The loves of great composers

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Loves of Great Composers, by Gustav Kobbé ThiseBookisfortheuseofanyoneanywhereatnocostandwith almostnorestrictionswhatsoever Youmaycopyit,giveitawayor re-useitunderthetermsoftheProjectGutenbergLicenseincluded withthiseBookoronlineatwww.gutenberg.org Title:TheLovesofGreatComposers Author:GustavKobbé ReleaseDate:April10,2006[eBook#18138] Language:English Charactersetencoding:ISO-8859-1 ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE LOVES OF GREATCOMPOSERS*** E-textpreparedbyAlHaines WolfgangAmadeusMozart(photogravure) [Frontispiece:WolfgangAmadeusMozart(photogravure)] TheLovesofGreatComposers byGustavKobbé ThomasY Crowell&Co NewYork Copyright,1904and1905 ByTheButterickPublishingCo (Limited) Copyright,1905,byThomasY Crowell&Co PublishedSeptember,1905 Compositionandelectrotypeplatesby D B Updike,TheMerrymountPress,Boston ToCharlesDwyer TableofContents MozartandhisConstance Beethovenandhis"ImmortalBeloved" MendelssohnandhisCécile ChopinandtheCountessDelphinePotocka TheSchumanns:RobertandClara FranzLisztandhisCarolyne WagnerandCosima ListofIllustrations WolfgangAmadeusMozart(photogravure) Frontispiece MozartattheAgeofEleven Constance,WifeofMozart LudwigvanBeethoven CountessTheresevonBrunswick "BeethovenatHeiligenstadt" FélixMendelssohn-Bartholdy FannyHensel,SisterofMendelssohn Cécile,WifeofMendelssohn TheMendelssohnMonumentinLeipsic FrédéricChopin[missingfrombook] CountessPotocka TheDeathofChopin RobertSchumann RobertandClaraSchumann,in1847 ClaraSchumannatthePiano TheSchumannMonumentintheBonnCemetery FranzLiszt LisztatthePiano ThePrincessCarolyne,inherLatterYearsatRome TheAltenburg,Weimar,whereLisztandCarolynelived RichardWagner Cosima,WifeofWagner RichardandCosimaWagner RichardandCosimaWagnerentertainingintheirHome Wahnfried,LisztandHansvonWolzogen MozartandHisConstance Nearly eight years after Mozart's death his widow, in response to a request from a famous publishing house for relics of the composer, sent, among other Mozartiana, a packet of letters written to her by her husband In transmitting theseshewrote: "Especiallycharacteristicishisgreatloveforme,whichbreathesthroughall theletters Isitnottrue—thosefromthelastyearofhislifearejustastenderas those written during the first year of our marriage?" She added that she would like to have this fact especially mentioned "to his honor" in any biography in which the data she sent were to be used This request was not prompted by vanity,butbyajustprideintheloveherhusbandhadborneherandwhichshe stillcherished TheloveofhisConstancewasthesolaceofMozart'slife The wonder-child, born in Salzburg in 1756, and taken by his father from courttocourt,whereheandhissisterplayedtoadmiringaudiences,didnot,like somanywonder-children,fadefrompublicview,butwithmanhoodfulfilledthe promiseofhisearlyyearsandbecameoneoftheworld'sgreatmastersofmusic But his genius was not appreciated until too late The world of to-day sees in Mozartthetypeofthebrilliant,carelessBohemian,whomitlovestoassociate withart,andlongsincehastakenhimtoitsheart Buttheworldofhisownday, whenheaskedforbread,offeredhimastone Mozartdiedyoung;hewasonlythirty-five Hissufferingswerecrowdedinto afewyears,butthroughouttheseyearstherestoodbyhissideonewhoselove soothedhistrialsandbrightenedhislife,—theConstancewhomheadored What shewrotetothepublisherswasstrictlytrue Hislastletterstoherbreathedalove asferventasthefirst Some six months before he died, she was obliged to go to Baden for her health "Youhardlywillbelieve,"hewritestoher,"howheavilytimehangson myhandswithoutyou Icannotexactlyexplainmyfeelings Thereisavoidthat pains me; a certain longing that cannot be satisfied, hence never ceases, continues ever, aye, grows from day to day When I think how happy and childlikewewouldbetogetherinBadenandwhatsad,tedioushoursIpasshere! Itakenopleasureinmywork,becauseIcannotbreakitoffnowandthenfora few words with you, as I am accustomed to When I go to the piano and sing something from the opera ["The Magic Flute"], I have to stop right away, it affectsmeso Basta!—ifthisveryhourIcouldseemywaycleartoyou,thenext hourwouldn'tfindmehere."Inanotherletterwrittenatthistimehekissesher "inthoughttwothousandtimes." WhenMozartfirstmetConstance,shewastooyoungtoattracthisnotice He had stopped at Mannheim on his way to Paris, whither he was going with his mother on a concert tour Requiring the services of a music copyist, he was recommended to Fridolin Weber, who eked out a livelihood by copying music andbyactingasprompteratthetheatre HisbrotherwasthefatherofWeber,the famous composer, and his own family, which consisted of four daughters, was musical Mozart'svisittoMannheimoccurredin1777,whenConstanceWeber wasonlyfourteen Mozartattheageofeleven FromapaintingbyVanderSmisseninthe Mozarteum,Salzburg [Illustration:Mozartattheageofeleven FromapaintingbyVanderSmissenintheMozarteum,Salzburg.] Of her two older sisters the second, Aloysia, had a beautiful voice and no meanlooks,andtheyounggeniuswasgreatlytakenwithherfromthefirst He induced his mother to linger in Mannheim much longer than was necessary Aloysiabecamehispupil;andunderhistuitionhervoiceimprovedwonderfully Sheachievedbrilliantsuccessinpublic,andherfather,delighted,watchedwith pleasure the sentimental attachment that was springing up between her and Mozart Meanwhile Leopold Mozart was in Salzburg wondering why his wife andsonweresolongdelayingtheirfurtherjourneytoParis When he received from Wolfgang letters full of enthusiasm over his pupil, coupledwithaproposalthatinsteadofgoingtoParis,heandhismothershould changetheirdestinationtoItalyandtaketheWeberfamilyalong,inorderthat Aloysiamightfurtherdevelophertalentsthere,hegotaninklingofthetruestate of affairs and was furious He had large plans for his son, knew Weber to be shiftlessandthefamilypoor,andconcludedthat,fortheirownadvantage,they were endeavoring to trap Wolfgang into a matrimonial alliance Peremptory letterssentwifeandsonontheirwaytoParis,andtheelderMozartwasgreatly relievedwhenheknewthemsafelybeyondtheconfinesofMannheim Mozart'sstayinPariswastragicallybroughttoanendbyhismother'sdeath HesetoutforhisreturntoSalzburg,intending,however,tostopatMannheim, for he still remembered Aloysia affectionately Finding that the Weber family hadmovedtoMunich,hewentthere Butassoonashecameintothepresence of the beautiful young singer her manner showed that her feelings toward him hadcooled Thereupon,hisardorwaslikewisechilled,andhecontinuedonhis waytoSalzburg,wherehearrived,muchtohisfather'srelief,still"unattached." When Mozart departed from Munich, he probably thought that he was leavingbehindhimforever,notonlythefickleAloysia,buttherestoftheWeber familyaswell Howslightourpremonitionoffate!For,ifevertheinscrutable ways of Providence brought two people together, those two were Mozart and ConstanceWeber NorwasAloysiawithoutfurtherinfluenceonhiscareer She married an actor named Lange, with whom she went to Vienna, where she became a singer at the opera There Mozart composed for her the rôle of Constance in his opera, "The Elopement from the Seraglio." For the eldest Webergirl,Josepha,whohadahigh,flexiblesoprano,hewroteoneofhismost brilliant rôles, that of the Queen of the Night in "The Magic Flute." I am anticipating somewhat in the order of events that I may correct an erroneous impression regarding Mozart's marriage, which I find frequently obtains He composed the rôle of Constance for Aloysia shortly before he married the real Constance; and this has led many people to believe that he took the younger sisteroutofpique,becausehehadbeenrejectedbyAloysia Whoeverbelieves thishasaverysuperficialacquaintancewithMozart'sbiography Fiveyearshad passed since he had parted from Aloysia at Munich The youthful affair had blownover;andwhentheymetagaininViennashewasFrauLange Mozart's marriagewithConstancewasagenuinelove-match Itwasbitterlyopposedby his father, who never became wholly reconciled to the woman of his son's choice, and met with no favor from her mother Fridolin Weber had died Altogethertheomenswereunfavorable,andtherewereobstaclesenoughtohave discouragedanybutthemostardentcouple Somuchforthepiquestory MozartwenttoViennain1781withtheArchbishopofSalzburg,bywhom, however, he was treated with such indignity that he left his service Whom should he find in Vienna but his old friends the Webers! Frau Weber was glad enough of the opportunity to let lodgings to Mozart, for, as in Mannheim and Munich,thefamilywasinstraitenedcircumstances Assoonasthecomposer's father heard of this arrangement, he began to expostulate Finally Mozart changed his lodgings; but this step had the very opposite effect hoped for by Leopold Mozart, for separation only increased the love that had sprung up betweentheyoungpeoplesincetheyhadmetagaininVienna,andMozarthad found the little fourteen-year-old girl of his Mannheim visit grown to young womanhood There seems little doubt that the Webers, with the exception of Constance, wereashiftlesslot Theyhaddriftedfromplacetoplaceandhadfinallycometo Vienna, because Aloysia had moved there with her husband When Mozart finallydecidedtomarryConstance,comewhatmight,hewrotehisfatheraletter whichshowsthathiseyeswerewideopentothefaultsofthefamily,andbythe calm,almostjudicial,mannerinwhichhereferstothevirtuesofhisfuturewife, that his was no hastily formed attachment, based merely on superficial attractions He does not spare the family in his analysis of their traits If he seems ungallant in his references to his future Queen of the Night and to the prima donna of his "Elopement from the Seraglio," to say nothing of his former attachmentforher,onemustrememberthatthisisaletterfromasontoafather, inwhichfranknessispermissible Headmitstheintemperanceandshrewishness of the mother; characterizes Josepha as lazy and vulgar; calls Aloysia a maliciouspersonandcoquette;dismissestheyoungest,Sophie,astooyoungto be anything but simply a good though thoughtless creature Surely not an attractivepictureandnotafamilyonewouldenterlightly WhatdrewhimtoConstance?Lethimanswerthatquestionhimself "Butthe middle one, my good, dear Constance," he writes to his father, "is a martyr amongthem,andforthatreason,perhaps,thebesthearted,cleverest,and,ina word, the best among them.… She is neither homely nor beautiful Her whole beautyliesintwosmall,darkeyesandinafinefigure Sheisnotbrilliant,but hascommonsenseenoughtoperformherdutiesaswifeandmother Sheisnot extravagant; on the contrary, she is accustomed to go poorly dressed, because whatlittlehermothercandoforherchildrenshedoesfortheothers,butnever forher Itistruethatshewouldliketobetastefullyandbecominglydressed,but never expensively; and most of the things a woman needs she can make for herself She does her own coiffure every day [head-dress must have been something appalling in those days]; understands housekeeping; has the best beautiful as you say? It does not seem so to me, and I'm afraid it would not soundsotoothers." While, as can be shown from passages in his correspondence, Wagner appreciatedthe homelyvirtuesofhisfirstwife,andnever,evenaftertheyhad separated, allowed a word to be spoken against her, the last years of their married life were stormy She had been tried beyond her strength, and, not sharing her husband's enormous confidence in his artistic powers, she had not thestimulusofhisfaithinhisultimatesuccesstosustainher Moreoveraheart troublewithwhichshewasafflictedresulted,throughthestraintowhichtheir uncertain material condition subjected her, in a growing irritability which was accentuatedbyjealousyofwomenwhoenteredthegrowingcircleofWagner's admirersashisgeniusbegantobeappreciated The crisis came in 1858, when they separated, Minna retiring to Dresden Twoyearslater,whenWagnerwasillinParis,shewentthereandnursedhim, but they separated again An interesting fact, not generally known, is that, in 1862, when Wagner was in Biebrich on the Rhine composing his "Meistersinger," Minna came from Dresden as a surprise to pay him a visit— evidentlyanefforttoeffectareconciliation WendelinWeissheimer,aconductor attheoperainMayeuseontheoppositebankoftheriverandaclosefriendof Wagner'satthattime,hasleftanenlighteningrecordoftheepisode Wagner,hesays,"theheaven-storminggenius,whoknewnobounds,triedto playtherôleofHausvater—oflovinghusbandandcomforter Hehadsomecold edibles brought in from the hotel, made tea, and himself boiled half a dozen eggs [What a picture! The composer of 'Tristan' boiling eggs!] Afterwards he put on one of his familiar velvet dressing-gowns and a fitting barretta, and proceededtoreadaloudthebookof'DieMeistersinger.' "Thefirstactpassedoffwithoutmishapsaveforsomeunnecessaryquestions fromMinna Butatthebeginningofthesecondact,whenhehaddescribedthe stage-setting—'to the right the cobbler shop of Hans Sachs; to the left,' etc.,— Minnaexclaimed: "'Andheresitstheaudience!'at thesametimelettingabread-ballrollover Wagner'smanuscript Thatendedthereading." Thevisitofcoursewasfutile MinnareturnedtoDresden,whereshediedin 1866 Poor Minna! A good cook, but she did not appreciate his genius, would seemtosumupherstory Yetitisbutjustthatweshouldpayatleastapassing salutetothiswomanwhowastheloveofWagner'syouthandthedrudgeofhis middle life, and who, from the distance of her lonely separation, saw him baskinginthefavoroftheking,who,toolateforher,hadbecomehismunificent patron.—WhatacontrastbetweenherfateandCosima's! RichardandCosimaWagnerentertainingintheirhomeWahnfried,Liszt,and HansvonWolzogen PaintingbyW Beckmann [Illustration:RichardandCosimaWagnerentertainingintheirhome Wahnfried,Liszt,andHansvonWolzogen PaintingbyW Beckmann.] Were it not for Liszt's letters, meagre would be the information regarding Cosima before her marriage to Wagner But by going over his voluminous correspondence and picking out references to her here and there, I am able to giveatleastsomeideaofherearlierlife This extraordinary woman, who brought Wagner so much happiness and of whomitmaybesaidthatnootherwomaneverplayedsoimportantapartinthe history of music, came to her many graces and accomplishments by right of birth ShewasthedaughterofLisztandtheCountessd'Agoult,aFrenchauthor, betterknownunderherpennameof"DanielStern."Thusshehadgeniusonone side of her parentage and distinguished talent on the other; and, on both sides, rarepersonalcharmandtact The Countess d'Agoult's father, Viscount Flavigny, was an old Royalist nobleman Whileanémigréduringtherevolution,hehadmarriedthebeautiful daughter of the Frankfort banker, Bethman After the Flavignys returned to France,theirdaughter,anextremelybeautifulblonde,wasbroughtup,partlyat the Flavigny château, partly at the Sacré Coeur de Marie, in Paris Talented beyondheryears,herwitandbeautywonhermuchadmiration Atanearlyage she married Count Charles d'Agoult, a French officer, a member of the old aristocracyandtwentyyearshersenior WhenshefirstmetLisztshewastwenty-nineyearsold,hadbeenmarriedsix years and was the mother of three children She still was beautiful, and in her salonshegatheredaroundhermenandwomenofrank,espritandfame In1835 LisztleftParisaftertheconcertseason there The Countessfollowedhim,and the next heard of them they were in Switzerland They remained together six years,Cosima,bornin1837,beingoneofthethreechildrenresultingfromthe union IntheCountess'srelationswithLisztthereappearstohavebeenacurious minglingoflagrandepassionandhauteur Forwhen,soonaftershehadjoined him in Switzerland, he urged her to secure a divorce in order that they might marry,shedrewherselfupandreplied:"MadamelaComtessed'Agoultnesera jamais Madame Liszt!" Certainly none but a Frenchwoman would have been capableofsuchareplyunderthesamecircumstances EquallyFrenchwasher husband's remark when, the Countess's support having been assumed by Liszt, he expressed the opinion that throughout the whole affair the pianist had behavedlikeamanofhonor AftertheseparationofLisztandCountessd'Agoult,heentrustedthecareof the three children to his mother During a brief sojourn in Paris, Wagner met Cosima, then a girl of sixteen, for the first time She formed with Liszt, Von Bülow,Berliozandafewotherstheverysmall,butextremelyselect,audience which, at the house of Liszt's mother, heard Wagner read selections from his "Nibelung" dramas In 1855, the burden of the care of the children falling too heavily upon Liszt's mother, the duty of looking after the daughters was cheerfullyundertakenbythemotherofHansvonBülow,whoresidedinBerlin In a letter written by Von Bülow in June, 1856, he speaks of them in these interesting terms: "These wonderful girls bear their name with right—full of talent,clevernessandlife,theyareinterestingpersonalities,suchasIhaverarely met Another than I would be happy in their companionship But their evident superiorityannoysme,andtheimpossibilitytoappearsufficientlyinterestingto thempreventsmyappreciatingthepleasureoftheirsocietyasmuchasIwould liketo—thereyouhaveaconfession,thecandorofwhichyouwillnotdeny Itis notveryflatteringforayoungman,butitisabsolutelytrue."Yet,ayearlater,he marriedCosima,oneofthegirlswhose"superiority"soannoyedhim Howstrange,inviewofwhathappenedlater,thatVonBülowsoplannedhis weddingtripthatitsmainobjectivewasavisittoZurichinorderthathemight presentCosimatoWagner,whohadnotseenhersinceshehadformedoneofhis audience at the "Rheingold" reading in Paris It is in a letter to his friend, RichardPohl,writtenthedaybeforehiswedding,thatVonBülowmentionsthe "Wagnerstadt," Zurich, as the aim of his wedding journey Was it Fate—or fatality—that led him thither with Cosima? The daughter of Liszt, the bride of Von Bülow, being conducted on her honeymoon to the very lair of the great composer for whom she was, within a few years, to leave her husband! What wonderfulmusicallinksdestinywoveinthelifeofthiswomanwhoherselfwas notamusician! Hans and Cosima arrived at Zurich early in September "For the last fortnight,"writesVonBülow,underdateofSeptember19,1857,"Iandmywife havebeenlivinginWagner'shouse,andIdonotknowanythingelsethatcould have afforded me such benefit, such refreshment as being together with this wonderful,uniqueman,whomoneshouldworshipasagod." OnhissideWagnerwascharmedwiththeVonBülows Inoneofhisletters hespeaksoftheirvisitashismostdelightfulexperienceofthesummer "They spent three weeks in our little house; I have rarely been so pleasantly and delightfullyaffectedasbytheirinformalvisit Inthemorningstheyhadtokeep quiet, for I was writing my 'Tristan,' of which I read them an act aloud every week IfyouknewCosima,youwouldagreewithmewhenIconcludethatthis youngpairiswonderfullywellmated Withalltheirgreatintelligenceandreal artistic sympathy, there is something so light and buoyant in the two young peoplethatonewasobligedtofeelperfectlyathomewiththem." Wagner allowed them to depart only under promise that they would return nextyear,whichtheydid,tofindahouseholdonthevergeofdisruptionandto beunwillingwitnessestosomeoftheclosingscenesofWagner'sfirstmarriage DuringherchildhoodinParisCosimawasfrailanddelicate Liszt,inoneof hisletters,confessesthat thiscausedhimtoregardherwithadeeperaffection than he bestowed on her elder sister Later he speaks of her as a rare and beautifulnatureofgreatandspontaneouscharm AfriendofLiszt'swhosawher at the Altenburg in 1860 writes that she was pale, slender, wan and thin to a degree, and that she crept through the room like a shadow Liszt was greatly concerned about her, for the year previous her brother Daniel had died of consumption,andhefearedshemightbestrickenwiththesamemalady Daniel'sdeathwasasadexperiencethroughwhichtheypassedtogether,and which strengthened the ties of tenderness that drew Liszt to his younger daughter Thesondiedinhisfather'sarmsandinherpresence Shehadnursed himdevotedlyinhislastillness "Cosimatellsme,"Lisztwrote,beforehehad seenDanielonhissick-bed,"thatthecolorofhisbeardandofhishairhastaken on a touch of brownish red, and that he looks like a Christ by Correggio." Together,afterDaniel'sdeath,theykneltbesidehisbed"prayingtoGodthatHis willbedone—andthatHereconcileustothatDivinewill,inaccordingusthe graceonourparttoacceptitwithoutamurmur." Such a scene was a memory for a lifetime Cosima herself, in one of her letters,givesabeautifuldescriptionofherbrother'spassagefromlife "Hefell backintothearmsofdeathasintothoseofaguardianangel,forwhomhehad beenwaitingalongtime Therewasnostruggle;withoutadistasteforlife,he seemed,nevertheless,tohaveaspiredardentlytowardeternity." WithaprettytouchLisztgivesanideaofCosima'sinterestinothers Itseems thatacertainFrauStilkewasanxioustopossessagraydressofmoiréantique, and Liszt had persuaded the Princess Sayn-Wittgenstein to place the necessary sum for buying it at his daughter's disposal "In order to estimate the cost," he writes,"Cosettehasdevisedthisexcellentformula:Itshouldbeadresssuchas onewouldgivetopersonswhowantadress—onlyitisnecessarythatitshould be gray and of moiré antique to satisfy the ideal of taste of the person in question." Wagner does not seem to have seen Cosima after the Von Bülows' second visit to him at Zurich until they came to him for a visit at Biebrich during the summerof1862 WhatacontrastCosimamusthaveseemedtopoorMinnawho, inthesamehouseandbutashorttimebefore,haddesecratedthemanuscriptof "DieMeistersinger"byallowingabread-balltorolloverit!Wagner'sfavorable opinionofHansandCosimaunderwentagreatchangeduringtheirsojournwith him Inaletter,afterspeakingofVonBülow'sdepressionowingtopoorhealth, hewrites:"Addtothisatragicmarriage;ayoungwomanofextraordinary,quite unprecedented,endowment,Liszt'swonderfulimage,butofsuperiorintellect." That this woman who so impressed Wagner was in her turn filled with admiration for his gifts appears from two letters which, during the summer of 1862, she wrote from Biebrich to her father In one of these she speaks enthusiastically of some of the "Tristan" music The other letter concerns "Die Meistersinger:" "The'Meistersinger'istoWagner'sotherconceptionswhatthe'Winter'sTale' is to Shakespeare's other works Its fantasy is founded on gayety and drollery, andithascalleduptheNurembergoftheMiddleAges,withitsguilds,itspoet- artisans,itspedants,itscavaliers,todrawforththefreshestlaughterinthemidst ofthehighest,themostidealpoetry." Itisevidentthattwosoulssosympatheticcouldnotlongremaininproximity without craving a closer union "Coming events cast their shadows before," remarksonewhooftenwaspresentduringtheBiebrichvisitoftheVonBülows toWagner HowdeeplyCosimasympathizedwithWagner'saimseventhenisshownby another episode of this visit One evening the composer outlined to his friends hisplansfor"Parsifal,"addingthatitprobablywouldbehislastwork Thelittle circlewasdeeplyaffected,andCosimawept Strangeprescience!"Parsifal"was notproduceduntiltwentyyearslater,yetitprovedtobethefinaleofWagner's life'slabors The incident has interest from another point of view It shows that Wagner hadhisplansfor"Parsifal"fairlymaturedin1862,andthatitwasnot,assome critics, who see in it a decadence of his powers, claim, a late afterthought, designed to give to Bayreuth a curiosity somewhat after the faỗon of the Oberammergau"PassionPlay."Decadence?HenryT Finck,themostconsistent andeloquentchampionWagnerhashadinAmerica,seesinitnofallingoffin thecomposer'sgenius;nordoI Wagner'sscoresalwaysfullyvoicehisdramas, "Parsifal"ascompletelyasany Thesubjectsimplyrequireddifferentmusical treatmentfromtheheroic"RingoftheNibelung"andtheimpassioned"Tristan." InaletterwrittenbyWagnerinJune,1864,occursthissignificantsentence: "Thereisonegoodbeingwhobrightensmyhousehold."The"goodbeing"was Cosima,whofromnowonwasdestinedtofillhislifewiththesunshineoflove andofdevotiontohisart "SinceIlastsawyouinMunich,"Wagnerwritestoafriend,"Ihavenotagain leftmyasylum,whichinthemeanwhilealsohasbecometherefugeofherwho was destined to prove that I could well be helped, and that the axiom of my manyfriends,that'Icouldnotbehelped,' wasfalse! SheknewthatIcouldbe helped,andhashelpedme:shehasdefiedeverydisapprobationandtakenupon herselfeverycondemnation." ThiswaswritteninJune,1870,ayearafterCosimahadbornehimSiegfried, and two months before their marriage For in August, 1870, the following announcementwassentout: "Wehavethehonortoannounceourmarriage,whichtookplaceonthe25th ofAugustofthisyearintheProtestantChurchinLucerne RichardWagner CosimaWagner,néeLiszt "August25,1870." When,in1882,Iattendedthefirstperformanceof"Parsifal"inBayreuth,I hadfrequentopportunityofseeingWagnerandFrauCosima Probablythebest viewIhadofthemtogether,andofFranzLisztatthesametime,wasatadinner givenbyWagnertotheartistswhotookpartintheperformances Itwasinone of the restaurants near the theatre on the hill overlooking Bayreuth Wagner's entrance upon the scene was highly theatrical All the singers and a few other guests had been seated, and Liszt, Frau Cosima and Siegfried Wagner were in theirplaceswhenthedooropenedandinshotWagner Itwasaswellcalculated astheentranceofthestarinaplay Onhiswaytohisseathestoppedandchatted afewmomentswiththisoneandthatone InsteadofWagnersittingatthehead ofthetableandhiswifeatthefoot,theysattogetherinthemiddle Itseemed impossibleforhim,though,toremainseatedmorethanafewminutesatatime, and he was jumping up and down and running about the table all through the banquet OntheothersideofWagnersatLiszt;ontheothersideofFrauCosima, Siegfried Wagner, then still a boy Among the four there were two pairs of likenesses Lisztwasgray;but,althoughFrauCosima'shairwasblonde,andher facesmoothandfairascomparedwithherfather's,whichwasfurrowedwithage andboldlyaquiline,shewashischildineverylineament Moreover,thequick, responsivelightingupofthefeatures,hergracefulbearing,hertact—thatthese were inherited from him a brief surveillance of the two sufficed to disclose Combined with these fascinating, but after all more or less superficial characteristicswasthestampofarareintellectualforceonbothfaces Noone seeingthemtogetherneededtobetoldthatCosimawasaLiszt NordidanyoneneedtobetoldthatSiegfriedwasaWagner Theboywasas muchlikehisfatherashismotherwaslikehers Featureforfeature,Wagnerwas reproducedinhisson Thatthereshouldbenotraceofthemother,andsucha mother,intheboy'sfacestruckmeasremarkable;buttherewasnone Siegfried Wagner was a veritable pocket edition of his famous father His later photographs as a young man show that much of this likeness has disappeared After dinner, there were speeches Wagner, his hand resting affectionately on Liszt'sshoulder,paidafeelingtributetothemanwhohadbefriendedhimearly inhiscareerandwhohadgivenhimthepreciouswifeathisside Irememberas if it had been but last night the tenderness with which he spoke the words die theureGattin It was a wonderful two or three hours, that banquet, with the numerous notabilitiespresent,andatleasttwogreatmen,LisztandWagner,andonegreat woman,thedaughterofLisztandthewifeofWagner;andtheexperienceisto betreasuredallthemore,becausefewofthosepresentsawWagneragain Early in the following year he died at Venice He is buried in the garden back of Wahnfried,hisBayreuthvilla Hewasagreatloverofanimals,andathisburial histwofavoritedogs,WotanandMark,burstthroughthebushesthatsurround thegraveandjoinedthemourners Oneofthesepetsisburiednearhim,andon theslabistheinscription:"HereliesinpeaceWahnfried'sfaithfulwatcherand friend—thegoodandhandsomeMark." WhatCosimawastoWagnerisbesttoldinLiszt'swords,writtentoafriend after a visit to Bayreuth, in 1872, when his favorite child had been married to Wagnertwoyears "Cosimastillismyterribledaughter,asIusedtocallher,— an extraordinary woman and of the highest merit, far above vulgar judgment, andworthyoftheadmiringsentimentswhichshehasinspiredinallwhohave known her She is devoted to Wagner with an all-absorbing enthusiasm, like Senta to the Flying Dutchman—and she will prove his salvation, because he listenstoherandfollowsherwithkeenperception." ThatBayreuthwithWagner'sdeathdidnotbecomeameretradition,thatthe Wagner performances still continue there, is due to Frau Cosima She is Bayreuth Nowomanhasmadesuchanimpressiononthemusicofhertimeas she Yetsheisnotamusician! ***END OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE LOVES OF GREATCOMPOSERS*** *******Thisfileshouldbenamed18138-h.txtor18138-h.zip******* Thisandallassociatedfilesofvariousformatswillbefoundin: http://www.gutenberg.org/1/8/1/3/18138 Updated editions will replace the previous one the old editions will be renamed Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no one ownsaUnitedStatescopyrightintheseworks,sotheFoundation(andyou!)can copyanddistributeitintheUnitedStateswithoutpermissionandwithoutpaying copyrightroyalties Specialrules,setforthintheGeneralTermsofUsepartof this license, apply to copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark 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