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By Oliver Hilmes

In this meticulously researched ebook, Oliver Hilmes paints a desirable and revealing photograph of the extreme Cosima Wagner—illegitimate daughter of Franz Liszt, spouse of the conductor Hans von Bülow, then mistress and as a result spouse of Richard Wagner. After Wagner’s demise in 1883 Cosima performed a vital function within the promulgation and politicization of his works, assuming keep an eye on of the Bayreuth pageant and remodeling it right into a shrine to German nationalism. The excessive Priestess of the Wagnerian cult, Cosima lived on for nearly fifty years, crafting a dead ringer for Richard Wagner via her organizational skill and ideological tenacity.

The first ebook to use the on hand documentation at Bayreuth, this biography explores the achievements of this outstanding and obsessive lady whereas illuminating a still-hidden bankruptcy of eu cultural history.

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No matter what could have taken position among the 2 of them, it was once almost certainly not more than an informal come across, however the alleged liaison among the infamous dancer and the demigod of the keyboard had all of the makings of a sensational scandal. Rumours have been rife within the salons of the interval: Lola Montez was once acknowledged to be Liszt’s mistress, she used to be accompanying him on one among his excursions and he had even received an engagement for her on the Académie Royale de Musique. by the point that Marie d’Agoult received wind of all this, she had had sufficient and used to be all too able to lend credence to the rumours. Liszt arrived in Paris in early April 1844. The couple met and argued. What have been a tough scenario now appeared totally hopeless. yet what Liszt didn't comprehend is that via this date Marie d’Agoult have been engaged on Nélida for an excellent six months. by means of the summer time of 1844, the manuscript used to be comprehensive. briefly, the ‘Lola Montez affair’ used to be now not the outward cause of the radical yet purely a type of catalyst. the connection among Liszt and Marie d’Agoult had lengthy because been lower than pressure. Nélida has on a regular basis been defined as an autobiographical novel, however the plot relies much less on genuine proof than on its author’s mind's eye and on wishful pondering. Be that because it may possibly, it truly is uncertain even if the story of Nélida de los angeles Theiellaye and Guermann Regnier is certainly one of Marie’s larger literary efforts. Such doubts have been raised from an early date, particularly via the poet Pierre-Jean de Béranger, who was once one of many first to learn the completed manuscript and who steered opposed to booklet. ‘Some humans will imagine that they realize themselves within the characters,’ Béranger argued. ‘You’ll be accused of getting painted real-life pictures. ’ yet Marie d’Agoult refused to be deterred by means of those objections. ‘I felt a necessity – blind, maybe, yet none the fewer nearly impossible to resist – to emerge from an isolation of center and brain that had greater than as soon as pushed me to recommendations of suicide. i wished to wreck unfastened from myself and locate a few new curiosity in lifestyles. ’28 Marie d’Agoult’s ‘irresistible desire’ used to be at backside the need to wreak vengeance on her lover of decades’ status. She used to be easily not able to forgive him for the truth that he had by no means seemed her as his muse and as a resource of idea and that he was once now not depending on her as an artist. in a single of the major scenes within the novel, the writer accuses Guermann Regnier – who bears markedly Lisztian positive factors – of creative impotence as a painter. it's an episode that lays naked Marie d’Agoult’s personal complexes and frustrations: in her eyes Liszt used to be artistically impotent simply because he spurned her proposal. In public, Liszt reacted with stunning calm to this tasteless assault on him, commenting laconically that he had by no means meant to develop into a painter. however it turns out transparent that such frontal assaults wounded him very deeply. the 2 of them might now move their separate methods. Years of Happiness ‘Your information of the youngsters, which I got in Lyons, was once a resource of significant excitement to me,’ Liszt wrote to his mom from Nîmes in early August 1844.

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