Published on Franz Liszt Group, April 15, 2021. If you want to know how the Story Behind series started, I give details in “Story Behind” Series #1″.
In life one must decide whether to conjugate the verb to have or the verb to be.
Story behind, and conversation:
Do you know the source of this quote?
It appears in Cosima Wagner’s book about his father, called “Franz Liszt: Ein Gedenkblatt von seiner Tochter” published in 1911.
Story time 🙂 The picture we see here, a pretty famous one, was taken in October 1867 by the photographer Franz Hanfstaengl. It is incomplete, though. The full picture represents Liszt sitting in a wooden armchair and holding a handkerchief. It was taken in Munich, during a trip from Rome to Lucerne. Liszt was a constant traveler. Where it relates to the quote posted, is that at the time this picture was taken, Liszt was going to Lucerne to meet with Cosima and face the Wagner & Cosima relationship for the first time. Long story short, he already knew about it as it was a great scandal at the time, ongoing since 1864 while Cosima was still married to one of Liszt’s favorite pupils, Hans von Bülow. Liszt was angry with his daughter after he discovered the love affair and decided not to talk to Cosima and Richard for quite a long time. He wrote to Cosima to express his disappointment. But it had to wait until October 1867 for them to meet again, and to reconcile. This picture was taken in Munich in October 1867, just before going to Lucerne. Interestingly, the quote is given by Cosima in her book about her father. When we know the relationship between the two, it is hard to know if he really said it or not. But I agree, it is a great quote, and Liszt definitely could have said this 🙂
(Note: It was after that conversation that I realized I was not the only person interested in sources on this group.)