She practiced this anarchy in the guise of religion, as the old crusaders out-heathened the barbarians, and raided civilisation in the name of the Cross. George Sand's gospel, summed up briefly by Ramann, is as follows: "'Love, says the authoress, 'is Christian compassion concentrated on a single being.
The list of women who have done work in this direction is fairly extensive, but the number of great names on it is comparatively small. The foremost name is perhaps that of Lina Ramann. In 1858 she began the most important work of her life by opening a normal school for teachers. Her writings have been numerous and valuable.
Ramann has thus pictured her: "The Countess d'Agoult was beautiful, very beautiful, a Lorelei: slender, of lofty bearing, enchantingly graceful and yet dignified in her movements, her head proudly raised, with an abundance of fair tresses, which waved over her shoulders like molten gold, a regular, classic profile, which stood in strange and interesting contrast with the modern breath of dreaminess and melancholy that was spread over her countenance; these were the general features which rendered it impossible to overlook the countess in the salon, the concert-room, or the opera-house, and these were enhanced by the choicest toilets, the elegance of which was surpassed by few, even in the salons of the Faubourg St.
Ramann, in his biography, writes of the curious state of society of the Paris of this Revolutionary period: "Women were beginning to demand freedom and to experiment with the writing of perfervid romances, which questioned the very foundation principles of marriage and made a religion of Affinity." George Sand was a chief crusader against the curse of monogamy.
Minna Brinkmann is a voluminous writer of pieces in lighter vein. Lina Ramann has won fame by her literary work, but has published several worthy compositions also. Constanze Geiger, who appeared at Vienna as an infant prodigy when six years old, has written several piano pieces, also an Ave Maria for soprano, chorus, and organ.
The cause, as explained by Ramann, is, that she cherished an ambition to be Liszt's Muse, and made strong demands for the acceptance of her opinions upon his works. We can easily imagine the situation: A sensitive, fiery composer, who is incidentally the chief virtuoso of the world, dashes off a gorgeous composition, and in the first warmth of enthusiasm plays it to his companion.
Lina Ramann, in her exhaustive biography of Franz Liszt, openly declares that Nos. 9 and 12 of op. 10 and Nos. 11 and 12 of op. 25 reveal the influence of the Hungarian virtuoso. The influence was the other way, as Liszt's three concert studies show not to mention other compositions. When Chopin arrived in Paris his style had been formed, he was the creator of a new piano technique.