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Chopin and Liszt: Friends? Enemies? (Read 26473 times)

Offline gethsemane

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Chopin and Liszt: Friends? Enemies?
« on: November 19, 2012, 02:37:26 AM »
What was their relationship to each other?

The only thing I could find was this:

“One evening, while assembled in a salon, Liszt played one of Chopin’s nocturnes, to which he took the liberty of adding some embellishments.

Chopin’s delicate intellectual face, which still bore the traces of recent illness, looked disturbed; at last he could not control himself any longer, he said, “I beg you, my dear friend, when you do me the honor of playing my compositions, to play them as they are written or else not at all.”

“Play it yourself then,” said Liszt, rising from the piano, rather piqued.

“With pleasure,” answered Chopin.

At that moment a moth fell into the lamp and extinguished it. They were going to light it again when Chopin cried, “No, put out all the lamps, the moonlight is quite enough.”

Then he began to improvise and played for nearly an hour. And what an improvisation it was! Description would be impossible, for the feelings awakened by Chopin’s magic fingers are not transferable into words.

When he left the piano his audience were in tears; Liszt was deeply affected, and said to Chopin, as he embraced him, “Yes, my friend, you were right; works like yours ought not to be meddled with; other people’s alterations only spoil them. You are a true poet.”

“Oh, it is nothing,” returned Chopin, gaily, “We have each our own style.”




But I have recently heard that some people say they weren't friends at all, what did they read to give them this conclusion?

Offline j_menz

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Re: Chopin and Liszt: Friends? Enemies?
«Reply #1 on: November 19, 2012, 02:48:40 AM »
They were friends and admired each others work.

They were also both self centred egomaniacs with highly strung "artistic" personalities. They fought. They said nasty things about each other.

But yes, they were friends.

You may find the below link, if not informative, amusing:


http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=302
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline zezhyrule

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Re: Chopin and Liszt: Friends? Enemies?
«Reply #2 on: November 19, 2012, 02:54:30 AM »
I was going to link to those comics, they are so amazing  :D
Currently learning -

- Bach: P&F in F Minor (WTC 2)
- Chopin: Etude, Op. 25, No. 5
- Beethoven: Sonata, Op. 31, No. 3
- Scriabin: Two Poems, Op. 32
- Debussy: Prelude Bk II No. 3

Offline chopin2015

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Re: Chopin and Liszt: Friends? Enemies?
«Reply #3 on: November 19, 2012, 02:58:13 AM »
They were friends and admired each others work.

They were also both self centred egomaniacs with highly strung "artistic" personalities. They fought. They said nasty things about each other.

But yes, they were friends.

You may find the below link, if not informative, amusing:


http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=302

OMg I loved that! LOL but yeah chopin always said, do not play like that to me, that is the Liszt way of playing. But he was teaching people about how to play his way...so
"Beethoven wrote in three flats a lot. That's because he moved twice."

Offline outin

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Re: Chopin and Liszt: Friends? Enemies?
«Reply #4 on: November 19, 2012, 10:08:36 AM »
It is important to remember that the concept of friendship that we may have today does not necessarily apply to the 1900th century higher social classes. It's only natural because you could not be in contact with someone as we can today and frienships often were maintained by writing letters. People also didn't necessarily spend that much time alone with anyone outside their immediate family, so their friendships often stayed on the more formal level.

It seems from his letters Chopin had some close friends from his younger days and it also seems that he later made some female friends who helped him in various ways and then he had quite a few that were friends in a more formal sense. These days we would probably use the word acquintance. It's hard to tell where Liszt would belong to, but probably in the long term more a rival/acquintance than a real friend. They didn't seem too close in contact towards the end. A "beer buddy" with similar interest in the piano maybe?  ;D

Offline tchristec

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Re: Chopin and Liszt: Friends? Enemies?
«Reply #5 on: November 19, 2012, 01:34:40 PM »
I have a manga book for kids on Chopin's life and there are a lot of scenes about him and Liszt.  It's very funny.  I should post pics of it.  They seemed to be quite good friends as far as I can tell.  I think the fact that Liszt played at Chopin's funeral is a strong indication that they were at least somewhat close. 

Offline outin

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Re: Chopin and Liszt: Friends? Enemies?
«Reply #6 on: November 19, 2012, 01:44:50 PM »
  I think the fact that Liszt played at Chopin's funeral is a strong indication that they were at least somewhat close. 
I wouldn't be so sure...funerals of famous people those days were spectacles (they still are for some), not the intimate family events we are used to. Those days it was not as simple as it is now to get time in the flashlights with large crowds, so an opportunity to play at the funeral might also have been a good career move. It might sound cynical today, but people were quite practical back then as opposed to emotional because they simply had to.

I am not disputing their frienship, just pointing out that we do not really know much about it.

Offline j_menz

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Re: Chopin and Liszt: Friends? Enemies?
«Reply #7 on: November 19, 2012, 11:28:22 PM »
I am not disputing their frienship, just pointing out that we do not really know much about it.

Liszt used Chopin's apartment to conduct one of his "affairs".  That suggests a certain level of closeness beyond mere formal acquaintances.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline tchristec

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Re: Chopin and Liszt: Friends? Enemies?
«Reply #8 on: November 20, 2012, 03:24:22 AM »
Liszt used Chopin's apartment to conduct one of his "affairs". 

I hope he left the take out menu on the door ;)

Offline shaggyy

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Re: Chopin and Liszt: Friends? Enemies?
«Reply #9 on: November 20, 2012, 06:24:57 PM »

You may find the below link, if not informative, amusing:

http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=302

Omg those are just awesome!  ;D

Offline chopianologue

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Re: Chopin and Liszt: Friends? Enemies?
«Reply #10 on: November 20, 2012, 06:48:12 PM »
They were good friends, yes.
Liszt were mechanical stuff of piano(hammers, keys)

Chopin were wires, soundboard...

Offline hmpiano

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Re: Chopin and Liszt: Friends? Enemies?
«Reply #11 on: November 20, 2012, 07:00:41 PM »
Liszt used Chopin's apartment to conduct one of his "affairs".  That suggests a certain level of closeness beyond mere formal acquaintances.
It's what caused the bust-up.

Offline j_menz

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Re: Chopin and Liszt: Friends? Enemies?
«Reply #12 on: November 20, 2012, 11:12:08 PM »
It's what caused the bust-up.

It certainly caused "a" bust-up. I don't believe there was ever actually "the" bust-up.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline gethsemane

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Re: Chopin and Liszt: Friends? Enemies?
«Reply #13 on: November 21, 2012, 03:50:01 AM »
What bust-up?

Offline j_menz

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Re: Chopin and Liszt: Friends? Enemies?
«Reply #14 on: November 21, 2012, 03:57:28 AM »
What bust-up?

Liszt hadn't exactly cleared it with Chopin that it would be OK to use Chopin's apartment for his dalliances. When Chopin found out, he was not quite as amused as Liszt had perhaps anticipated. Words were said.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline tchristec

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Re: Chopin and Liszt: Friends? Enemies?
«Reply #15 on: November 21, 2012, 05:11:52 AM »
Words were said.

Because he didn't tell him I bet Chopin called Liszt a scoundrel and a coward. ;D  That probably rustled his jimmies. :P

Offline cmg

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Re: Chopin and Liszt: Friends? Enemies?
«Reply #16 on: November 21, 2012, 10:21:38 PM »
What was their relationship to each other?



The evidence is scant, but it is said that Liszt gave Chopin his fraternity pin (Beta Theta Pi), thus they were "pinned." 
Current repertoire:  "Come to Jesus" (in whole-notes)