Count Michael Jurjew Wielhorsky (1788–1856), to use his preferred transliteration, was a Russian singer and composer of independent means, an astute patron of the arts and a friend of both Chopin and Liszt. His music is mostly forgotten today, but Liszt made two transcriptions of one of his songs, variously issued under the original Russian title, which translates as ‘I loved her’, or, according to the French text of the song, Autrefois
. Liszt met Wielhorsky along with several other Russian composers, mostly gifted amateurs from the aristocracy, when he visited St Petersburg in the early 1840s. Apart from a little cadential elaboration, Liszt’s transcription is delicate and straightforward.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1995