The two Liszt Elegies
belong very much as a pair: the first (with its French title, Première Élégie
) having been composed for a concert in memory of Marie Moukhanoff, and the second (with its German title, Zweite Elegie
) written for Lina Ramann to thank her for her article about the first one. Both are cast in 3/4, in A flat major. The first also exists in versions for cello, piano, harp and harmonium, for cello and piano, for violin and piano (with optional harmonium), and for piano duet. The second has versions for violin or cello and piano. Both are based on simple, wistful melodies, and both build to impassioned climaxes before trilling their way to rest upon high A flat major chords.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1991