Carolyne von Sayn-Wittgenstein

Liszt and Carolyne's "People Tree" for the late 1840s, early 50s period

Princess Carolyne von Sayn-Wittgenstein (1819-1887): Unlike d’Agoult, CSW was seven years younger than Liszt. Like d’Agoult, she was separated from her husband. Settled in with her in Weimar around 1848, Liszt did more composing around this time than performing. Probably his most important compositional period. Shared literature with her (as well as d’Agoult). Worked on literary works together (a book about the Wagner’s Fliegende Holländer, for example). She was also an author. Tried to get an annulment from marriage, lost Russian citizenship in the process. Liszt, meanwhile, was having an affair with Street-Klindworth. Supposedly this encouraged Carolyne to end her marriage faster. Annulled in early 1861. Around mid 1861 they got back together and began planning a wedding. Catholic Monsignor Gustav Hohenlohe stepped in and argued that CSW’s first marriage was still valid (for the sake of his younger brother, who was married to CSW’s daughter, and their finances). Relationship over.

William Wallace - Liszt, Wagner, and the Princess

  • Carolyne Iwanowsky (57-67)
    • Born on February 8th, 1819 at Monasterzyska in the Province of Kiev to Polish nobleman Peter von Iwanowsky and his wife Pauline von Podoska
    • Married Prince Nikolaus Sayn-Wittgenstein on May 7th, 1836
    • Gave birth to a daughter, Marie, on February 9th, 1837
    • After giving birth Carolyne retired to her estate, Woronince, and spent her time managing the business and studying literature and philosophy
    • October 4th, 1844: Peter Iwanowsky dies of an apoplectic stroke.
    • Carolyne first heard Liszt play at a charity concert in Kiev in 1847 (she paid 100 roubles for a ticket)

Books and essays by list who are generally considered to be by Wittgenstein
-De la fondation Goethe à Weimar (Leipzig, 1851)
-Lohengrin et Tannhäuser de Richard Wagner (Leipzig, 1851)
-F. Chopin (Paris, 1852, new edn 1879/R; several Eng. trans., incl. 1863, 1877 and 1899 as Life of Chopin, 1963 as Frederic Chopin) [orig. pubd by instalments in La France musicale, 5 Feb–17 Aug 1851]
-Des bohémiens et de leur musique en Hongrie (Paris, 1859, 2/1881/R; Eng. trans., 1926/R, as The Gypsy in Music) [orig. pubd by instalment in La France musicale, July–Aug 1859]
Major errors include naming gypsy music as the only music of Hungary. Also, there is an anti-Semitic section about “the Isrealites” that is attributed to Wittgenstein
-Über John Fields Nocturne (Leipzig, 1859)
-R. Schumann’s musikalische Haus- und Lebensregeln (Leipzig, 1860)

Franz Liszt- Author Despite Himself
Books by Wittgenstein, published posthumously
La vie chretienne au milieu du monde et en notre siecle - Entretiens pratiques revises et publies par Henri Lasserre (Paris, 1895)
Christian life within the world and in our century - Interviews practices revised and published by Henri Lasserre
Nos egaux et nos inferieurs (Paris, 1905)
Our equals and our inferiors
Causes exterieures de la faiblesse interieure de l'Eglise (24 volumes- written until her death bed)
External causes of weakness within the Church

JALS: The journal of the American Liszt Society, 18 52-66. “New documents on Liszt as author”
“one had come forward to care if we were pressed like if you move out of necessity”
“we took care not to move with haste to move driven by rainfall as a necessity”
“The main reason was something sinister as the hour before the storm; Oriel believes enter interjections bitter, a defiance to all the elements. Suddenly the continued return of a tonic ComenC of each measure is heard.”
“The main reason is an air of sinister as the hour before the hurricane, enter the ear feels exasperated exclamations, a defiance to all the elements. Forthwith return prolongs a tonic ComenC each measure sound.”

For an excellent biography of Carolyne's early life, check out the discussion in Walker's Liszt, Carolyne, and the Vatican. This is in context of Carolyne's failed attempts to get remarried, and the pages excluded from this scan tell the rest of the story.

Carolyne von Sayn-Wittgenstein and business

  • Her mother had walked out on her father (Peter Iwanowsky) in 1828, when Carolyne was 11; consequently, Carolyne’s father left his fortune and land to her
  • Trained enough in business and smart enough to catch three of her cousins trying to cheat her out of her inheritance by drawing up a fake will in her father’s name (she caught a watermark on the paper post-dating Peter’s death)
  • One of the wealthiest women in Ukraine at the time of her father’s death (1844)
  • She owned property in districts of: Kiev (Staniscince, Bielaski, Buchny, Iwanki), Litin (Woronince, Tencki, Cetwukowce), Berislawl (Wonlowce, Wolfwodowska, Polok), and Mohilow and Jampol (Bielany, Szendrowska, Kislicku, Lozowa) - a total of 14 estates
  • She sold grain (the primary source of fortune for the Iwanowsky family, she learned the business under tutelage of her father), in 1847 traveling through Ukraine, Lithuania, and Russia for business - a 150 mile journey in a horse drawn sled, through hardships of terrain (snow, frozen lakes), animals (wolves howling at night), and weather (snow, flooding); it was in Kiev that she hears Liszt for the first time, sends him an anonymous donation of 100 rubles (about $5,893 - $5,900 today), and Liszt’s insistence on knowing the identity of this person is their introduction
  • Ends up spending a month in St. Petersburg in 1847, business meetings during the day and social engagements at night, which she found wearisome - but this journey and business was to get as much cash as she possibly could without the knowledge of the Wittgenstein family, and escape from Russia with it (according to Walker, 34)
  • Sold much of her land in Kiev in 1848
  • She had serfs (an agricultural laborer bound under the feudal system to work on his lord's estate, basically working to earn your keep - under her father there were about thirty thousand) who were dedicated: “It is an indication of the regard in which Carolyne was held by her serfs that when they learned that her lands were being sold, a group of them came to see her ‘and offered to work double so that I could keep them.’” (Walker, 52 n.)
  • “Today I have just sold one of my lands, one of the first that my grandfather bought, one of the cornerstones of that fortune amassed so laboriously and honestly by the hard work and sincere efforts of two generations of men… I burst into tears when it passed into other hands.” (quoted in Walker 52)
  • People in Kiev did not take her seriously as a businesswoman; when word spread that she was selling her lands, buyers came to her thinking they would pull the wool over her eyes and catch a bargain - she was not so naïve; in a letter to Liszt she said: “I am invaded by buyers who think that with a woman one can simply take; since I wish to sell and not give, the deals are sometimes slow.”; she also says, “I have sold a second [property] for a price as high as has ever been paid, which makes people say that I am not stupid.” (Carolyne, in Walker 53) letter to Liszt
  • She was wise enough to know that putting her money through the Russian banking system when Russia was about to close its borders to Europe because of the revolutions in 1848 was a bad idea; she apparently opened a temporary bank account in Kiev but according to Walker, it appears that she took her fortune with her to Weimar physically
  • The estates in her possession expected to yield for cash in the event of re-marriage (agreement with Nicholas Wittgenstein for marriage annulment 1852, in which Marie is also meant to stay with Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna - which she does for awhile, but eventually moves back to the Altenberg after being frightened by a lightning storm, Walker 140-1); making them worth about 200,000 rubles ($11, 785,800 today)
  • Her estates remaining in Russia were sequestered (take legal possession of something until a debt has been paid or other claims have been met) by Tsar Nicholas I in 1854 because of her refusal to return to Russia after being requested twice (fleeing the first time to Paris, the second time just flat refusing) - to explain non-compliance with the property settlement discussed in the agreement); eventually put into a trust for Princess Marie (in 1855, under Tsar Alexander II), who received 75,000 rubles ($4,419,675 - $4.4 mil today) a year of its earnings; at this time Carolyne was officially exiled from Russia and Marie held the fortune (to receive it either when she married or when she turned 21)