excerpt from 'Music-Study in Germany: The Classic Memoir of the Romantic Era' pp. 263-264 (410 words)

excerpt from 'Music-Study in Germany: The Classic Memoir of the Romantic Era' pp. 263-264 (410 words)

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

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We had our last lesson from Liszt a few days ago, and he leaves Weimar next week. He was so hurried with engagements the last two times that he was not able to give us much attention. I played my Rubinstein concerto. He accompanied me himself on a second piano.We were there about six o'clock P. M. Liszt was out, but he had left word that if we came we were to wait. About seven he came in, and the lamps were lit. He was in an awful humour, and I never saw him so out of spirits. "How is it with our concerto?" said he to me, for he had told me the time before to send for the second piano accompaniment, and he would play it with me. I told him that unfortunately there existed no second piano part. "Then, child, you've fallen on your head, if you don't know that at least you must have a second copy of the concerto!" I told him I knew it by heart. "Oh!" said he, in a mollified tone. So he took my copy and played the orchestra part which is indicated above the piano part, and I played without notes. I felt inspired, for the piano I was at was a magnificent grand that Steinway presented to Liszt only the other day. Liszt was seated at another grand facing me, and the room was dimly illuminated by one or two lamps. A few artists were sitting about in the shadow. It was at the twilight hour, "l'heure du mystère," as the poetic Gurickx used to say, and in short, the occasion was perfect, and couldn't happen so again. You see we always have our lessons in the afternoon, and it was a mere chance that it was so late this time. So I felt as if I were in an electric state. I had studied the piece so much that I felt perfectly sure of it, and then with Liszt's splendid accompaniment and his beautiful face to look over to—it was enough to bring out everything there was in one. If he had only been himself I should have had nothing more to desire, but he was in one of his bitter, sarcastic moods. However, I went rushing on to the end—like a torrent plunging down into darkness, I might say—for it was the end, too, of my lessons with Liszt!

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excerpt from 'Music-Study in Germany: The Classic Memoir of the Romantic Era' pp. 263-264 (410 words)


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