Great Violinists And Pianists eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 275 pages of information about Great Violinists And Pianists.
There was another disturbance, however, which now stirred up his excitable mind.  He fell madly in love with a lady of high rank, and surrendered his young heart entirely to this new passion.  The unfortunate issue of this attachment, for the lady was much older than himself, and laughed with a gentle mockery at the infatuation of her young adorer, made Liszt intensely unhappy and misanthropical, but it did not prevent him from steady labor.  Indeed, work became all the more welcome, as it served to distract his mind from its amorous pains, and his fantastic musings, instead of feeding on themselves, expressed themselves in his art.  Certainly no healthier sign of one beginning to clothe himself in his right mind again can easily be imagined.

Liszt was now twenty years of age, and had regularly settled in Paris.  He became acquainted intimately with the leaders of French literature, and was an habitue of the brilliant circles which gathered these great minds night after night.  Lamartine and Chateaubriand were yielding place to a young and fiery school of writers and thinkers, but cordially clasped hands with the successors whom they themselves had made possible.  Mme. George Sand, Balzac, Dumas, Victor Hugo, and others were just then beginning to stir in the mental revolution which they made famous.  Liszt felt a deep interest in the literary and scientific interests of the day, and he threw himself into the new movement with great enthusiasm, for its strong wave moved art as well as letters with convulsive throes.  The musician found in this fresh impulse something congenial to his own fiery, restless, aspiring nature.  He entered eagerly into all the intellectual movements of the day.  He became a St. Simonian and such a hot-headed politician that, had he not been an artist, and as such considered a harmless fanatic, he would perhaps have incurred some penalties.  Liszt has left us, in his “Life of Chopin,” and his letters, some very vivid portraitures of the people and the events, the fascinating literary and artistic reunions, and the personal experiences which made this part of his life so interesting; but, tempting as it is, we can not linger.  There can be no question that this section of his career profoundly colored his whole life, and that the influence of Victor Hugo, Balzac, and Mme. George Sand is very perceptible in his compositions not merely in their superficial tone and character, but in the very theory on which they are built.  Liszt thenceforward cut loose from all classic restraints, and dared to fling rules and canons to the winds, except so far as his artistic taste approved them.  The brilliant and daring coterie, defying conventionality and the dull decorum of social law, in which our artist lived, wrought also another change in his character.  Liszt had hitherto been almost austere in his self-denial, in restraint of passion and license, in a religious purity of life, as if he dwelt in the cold shadow of the monastery, not knowing what moment he should disappear within its gates.  There was now to be a radical change.

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Great Violinists And Pianists from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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