Great Violinists And Pianists eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 224 pages of information about Great Violinists And Pianists.

“The national feeling of the Magyars is well known; and proud are they of that star of the first magnitude which arose out of their nation.  Over the countries of Europe the fame of the Hungarian Liszt came to them before they had as yet an opportunity of admiring him.  The Danube was swollen by rains, Pesth was inundated, thousands were mourning the loss of friends and relations or of all their property.  During his absence in Milan Liszt learned that many of his countrymen were suffering from absolute want.  His resolution was taken.  The smiling heaven of Italy, the dolce far niente of Southern life, could not detain him.  The following morning he had quitted Milan and was on his way to Vienna.  He performed for the benefit of those who had suffered by the inundation at Pesth.  His art was the horn of plenty from which streamed forth blessings for the afflicted.  Eighteen months afterward he came to Pesth, not as the artist in search of pecuniary advantage, but as a Magyar.  He played for the Hungarian national theatre, for the musical society, for the poor of Pesth and of Odenburg, always before crowded houses, and the proceeds, fully one hundred thousand francs, were appropriated for these purposes.  Who can wonder that admiration and pride should arise to enthusiasm in the breasts of his grateful countrymen?  He was complimented by serenades, garlands were thrown to him; in short, the whole population of Pesth neglected nothing to manifest their respect, gratitude, and affection.  But these honors, which might have been paid to any other artist of high distinction, did not satisfy them.  They resolved to bind him for ever to the Hungarian nation from which he sprang.  The token of manly honor in Hungary is a sword, for every Magyar has the right to wear a sword, and avails himself of that right.  It was determined that their celebrated countryman should be presented with the Hungarian sword of honor.  The noblemen appeared at the theatre, in the rich costume they usually wear before the emperor, and presented Liszt, midst thunders of applause from the whole assembled people, with a costly sword of honor.”  It was also proposed to erect a bronze statue of him in Pesth, but Liszt persuaded his countrymen to give the money to a struggling young artist instead.

IV.

In the autumn of 1840 Liszt went from Paris, at which city he had been playing for some time, to the north of Germany, where he at first found the people colder than he had been wont to experience.  But this soon disappeared before the magic of his playing, and even the Hamburgers, notorious for a callous, bovine temperament, gave wild demonstrations of pleasure at his concerts.  He specially pleased the worthy citizens by his willingness to play off-hand, without notes, any work which they called for, a feat justly regarded as a stupendous exercise of memory.  From Hamburg he went to London, where he gave nine

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Great Violinists And Pianists from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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