I QUADERNI N°17, 2017


CSILLA PETHO-VERNETLiszt, les Bohémiens, le tambourin et l’orientalisme

NICOLAS DUFETELLiszt et les Ballades de Chopin

BRUNO MOYSANEnquête autour de la Sonate en Si mineur de Liszt: quand à la mesure 153 arrive cet étonnant «cantando espressivo»

LUIGI VERDIFranz Liszt e la sua musica nel cinema: bilancio e aggiornamento



GREGORIO NARDIDue lettere per Firenze: Giuseppe Buonamici e Karl Klindworth




Franz Liszt, Trois opéras de Richard Wagner considérés de leur point de vue musical et poétique. Tannhäuser – Lohengrin – Le Vaisseau fantôme, réunis, introduits et annotés par Nicolas Dufetel, Actes Sud, Arles, 2013

Franz Liszt, Wagner. Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Il Vascello fantasma, a cura di Nicolas Dufetel, trad. it. di Alessandra Burani, Il Saggiatore, Milano, 2016


Mariateresa Storino (cur.), Franz Liszt e Jessie Taylor Laussot Hillebrand. Un capitolo inedito della storia musicale dell’Ottocento, Libreria Musicale Italiana, Lucca, 2016


CSILLA PHETO-VERNET, Liszt, the Bohémiens, the tambourine and the orientalism

Franz Liszt’s book on “Gypsy music” (in reality, Hungarian verbunkos and csárdás repertory, as presented in the first part of the article) contains a charming scene: Hungarian Gypsy women dance with their tambourine in a forest. Moreover, the same passage also mentions the presence of professional Gypsy orchestras. Although this image seems to be a personal recollection, it is nothing else but a fictive “memory”, an inadequate tableau in the Hungarian context. The functioning of Hungarian Gypsy orchestras and their place within society, the separation of their musical practice from Gypsy folk music, and the thoroughly vocal corpus of the latter all exclude the veracity of the scene. This topic is developed in the second part of the article, while the third part focuses on the questions around the book’s authorship in general, and more specifically in the context of the tambourine scene. In fact, the identity of the real author of the passage (Liszt or the Princess Wittgenstein) may be doubtful. Although this question remains open – even after a detailed synthesis of the problem of the authorship of Des Bohémiens in musicological writings – one thing is sure: the presence of this female Gypsy figure in Liszt’s book is due to Western cultural influences (analysed in the fourth and last part of the article). On the one hand, it mirrors the artistic representations of the idealized Bohémienne. On the other it fits into the orientalist cultural movements (born in 19th century France), as well as into the “oriental myth” they produced: a myth closely linked to the “Gypsy” also as an exotic phenomenon, and a myth which perceptibly stimulated Liszt’s vision on Hungarian “Gypsy music”.

NICOLAS DUFETEL, Liszt and Chopin’s Ballades

This article studies the relationship between Liszt and Chopin’s four Ballades. Although he rarely played them, and apparently never in public, he taught them during his masterclasses (at least the second, third and fourth ones). Liszt’s writings and his pupil’s testimonies (Lachmund and Göllerich) give some information about his conception of Chopin’s Ballades. This study also aims at discussing the literary and patriotic nature of the Ballade, and how its structure illustrates aesthetic and musical differences between the two composers.

BRUNO MOYSAN, Looking for the signification of cantando espressivo in Liszt’s B minor Sonata

Franz Liszt’s conception of larger forms developed progressively between 1835-1836 and 1841 in his operatic fantasies. Influenced by the proximity of opera – notably Italian opera – and by multipartite form, Liszt developed an extremely original approach to form in these fantasies that would have a lasting influence on his post-1848 compositions, particularly those of Weimar. By examining measures 153-170 of the Sonata in B minor, this article reevaluates the influence of the formal model from the operatic fantasies on the B minor Sonata. Further, the article compares the Sonata to two contemporary fantasies that were not composed on operatic themes: the Fantasie und Fugue über den Chorale ‘Ad nos, ad salutarem undam’, and the Dante Sonata.

LUIGI VERDI, Franz Liszt and his music in movies: an updating

This note is an appendix to Franz Liszt and his music in the cinema, a book published by LIM, Lucca in 2014. The book originally took into consideration approximately 300 films containing Liszt’s music. The “new” films with Liszt’s music which have been “discovered” in the two years after the publication require this supplement: many times Liszt’s music is not credited, therefore it is impossible to know whether the film contains it. If one watches – even absent-mindedly – a film, mostly dating back to the period 1930-1960, it may be possible to come across scenes containing a classical-music background, where some specific pieces are particularly recurring. If this music is not credited, only a direct viewing allows it to be recognized. In this way, music by classical composers is often “plundered”, its use is not documented and its discovery is casual. It is worthwhile pointing out that, especially in recent times, Liszt’s music has been used mainly to emphasize comic, slightly grotesque or uncommon aspects. Among the “new” films quoted in this supplement, about 90% show these features. The Hungarian Rhapsody n. 2 proves to be by far the most recurring, while the use of Love Dream n. 3 decreases and Les Préludes steadily ranks third.

GREGORIO NARDI, Two letters to Florence: Giuseppe Buonamici e Karl Klindworth

Two unpublished letters from the archives of the Fondazione Istituto Liszt permit us to become acquainted with a little known side of the life of one of the most important Italian pianists and composers of the middle of XIX  century: Giuseppe Buonamici. The first document is a testimony of his didactic activity in Florence. The second one, very much richer in news and quotations, tells us through Karl Klindworth’s pen many details about the contemporary musical life in Europe. In this letter Karl Klindworth hints at various relationships held by Buonamici with prominent musicians in Germany and in England.