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The Collected Writings of Franz Liszt: Essays and Letters of a Traveling Bachelor of Music [Hardcover]

Janita R. Hall-Swadley

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Book Description

April 20 2012 0810882671 978-0810882676 1
During his early years, Franz Liszt worked as a traveling piano virtuoso, his adventures highlighted by his entrée into the literary world as a correspondent for the most popular French journals of his time. In this second volume of Janita Hall-Swadley’s The Collected Writings of Franz Liszt, Liszt’s work as a music essayist and journalist is on full display.  In his essays, readers will see the influence of the revolutionary theories of Hugues-Felicité Robert de Lamennais, Victor Hugo, and François-René de Chateaubriand as Liszt boldly calls for social reforms on behalf of musicians and musical institutions, from demands for a repertoire of church music of divine praise to the timely publication of inexpensive music editions. In addition to Liszt’s scandalous review of Sigismond Thalberg and the fiery exchange that ensued, the essays include his testimonies to living composers Giacomo Meyerbeer and Robert Schumann and the recently deceased  Niccolò Paganini. Alongside the essay, this new translation of Liszt’s letters opens a window onto the composer’s immersion in the Italian countryside, where he paints a portrait of a rich musical landscape. Liszt regales his correspondents with amusing anecdotes at Sand’s Italian country estate in Nohant, describes the beautiful landscape and artistic treasures of Italy from his residence on Lake Como, defends himself from Heinrich Heine’s accusations of his “ill-seated” character, discusses the religious aesthetic of Raphael’s painting, and offers his thoughts on the interconnectedness of all the arts. Including two complete facsimile reproductions of the existing manuscripts for “De la situation des artistes” and “Sur Paganini à propos de sa mort,” Essays and Letters of a Traveling Bachelor of Music is a must-read for student and scholars of 19th-century classical music.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Scarecrow Press; 1 edition (April 20 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810882671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810882676
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 862 g

Product Description


An English version of Ramann’s translation is an important contribution to Liszt research as she not only completed the Gesammelte Schriften but also completed a biography of Liszt (between 1880 and 1894) that was informed directly by Liszt and Sayn-Wittgenstein. Access to her work gives English-speaking audiences insight into the ways in which Liszt wanted to be understood as a cultural subject and critic. Readers are also made aware of the professional quality of Ramann’s work. Hall- Swadley champions Ramann’s translation in comparison to the translation of the first volume of Liszt’s writings completed by Marie Lipsius who used the pen name La Mara. ... Hall-Swadley’s extensive sixty-page introduction provides a plethora of information to help the reader contextualize the production of the translation and topics Liszt discusses in the essays and letters. ... The end of the introduction includes a discussion of the translation process, which is helpful when considering that this collection is an English translation of a German translation of the French articles. Hall-Swadley provides a great deal of documentation for each essay and letter with specific comments on translation issues, helpful historical information and notes from Liszt, Ramann, and Maurice Schlesinger, the editor of the Gazette musicale. By altering typeface, Hall-Swadley makes it clear when voices other than Liszt’s appear in the notes for the translations. ... This volume is a helpful resource for musicians and non-musicians alike. While providing an English version of Liszt’s commentary on the state of artists and art during the 1830s, Hall-Swadley connects these writings to other important cultural figures, explains the impact Liszt’s ideas had on the production and performance of music, and elucidates the rich collaboration between Liszt and Ramann. (Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association)

Janita R. Hall-Swadley’s central goal with her new edition of The Collected Writings of Franz Liszt is to communicate the essential meaning of these essays as they were understood by late nineteenth-century readers. She accomplishes this in many ways. The edition succeeds in relating the contents of Liszt’s writings... The inaugural volumes of Hall-Swadley’s new English edition are a promising start to what will be a substantial and beneficial addition to Liszt scholarship. For non-German readers, the complete edition offers a fascinating look at the reception history in Germany of Liszt the composer, performer and, most importantly, public intellectual. (Music & Letters)

About the Author

Janita R. Hall-Swadley is a music researcher and German translator. She received her formal music training in musicology, piano performance, 19th-century philosophy, and German studies at Florida State University, The Boston Conservatory, and the University of North Texas. Her music focus is concentrated in the 19th century, especially in the independent study of the music and ideologies of Franz Liszt and Robert Schumann.

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