5. 11 September 1968

Dear Alan,

how nice to hear from you and to learn that I'm still in your list, if not in your Liszt; as to which I'm afraid that with the best will in the world I can't help you, much as I would like to. First, candour compels me to admit that if I have a little weakness it's on the subject of Liszt's songs. 

I don't know them really well enough, that is, to be able to catch up to the required extent – at my time of life in general, and in particular at this rather hectic phase of it, when I seem to be working on (inter alia) three books at once already. A pity; because I like the works and find them interesting. I well recall hearing them on those Hungarian discs, and having a word or two with you on the subject over lunch one day. My recollection is of getting the strong impression (as I do about almost everything) that you know much more about them than I do. If I may make a suggestion which may not have occurred to you – how about doing them yourself?

   I'm sorry, truly, that I can't be of more service to you; I'd have been happy to help if I could –  and rather flattered too. I add that because in a wild moment the other day I acquired your Chopin volume (in a sale admittedly, but I did actually buy it:) and was pleased to find how well it continues to read. Make the next one on Brahms, say, or Mendelssohn , and I'd be more dependable in any emergency that might arise.

   I see quite a lot of Jon Thomson these days, and he sometimes speaks wistfully (well, fairly wistfully) of his Barrie days. What else are you doing for them or generally?

   How about lunch one day? It's my turn.

   Yours ever Eric


PS- I'd be interested to know whether you can find a basic idea in Schumann’s Op.12, as Reti did in his Op. 15?