Poémes symphoniques de F. Liszt. Franz LISZT.
Poémes symphoniques de F. Liszt.

Poémes symphoniques de F. Liszt.

Weimar: Hof-Buchdruckerei, [1854]. Quarto. Early plain green wrappers. 15 leaves in total: 1f. (recto title with contents, verso blank), 1f. (Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne), 1f. (blank), 1f. (Tasso), 1f. (blank), 1f. (Les Préludes), 1f. (blank), 1f. (Orphée), 1f. (blank), 1f. (Prométhée), 1f. (blank), 2ff. (Mazeppa), 2ff. (Héroïde funèbre). Printed on light blue paper. Parallel text in French and German.

Wrappers slightly worn and browned. Very occasional foxing throughout. In exceptionally good condition overall.

A private printing of Liszt's original prefaces. Rare (two copies only located in the U.S., at Eastman and NYPL; three copies in Germany).

Liszt apparently had this small booklet printed in 1854 to distribute to his friends and colleagues. It includes prefaces and the texts of Liszt's poetic inspirations in both French and German.

These prefaces sometimes differ from the versions that were included with the printed scores. In particular, the preface for Les Préludes is much longer, and there is a complete preface to Mazeppa in addition to Hugo's poem. These texts do not appear to have been printed elsewhere, except for in Theodor Müller-Reuter's Lexicon der deutschen Konzertliteratur (Kahnt, 1909); see pp. 266-267, 297-300, and 311-312.

The title page contains a list of the first series of nine symphonic poems: Ce qu'on entend sur la montagne, Tasso, Les Préludes, Orphée, Prométhée, Mazeppa, Fest-Klänge, Héroïde funébre, and Hungaria; there is, however, nothing printed for either Fest-Klänge or Hungaria, confirmed by Müller-Reuter.

"Around 1853 Liszt introduced the term ‘Symphonische Dichtung’ (‘Symphonic Poem’) to describe a growing body of one-movement orchestral compositions, programmatically conceived. ‘New wine demands new bottles’, he once declared. The language of music was changing; it seemed pointless to Liszt to contain it in forms that were almost 100 years old. In the symphonic poems there are shifts in structural emphasis: recapitulations are foreshortened while codas assume developmental proportions and themes are reshuffled into new and unexpected chronologies, with contrasting subjects integrated by means of thematic metamorphosis. ... Several of the symphonic poems deal with exceptional heroes – Hamlet, Mazeppa, Orpheus, Tasso, Prometheus – characters who confront overwhelming odds or find themselves in an impossible dilemma. Liszt identified with such protagonists throughout his life." Alan Walker in Grove Music Online. Item #31307

Price: $600.00  other currencies

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