Liszt, Franz. (1811–1886)

Original 1842 Broadside for a Performance at Colonel Thorn's Salon

Extremely rare original broadside advertising a performance by the great pianist-composer at the salon of Colonel Herman Thorn in Paris on June 30, 1842.  A fundraiser for a German orchestra which had met financial misfortune in Paris while on tour due to a lack of attendance of their performances, the program consisted of works performed with members of the orchestra and solo pieces performed by Liszt, including "Choeurs de Weber," "Reminiscence de Don Juan," "Es lebt eine Ratt im Kellernest," Schubert's "Ave Maria," Liszt's arrangement of "Erlkönig," "Rheinweinlied," and concluding with a performance of the "Fantasie on the motifs of Robert le Diable".  Tears and surface creases along edges, text unaffected, else very good. Approximately 8 x 11 inches (20.25 x 27.94 cm.).

The concert came at a time when Liszt's reputation in France was troubled by accusations of anti-French sentiment resulting from his association with the new movement of German nationalism.  Dana Gooley writes at length on the subject in The Virtuoso Liszt: "[He] never lost a certain core of support [in Paris], particularly among the aristocracy and among some of the artistic-literary community...In 1842 Parisian critics began accusing him of 'playing at' Germanness... Liszt made no attempt to cover up his association with Germany.  On the contrary, he displayed it openly by agreeing to perform for a traveling German opera company that had failed miserably in Paris.  The leading aristocrats of Paris organized a soirée to relieve the company's financial burden, and when Liszt assented to participate he became the central attraction... When the concert was announced, [prominent French journalist and music critic Léon] Escudier tried to make sure that attention to Liszt's charity did not overshadow his anti-French songs... This may have provoked, rather than intimidated, Liszt, for at the concert he decided to include a choral performance of his 'Rheinweinlied'... [The performance] took place at the salon of Colonel Thorn, one of the most lavish party-givers in Paris, and it had been organized by seven leading aristocratic women of various nationalities." (18403)

Program, unsigned
Classical Music