1. To Carl Czerny in Vienna.
[Autograph in the possession of M. Alfred Bovet at Valentigney.--
The addressee was Liszt's former teacher, the celebrated Viennese
teacher of music and composer of innumerable instructive works
My very dear Master,
When I think of all the immense obligations under which I am
placed towards you, and at the same time consider how long I have
left you without a sign of remembrance, I am perfectly ashamed
and miserable, and in despair of ever being forgiven by you!
"Yes," I said to myself with a deep feeling of bitterness, "I am
an ungrateful fellow; I have forgotten my benefactor, I have
forgotten that good master to whom I owe both my talent and my
success."...At these words a tear starts to my eyes, and I assure
you that no repentant tear was ever more sincere! Receive it as
an expiation, and pardon me, for I cannot any longer bear the
idea that you have any ill-feeling towards me. You will pardon
me, my dear Master, won't you? Embrace me then...good! Now my
heart is light.
You have doubtless heard that I have been playing your admirable
works here with the greatest success, and all the glory ought to
be given to you. I intended to have played your variations on the
"Pirate" the day after tomorrow at a very brilliant concert that
I was to have given at the theater of H.R.H. Madame, who was to
have been present as well as the Duchess of Orleans; but man
proposes and God disposes. I have suddenly caught the measles,
and have been obliged to say farewell to the concert; but it is
not given up because it is put off, and I hope, as soon as ever I
am well again, to have the pleasure of making these beautiful
variations known to a large public.
Pixis [a notable pianist (1788-1874)--lived a long time in Paris]
and several other people have spoken much to me of four concertos
that you have lately finished, and the reputation of which is
already making a stir in Paris. I should be very much pleased, my
dear Master, if you would commission me to get them sold. This
would be quite easy for me to do, and I should also have the
pleasure of playing them FROM FIRST HAND, either at the opera or
at some big concerts. If my proposition pleases you, send them to
me by the Austrian Embassy, marking the price that you would like
to have for them. As regards any passages to be altered, if there
are any, you need only mark them with a red pencil, according to
your plan which I know so well, and I will point them out to the
editor with the utmost care. Give me at the same time some news
about music and pianists in Vienna; and finally tell me, dear
Master, which of your compositions you think would make the best
effect in society.
I close by sending you my heartfelt greetings, and begging you
once more to pardon the shameful silence I have kept towards you:
be assured that it has given me as much pain as yourself!
Your very affectionate and grateful pupil,
December 23rd, 1828
P.S.--Please answer me as soon as possible, for I am longing for
a letter from you; and please embrace your excellent parents from
me. I add my address (Rue Montholon, No. 7bis).
2. To De Mancy in Paris
[Autograph in the possession of M. Etienne Charavay in Paris.]
December 23rd, 1829
My Dear M. de Mancy,
I am so full of lessons that each day, from half-past eight in
the morning till 10 at night, I have scarcely breathing time.
Please excuse me therefore for not coming, as I should have liked
to do, to lunch with Madame de Mancy, but it is quite impossible.
The only thing I could do would be to come about 10 o'clock, if
that would not be too late for a wedding day, and in that case I
will beg M. Ebner [Carl Ebner, a Hungarian, a talented violinist
(1812-1836)] to come with me. I don't write you a longer letter,
for there is a pupil who has been waiting for me for an hour.
Besides, we are not standing on ceremony. Ever yours,
3. To Carl Czerny
[Autograph in the Musical Society's Archives in Vienna. Printed
in a German translation: &q
Thank you to those who donated to Piano Society in 2017.
The letters, Vol 1
- Jan 6, 2016
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