By Hector Berlioz
"[F]ull of data, penetration, sturdy feel, person wit, inventory humor, justifiable exasperation, knowing exaggeration, emotion and rhetoric of each kind."—Randall Jarrell, New York instances publication Review
"To reach [writing those tales], as Berlioz so much brilliantly does, calls for a mix of features that's very infrequent, the many-faceted interest of the dramatist with the aggressively own imaginative and prescient of the lyric poet."—W. H. Auden, The Griffin
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Extra resources for Evenings with the Orchestra
Liszt was a supporter of the 1830 revolution in France, which alas brought a monarchy. A significant line of thought about Romanticism claims that when its participants became disillusioned by political failures such as the 1830 French revolution, they waged their own philosophical battles in the realm of fantasy. This is an apt description that can be applied to both Sand and Liszt. 15. For a daily account of Liszt’s tour through Switzerland, see Mária P. Eckhardt, “Diary of a Wayfarer: The Wanderings of Franz Liszt and Marie d’Agoult in Switzerland June–July 1835,” Journal of the American Liszt Society 11 (June 1982): 11–17; and 12 (December 1982): 182–83.
4. Wheelock Whitney, “Introduction,” in The Lure of Rome: Some Northern Artists in Italy in the Nineteenth Century, exhibition catalogue, Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox Gallery (London), October–November 1979, p. 7. 5. See especially Motta, whose primary thesis in Liszt Viaggiatore Europeo is that as Liszt and d’Agoult traveled across Italy, Liszt began to see his time there as a period of enlightenment typical of the Grand Tour experience. 6. Italy served as the inspirational push behind many of Liszt’s works—the tone poem Tasso, the incomplete opera Sarandapale, Totentanz, Réminiscences de la Scala, and Venezia e Napoli, for example, but none give as complete an overview of Liszt’s intellectual pursuits as Années de pèlerinage: Deuxième Année, Italie.
With the help of Byron, Michelangelo, and Rosa Liszt found his identity as an artist. Like Childe Harold, he became a pilgrim in search of a homeland. Like Il penseroso, he sought a life of contemplation free from the politics of contemporary society. Raphael and Petrarch offered images of woman sublime. Dante served as an “interior voice,” the intellectual culmination of his travels. Although Liszt titled the second album of his Années de pèlerinage “Italy,” the music more accurately reflects his Republic of the Imagination.