On the Occasion of the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Ferenc Liszt

… With courageous

faith you spread the fame of Hungarian music,

and in distant lands do not forget

where they once rocked Ferenc Liszt’s cradle.

(lines from the poem To Ferenc Liszt, by Mihály Vörösmarty)

Ferenc Liszt was born in 1811 and died in 1886. He was the first Hungarian composer of European (and later world) renown, and perhaps after Béla Bartók the second greatest. At a press conference held on October 22nd, 2010, the 199th anniversary of Liszt’s birthday, State Secretary for Culture Géza Szőcs spoke of the “fortunate coincidence” that in the first half of 2011 Hungary will assume the presidency of the European Union. “At the suggestion of the Hungarian UNESCO committee,” Szőcs noted, “UNESCO has included the anniversary of Liszt’s birth in the series of the commemorative programmes held in honour of the world’s most significant personalities.”

Hungary could hardly have a more engaging and felicitous representative than Ferenc Liszt. He was an extraordinary performer whose incomparable virtuosity was legendary, as well as a first-rate conductor and revolutionary pianist. He was also an exceptional pedagogue who taught generations of musicians and pianists, becoming a kind of forefather to many of Hungary’s finest virtuosos. He was a significant author and innovative composer of pioneering masterpieces. He transformed the musical language of his day and had a strong influence on his contemporaries and later generations of composers alike. Without Ferenc Liszt, European music would not have developed as it did. The list of his admirers in the latter half of the 19th century includes composers and performers like Czechs Smetana and Dvořák, Frenchmen Gabriel Fauré and Camille Saint-Saëns, and Russians Mussorgsky, Borodin, and the other members of “The Five,” and in the 20th century Claude Debussy, Arnold Schönberg, and of course Béla Bartók, who along with Ernő Dohnányi studied piano under István Thomán, a former student of Liszt’s, and as a composer can in many respects be seen as Liszt’s successor. Bartók’s 1936 inaugural address at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences was on the work of Liszt.

Ferenc Liszt was a unique figure in the history of music in Hungary and the world. He was a handsome and irresistibly attractive man who boasted a broad knowledge of culture and the arts. He was an elegant grand-seigneur with a lively and at times sarcastic sense of humour. He was also a man of tremendous generosity who gave considerable contributions to further cultural and charitable aims in various European countries. With the exception of his early years, when he supported first his parents and then his widowed mother by teaching piano, he never accepted money from his students. He was not a man of professional envy. Through his performances, the publication of his transcriptions, his essays, his recommendations, and his generous financial support he helped great predecessors and contemporaries achieve recognition and renown. He was a man of no national or religious prejudices, a true citizen of the world. He was above petty squabbles and bickering. He showed respect for every people and every person, and he befriended people who held views fundamentally different from his own. A man of humble origins and in France, moreover, a foreigner, Liszt possessed a strong sense of artistic self-awareness and social sensitivity, even as a young man. He endeavoured to assist artists less fortunate than he both in theory and practice, striving to help them secure social and financial recognition and security. He was raised in a devout Catholic family and his faith remained a determining part of his life up until his death, sustaining him in periods of trial and tribulation. In his youth he attended the convocations of the Followers of Saint Simon, and the Christian and socially minded teachings of his mentor, priest Félicité de Lamennais, who was later excommunicated, remained important to him throughout his life. Liszt believed that the artist, and in particular the musician, had a mission to ennoble humankind and spread peace among peoples. At the end of his essay on Paganini he wrote his watchword: “Génie oblige,” or “genius bears obligation.” He was a member of several Freemasonry Lodges, and he did not withdraw even when he lived in Rome, where such groups were blacklisted. He was always drawn to the priestly calling, even in his youth. In June 1857 he was initiated into the Society of Franciscan Confrčres in Pest and in April 1865 he took minor orders in Rome and became an abbot.

Liszt, the quintessential European artist, always described himself as Hungarian, from his first performance to his death, in spite of the fact that, like many of his eminent contemporaries, he never learned Hungarian.

As a wunderkind growing up in Hungary Liszt was exposed to the distinctive Hungarian “verbunkos” music played by Gypsy ensembles, an international style that had risen to prominence and exerted an inspirational influence on composers like Haydn, Beethoven, and Schubert.

He was very young when he first ventured abroad, travelling at a fortuitous time to fortuitous places from the point of view of his development as a musician. At the age of eleven he moved to Vienna, the capital of classical music at the time, where he studied under Carl Czerny, himself a former student of Beethoven, and Antonio Salieri, who was also an instructor to Schubert. He moved to Paris in 1823, the glimmering, bustling international metropolis, where he became acquainted with significant writers and thinkers of French Romanticism, the English writers and artists who had inspired them, and the great painters and musicians of the day. Their new aesthetics exerted a determining influence on his compositions, and he himself became a leading representative of the movement.

From 1835 to 1839 he lived in Italy and Switzerland with his first life-companion, Countess Marie d’Agoult, with whom he was to have three children. In Switzerland he composed significant works of music expressive of the wondrous landscapes and in Italy he composed works inspired by the verses of great Italian poets Dante and Petrarch and the 14th, 15th, and 16th century masterpieces of the visual arts. These were the first versions of compositions that were later included in the first and second volumes of his most important piano cycles, the Years of Pilgrimage. Between 1839 and 1848 he was celebrated throughout Europe, enjoying fame as a travelling virtuoso similar to that of cult stars of today. He was the king of his instrument, and he was capable of unimaginable feats of virtuosity on the piano, whether performing works he himself had composed in order to demonstrate his technical brilliance, operatic works transcribed for the piano, or the compositions of his predecessors (Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Weber) or contemporaries. The accomplishments he attained over the course of the decade were astounding, physically, intellectually, and artistically. He travelled all over the continent, from Moscow to Gibraltar, Edinburgh to Istanbul by postal coach, boat, and, where possible, train. He gave innumerable concerts and took part in social life, and of course composed.

He was curious about the music of the peoples among whom he travelled, and his exposure to their musical idioms had a fruitful influence on his compositions.

In 1848 he settled in Weimar as the court conductor of the Grand Duke with his second life-companion, princess Carolyne von Sayn-Wittgenstein, who had fled Russia with her daughter. He lived here until 1861. According to many critics and music historians this period was the zenith of his work as a composer. His most famous works were composed in Weimar, including the symphonic poems (a genre of his own invention), the Faust and Dante symphonies, the piano concertos, the psalms, the Esztergom mass and the mass for male chorus, and the B minor piano sonata. Liszt’s great composition cycles for the piano and many of his songs found their final form in Weimar. He had many piano students of tremendous talent. The musical life of the small city thrived largely due to his presence and influence. Many significant earlier and contemporary operas were performed in the court theatre under his conductorship, including the world premier of Lohengrin. On three separate occasions he organized a Berlioz week, during which he conducted various works by his French acquaintance and friend. He often performed in concerts held for the court, and the ensembles comprised of his students and the fine musicians of his orchestra gave first-rate performances of chamber music. The master of Weimar, the pianist who had been almost deified, however, suffered the embittering realization that his work was met from many sides with incomprehension and ridicule. He was derided as the composer of so-called “Zukunftsmusik,” or music of the future. In 1861, as a consequence of theatrical intrigues and problems in his personal life (the princess was eager to journey to Rome in order to hasten her divorce and thereby make it possible for her to marry the great pianist and composer), Liszt was compelled to abandon his work of many years and leave his home in Weimar to follow her to the eternal city, though the two were never actually married.

In Rome Liszt’s principle task was the reform of ecclesiastical music and the enrichment of the music of the liturgy. Charity became increasingly important to him. He longed to be given a position as a musician and composer in the church, though in vain. The works he composed were naturally primarily liturgical or religious in nature. In Rome he completed his oratorio in German on Saint Elizabeth of the Árpád House (Die Legende von Heiligen Elisabeth). He also composed the Missa Choralis, a work intended for the church which combined the fine traditions of ecclesiastical music with his musical innovativeness, as well as the requiem written in memory of Habsburg Emperor Maximilian (who had been killed in Mexico), the Hungarian Coronation Mass, and the monumental Christus Oratorio, which consists of three parts based on texts from the Latin translation of the Bible. In Rome the disappointments he had experienced earlier only proliferated. The Church did not support his reform efforts, nor did it understand or appreciate his ecclesiastical music.

As a man of liberal mindset who had always interpreted his own religiousness subjectively (the Church, not surprisingly, took some exception to aspects of his lifestyle), Liszt came into contact with people of varying convictions and faiths in Rome as well. He maintained friendly relations with people of high rank in the Vatican, and he even visited Pope Pius IX. He often spent time in Tivoli in the Villa d’Este as the guest of cardinal Gustav Hohenlohe. He frequently visited the enlightened prince Michelangelo Caetani de Sermoneta in his palace in Via delle Botteghen Oscure, and he often attended the San Luigi dei Francesi church in Via della Cecchia Dogana, near the Piazza Navona, to hear the sermons of Hyacinthe Loyson, known as Pčre Hyacinthe, another priest who, because of his refusal to accept the doctrine of the infallibility of the Pope, was later excommunicated. But he had friends among members of the so-called Risorgimento (or “Resurgence,” the movement to unite the states of the Italian peninsula) as well, and even among the followers of Garibaldi. A man who showed high regard for all things of value, Liszt had the soul of an Ecumenist. The Revolutionary Symphony of his youth, the Weinen, Klagen variations on a Bach motif, and the late Via Crucis oratorio, for example, all show the influence of the choral music of protestant liturgies.

After the fall of the Papal state in September 1870 and the formation of a unified Italy with Rome as its capital, Liszt, a man sympathetic to both causes, did not care to share in the joys of the victorious or the woes of the defeated. He cared even less to set foot in the German empire, which had triumphed over the French and Napoleon III (whom Liszt somewhat prejudicially favoured). As he happened at the time to be staying in Szekszárd as the guest of his closest Hungarian friend, Baron Antal Augusz, he decided to remain at least for a few months in Hungary, a tranquil country in which he knew he would be given a place on a pedestal.

His life, however, became more intricately intertwined with Hungary than he might have initially imagined. From 1870 until his death he divided his time between his dwellings in Pest, Rome, and Weimar, continuing his tireless and self-sacrificing charity work. He characterized his lifestyle as triangular, with some detours, of course, such as regular travels to visit relatives in Vienna, Bayreuth, Venice, and, towards the end of his life, a triumphant trip to Paris and London full of premier performances. In the spring of 1886, as a sort of last minute gesture, in the cities of Western Europe people sought to make amends for the many disappointments the elderly artist had suffered in earlier decades by finally celebrating him not as a pianist or a charismatic personality, but rather as a composer. At the end of July, during the festival held in his honour, he died in Bayreuth of Pneumonia, an illness for which there were no effective treatments at the time. His physicians were unable to help him. Only on his last day did his daughter Cosima, Richard Wagner’s widow, call a trained nurse to his side, and she did not summon a priest to administer last rites. He was buried in the public cemetery of Bayreuth and eulogized as Wagner’s father-in-law and the benefactor of the city.

In Weimar he composed and taught. Young European and American pianists, devoted admirers of the celebrated virtuoso, arrived in great numbers to attend his master classes (Liszt was the first person to hold such classes). Some of them accompanied him to Pest and Rome. Liszt played an influential role in laying the foundations for symphonic and chamber music in Rome (which as a secular city had become the capital of unified Italy) by giving instruction to Italian pianists and virtuosos from other countries, as well as by serving as advisor to and honorary member of the Santa Cecilia Academy and mentor to the various instrumental ensembles that had formed as a result of his work and influence. But again he failed to win official recognition. In Rome he was forgotten, much as he had been forgotten in Paris and London, as soon as he himself left and his captivating personality no longer held audiences and fellow musicians spellbound. His compositions, in particular his late works, were understood at most by a few of his students.

Liszt’s relationship with Hungary, the third point of his triangular lifestyle, was complex. One could summarize it briefly simply by noting that he gave far more to his homeland than it gave him.

Liszt was in Venice when he got news of the flood of 1838, and he realized with surprise that he felt an attachment to the country of his birth, and that like his friend and rival Chopin, he too had a “distant, wild homeland” which previously had been little more than a curiosity to him. His career as a travelling virtuoso, referred to in his biographies as the “Glanz Periode,” began with the tremendously successful concerts held in 1838 and 1839 in Vienna to gather funds for victims of the flood in Pest. When he returned to Hungary towards the end of 1839 he held a concert in Pozsony (today Bratislava), and at the beginning of 1840 he performed in Pest. Liszt, who had grown up in Paris, was immediately caught in the two conflicting currents of local politics. On the one hand he was hailed with the exuberant fervour of the Reform Era and welcomed by his compatriots with a reception that outdid anything he had experienced abroad. On the other, he was astonished by the censorship of the court in Vienna, which immediately prohibited the performance of his most popular encore, improvisations based on the Rákóczi March. He was celebrated at the time and also during a second concert tour of Hungary (which included Transylvania) as a national hero, a part he enjoyed playing. As someone who had donated a significant share of the expenses for the erection of the statue of Beethoven in Bonn, contributed to the restoration of the Cathedral of Cologne, and considered openhandedness and loyalty distinctive characteristics of the Hungarian nation, in Hungary Liszt himself gave enormous sums in support of various musical, cultural, and charitable undertakings. He showed enthusiastic interest in the style of Hungarian folk music that derived from “verbunkos” music and was played by Gypsy ensembles. His Hungarian rhapsodies introduced this music to the world in captivating, elegantly brilliant adaptations. Liszt was able to reproduce the distinctive sounds of the Hungarian Gypsy ensembles masterfully on the piano. He expressed his thanks to Mihály Vörösmarty for the Hungarian poet’s ode with a symphonic poem entitled Hungaria. Though Liszt, as someone who rejected all forms of violence and favoured the politics of Széchenyi over those of Kossuth, did not take part in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 (Heinrich Heine ridiculed him for this in his poem Im Oktober 1849), he nonetheless felt deep compassion for his compatriots fallen in battle.

He composed the Funérailles, a piece for solo piano, and the symphonic poem Héroďde funčbre in their memory.

In Hungary, with the exception of a few musicians, Liszt came into contact almost exclusively with aristocrats and members of the clergy. But again he demonstrated his tolerance and openness. He befriended conservatives as well as “revolutionaries” who in exile were sentenced to death following the defeat of the Revolution. The promotion and enrichment of Hungarian liturgical music and the composition of new Hungarian works for the Church remained a labour of love for him. But even the 1856 premier of the Esztergom Mass, composed for the occasion of the dedication of the Esztergom Cathedral, was marred by a series of intrigues. Liszt was understood by very few people in his homeland as a composer, a calling for which he indeed had had virtually no formal musical training. A decade later he considered it a great honour to be entrusted, after the signing of the Compromise of 1867, with the task of composing the Hungarian mass for the coronation of Emperor Franz Joseph and empress Elizabeth as the Hungarian royal couple. He was a believer in the dualist monarchy, for though he always described himself as a Hungarian, he referred to Austrians as compatriots. Indeed for personal reasons he even respected the notoriously disreputable Minister of Interior, Baron Alexander von Bach.

His original intention had been to travel around the country with little more than a satchel on his back in order to familiarize himself with the music of the folk, but he never quite managed to realize this plan. Liszt could not speak Hungarian, and the people with whom he came into contact did not know the music of the Hungarian peasantry. In Liszt’s day the music played by Gypsy ensembles, which was blended with his distinctive style of performance and in fact derived from many sources, was referred to as “népies,” meaning “in a sort of folkish style,” and indeed this term remains in use today. Only in the second half of the 20th century did music historians begin to shed light on the fact that there existed a radically different, genuine Gypsy folklore and folk music as well. At first Liszt accepted the music of the Gypsy ensembles as “Hungarian” music. In 1852, when the first versions of his Hungarian rhapsodies were published, he was endeavouring to craft a kind of artistic “national music.” In addition to a Hungarian folk song (to be more precise, a so-called “műdal,” which refers to a song written in the style of folk music, rather than genuine folk music), the twentieth Hungarian rhapsody contains strains of a German dance from the community of Hermannstadt (now Sibiu, in Romania, and also known by its Hungarian name, Nagyszeben) and a Romanian song as well.

When and why Liszt then suddenly decided to ignore all evidence to the contrary and espouse the French theory (confuted from many sides at the time, yet still emerging from time to time today) according to which the music of the Hungarian Gypsies was not of Hungarian but rather Indian origin we do not know. But when the book Des Bohémiens et de leur musique en Hongrie was published in Paris in 1859 under Liszt’s name, though princess Wittgenstein’s penmanship, it caused a huge uproar in Hungary. The author contends, quite incorrectly and somewhat naively, that the songs played by the Hungarian Gypsy ensembles, music barely a few decades old at the time and composed by dilettantes, were fragments of a lost, ancient Indian epic that Liszt sought to reconstruct through his compositions. In the dark years of the decade following the defeat of the revolution, during which the aforementioned Minister of Interior Bach adopted oppressive, authoritarian policies, the patriotic, if musically unrefined landed gentry and lesser nobility felt that the ingrate Liszt was now trying to deprive the poor, persecuted Hungarian nation, seemingly sentenced to death by laws prohibiting the use of its language and traditional dress, of the only precious jewel remaining, the music that formed part of its national identity. Indeed even scholars like Sámuel Brassai, who had a broad knowledge of culture, if not perhaps of genuine Hungarian folk music, espoused this view. The Hungarian press, along with numerous people acting independently, launched an attack against Liszt. In 1860 Brassai published a famous pamphlet in Kolozsvár (now Cluj in Romania) entitled A czigányokról és a czigány zenéről Magyarországon, Elmefuttatás Liszt Ferencz ‘Czigányokról’ írt könyve felett, or “On the Gypsies and Gypsy Music in Hungary, Thoughts on Ferenc Liszt’s books on the ‘Gypsies’.” The tragic-comic aspect of the pamphlet was that Brassai’s reasoning was flawed, for as someone who at the time lived amidst the beautiful, flourishing, ancient Transylvanian Hungarian peasant music he knew nothing about Gypsy music, and he considered compositions written as imitations of folk music genuine. By this time Liszt perhaps should have grown accustomed to the fact that his cosmopolitan views and deeds were as threatening to national biases as the innovativeness of his “modern” music, for he had been accused of treason in France and Germany. Yet he was nonetheless shocked by the hail of curses that fell on him. He simply did not understand what the public found offensive about his book.

The unfortunate “Gypsy book,” which Wittgenstein had published in 1881 in an edition she herself revised without Liszt – who still figured as author – actually having seen it or having had a chance to correct the well-intentioned but nonetheless serious errors, fundamentally undermined Liszt’s reputation in Hungary. It provided a pretext for those who simply did not understand his cosmopolitan worldview or the innovativeness of his music, critics who reproached him for not having learned Hungarian, not residing exclusively in Hungary, or performing in public for the benefit of peoples of other nationalities. After Liszt’s death Prime Minister Kálmán Tisza cited the book as justification for prohibiting the return of his ashes to the land of his birth.

The storm that was raised in 1870 following the publication of the first edition soon subsided and at first Liszt felt at home in the relative prosperity Hungary enjoyed following the Compromise of 1867. He was pleased when the fiftieth anniversary of the launch of his career was commemorated with national celebrations. In spite of the fact that, had he followed his heart, he would have been content to devote himself entirely and exclusively to composition, he declared it his duty to repay the goodwill shown by his homeland, and he contributed to the development of a liturgical and secular musical life in Hungary with even greater vigour and drive than he had shown abroad. In 1875 he became the first president of the newly founded Hungarian Royal Music Academy, and when he was in Hungary he taught throngs of Hungarian and non-Hungarian pianists. At first his arrivals in the country from travels abroad were always celebrated, but later, as the people became accustomed to his presence in Hungary’s culture life, the public showed less and less interest in him. And as previously mentioned, the publication of the second edition of the so-called “Gypsy book” ruffled public opinion, in part because it contained a chapter profoundly offensive to Hungarian Jewry. (Liszt had the courage, though he chivalrously never exposed the princess’ role in the composition of the book, to proclaim publicly that he was a friend, not an enemy, to the Jewry, and this before the close of the infamous Tiszaeszlár Affair, a trial based on groundless accusations that fomented anti-Semitic sentiment in Hungary. Liszt stuck stubbornly by his view concerning the Indian origins of “Gypsy” music, however.)

His music was neither understood nor appreciated, and if this has caused him grief abroad, it was even more painful at home. He was, after all, an artist of international fame who could have chosen to pursue his work as composer, teacher and performer in countries more prosperous than Hungary, yet he nonetheless felt he had an important bond with his homeland. He complained bitterly to his students that his compositions were performed less and less frequently in Hungary and his enemies in the press criticized him harshly.

A work he composed on commission for the opening of the opera house in Budapest was not performed, though there was also a political explanation for this. Liszt had naively believed that with the inclusion of a text loyal to the court, it would be possible to perform the Magyar királydal (or “Ungarisches Königslied” as it is usually listed in concerts outside of Hungary), which contains the melody of the Rákóczi March.

If one were to ask whether Liszt got something in return from Hungary for his sizeable donations, teaching, and artistic presence, each of which did so much for the musical life of his homeland, the answer would be yes: the Hungarian music that enriched his musical idiom and that he himself helped to spread. Throughout his life Liszt worked to renew and enrich music, and he incorporated into his own musical language numerous untraditional, unusual elements from old (Gregorian and Renaissance) music and new. The scales characteristic of the Hungarian music composed in the style of folk music and the two expanded Gypsy and Hungarian scales proved ideally suited to this intentions. Liszt combined the tones, modalities, and chords of these scales with brilliant imaginativeness, and he blended the traditional scales of the twelve tone sound-system with chromatics, which imply the equal status of each note and even atonality. Thus he created a distinctive, inimitably personal “style hongrois.” From roughly the middle of Liszt’s life on, this style increasingly served as an expressive language of suffering and grief.

As in his old age he suffered from almost continuous depression, with a few exceptions he primarily composed sombre and foreboding works on death.

He abandoned the theatrical pyrotechnics of his earlier compositions and favoured an almost puritanical simplicity instead. In his late works, which are expressive, innovative, and modern, this accent of his musical language prevailed. The title of the fifth composition in the third volume of Liszt’s Years of Pilgrimage makes this explicit: “Sunt lacrymae rerum” en mode hongrois.” But it is discernible in works that have no relationship to Hungary as well. One finds it in the Agnus Dei movements of the masses, the Requiem, and the Christus Oratorio. It is very noticeable in the compositions of mourning in the third volume of the Years of Pilgrimage, the Wagner dirges, the passion from his Via cruces, the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th Hungarian rhapsodies, the Csárdás macabre, Csárdás, and Csárdás obstiné, and several other late works for piano. These include the portraits of writers, politicians, and musicians Liszt held in high esteem (among the most influential figures of the Hungarian pantheon), works composed only a few years before his death.

Only a relatively small fraction of Liszt’s enormous oeuvre became popular, primarily works composed around the middle of his life, including individual compositions for the piano and concertos. Several of his works for the piano, with the exception of pieces composed in the last period of his life, have been parts of the repertoire of concert pianists since the end of the 19th century. His liturgical works are rarely performed outside of Hungary. Many of his late works, which at times seem to resemble some of the works of Bartók and were composed according to an entirely new approach to structure and tonality (they are tonally simple and captivatingly expressive), were thought by his contemporaries to be little more than the signs of encroaching senility. Even today some music historians speak of his late compositions as part of a period of decline in the composer’s life, though the works might well be considered his crowning achievements. A great deal remains to be done to acquaint audiences with them and encourage appreciation of their innovativeness.

As far as the question of Liszt’s national identity is concerned, the debate continued for some time. He was appropriated by Germany during the Third Reich and his memory trampled by the use of his Preludes as the musical accompaniment to the reports of triumphs in the Nazi newsreels. In recent decades, however, the secondary literature (primarily Anglo-Saxon and French biographers) has tended to side with the assertion made by Bartók in his inaugural address at the Academy of Sciences, according to which “anyone who was able to compose something truly great deserves the respect of the entire world, whatever his ancestry.” Bartók continued, “Ferenc Liszt declared himself to be Hungarian: everyone, Hungarian or non-Hungarian, should acknowledge and accept this declaration.”

One can only hope that the worldwide commemorations of his work and memory this year will help to spread recognition of his international, even global significance as a composer and admiration for his broadmindedness and benevolent concern for others.

Errata: In the article “With courageous faith“ by Klára Hamburger, in our March 2011 issue, there were several errors of translation. The corrected sentences read as follows:

• page 66, line 6 from the bottom: “He maintained friendly relations with people of high rank in the Vatican, Pope Pius IX even visited him in his cloister on Monte Mario.“

• page 67, line 1: the secular name of Pére Hyacinthe was Charles (not Hyacinthe) Loyson.

• page 69, 2nd paragraph, line 7: “But even the 1856 premier of the Gran Mass, composed for the occasion of the dedication of the Esztergom (Gran) Cathedral, was marred by a series of intrigues.“

• page 69, 3rd paragraph, line 3, including an addition by the author: “Liszt could not speak Hungarian, and the people with whom he came into contact did not know the music of the Hungarian peasantry, that is: the real Hungarian folklore, collected by Bartók and Kodály since the beginning of the 20th century. In Liszt’s day the folkish style Hungarian music played by Gypsy ensembles, which was blended with his distinctive style of performance and in fact derived from many sources, was referred to as Gypsy music, and indeed this term remains in use today.“

We extend our sincere apologies to the author and to our readers.

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