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In writing a few words of Preface I wish to express, first and
foremost, my appreciation of the extreme care and
conscientiousness with which La Mara has prepared these volumes.
In a spirit of no less reverence I have endeavored, in the
English translation, to adhere as closely as possible to all the
minute characteristics that add expression to Liszt's letters:
punctuation has, of necessity, undergone alteration, but italics,
inverted commas, dashes and other marks have been strictly
observed. It may be objected that unnecessary particularity has
been shown in the translation of various titles, names of
Societies or newspapers, quotations, etc.; but there are many
people who, while understanding French, do not read German, and
vice versa, and therefore it has seemed better to translate
everything. Where anything has been omitted in the printed
letters I have adhered to the sign .--. employed by La Mara to
indicate the hiatus. It has seemed best to preserve the spelling
of all proper names as written by Liszt, and not to Anglicise
any, as it is impossible to do all; and therefore, even at the
risk of a seeming affectation, the original form of the name has
been preserved. In the same spirit I have adhered to the correct
form of the name of our adopted composer Handel, and trust I may
be pardoned for so doing on the strength of a little joke of
Liszt's own "The English," he said, "always talk about Gluck and

La Mara says in her Preface that this collection can by no means
be considered a complete one, as there must exist other letters--
to Liszt's mother, to Berlioz, Tausig, etc.--which it is hoped
may yet be some day forthcoming. In like manner might there not
also be letters to his daughter Madame Ollivier (not to mention
his still-living daughter Madame Wagner)? [Another volume of
Liszt's letters, of a still more intimate character, addressed to
a lady friend, will be published later on.]

The English edition is increased by four letters one to Peter
Cornelius, No. 256A in Vol. I., which is interesting in its
reference to the "Barbier"; and, in Vol. II., a kind letter of
introduction which the Master gave me for Madame Tardieu, in
Brussels; one letter to Walter Bache, and one to the London
Philharmonic Society (Nos. 370A and 370B); one of these, it is
true, is partially quoted in a footnote by La Mara, but at this
distance of time there is no reason why these letters should not
be inserted entire, and they will prove of rather particular
interest, both to my brother's friends, and also as having
reference to that never-to-be-forgotten episode--Liszt's last
visit to England.

This visit, which took place in 1886, a few months before the
Master's death, was for the purpose of his being present at the
performance of his Oratorio of St. Elizabeth (see Letter 370 and
subsequent letters).

More than forty years had elapsed since Liszt's previous visit to
our shores; times had changed, and the almost unknown, and wholly
unappreciated, had become the acknowledged King in a realm where
many were Princes. Some lines embodying in words England's
welcome to this king--headed by a design in which the Hungarian
and the English coats-of-arms unite above two clasped hands, and
a few bars of a leading theme from the St. Elizabeth--were
written by me and presented to Liszt with a basket of roses
(emblematic of the rose miracle in the Oratorio) tied with the
Hungarian colors, on his entrance into St. James's Hall on April
6th, 1886.

As a memento of that occasion it has been chosen as frontispiece
to the Second Volume.

Constance Bache

London, December 1893

Jan 6, 2016
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