From Vienna, Austria
A HIGHLY EMOTIONAL VISIT
How do you begin to write a story about revisiting a lifetime as HUGE as that of Franz Liszt?
I know, I know… we are not supposed to have any attachments to our past lives. “Been there, done that, and move on” is what our spirit guides tell us. “Get on with new experiences and lessons.”
And that’s exactly how I feel about most of my other “big” imperial or royal or religious past lives (like Constantine, Theseus, Saint Philip, Pope Julius II, King Phillip II, etc.). A shrug. “Been there, done that.” Let’s get on with clearing any remaining karma.
But there is something about my Franz Liszt and Prince Albert lifetimes, both running in parallel in the 19th century, that has always had a strong emotional attachment to them.
Perhaps that’s because, “it was the time when you were winding down your royalty lifetimes,” as an ancient Egyptian spirit, who ascended 3,500 years ago, told me in a channeling session on Dec 16, 2011.
Because with the Liszt and Albert incarnations, I began to use the power of spirit to change the world, not that of a sword or a gun and brute force. That’s when I began stepping back into a supporting role, allowing the women in my life, like Queen Victoria, to get into the limelight and claim center stage.
As it turns out, unbeknownst to me until after I returned back home to Arizona, Liszt was doing the same at the peak of his career:
After 1842, “Lisztomania” swept across Europe. The reception that Liszt enjoyed as a result can be described only as hysterical. Women fought over his silk handkerchiefs and velvet gloves, which they ripped to shreds as souvenirs. This atmosphere was fueled in great part by the artist’s mesmeric personality and stage presence. Many witnesses later testified that Liszt’s playing raised the mood of audiences to a level of mystical ecstasy. Something that added to the mania about him was that he was extremely generous – he played for charity and gave his earnings to whoever needed it – hospitals, schools, charity organizations, etc. (an excerpt from http://blog.classicalmusicmode.com/historical/the-french-duo-chopin-and-liszt/)
LONG DRIVE IN DRIZZLY RAIN
I knew all of that, of course, long before Elizabeth and I got into the car in our cute Viennese country inn at Neustift am Walde on June 7. And I also knew that our spirit guides use geomancy (physical presence at a site of our past lives), to jog and evoke some of the past memories.
In May 2014, for example, we drove right past Franz Liszt’s birthplace in Raiding on our way back to Vienna from Graz, Austria, without realizing that that’s what it was. So this time, we set this day, June 7, aside just for such a visit. Based on Google maps, it was supposed to be be a short (1.5 hrs) ride from our place in Vienna.
“The best laid plans of mice and men…” If we had tried, we could not have made as many wrong turns as we did on this drive. Of course, we were basically flying blind. No map to speak of. The one we had from Google was completely useless. It did not show any of the local towns or roads.
When we finally got out of car in front of Franz Liszt’s birthplace in Raiding, Austria, after a 4-hour drive from Vienna, we were greeted by gloomy skies and misty rain.
“Don’t bother with the umbrella,” I said to Elizabeth as we approached the gate of the Liszt Museum, which also doubles as a concert hall during the Liszt festivals in June and October.
As it turns out, it was late afternoon and we were the only visitors. We may have to hurry before they close, we figured/
“How did you hear about Liszt and us?” the curator of the museum asked me as he escorted us to the second floor where most of the exhibits are located.
“How do I answer that question?” I thought to myself. “I cannot very well tell him right out of the blue that this was once my home and birthplace.”
“I am a pianist myself,” I replied out loud. “And I have known about Liszt ever since I read a book about him when I was about five.”
Which is true. I had learned to read when I was about 4 or 5, and had read several novels before I actually started attending school. Like “Gulliver’s Travels and the Lilliputians,” And “In Desert and Wilderness” by Henryk Sienkiewicz. And – a biography of Franz Liszt.
It took 60 years for me to discover why the latter novel left such a lasting impression on me at such a young age. I WAS once Franz Liszt. Or to be more accurate, the Altzar soul embodied in the early 19th century both Franz Liszt and Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s Consort and husband, in parallel incarnations.
So you can imagine how I walked into the home in which I was born in October 1811 with more than just a little trepidation.
“What secrets will this place reveal to me?” I wondered.
Elizabeth and i spent about an hour or so in the museum, and walking in and around the house in which Liszt was born. We read every article and examined carefully every artifact.
“What a lifetime that was,” I was thinking.
My life today feels like a little sliver of the Altzar soul in comparison to Liszt’s. And yet there were unmistakable similarities. Not just physically, which are obvious enough (see GYPSIES, LISZT, ALBERT AND I – REVELATIONS – http://wp.me/p1jFeo-25h).
My favorite color is and has been blue. So was Liszt’s. As you can see in a photo in which I am standing to his piano, his Vienna apartment was name the Blue Salon. Unaware of any of this, I was even wearing blue today myself.
And then, check out how Liszt treated the Tsar of Russia in the 1840s and compare it to how I regarded the “Tsar of IBM” in the 1990s.
And so on….
Overall, it was a fascinating visit. I will write more about how we got there and back to Vienna, because that in and of itself was an adventure. But first things first. Which in this case means a story about Liszt’s birthplace.
THE FALL OF HUMBLENESS
As we walked out of the museum, wearing my new dark prescription glasses, I did not see a step. So I stumbled and fell down on the concrete. I only slightly scraped my knee and stubbed my hip a little but was otherwise fine. My dark glasses were not, however. The right lens had fallen right out.
“That was lucky,” I said to Elizabeth as I picked myself up off the ground. “This could have been major trouble.”
I suppose that was my Higher Self humbling me a little on this hallowed ground, and making me leave a tiny blood donation. The reason my fall was relatively harmless is that I didn’t fight it. I rolled with it as I was once taught to do it in paramilitary training,
“But I am not wearing these stupid glasses again,” I told Elizabeth. This was at least the second or third time that they had caused me to stumble while walking down the stairs.
BEETHOVEN AND LISZT
One of the many fascinating images from the Liszt birth home was a tiny gravure depicting Beethoven giving Liszt, a tiny boy by the look of it, and a big bear hug Beethoven gave him after a Liszt concert in Vienna. This was circa 1821, when Liszt was about 10 and Beethoven 51.
Liszt paid the old master back in spades. And not just in a monetary sense. Posthumously (Beethoven died in 1827), Franz Liszt involved himself in the Beethoven Memorial project in October 1839, when it became clear it was in danger of foundering through lack of financial support. Till then, the French contributions had totaled less than 425 francs. Liszt’s own personal donation exceeded 10,000 francs.
That did it. It put Beethoven on a pedestal he deserved… in his hometown of Bonn.
Liszt also contributed his advocacy and his personal energies in concerts and recitals, the proceeds of which went towards the construction fund. One such concert was his last public appearance with Frédéric Chopin, a pair of piano duo giants playing at the Salle Pleyel at the Conservatoire de Paris on 25 and 26 April 1841.
Liszt also0 returned to the concert stage solely for this purpose (to honor Beethoven). He had earlier retired to compose and spend time with his family.
Liszt also wrote a special work for the occasion of the Beethoven memorial unveiling – Festival Cantata for the Inauguration of the Beethoven Monument in Bonn, S.67 (Festkantate zur Enthüllung des Beethoven-Denkmals in Bonn).
This was just one of many charitable actions Liszt had involved himself in while being at the pinnacle of his career. He also helped the flood victims in Hungary by raising funds through his always sold-out concerts. Ditto re. the fire victims in Hamburg. He also helped launch the careers of promising musicians, like Berlioz and Wagner, both of whom are now musical legends, like Liszt himself.
See what I mean about feeling “like a sliver of that soul?”
A FASCINATING VISIT
Overall, it was a fascinating visit. We even ended up in Hungary. Briefly. Unwittingly, of course.
But there are two things I learned about Liszt during our visit to his birthplace that stood out more than any others.
Mocking the Russian Tsar Nicholas I Exacts Heavy Price
First, Liszt always spoke his mind. And sometimes paid the heavy price for it.
Like me, if I may add.
In 1842, Liszt spent the months of April in May in St Petersburg, the Russian capital, at the invitation of Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna. As usual, he dazzled the audiences with his concerts, and was invited to Alexandra’s private apartments, where the Tsarina bestowed him with valuable gifts,
But Liszt’s relationship with the Russian Tsar Nicholas I has always been testy. And Liszt’s irreverence, wit and outspokenness eventually cost him his second marriage.
The Tsar arrived late at the Liszt concert in 1842, and continued to talk to his aids during the performance. Suddenly, Liszt stopped playing in mid-sentence. He leaned forward as if in a prayer. The audience was stunned.
Eventually, the Tsar noticed the hushed silence and wanted to know what was going on. Liszt replied haughtily, with mocked subservience and sharp sarcasm, “music herself should be silent when Nicholas speaks.”
Liszt and the Tsar also clashed on other occasions. The Tsar provocatively asked Liszt to give a benefit concert to the survivors of the Battle of Borodino (in which the Russian army confronted Napoleon’s Grande Armée in an effort to save Moscow from falling into French hands. The battle resulted in 70,000 casualties but failed to stop Napoleon from taking Moscow).
Liszt refused. “I owe my education and my celebrity to France,” he said. “It is impossible for me to make common cause with her adversaries.” (see https://goo.gl/cQ3TBQ).
When the Tsar heard that, he replied, “the hair and political opinions of this man displease me.”
To which Liszt retorted, “I let my hair grow in Paris, and I shall cut it only in Paris. As for my political views, I have none. And will have none until the Tsar deigns to put at my disposal 300,000 bayonets.”
Clearly, that “displeased” even more the “Russian Emperor and autocrat of all Russians” (Tsar Nicholas I imperial title).
Heavy Price for Me, Too: Like Nicholas I, Like Louis XIX of Armonk
Which reminded me of a similar exchange I had with the “IBM Tsar” in 1996, Louis Gerstner, whom I called “Louis XIX of Armonk” in a mocking article. (“Gerstner Brought Back Memories of Another Louis – “L’état, c’est moi!” (Louis XIV; 1638-1715),” I wrote (see http://www.djurdjevic.com/Bulletins/ibm-corporate/tzr96-42.htm).
I even created this image of Gerstner with the following caption:
Le Big Bleu, c’est mois! (the Big Blue, it’s me)
Gerstner was similarly more than “displeased.” In fact, his aides told me later on that he blew up like a hot air balloon after reading this article .
“We had to peel him off the ceiling in his Armonk corner office,” one aide told me. 🙂
Who was Louis XIX?
Nobody. He did not exist. The last French king was Louis XVIII. That was the point of my satire – that Gerstner was trying to make himself into a new emperor.
Like Liszt, I also paid heavily for speaking my mind. Gerstner ordered his aides to cancel all of my consulting contracts with IBM. Which were valued in the millions back then.
I eventually regained some of the IBM business after Gerstner was gone (in 2004). But Liszt paid a heavier price.
LISZT’S “RUNAWAY BRIDE”
The Princess had been previously married to a Russian military officer Prince Nikolaus von Sayn-Wittgenstein-Ludwigsburg (1812–1864). Since he was still alive, she had to convince the Roman Catholic authorities that her marriage to him had been invalid. And she had a case. She was forced to marry him against her will when she was 17.
After huge efforts and a monstrously intricate process, Carolyne was successful (in September 1860). It was planned that the couple would marry in Rome, on Liszt’s 50th birthday, October 22, 1861.
Liszt arrived in Rome the previous day. But by the late evening, the Princess declined to marry him. It appears that both her husband and the Tsar of Russia had managed to have the Vatican’s agreement revoked. The Russian government also impounded her several estates in the Polish Ukraine.
So after living with Liszt for 14 years, Carolyne chose property and titles over love.
Liszt was devastated. The couple separated and never lived together again. And Liszt, once the adoration of the ladies during the “Lisztomania” years, lived out the rest of his life mostly in monastic simplicity. The music he wrote after this breakup and the loss of two of his three children reflected his sadness and increased devotion to God (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_compositions_by_Franz_Liszt).
On September 11, 1862, Liszt suffered another tragedy. Having lost his son in 1859, his 26-year-old daughter Blandine also died. In letters to friends, Liszt afterwards announced that he would retreat to a solitary living. He found it at the monastery Madonna del Rosario, just outside Rome, where on June 20, 1863, he took up quarters in a small, Spartan apartment.
Victoria, Albert, Franz, Elizabeth and Bob: Menage a Cinq
Second, there was at least one occasion, in London in October of 1840, when Liszt gave a concert which delighted Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, both of whom were in the audience.
That in and of itself was a fascinating discovery for me. Because both Liszt and Albert were aspects of the same ALTZAR soul as I am. And (my) Elizabeth was back then incarnated as Victoria.
So it was a “Ménage à Cinq,” you could say, a quintuple affair – that day – when 5 expressions of 2 souls met in the same room!
Extraordinary what our spirit guides won’t think of!
Here are now some other fascinating stories I photographed in the Liszt museum;
HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE THIS RESTAURANT’S NAME?
Upon our return to Vienna, we had dinner at this restaurant. It is located just a few doors down from our country inn where Elizabeth and I are stayibng. The food was excellent. But the restaurant’s name is practically unpronounceable.
Try saying it out loud and you’ll see. It may come our like an old train whistle. 🙂