“Obermann”, the epistolary novel by the French Romantic Senancour, inspired Liszt to write the first volume in his collection “Années de Pèlerinage” (HN 173). A wanderer is searching for his ideals in the solitude of the Swiss mountains. The composer was able to identify with these ideas to such a great degree that he prefaced the eighth piece (“Le Mal de Pays”) with an extract from the novel’s 38th letter. It is this text which also accompanies our edition of the sixth piece “Vallée d’Obermann”. To aid comprehension we have also included translations of the French orginal into German and English. Now the most important composition in the “Années I” is also available in a separate Henle urtext edition.
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In 1835 Franz Liszt settled in Geneva with his mistress, Countess Marie d’Agoult. Using Geneva as their base, they made several tours of Switzerland and Italy. In keeping with the customs of the time (see Heine’s Reisebilder and Harzreise, or George Sand’s Lettres d’un voyageur), Liszt recorded the impressions he received on his journeys and translated them into music. … more
About the composer
The most famous piano virtuoso of the nineteenth century is regarded as the most influential artist and composer (with Berlioz, Wagner) of the so-called New German School. His immense musical oeuvre comprises, above all else, works for solo piano, including numerous transcriptions; he also devised the symphonic poem. Important, too, are his sacred and secular choral works and songs.
|1811||Born in Doborján/Raiding (Sopron) on October 22, son of an official in the service of Prince Esterházy. First piano lessons from his father, early first attempts at composition, first public performance at age nine.|
|1822||Relocation of the family to Vienna, studies with Carl Czerny and Antonio Salieri.|
|1823||Relocation of the family to Paris. Composition studies with Ferdinando Paër and Antonín Reicha (1826). Performances in salons, concerts.|
|1824–27||Concert tours through France, to England and Switzerland. Composition of opera paraphrases for piano.|
|1830||Acquaintance with Berlioz, self-study by reading. He becomes Parisian society’sfavourite pianist and piano teacher.|
|1835||He moves to Switzerland with Countess Marie d’Agoult: their first child together, Blandine-Rachel, is born here. He continues concertizing in Paris.|
|from 1839||Continuous concert tours throughout Europe.|
|from 1847||Symphonic poems, including No. 2, “Tasso: lamento e trionfo”; No. 1, “Ce qu‘on entend sur la montagne” (‘Bergsymphonie,’ ‘Mountain Symphony’); “A Faust Symphony in Three Character Pictures”; “A Symphony to Dante’s Divine Comedy” (‘Dante Symphony’); as well as [No. 11], “Hunnenschlacht” (“Battle of the Huns”).|
|1848–61||Kapellmeister in Weimar; he advocates for progressive music (Wagner, Schumann, Berlioz).|
|1857–62||Oratorio, “The Legend of St. Elisabeth.”|
|1861–68||Resident in Rome.|
|1865||Takes minor holy orders.|
|1871||Appointed Hungarian court councilor; he lives in Rome, Weimar, and Budapest.|
|1886||Death in Bayreuth on July 31.|
About the authors
The three quotations from Senancourt Henle give us provide an invaluable context: would that all publishers were this thorough.
De nieuwe losse uitgave van Henle biedt alles wat je maar kunt wensen. Niet alleen een prachtig historisch voorwoord, maar ook de originele citaten die Liszt bij de eerste uitgaven liet afdrukken. Bovendien wordt een vertaling gegeven van een tekst van De Senancour met een annotatie van Liszt, waardoor een muzikaal-literaire romantische wereld van weleer voor ons ontsloten wordt.