment in most bold and dashing style. Fräulein Fichtner is more in the bravura than in the sentimental line, and she has a certain breadth, grasp, and freshness. The last piece on the programme was Liszt's Choral Symphony, which was magnificent.

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excerpt from 'Music-Study in Germany: The Classic Memoir of the Romantic Era' pp. 253-258 (403 words)


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