Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Messing, Scott. “Who Wrote Liszt’s Grande paraphrase of Schubert’s Marche militaire?” The Journal of the American Liszt Society 65 (2014): 5-22.

The Grand paraphrase de concert of Franz Schubert’s Marche militaire, attributed to Franz Liszt and published by the Kunkel Brothers of St. Louis, Missouri in 1907, is actually the work of Charles Kunkel, who attached Liszt’s name to his own arrangement to bolster his company’s reputation. An early potential explanation of the piece posits that Liszt composed the Grand paraphrase before Carl Tausig’s well-known 1869 arrangement of Marche militaire and subsequently withdrew the work in favor of his student’s arrangement, but this hypothesis does not hold up chronologically. Kunkel, who arrived in St. Louis from Germany in 1868, was a relatively successful musician, composer, and businessman, but was known to play fast and loose with authorship and attribution at his publishing house. A close comparison between the Kunkel edition and Tausig’s arrangement of Marche militaire reveals that the former is a derivative of the latter. The structural similarities suggest that Kunkel copied Tausig’s arrangement, making changes and alterations along the way but keeping the basic structure. When Kundel’s edition appeared in 1907, it did not dislodge the popular Tausig arrangement, and the only extant copy comes from the US Copyright Office, suggesting a limited circulation. The same year, Kundel erroneously attached Liszt’s name to a transcription of Wagner’s Feuerzauber, a piece that Liszt never transcribed. Over a decade earlier, Kundel had also erroneously credited the same transcription to Franz Bendel. Given this history of unscrupulous publishing practices, it is likely that Kunkel created a musical counterfeit with the deceased Liszt and Tausig unable to contest.

Works: Charles Kunkel (arranger), Franz Liszt (attributed): Marche militaire. (Franz Schubert). Grand paraphrase de concert (10-15)

Sources: Carl Tausig (arranger): Marche militaire, Op. 51, No. 1 by Franz Schubert (10-15); Franz Schubert: March militaire No. 1 in D major, Op. 51, No. 1, D. 733 (10-15)

Index Classifications: 1800s, 1900s

Contributed by: Matthew Van Vleet

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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