Countess Marie d’Agoult

As we approach Mother’s Day, why not look at a few women behind some of the composers. This week we will continue with our recent Lizst theme and look at Countess Marie d’Agoult.

In 1805, Marie was born into a wealthy family in Germany. At the age of 21 she was married to Charles Louis Constant d’Agoult, Comte d’Agoult and became Comtesse. This was an arranged marriage and produced 2 children.

The 1830’s were an intense time for the Countess. 1833 saw her start a relationship with Liszt. In 1834, her eldest child died. In 1835, she decided to move to Geneva to live with Liszt, their first child was born, and she and the Count were officially divorced.

Marie and Franz never officially married. Together they had three children – Blandine (married to a future French prime minister), Cosima (who would eventually become the wife of Richard Wagner), and Daniel (a talented young pianist who died at the age of 20). In 1844, Franz and Marie parted ways and officially separated. Relations had been strained since 1839 when Franz had returned to touring full time and Marie and the children moved back to Paris. It was here in Paris in 1839 that Marie started her writing career under the pen name of Daniel Stern. She published several works starting in 1841 and continuing until a few years before her death in 1876. Two additional works were published after her death. She seems to have lived a full life and has left us with many insights into the world of her time.

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