Franz Liszt (1811-86) was a Hungarian-born child prodigy who grew up to become one of the most influential composers of the 19th century.
By the age of six he was displaying exceptional musical ability. He gave his first concert at the age of 9, and by 11 had published his first piano piece and performed in Vienna before some of Europe’s most eminent musicians. He had two great loves in his life, Comtesse Marie d’Agoult, and later Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein. A man of strong religious feeling, passion, and intelligence he ended his life as a cleric in minor orders, dying at 74 at Bayreuth in Bavaria.
Oh let me repeat that name a hundred times,
a thousand times over;
for three days now it has lived within me, oppressed me,
set me afire.
I am not writing to you, no, I am close beside you.
I see you,
I hear you…
Eternity in your arms…Heaven, hell,
all is within you and even more than all…
Oh! Leave me free to rave in my delirium.
Mean, cautious, narrow reality is no longer enough for me.
We must live out lives to the full,
our loves, our sorrow…!
Oh! you believe me capable of
self-sacrifice, chastity, temperance
and piety, do you not?
But let no more be said of this…
it is for you to question, to draw conclusions,
to save me as you see fit.
Let me be mad, senseless
since you can do nothing, nothing
at all for me.
It is good for me to speak to you now.
This is to be! To be!!!
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