Romanticism in Berry
Liszt and George Sand
‘The work of certain artists is inseparable from their life. Totally identified with one another, they are like those immortal beings in fables whose existence is one with a tree in a forest’, writes Liszt to George Sand in the second of his Letters of a bachelierès musique.
This definition could be applied equally to both these artist-friends. Liszt was introduced to George Sand by Alfred de Musset at the end of 1834, at the outset of his liaison with Marie d’Agoult. The couple visited Nohant twice in 1837, shortly after George Sand had met Chopin the previous year at the instigation of Franz and Marie, to whom Chopin would dedicate his collections of Etudes. Sand’s friendship, indeed passion, for the musician would fade with time, as her relationship with Liszt’s temperamentally difficult mistress became more fraught. Marie’s qualities as a writer could not rival those of her lover’s friend and role model, and Liszt himself confessed, ‘Madame d’Agoult shed many a tear over the glory of George Sand’.