Since the summer is over, I wanted to publish a new “story behind” before my schedule gets too busy with my Fall 2022 activities. Instead of a story based on a photograph of Liszt, I propose the story behind a statue of Liszt, which can be seen where I live, in the city of Toronto in Canada. Recently, I was at Toronto’s famous concert hall, Koerner Hall, part of the Royal Conservatory of Music (now called Oscar Peterson School of Music), for a rehearsal. Somewhere in the building, a statue of Liszt can be admired. I posted pictures on social media. Intrigued, some of my Lisztian friends in France asked for more details.
On August 18, 2022, I gave a conference about Liszt and Sacred Music with Françoise Quédeville-Marmey in the Morvan area in France, in Saint-Léger-sous-Beuvray. We shared the task, between biographical elements and musical examples. This conference was organized by the French Liszt Association, called “Sur les pas de Liszt”, in collaboration with the vocal workshop “Musiques Buissonnières” that happened during the week, with a concert on Friday night.
I am preparing my summer 2022 research trip. I will stop in Paris, Bonn, Weimar, and Budapest. Each archive has a lot of interesting pictures, and I was wondering which ones I could focus on for this new post. One of the last pictures of Liszt taken by Nadar is hanging on my wall. While selecting the documents for my trip, I came across a digitalized version on the BnF website of the series taken by the talented Nadar in Paris in March 1886. Since these images are in the public domain, I thought you might enjoy seeing the whole series. I will associate each picture with its reference.
I published a new Liszt pictures video on my YouTube channel. This one was made with the colorization algorithm available on MyHeritage (I used one of their algorithms to generate the animated pictures). All pictures used have different qualities. Like I did for the animated pictures, I wanted to see how the tool would treat damaged or striped pictures. The result is quite satisfying.
I met Bernhard Ruchti, a Swiss pianist, organist and composer, when I was writing a paper about Franz Liszt’s organ works. I discovered Bernhard’s video recording of “Ad nos, ad salutarem undam”. I got intrigued and watched other videos produced by Bernhard about tempo in the 19th century performance practices. I wrote an article about his work. In December 2021, I met him to interview him.
This picture of Liszt triggered an interesting challenge for me. It is signed by Liszt with the inscription “15 septembre 79”. In the comment accompanying the picture, that I can confirm, it was mentioned that all sources (including Ernst Burger) dated it 1881. The current “story behind” will attempt to reply to the following question: was this picture – and by extension the other pictures of the series taken by Ganz in Brussels – taken in 1879 or 1881?
This picture is part of a series of photographs taken in Munich in September or October 1867 by Joseph Albert. Among them, the famous picture of Liszt sitting at the piano with Ede Reményi and Nándor Plotényi. As for the picture I chose, I like it because it is the only one of the series in which we see Liszt smile. I like his pose too. Maybe he was told that he always looked serious, and it would be nice to have at least one picture of him smiling.
Two weeks ago, I posted a “story behind” about an 1871 series of Liszt pictures taken by Fritz Luckhardt in Vienna. I mentioned that Liszt liked these pictures a lot and ordered some copies to sign for friends and to be used as visit cards. In October 2020, the Liszt Museum Foundation of the Liszt Academy in Budapest purchased one of these visit cards signed by Liszt’s hand. It is rare enough to be acknowledged here. The picture posted is the one that was acquired.
In 1871, the photographer Fritz Luckhardt took a series of pictures of Liszt in Vienna. Here is the story behind these pictures. On April 23rd, 1871, Liszt arrived in Vienna. As he was doing each time he was in the Viennese city, he stayed at the Schottenhof, his uncle Franz von Liszt’s place, for some quiet time with his family. It is during this period that Luckhardt took the series of pictures. Luckhardt was known for his portraits of famous personalities of the time.
“F. Liszt à Gabriel Fauré, haute estime et affectueux dévouement.” This picture was signed by Franz Liszt for Gabriel Fauré, who he had met through his teacher Camille Saint-Saëns in 1877 when the two French composers visited Liszt in Weimar. Liszt and Fauré stayed in touch and met again when Fauré was attending Wagner’s operas in Bayreuth. The picture was taken in 1881 but signed in July 1882, when Fauré visited Liszt in Zürich.