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.