Published on another Facebook group called FRANZ LISZT, on April 27, 2021. If you want to know how the Story Behind series started, I give details in “Story Behind” Series #1″.
No quote, but this picture was posted and some group members commented: they thought it was a picture of Liszt with his daughter Cosima and Hans von Bülow who was Cosima’s first husband before she married Wagner. This is not the case.
Hello all. This is not a picture representing Cosima, and the man is not Hans von Bülow. It represents his pupil Carl Lachmund and his wife Caroline (nickname: Carrie – this is how she was signing her letters to her friends and family members). Lachmund was a late pupil of Liszt. He attended his masterclasses in Weimar from 1882 to 1884. They became friends, and Liszt allowed Caroline to become a guest to the lessons, which was a great privilege. Carl and Caroline were American. Liszt didn’t particularly like the English language but he appreciated the roaster of American pupils, who were always full of joy and surprises, organizing parties with American songs and compositions of their own. The Master was always invited. This picture was taken by Louis Held in 1884, shortly before the couple left Weimar. Liszt used to go for daily walks in the park just behind his house (he was living in the Hofgärtnerei, which means House of the Gardner). This particular day of June 1884, he proposed to the couple to join him in his walk. Louis Held, who was spending hours in the Hofgärtnerei to take pictures of Liszt with his pupils, suggested to take one of the three friends. The details of the friendship between Carl Lachmund et Franz Liszt are available in the book “Living with Liszt, Diary of Carl Lachmund, an American Pupil of Liszt, 1882-1884”. As for Cosima, she was not close to her father, and definitely not tender.* They were never very close, it can be seen in the numerous letters they exchanged. Cosima felt that he was always absent, from her childhood to her young adulthood. Some would argue that she married Hans von Bülow, who was one of the favorite pupils of Liszt, only to get closer to his father. When she dated and then later married Wagner, Liszt refused to see his daughter and his friend Richard for many months. And the story of the end of Liszt’s life is also poignant. Cosima literally abandoned his sick father and forbade some of his close friends to visit the dying man. For those interested, the book “The Death of Franz Liszt, based on the Unpublished Diary of his Pupil Lina Schmalhausen” is relating the ten last days of the Master. I was in shock when I read it for the first time and still am today.
* I was reacting to a comment saying that it was touching to see the tender relationship between Cosima and her father.