I QUADERNI N°18, 2018


ROSSANA DALMONTE, “Versuch über die wahre Art”, Liszt zu analysieren (Faust Symphonie)

EDMUND BUHARAJA, Il grande seduttore trionfante, ossia Don Juan

EMANUELE FRANCESCHETTI, L’“ascolto intelligente”. Appunti per (far) ascoltare R. W. – Venezia di Franz Liszt


GUIDO SALVETTI, Nuovi contributi alla biografia di Antonio Bazzini



Wolfgang Seibold, Liszt’s Konzertreise durch Spanien 1844/45, Laaber-Verlag, Laaber, 2017


William Wright, Liszt and England, Pendragon Press, Hillsville NY, 2016


ROSSANA DALMONTE, “Versuch über die wahre Art”, Liszt zu analysieren (Faust Symphonie)

This paper – now enlarged for publication – was presented in Weimar on October 20, 2011 during the Conference “Der ganze Liszt – Liszt Interpretationen”, promoted by Prof. Dr. Detlef Altenburg, who suggested the theme and the title to the author. According to this reliable suggestion the author tries to analyse painstakingly just one aspect of the immense work: the first eleven measures and their development throughout the whole piece. Being impossible to give a complete account of the literature on the Faust Symphony which has been produced over the past 150 years, the author decides to discuss just some important essays written in the last decades of the past century, and particularly the different interpretations of the first eleven bars, and tries to demonstrate that there is no musical basis for interpreting the initial bars of the Symphony as an “Introduction” distinctly divided from the main body of the work. On the contrary, the eleven bars offer some important “thematic material” that Liszt develops throughout the whole piece in different ways. The 11 bars are divided into five cells, then put into Tables where each of their appearances has been described by the indication of timbre, dynamics, agogics, rhythm and mood in all three parts of the Symphony. As a result of the analysis the author maintains that the principal features of the Symphony are not to be identified in sonata form, albeit not regular, but that Liszt’s goal was to try a new, more open form of the symphonic discourse. The viewpoint adopted here suggests the relevance of the principle of the “developing variation” and the presence of some features typical of “Organicism”, an important metaphor of the Romantic aesthetics.

EDMUND BUHARAJA, The great triumphant seducer, namely Don Juan

Starting from imprecise references of a structurally disconnected genre, Liszt begins to elaborate in his Fantaisie on Don Giovanni the principles that will find their supreme formal expression in the Sonate in B minor (1853). The most evident difference of the Réminiscences de Don Juan (1841) with the conventional schematic aspects of the genre that exploded in Paris in the first decades of the nineteenth century can be precisely identified in bithematicism which allows to attribute to the first part the function of the exposition, and to the third part that of the recapitulation, very close, therefore, to the masterly conception of the illuministic sonata form. By making substantial changes to the history of the world’s most famous libertine these Réminiscences becomes in all senses the emblem of the new Æsthetic of romantic symbolism. The analysis carried out with Schenkerian matrix tools seeks to identify internal coherence by also investigating the cohesion of the parts constituted by motives of different origin. At the same time, the multiplicity of Lisztian intervention is also evidenced in the harmonic field which already offers the first signs of decomposition of the musical syntax. The relationship between micro– and macro-formal structures, in their conception of harmonic interrelations, exemplify the Riemannian approach, thus distancing themselves from the tradition of tonal music expressed in the Schenkerian axiom of Ursatz. With Liszt the non-Western suggestions of the source begin to stylistically countersign the musical texture giving a significant imprint. The research shows that some parts of the Réminiscences de Don Juan are characterized by that alla turca flavour of the quoted material from Mozart’s masterpiece, emphasized, however, even more by interlacing with the Kalindra scale – Shad Araban according to the eastern modal system based on Maqam – all under the sway of the blazing virtuosity unleashed.

EMANUELE FRANCESCHETTI, “Intelligent listening”. Notes for listening to Liszt’s R. W. – Venezia

This paper aims to facilitate young students in their relationship with “art music”, more specifically in didactic contexts where listening practices are faced without any strategies or adequate methods. “Classical” music still runs the risk of being considered hard to understand, especially by students without any musical skills: given the above, this paper tries to summarize some relevant contributions and theories of musical analysis, psychology and semiotics to build a conscious and participating listening of an unfamiliar piece of music. The choice fell on R. W. – Venezia (1883) by Franz Liszt, a brief piano-piece composed soon after Wagner’s death, significant both for its extra-musical references and for its modern and not-conventional use of musical language, typical of Liszt’s last compositions.

GUIDO SALVETTI, New contributions to the biography of Antonio Bazzini

The article gives details of three recent acquisitions by the Fondazione Istituto Liszt on the antiques market: two letters and a postcard signed by Antonio Bazzini, dating respectively from his period as a travelling concert artist (1859), to the moment when he was a respected teacher at the Conservatory of Milano (1878) and finally to the years when he became director of the same institution (1886).

Careful research revealed that the first letter is addressed to the soprano Carolina Ungher – a close friend of Liszt’s – and that many references to places and people regard the environment in Florence during those years. The second letter informs us of the existence – previously unknown – of a committee for the reform of the Conservatories, comprised of Luigi Ferdinando Casamorata, Lauro Rossi and Bazzini, that was to convene in Florence in 1878.

Finally, the postcard tells us how Giacomo Puccini, having taken refuge in Caprino Bergamasco after eloping from Lucca with Elvira, was trying to have his younger brother Michele, who had been expelled because of too many absences, readmitted to the Conservatory.