Two page autographed letter by the French composer, c. 1886. With a Paul Boyer cabinet photograph.
Your kind invitation comes too late. I dine Sunday at the camp, and it is far enough from Paris. Do not doubt I beg you, that it would have been a pleasure that I would have had to be with Madame Munkacsy, who so brilliantly led Liszt's procession, also with your friend Diemer. But whom I would especially like to meet with is you.
Thousand affectionate greetings from your well-devoted, dear Madame.
Franz Liszt stopped in Paris on his return to Bayreuth from Rome in April, 1886. He stayed with the painter Mihaly von Munkacsy and his wealthy wife Cecile in their home. While there, the artist made what was the final oil painting of Liszt. The Munkacsy's then repaired with Liszt to their Chateau at Colpach in Luxembourg and Cecile posed with Liszt leaving the home arm and arm in what was the final photograph taken of the composer prior to his death. (July,1886)
Louis Diemer (1843-1919) is considered to be the Father of the modern French piano school. A touring virtuoso in the beginning, he settled down to become one of the greatest piano teachers, including Cortot, Ciampi, Risler, Levy and many more among his pupils. Diemer knew Liszt for many years.
Reyer (1823-1909) was initially a pupil of his aunt, the great French pianist and pedagogue, Louise Farrenc. His fiorst major work was a symphonic ode “Le Selam” written with the poet Theophile Gautier. His second works also with Gautier was a ballet entitled “Sacountala”. Thereafter he spent his time on opera and other vocal works for the stage. He's best remembered for his 1884 opera "Sigurd" which was a French reading of the Nibelung story and considered to be the French national opera. His final opera "Salammbo" in 1890 was also a huge success. Both interestingly received their premiers in Belgium before moving to the Paris Opera. Reyer met Liszt in Rome in 1870 and there is an account of the visit which was published by Reyer describing Liszt’s penchant for cigars and the enormous amount of smoke which ensued.
The Liszt factoid changes the character of what would otherwise be a mundane note. Liszt’s final trip to Paris and Luxembourg with the Munkacsy’s is very well documented.