The Zwei Stücke aus ‘Tannhäuser’ und ‘Lohengrin’
, of which the Einzug der Gäste auf der Wartburg
is the first piece, first appeared in print in 1853. For the reissue in 1876 Liszt made a few alterations to the first number, and in subsequent editions, the original text is usually printed with the later alterations as footnotes. Since the ternary structure of the transcription entails a large literal repeat, it is possible to include the details of the later edition (not the variant simplifications) in the repeated section without doing any violence to the work. This repeat is, in any case, Liszt’s own invention to round off the work as a concert piece; in the opera—Act 2 Scene 4, the Song Contest at the Wartburg—the march and chorus move into a further slower march for the entry of the minstrels, which music recurs in another key towards the end of the scene. Liszt turns these two 32-bar periods into a trio section and composes a brilliant modulating return to a shortened version of the march.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1998