The final versions of the two Élégies
(in volume 9 of this series) are perfect pieces of their kind. But it is interesting to examine the unpublished early manuscript material. The fragments of sketches – Entwurf der Ramann-Elegie – for the first draft of the second piece (composed for Lina Ramann) were collected by Liszt’s pupil August Göllerich. Although they had been later rejected by Liszt, they yield one passage in particular – at the climax before the coda – which is well worth preserving (the rest being more or less identical to passages in the published text). This passage seems to have given Liszt some trouble – and several variants are sketched and then deleted – and even the published text differs between the piano solo and the instrumental versions.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1995