Helmut Lohner Speaker
Simon Bernardini Violin
Olaf Maninger Cello
Esko Laine Double Bass
Cordelia Höfer Piano
Holger Groschopp Harmonium
The Artists Stands Alone - Franz Liszt in Rome, 1861 - 1886
Music by Franz Liszt, Gioacchino Rossini and Vincenzo Bellini
Texts by Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, Alfred Brendel, Ernst Burger, Marie zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, Eugen Segnitz, Kurd von Schlözer, Alfred de Musset and other authors
A joyous occasion led Franz Liszt to travel from Weimar via Berlin, Paris and Marseille to Rome in 1861. The composer intended to finally marry Princess Carolyne von Sayn-Wittgenstein on his 50th birthday, 22 October 1861 – an event which the Princess, after a 13-year delay, countless scandals and battles about the annulment of her marriage with Prince Nikolaus von Sayn-Wittgenstein, wanted to celebrate in extraordinary splendour.
But everything turned out differently: the relatives of the princess obtained an intervention by the Pope, whereupon the two of them refrained from a marriage ceremony, as they considered their alliance ill-fated. Even when the princess’s husband passed away in 1864, their wedding plans were not taken up again. The paths of the erstwhile couple went in different directions: Carolyne remained in Rome, studied theology and wrote books.
Liszt turned towards sacral music and led a life that was sometimes glamourous, sometimes reclusive. In 1865 he joined the clergy, and received clerical tonsure and the four lower ordinations from Bishop Gustav Adolf zu Hohenlohe: “My penchant towards Catholicism,” the composer wrote, “originates in my childhood and has become an enduring feeling that dominates me.”
At the Philharmonic Salon, programme designer Götz Teutsch, former principal cellist of the Berliner Philharmoniker, addresses Liszt’s volatile years in Rome. Works of the composer will be performed, as well as music by Gioacchino Rossini and Vincenzo Bellini. The literary framework will be provided by speaker Helmuth Lohner.