Szerelmi álmok - Liszt (1970) - full transcript

Pianist and composer Liszt was giving performances all over Europe and made his famous concert tour to St. Petersburg, Russia. Liszt's brilliant piano playing impressed the Russian royalty and aristocracy. Even the Russian Tsar had to stop talking when Liszt was playing his piano. Liszt became friends with the Russian composer Glinka. Liszt's beautiful music touched everyone's heart. Women pursued him and his lengthy affair with countess Marie D'Agoult was in trouble. In Russia Liszt met the beautiful princess Carolyne, who soon left her husband for Liszt . She became his last love, and he composed the "Dream of Love", dedicated to her. But the Chirch did not allow Liszt to marry princess Caroline, because she could not terminate her first marriage. Being loved by the public, Liszt was never really happy in his personal life, and he expressed himself making beautiful music. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food

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Welcome, dear Carolyne.

Thank you
for your kind reception.

How was your trip?

The escape from Russia
was like a bad dream.

But your kindness
makes up for everything.

And I feel like a human being
at last. And free.

Yes, a forced marriage
must be hard to bear.

So they say and so I've read.

Enjoy yourselves in Weimar.

Thank you, Your Highness.

As your residence
I offer you Altenburg.

You will soon feel
at home there.

And if our friend Liszt
calls on you...

Call on her?

You see, my brother
has replied to my letter...

He consents, surely?

I would be happy
if it was so.

He refused?

The Tsar, though kindly,
can be adamant, too.

With me, he usually is the latter.

I'm afraid you've chosen
a bad advocate.

I will fight.

I will fight till...

You like fighting for others,
don't you?

Now you'll have to fight
for your own happiness.

So. We'll be torn apart?

Oh no.
But these are hard times.

In Europe
revolutions are raging.

So, if we agreed to
your living together...

we would legalize something

- Your Highness has never been strict.
- Now I must be.

As Your Highness wishes.

The ministry has proved to be
entirely ineffective.

So the ministry
can go to hell.

The sooner we see
their behinds, the better.

Who would have thought
that Mr. Wagner was one of us?

He bawled me out like hell
because the stage door got stuck.

He is very strict.

As to the king, in the person of
Friedrich August IV,

he hasn't answered for anything,
so he couldn't do much harm.

The will of the people
is the noblest principle.

Let him be faithful to it
as long as he is king.

No, no, gentlemen.

I want to hear the melody.

The accompaniment
should hold back.

Once more, please.
Right from the beginning.

Ten minutes rest, gentlemen.

There is trouble.
The revolution in Dresden...

Like in Vienna and Pest.

There's a warrant
for my arrest.

If I get caught, well...

And Minna?

I fled alone.
Fancy my wife coming with me.

She doesn't like
restless souls.

At the premiere of Tannhauser

the Grand Duke
offered me a post here

as second conductor
or as third at the worst.

Things have changed
in Germany.

But I'll talk
to the Grand Duke.

you'll be my guest.

No good.
It can't be done.

Why not?

The German princes have agreed
to extradite fugitive rebels.

Are they going to extradite me?

No. But you'd better leave
the Grand Duchy,

though it will be risky.

I wish our interest were as well
guarded as our sovereigns.

But I will present

even if there will be
a world wide scandal.

Liszt's person is to be spared.

How shall we recognize

He wouldn't take a step
without his beret.

Richard Wagner.
You're under arrest.

I'm the court music director,
Franz Liszt.

Franz Liszt!
You don't say.

What do you want, gentlemen?

Where is Wagner?

I don't know. Gone.

Let's go.

It's all right.

Thank God.

I don't like restless souls.

Your Majesty, Hungary
is lying at your feet.

Thank you, Duke.

Our faithful subjects
will be rewarded.

Missus, when will the wedding be?

Are you going to
invite us, too?

You'll look pretty as a bride.

- Isn't she elegant?
- From her daughter's money.

When will the wedding be?

On May 40th.

Aren't you interested in
what's happened?

What happened?

They insult me continually.

They humiliate me.

Why have you deserted me,

why, my Lord?


I would be extremely pleased
if I could promote your cause.

I would be grateful.

I requested Baron Maltitz
to be present

in his official capacity as
the Tstar's envoy in Weimar.

I want to state officially

that I'm willing to divorce you.

Don't be surprised.

Years have passed
since you left Woronince.

Meanwhile, my situation
has changed, too.

Yes, I know.

So, I should like to see
this matter settled.

So would I, believe me.

Consider yourself a free man.
Officially too.

Let us discuss
a few important details.

For instance, our daughter.

Let's discuss the future
of Marie Sayn-Wittgenstein.

Masha's future?

You don't want to take away
my child?

Considering your present position,

I'm afraid society would take it amiss

if our daughter stayed with you.

Further, the child's fortune,
the estate...

Yes, of course, the estate...

I'm ready to discuss everything.

It shall be as you wish.

I only...

I knew you would not raise
any difficulties,

so we had a draught prepared.

We, the undersigned,

Prince Sayn-Wittgenstein
and his wife Carolyne,

have agreed to the following.

Nicky has agreed to the divorce.

I'll go to Rome and press
for a marriage licence.

Isn't that asking too much?

We should be more modest.

No, Franz.

We must obtain pardon
for our grave sin.

What sin?

Yes, for the sin.

Do you think adultery
is a Christian virtue?

A safe conduct
to the other world?

You've never spoken
like this before.

The Holy Father's assent
means pardon for us.

And then, holy matrimony...
For me, this is now the only way.

I'll go to Rome.

My marriage has been
invalidated by the Pope.

Come at once!

We'll be wed
on your 50th birthday.

This is it.
San Carlo al Corso...

They'll be waiting for us
tomorrow morning.

I wanted it to be
on your birthday.

There'll be masses of flowers
in our honour...

Dear Carolyne...

A poor organist.
Very average.

But a lovely melody,
an old Gregorian chant.

Have you never thought that this
might be your true vocation?

Sacred music?

Yes, often.

Modern man's faith
has not yet found expression.

There is much to be done
in this field.

One... two... three...

four... five... six...

Six o'clock.

Another 14 hours
How can I bear it?

What's 14 hours
after so many years?

Cardinal Honelohe.

Do show him in.


Please, take a seat.

All is ready for the wedding.

We thought you would come
in the morning.

The Sayn-Wittgenstein family
has laid convincing proof

before the Holy See
that the Princess was not forced

to marry Prince Nicholas.

The marriage of both parties
was voluntarily created.

His Holiness now has doubts

as to the justness
of his decision.

But he has given his consent!

His Holiness thinks
it is the will of the Lord.

And what do you think? Why has
the Lord changed his will?

In the interest of your salvation.

It is your salvation maybe,
that of the Princess's family

or the wealth and rank
of the Hohenlohes

which is endangered
by a Gipsy musician.

Please Carolyne, try to check
these words

against His Highness's decision...

Mr. Liszt whom we
so greatly honour...


Please, Carolyne.

Believe me,
it's better for all.

Living in sin is unworthy of you.

What is worthy of me?

The life of a Christian,

who is above
the vanities of this world.

A Christian life of penance.

We do not mean that

but appeasement,

Thank you, Father.

Don't touch me, please.

I will beg His Holiness...


God is punishing me
because I violated His laws.

I must do penance for my sins

as long as I live. Forever.

I'll find comfort in religion.

Do not touch me!

You see, the bars!

I was unable
to break them,

though I wanted so much
to get out of my prison.

But it's impossible.

And I shall be a prisoner

Do not accuse yourself.

Those bars were forged
by the world.

When both of us live
behind bars

maybe our souls
will find peace.

It is very modest, of course.

It suits me.

I hope my playing
won't disturb the brethren.

You are free to play
for most of the day.

Surely, we shall find
much pleasure in it.

Excuse our intruding.

You have distinguished visitors.

We, the Prince of the Church,
visit the Prince of Music.

Holy Father!

We hear you were working
on an ecclesiastical composition.

I have finished
the Legend of St. Elisabeth,

and I'm working on my
Oratorio on our Lord.

We'd like to help you
in your creative work,

but we know Franz Liszt
and the dangers that threaten him.

The dangers which threaten
the artist.

Talent is a treasure
threatened by robbers.

Is Liszt doing his utmost to return
what he owes to God,

safely and enriched,
to the Lender?

I believe so, Holy Father.

His intentions are pure,
no doubt.

I've composed my Grand Mass,
the Legend of St. Elisabeth.

I'm working on my Oratorio.

They and many others
speak in my favour.

Do they not reflect my ideal?

Liszt composed his Orpheus,
Prometheus, Tasso,

Mazeppa, his Dante
and Faust symphonies, too.

And they, too, reflect
his ideals.

We do not disapprove
of those excellent works.

It would not be befitting to interfere
with the musicians' disputes.

It is no sin if Man,
God's creature,

chooses paragons of human greatness
as inspiration for his works.

We would only like to remark

that the Grand Mass and Orpheus

speak in the same voice.

Am I expected to be
two people

to speak in two different

We only object

to the tone of the Mass
being that of Orpheus

instead of being
the very reverse.

Franz Liszt sings
about Christendom,

giving voice, however,
to all worldly ideals.

To what they call
the thoughts of our age.

To the so called
freedom of the people,

which should be rather called
the unhappiness of the people.

The genius of Franz Liszt

is the genius of our sad
and declining century.

For what Liszt lacks
or has been lacking

is the requisite steadfastness.
True? Franz Liszt?

He is believed to be
triumphant and happy.

But we know that he is unhappy.

As if he were standing
outside his own life

not living it, just looking at it,
dreaming about it,

with detachment,
somewhat critically,

somewhat bitterly,
somewhat mincingly...

That is why,
in the midst of ovations,

he always remains
aloof and lonely.

Remember that it is not
the Austrian Emperor

but the King of Hungary
who will be crowned.

Both are impersonated
by Francis Joseph I.

As Austrian Emperor he ruled
Hungary from Vienna.

This is just what has changed.

Even if you don't realize it,

He'll be King of independent
Hungary with Buda as his seat.

So the court of Vienna
has no say in this matter.

It's a Hungarian affair.

And the people want
Liszt's Coronation Mass,

otherwise there will be
gaps in their rows.

He wrote the mass at the request
of the Hungarian prince primate.

All right, dear Baron, but...

let Mr. Preyer conduct
Mr. Liszt's work.

Compromise, eternal compromise...

Your invitation card, sir.

Sorry, I haven't got one.

I only want to hear
my Coronation Mass.

Sorry, I can't allow you further.

I see.

So the Hungarian musician
won't hear the work

he has composed
for the crowning of the King.

All right, sir.

Turn back.


Maestro, pardon me.

I'm a Hungarian
and much ashamed of myself.

With your permission,
I'll accompany you.

Sorry, not that way.

Well, thank you.

Long live the King!

Long live the King!

Long live Ferenc Liszt!

Where's the King?
I want to see him.

- Is that the King over there?
- Yes, dear, he is the King.

May I ask who was just
playing the piano?

My lodger, sir.

That old priest is her teacher.

You come from abroad,
don't you?

Where can I find
the old priest?

Wait, please. Vera!

I'm here.

Excuse me...

I'm Alexander Borodin
from St. Petersburg.

And I'm Vera Timanova
from Moscow.

And Franz Liszt's pupil
here in Weimar.

- You are looking for him,
aren't you? - Yes, yes.

Come, I'll show you the way.

Thank you very much.

Sit down, please.

You are a chemist?

Can a brain hold
two sciences so unlike?

When... where did you find
your technique?

I mean, as a composer?

In one of the German

I never finished my studies
at the conservatory.

Luckily, dear friend,

I, too, was kicked out
of the Paris conservatory.

Do you know the German

Today's German music?

They go on and on

If music were water,
it would flood Mount Ararat.

Noah's pigeon
could not alight on it.

What would I give
for a singe new thought!

And you bring along masses
of new thoughts from the East.

I come from the East, too,
I'm Hungarian.

Your talent is unique.

Work as your genius
dictates you.

Thank you.

But aren't you overrating
my music?

Certainly not.

I'm not complimenting you.
I'd never call bad music good.

But this is excellent!

I'm not talking about the results,
but about the course you've taken.

Your little circle
of four or five friends.

The Group of the Strong.

A good name,
full of confidence.

You're approaching
the crystal clear spring again.

You mean folk music?

The riches
and the virginal purity

that are latent
in all folk music.

Your greatest merit is
in having realized this.

If only you would visit us again.

But I think not.
I'm old and tired.

But you should come to see me.

Send your works,
come in person.

I'm linked to your town
by so many memories.

And by what memories!

Miss Olga Janina,
from the Ukraine.


Not Oleg?

So you are the "Monsieur"
who was writing to me?

I'm Claudia Venturi.

Quiet good. Bach.

Though there are parts
I'd play differently.

Why are you looking at me?

Are you comparing me
to my old picture?

Yes. You're more fascinating now.

Well, if it's music
you are interested in,

come next Tuesday.

Where do all these parcels
come from?

Composers send them in the hope
the Maestro will play them.

Or study them.

Let's stop, dear.

You are absent minded.

You've never played
so badly before.

You are troubled, I think,

by the dissonances
of springtide.

I can't go home,
drenched as I am.

Come in.

You'll find dry things
in there, go and change.

I have loved you
for long years.

I love you madly,
mortally, hopelessly.

All I want
is for you to love me.

For you to take me
in your arms,

so that I can feel
what blissful love is like.

You shouldn't have come.

Why do you expose me
to repentance and shame?

You will have nothing
to repent.

In what state of mind
should I wake up then?

Try and see.

God didn't think
about old age,

but he gave us harmony
as a solace,

in which there is also wisdom,
not only love.

My wild, distant country.
I deserted you.

Will you take your prodigal,
restless son?

For there is nothing left for me,
only you.

And no fidelity
except my fidelity to you.

And I'll fulfil my task
as I once promised you

in those happy,
ecstatic days.

My wild, distant country.

Will you give me a haven
where I can find myself at last?

Mr. Trefort,
the Minister of Education.

Show his Excellency in.

Forgive this unexpected visit.

It's a pleasure and an honour.

Please, take a seat.

This is a formal visit

to the President of the new
Academy of Music.

At last!

The baby was born,
if a little late.

But we must not
rake up the past.

Our Academy is headed
by the world's leading musician.

His Majesty sent me to inform you
about your nomination.

Oh, I wish I were younger,

to be able to help
with the new task.

So you do accept
the nomination?

Yes, Your Excellency.

My beloved Pest-Buda
has taken wing at last.

She has a National Theatre,
and an Academy of Music...

But my future pupils
shall not pay!

I have never taught for money,
nor shall I now.

I'll divide me time.
Pest, Weimar, Rome...

Franz Liszt...

Show him in.

Franz! What brings you here?

I don't know.
Here I am.

Please, sit down.

You are embarrassed.
No wonder.

I have aged,
and grown ugly.

This secluded life
does not suit you.

Why don't you open your
house to the world?

To the best society
of Rome?

I'm afraid, dear friend,

our points of view differ more
than they used to.

You showed me the road

leading to the world
of new, modern music.

And now, when this music...

And now, this music
has degenerated, too.

Like everything
in this wretched century.

I've always felt
it was my century.


Don't you realize
you do not exist anymore?

That you exist for the sake
of others only?

Wagner, Cornelius, Berlioz,
and your other 'geniuses'

You said, I had opened
the gate for you.

May I ask, then,

where your place will be
in the history of music?

Liszt, the uncle of modern music
who leaves his wealth to others,

who use it against him,
like Mr. Wagner did.

And in alliance,
with your own daughter, too.

Please, please...

You came to see me,
my friend.

I didn't ask you here.

You are right.
I have come to see you,

and not for the last time,
I think.

Yes, I hope to see you again.

The trouble is
that you will see me.

Fate at least should
have spared me

from growing old
in this evil, hideous way.

The seconds may be
evil and hideous,

the years are pure
and wonderful.

Good-bye, Carolyne.

Come again, Franz.

If fate permits,
we'll meet again.


You didn't come to meet me.

Why did you visit
all your friends in Europe,

while we were having
Wagner celebrations here?

My friends... who knows
if I shall see them again?

Come now, Father,

You've never liked Bayreuth,
not even in poor Richard's lifetime.

Don't try to find excuses, Cosima.

I do not expect
filial affection from you.

How could you?

As a child,
I was distant from you.

In later years,
you were cross with me.

You are right.

Domestic happiness
has been denied to me.

I wanted you to have
more of it.

I thought you'd find it
with B?low,

rather than in the cold pomp
of Wahnfried,

at the side
of a much older man.

You were friends with Richard

Say it, Cosima, go on,
you are my daughter.

Wagner outshone me
and I am jealous.

No, I wouldn't say
you were jealous, but...

But... But?

You are ill, Father.
You should go to bed.

Come, I'll take you
to your lodgings.

To my lodgings?

Am I not to stay with you?

With a kind old lady
near here.

This would be too noisy for you.
Too many guests.

As you wish, my child.

Mishka, we're going.

Mishka, what's happening?

People are coming
out of the theatre.

But I should have been there!

Tomorrow, your honour.

No! My daughter wanted me to...

She knows that
you are unwell.

Does Richard know, too?

But Mr. Wagner...
more than 3 years ago...

Richard? 3 years ago?

They are applauding.

No, they are coming
out of the theatre.

Oh, why are they
leaving us alone?

Quick! A doctor!

They're applauding.
Mr. Colonne should be told that...

No, don't. Better not...

I'll go and bow
as is befitting.

Heavens! You mustn't!


The restlessness of Faustian man
chased him across the world,

to find abode
in a distant dream town,

and repose
in humaneness to come.

Out of the disquiet quiet
of his grave,

the Faustian struggle of the future
will sprout

and drive on his disciples
as well,

until the time
of humanity's happiness.

This is the work
of Ferenc Liszt.

Let the Faust symphony resound.