By Adrian Williams, Franz Liszt
The greatest pianist there has ever been, an innovative, forward-looking composer, and an outstanding conductor and teacher, Franz Liszt was one of the most charismatic and sought-after figures of the nineteenth century. Amongst much else, his letters record his creative work, his travels and concerts throughout Europe, his relations with his family, and his liaisons with several remarkable women, above all the French countess and bluestocking who bore his children, and the Polish princess--described by one contemporary as `phenomenon without equal'--who strove to become his wife. His astonishingly wide and varied acquaintances included not only popes, cardinals, kings, queens, and emperors, but also Beethoven, Alexander von Humboldt, Victor Hugo, Hector Berlioz, George Sand, Chopin, Robert and Clara Schumann, Bedrich Smetana, and most notably, Richard Wagner. Outstanding figures all, their names recur repeatedly in these fascinating and important letters, the majority of which are here made available in English for the first time.