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Overture at the Gewandhaus and accorded it a rare accolade: In my opinion,

as an instrumental work this piece is the most important of those I know [by
Wagner], and in some places this is a rst-rate work in terms of its design.79
At the same concert he played some of his own salon pieces, including the
Valse from his fantasy Le Bal. Before he began playing, he turned to Rietz
who was seated near the piano, and proclaimed Res severa est verum gaudium
[A serious work is a true joy], reiterating the words inscribed in large letters
over the auditorium. According to Rubinstein, this remark quite delighted the
audience. The next day he walked to Halle with David in order to attend the
rst concert of the Masonic lodge where David played in the orchestra. I paid
court to Mlle Wunderlich, who, if not exactly a prima donna, is at least a bella
donna,80 Rubinstein joked cynically with Liszt. The composer Robert Franz
had shown him several new pieces, which had impressed him by their elegance,
but Rubinstein was less enthusiastic about Franzs treatment of folk songs. He
had been hard on the Russian nationalist composers for their inappropriate
(as he saw it) use of folk songs, but, in Rubinsteins view, Franz, too, had been
unable to escape their monotony. The end of the year was drawing near,
but Rubinstein declined Carolyne von Sayn-Wittgensteins invitation to spend
Christmas at the Altenburg. He had decided to remain in Leipzig.
The start of the New Year found Rubinstein in Hamburg, where he again performed his Piano Concerto No. 3 and some smaller piano pieces on 6 January
1856. A few days later he was obliged to pen a rather tactful letter to Edith von
Raden, the secretary of Grand Duchess Yelena Pavlovna, concerning his former
relations with Anne de Friedebourg. Before departing from St. Petersburg, Rubinstein had clearly proposed to de Friedebourg. She in her turn had agreed to
await his return before accepting his offer. I set myself a fundamental aimto
try to secure a more brilliant position than I could have offered to Fridebourg
previously, Rubinstein told Raden. Because of his long absence from Russia and his failure to achieve the kind of material success he had dreamed of,
Friedebourg had broken (or had been persuaded to break) her promise and had
agreed to marry Theodor Leschetizky. Rubinstein does not appear to have been
particularly upset by this development: This is, of course, the best thing she
could have done. I congratulate her with all my heart and I am grateful that she
has thereby lightened my load, since henceforth I shall have to work for myself,
which is easier than working for two. It is apparent, however, that Raden had
been against the match from the beginning, and perhaps she had even encouraged Friedebourg to change suitors, for Rubinstein concludes, and I hope that
the actions which have been taken and the circumstances, annulling in this way
your reproaches to me before my departure, will convince you to accord me fairness, while preserving a happy memory of me and allowing me the gift of your
respect, which you once thought necessary to deprive me of, and toward which
all my thoughts are directed.81
After Hamburg Rubinstein gave concerts in Bremen and Hanover, informing Senff in a letter of 6 February that he was pleased about the corrections of
his Six Songs, Op. 8, that were dedicated to Aleksandra Sokolova. Senff pub66 Anton Rubinstein