New Permanent Exhibition: Franz Liszt In The Photography Of His Time

The Steingraeber Piano Museum will have one more attraction from October 2021 – perhaps the largest collection of original historical recordings of Franz Liszt can now be seen permanently in Bayreuth – divided into nine periods of life from 1843 to 1886. The new cabinet at the “Sound Bridge” (Klangbrücke) is dedicated to that Virtuoso standing in life, in the anteroom to the White Salon (with the Altenburg wallpaper from Weimar) one accompanies the teacher, philanthropist and Abbé in his last ten years from 1876. The bridge between the two Liszt cabinets is an installation in Steingraeber’s baroque staircase – it shows Liszt at the time of his re-encounter with Richard Wagner and his first trips to Bayreuth.

Liszt and Eduard Steingraeber

There he met Eduard Steingraeber again, whom he knew from his last major stay in Vienna in 1846: whenever he played the grand piano from the workshop of Johann Baptist Streicher, it was the budding piano builder Eduard Steingraeber – in the service of Streicher – who was responsible for the concert service. It was a good fortune that Eduard bought Camérier von Liebhardt’s former Margravial Palais  in 1871 in order to enlarge his piano manufacture. Since then, with the Rococo Hall (originally from 1754 and still today with the Liszt grand piano in concert use), he has had a suitable space to use as a concert and rehearsal room for the Wagner family, who moved into the neighborhood in 1872. Franz Liszt, who visited Bayreuth in October 1872 for the first time, also benefited from this. Later he made music in the Steingraeber hall with Zichy, Stavenhagen and other student friends. Many stays in Bayreuth were to follow, the thirteenth and last was from July 21st to 31st, 1886; At that time the Steingraeber grand piano with the number 4,328 stood in his salon next to his death room.

The pianist and music writer Ernst Burger

The city of Bayreuth already owes a large part of the exhibits in the Liszt Museum to the Munich pianist and music writer Ernst Burger. It is a stroke of luck for all admirers of what is perhaps the greatest piano virtuoso of all time that his collection of historical photographs is now to be seen in the immediate vicinity. Burger published four books about Liszt (“A life chronicle in pictures and documents”, 1986 – “Franz Liszt in the photography of his time”, 2003 – “The years in Rome and Tivoli” – “Living and dying in Bayreuth”, 2011) also about Robert Schumann (“A life chronicle in pictures and documents”, 1999) and Erroll Garner (“The life and art of a brilliant pianist”, 2006) and received high awards for this (Grand prix de littérature musicale, Paris 1988 – Ordre pour le mérite culturel, Warsaw 1991 – German Music Edition Prize, 1999 and 2011 – Robert Schumann Prize, 1999). He is also considered a Chopin expert and has an impressive collection on him.

The current hanging corresponds to the one that Ernst Burger had chosen for his private exhibition in Munich, the display cabinets were arranged by himself and on October 19, 2021 he will present the exhibition to the public in person.

Ernst Burger

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