chapter  3
9 Pages

'Le roi est mort, vive le roi'

Languages and Leadership in Niecks's Liszt Obituary

This chapter analyses of this obituary, concentrating on the opening section of Frederick Niecks's text and particularly on the rhetorical and structural characteristics in its first paragraph. It adopts some images of Franz Liszt that Niecks employs in the obituary – in this first paragraph, but also elsewhere – and present these images in a context formed by other writings on Liszt. The chapter concentrates on images of Liszt's leadership, his nobility, and his ostensible status as one of the leaders of the musical world. It analyses to deduce some of the possible agendas and assumptions behind Niecks's opinions, and notably those behind his use of different languages. Many aspects of enquiry come together in the French phrase 'le roi est mort, vive le roi' ('the king is dead, long live the king').