No 01: C minor: Lento
No 02: C major: Andantino
No 03: D flat major: Sehr langsam
No 04: C sharp major: Animato
No 05: D flat major: Tempo giusto
No 06: G minor: Lento
No 07: A minor 'Rákóczi-Marsch': Tempo di marcia
No 08: D major: Adagio sostenuto a capriccio
No 09: E flat major: Andante cantabile quasi adagio
No 10: F major: Lento
No 11: A minor: Lento
The manuscript bears a title, a signature and a subtitle in Liszt’s hand, but no date. (We may presume that the earliest likely date is 1847, when the first series of pieces was completed; and the latest possible date is probably 1851, when the second series was already begun.) It reads: ‘Zigeuner-Epos / FLiszt / populäre Ausgabe / in erleichterten Spielart [this last word is a conjecture from an illegible scrawl] / den / Ungarische Melodien und Rapsodien’ (‘Epic story of the gypsies / FLiszt / popular edition / in a simplified performing manner / of the / Hungarian Songs and Rhapsodies’). Thus it is clear that, at the outset at any rate, Liszt intended to publish this set.
The manuscript continues: ‘Nn 1 und 2 bleiben’ (‘Nos 1 and 2 remain’). Therefore we have retained the short numbers 1 and 2 from the Magyar Dalok and Magyar Rapszódiák unchanged. Then we find: ‘Nr 3 – Seite 6 – Variant’ (‘No 3 – page 6 – variant’). This refers to the following bars of music, which are to be substituted from bar 17 to the end of number 3. In keeping with the stated intention, Liszt’s simpler alternative text of the first eight bars is preferred. The next item in the MS is numbered 6, so it may be assumed that the short numbers 4 and 5 are likewise to be retained (again, Liszt’s simpler alternative text for two short passages in the left hand of number 4 has been preferred).
Number 6 is a conflation by Liszt of material from numbers 6 and 12 of the Magyar Dalok and Magyar Rapszódiák. The whole piece is written out in full. The MS then reads: ‘Rákóczi Nr 7’ and a space is left. Here Liszt clearly requires the insertion of the easier of the two versions of the Rákóczi-Marsch which appear in the Magyar Dalok and Magyar Rapszódiák (number 13a), and so we perform it here.
The rest of the manuscript contains numbers 8, 9, 10 and 11, which correspond to Numbers 10, 7, 8 and 9 respectively of the Magyar Dalok and Magyar Rapszódiák. Liszt only writes the (many) passages that are to be altered, and the remaining bars are marked to be taken over from the published versions.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 2002