The Final Years of Pilgrimage: Sketches and Sources for Liszt’s Années de pèlerinage, Troisième année

In January of 2016 the Library of Congress acquired a holograph manuscript and a copyist’s manuscript (with composer edits and annotations) of Franz Liszt’s Den Cypressen der Villa d’Este. These two manuscripts are earlier incarnations of the first threnody from the final volume of the Années de pèlerinage. The troisième année was published in 1883, with the bulk of the composition of its component pieces occurring in 1877 or earlier (with revisions ongoing until publication).

Franz Liszt, Den Cypressen der Villa d’Este, early draft, p. 4; holograph manuscript

What makes these two manuscripts particularly special is that their existence was generally unknown prior to their acquisition by the Library of Congress. They reveal a great deal about Liszt’s earlier conception of the piece and alternate routes he might have taken. Fans of the Années de pèlerinage know that there are two “cypress threnodies” in the final set, and the Library of Congress contains a fascinating, nearly-complete sketch of the second threnody as well. Again, one can trace the compositional process as Liszt takes the material in different directions from the path he ultimately chose.

The Library holds three further manuscripts related to the set; two copyist manuscripts (in the same hand) of Angelus!, and a holograph draft of what would become Sunt lacrymae rerum. The Angelus! manuscripts represent a late stage of composition (1882), and both title pages suggest that this is a transcription of the string quartet version—a mistake, or perhaps indicative of a more complicated genesis of the many different versions of this piece that Liszt made over the years. The Sunt lacrymae rerum manuscript contains both alternate versions of recognizable passages and proto-settings of material that would be developed differently in the final version.

If you are interested in learning more about these pieces, you are welcome to attend the #Declassified event on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 11am in the Coolidge Auditorium. We will take a closer look at many of the differences between the manuscript drafts and the final versions of these works, and you can hear the different passages side by side.

 EVENT
#Declassified
“The Final Years of Pilgrimage: Sketches and Sources for Liszt’s Années de pèlerinage, Troisième Année.”
David H. Plylar, Music Division

Featured works include:
1. Angelus! Prière aux anges gardiens
2. 
Aux cyprès de la Villa d’Este I: Thrénodie
3. 
Aux cyprès de la Villa d’Este II: Thrénodie
5. 
Sunt lacrymae rerum

Happy Birthday Gerry Mulligan!

Legendary saxophone player Gerry Mulligan (1927-1996) would have turned 90 today (April 6th)! In commemoration of his birthday and Jazz Appreciation Month, we invite you to explore the Gerry Mulligan Collection at the Library of Congress. Below are links to the collection finding aid, articles, and some fun digital resources. If you have any reference […]

Special Invitation: SHIFT Festival Symposium

The Library of Congress is pleased to invite “In the Muse” readers to attend a special event co-presented with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Washington Performing Arts, as part of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras. On Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 10:00 am a host of distinguished arts leaders […]

This Week: Collecting, Women’s Day & Jazz Legends

This Week at the Library: Tuesday, 3/7, 12:00 pm – Obsession, Collection, Donation: Dayton C. Miller (Lecture) Wednesday, 3/8, 2:00 pm – The Sounds of Feminist Revolution (Lecture) Thursday, 3/9, 7:00 pm – Miles and Trane as Living Ancestors (Lecture) ***** Tuesday, March 7, 2017 – 12:00 pm [Lecture] Obsession, Collection, Donation: Dayton C. Miller, […]

This Week: Hagen Quartet, Hindemith, Monson & Hutchins

This Week at the Library: Tuesday, 2/28, 12:00 pm – Hindemith’s Musical Responses to WWI (Lecture) Wednesday, 3/1, 12:00 pm – Ingrid Monson (Interview) Friday, 3/3, 6:30 pm – American Luthier: Carleen Hutchins (Lecture) Friday, 3/3, 8:00 pm – Hagen Quartet (Concert) ***** Tuesday, February 28, 2017 – 12:00 pm [Lecture] Hindemith’s Musical Responses to […]

This Week: Rachmaninoff, Baseball, Tim Burton + Either/Or

This Week at the Library: 2/14, 12 pm – Plylar on Rachmaninoff (Lecture) 2/15, 12 pm – Baseball’s Greatest Hits (Gallery Talk) 2/17, 7 pm – The Nightmare Before Christmas (Film) 2/18, 12 pm – The Nightmare Before Christmas (Film) 2/18, 8 pm – Either/Or (Concert) ***** Tuesday, February 14, 2017 – 12:00 pm [Lecture] […]

This Week: Jordi Savall, Gershwin & Toon Tunes

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 – 12:00 pm [Gallery Talk] Here to Stay: The Legacy of George and Ira Gershwin Senior music specialist and exhibit curator Raymond White introduces treasures of the George and Ira Gershwin Collection. He will discuss the types of items on exhibit, including music manuscripts, lyric sheets, letters, photographs, and the new […]

Happy Birthday to “Little Mozart”

The Music Division is home to some magnificent Mozart manuscripts, from his Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K. 219, to a handwritten letter from 14 year-old Wolfgang to his sister Nannerl, to his revered Gran Partita. In addition to these (fully digitized!) Mozart manuscripts, our collections also feature reflections and commentary on the […]