L.A.S. " F. Liszt", Weymar 6 March 1853, [to Gustav SCHMIDT]; 4 pages in-8 filled with tight handwriting; in German.
Long letter of advice on how to conduct Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet, and the Wagner week in Weimar.
[Gustav SCHMIDT (1816-1882) was Kapellmeister in Frankfurt since 1851.]
Liszt sends his correspondent the score of BERLIOZ's symphony, Romeo and Juliet, and a pair of antique cymbals needed for Queen Mab. It will be useful to print in the program the complete title of the second part (Part II. - Romeo alone - Concert and Ball. Grand Fête chez Capulet) as Berlioz indicated in the score. It would not be superfluous to insert in the concert programme, as a commentary on the Scherzo of Queen Mab, the story of Queen Mab (as written in the German text of the score) or better the quotation from Shakespeare. He recommends having the string instruments and winds rehearsed separately several times. The Fairy Mab is a particularly difficult number. When he conducts it, he likes to use the Beethovenian method which consists of beating 4 bars in 4 beats as in C (rythmo di 4° battute, as in the Scherzo of the 9th Symphony) - in this way, one gains calm without impairing precision... He advises to place the antique cymbals near the music stand - and Berlioz generally wishes that the high points last for a very long time.
Then he evokes the project of representing Der Lustige Rath [by J. Hoven, pseudonym of Johann Vesque von Püttligen] in Frankfurt in the summer; he also talks about Raff's opera [König Alfred], and asks Schmidt if he has finished his opera: if he does not wish to give the premiere in Frankfurt, he puts the Weimar stage at his disposal... He asks that the score and parts of Romeo and Juliet be sent back to him immediately after the performance, as both numbers will probably be performed again in Weimar during Easter week, in honour of HM the King of Saxony...
He adds that the three opera perf