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ELEGIE S.129b

ELEGIE S.129b

Composer:Liszt, Franz (1811-1886)
Instrumentation:ca/vc. pft. (harm) (hp)
Publisher Ref:E725
The first published edition of Liszt's Elégie for cor anglais (or cello) & piano.
Ad libitum harmonium (E725b) and harp (E725c) parts sold separately.

Price: £8.95
Qty
Skill Level:C/D
Duration:4'30
Publisher:Emerson Edition Ltd
Year of Issue:2018
ISMN:M570409068
ISBN:none specified
LISZT’S FIRST ELEGY
This original version of the first Elégie remains Liszt’s only work for a solo woodwind instrument, and was written in memory of the recently-deceased Countess Marie Moukhanoff-Kalergis (1822-1874), who had studied with both Chopin and Liszt, and for whom Liszt had composed his Valse-Impromptu, S213. Marie had become an influential patron of many things artistic, and Liszt was deeply saddened by her death. In the days immediately following he composed a piano piece called Schlummerlied im Grabe, S195a (Lullaby in the grave). Within a very short time he developed the piece into the form presented here. The manuscripts of these two scores are held in the Nuremberg State Library, which kindly supplied photocopies to the Liszt Society, which published both pieces in its annual Journal.
The manuscript is without title, but was already being referred to in the correspondence as an Elegy for Marie Moukhanoff-Kalergis. The MS is very closely-written and much amended during the compositional process. It is designated for cello and piano, harp and harmonium. We may easily conclude that, as in the later published version, the parts for harp and harmonium are ad libitum, as is confirmed by Liszt’s writing an alternate reading for the piano left hand if the harmonium is not present. The designation for cor anglais as an alternative to the cello is clearly indicated by Liszt at the end of the MS, where he writes the incipit of the solo part in the appropriate transposition, and marks it for the cor anglais, by way of an instruction to the printer. However, Liszt had a change of mind, and wrote a further version in which the cello part extended to that instrument’s lower range in a new introduction – out of the range of the cor anglais, and this version – S130bis – was published late in 1874. Thus the present version passed into unpublished obscurity, so it a great pleasure to see it finally in print. There are many significant differences between this score and the 1874 publication, especially in the introduction and at the coda and, as always with Liszt, all the various texts of the work (there are later versions for piano, for piano duet, for cello and piano, and for violin and piano with ad lib. harmonium) are of great interest. In its time, the Elégie was very popular, and it was succeeded by a Zweite Elegie in 1877 (sadly without any mention of a wind instrument).
Source: the autograph manuscript, Nürnberg Stadtsbibliotek, shelf-mark Hs. 107023, I/6
Supplementary sources: Schlummerlied im Grabe – the autograph manuscript, Nürnberg Stadtsbibliotek, shelf-mark Hs. 107023, I/4; the first edition of the later version for cello, piano, harp and harmonium (Kahnt, Leipzig, 1875. Plate number 1828)
Extraordinarily, there were very few occasions for any kind of editorial intervention, and such as were necessary are clearly indicated within square brackets. The MS shows that the piano part at the coda was altered from a first thought of tremolo chords – some extra staves written in crayon after the signature and date contain the preferred arpeggios." - Leslie Howard, London 2018

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