Franz Liszt also admired the Steinway

Franz Liszt spent his summers from 1869 until his teath in Weimar, in the gardener's apartment received from Prince Carl Alexander. The piano presented to him by Steinway & Sons in 1883 was also placed here.

Liszt az alábbi levelet írta köszönetképpen:

"Weimar, 1883

Mr. Steinway,

Most esteemed Sir, – again I owe you many and special thanks. The new Steinway grand is a glorious masterpiece in power, sonority, singing qualits and perfect harmonic effects, affording delight even to my old piano-weary fingers. Ever continuing success remains a beautiful attribute of the world-renowned firm of Steinway & Sons.

In your letter, highly esteemed Sir, you mention some new features in the grand piano; the vibrating body being bent into form out of one continuous piece, and that portion of the strings heretofore lying dormant, being now a part of the foundation tones and incorporated therein as partial tones. Their utility is emphatically guaranteed by the name of the inventor.

Owing to my ignorance of the mechanism of the piano construction, I can but praise the magnificent result in the volume and quality of sound.

Very respectfully and gratefully,

Franz Liszt"

The later history of the imposing, brown instrument is quite adventurous. Three years later, Liszt gave the piano to his granddaughter, Daniela von Bülow, who also became a pianist. Daniela is the eldest daughter of Liszt's daughter, Cosima Wagner. She was born in 1860, from Cosima's first marriage to the conductor Hans von Bülow. In 1886, she married the art historian Henry Thode, and this piano was a wedding present from Daniela's grandfather.

Liszt died in the same year, and the Duke of Weimar turned Liszt's residence into a museum, where Liszt's previous piano, a Bechstein, was exhibited. Daniela had the Steinway transported to her husband's estate in Italy, Villa Cargnacco. Daniela divorced her husband in 1914, and the villa was nationalized, and it, together with the piano, fell into the hands of a later tenant, the poet, writer, and politician Gabriele D'Annunzio.

D'Annunzio died in 1938, and after a hard fight, Daniela regained her rights to the piano and donated the instrument to the Museo Teatrale alla Scala in Milan. The noble instrument can still be viewed today in the museum, in the vaulted bay of one of the exhibition halls.