From 1840-57, Heinrich Ernst was one of the most famous and significant European musicians, and performed on stage, often many times, with Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Liszt, Wagner, Alkan, Clara Schumann, and Joachim. It is a sign of his importance that, in 1863, Brahms gave two public performances in Vienna of his own and Ernst's music to raise money for the now mortally ill violinist. Berlioz described Ernst as 'one of the artists whom I love the most, and with whose talent I am most sympathetique', while Joachim was in no doubt that Ernst was 'the greatest violinist I ever heard; he towered above the others'. Many felt that he surpassed the expressive and technical achievements of Paganini, but Ernst, unlike his great predecessor, was also a tireless champion of public chamber music, and did more than any other early nineteenth-century violinist to make Beethoven's late quartets widely known and appreciated. Ernst was not only a great virtuoso but also an accomplished composer. He wrote two of the most popular pieces of the nineteenth century - the Elegy and the Carnival of Venice - and he is best known today for two solo pieces which represent the ne plus ultra of technical difficulty: the transcription of Schubert's Erlking, and the sixth of his Polyphonic Studies, the variations on The Last Rose of Summer. Perhaps he made his greatest contribution to music through his influence on Liszt's outstanding masterpiece, the B minor piano sonata. In 1849, Liszt conducted Ernst playing his own Concerto Path que, a substantial single-movement work, in altered sonata form, using thematic transformation. Soon after this performance, Liszt wrote his Grosses Konzertsolo (1849-50), his first extended single-movement work, using altered sonata form, and thematic transformation. This is now universally acknowledged to be the immediate forerunner of the sonata, which refines and develops all these techniques. Liszt made his debt clear when, three years after completi

chapter 1|11 pages


part I|53 pages


chapter 2|11 pages

Brünn: 1812-25

chapter 3|10 pages

Vienna: 1825-28

chapter 4|12 pages

From Vienna to Paris: 1828-31

chapter 5|9 pages

Paris: 1831-36

chapter 6|7 pages

Paganini and Marseilles: 1837

part II

Early Tours

chapter 8|9 pages

Paris and Vieuxtemps: 1841

chapter 9|8 pages

Germany, Poland and Paris: 1841-42

chapter 11|12 pages

England, Sivori, and King Ernest: 1843

chapter 13|17 pages

New Repertoire: 1845-46

part III|58 pages

Later Tours

chapter 15|8 pages

The Elite and the Popular: 1849

chapter 16|13 pages

Beethoven and the Classics: 1850-51

chapter 17|10 pages

Amélie: 1852-53

chapter 18|13 pages

Changing Fashions: 1854-55

chapter 19|10 pages

Decline: 1856-57

part IV|51 pages


chapter 23|12 pages

Last Days in Paris and Nice: 1864-65

chapter 24|3 pages