A fine composer and brilliant pianist, history has been unkind to Eugen d’Albert. A pupil of Liszt and friend to Richard Strauss, Pfitzner and Humperdinck, d’Albert left some fine works, including the occasionally revived psycho-dramatic opera Tiefland, plus a respectable body of music for piano. Hardly raw sex on legs to judge from surviving photographs, it’s perhaps surprising then to discover that he holds one of classical music’s least important records, for over 50 years he managed to acquire not one or two, but a remarkable six wives.
Eugen and Hermine d’Albert
Born in Glasgow in 1864 to an English mother and a German-born dancing master of French and Italian descent, he would become a British, German and Swiss citizen one after the other. Fleeing the stuffy tutelage of Sir Arthur Sullivan – having compiled the overture to Patiencein 1881 – young Eugen fled to Germany where he fell in love with Wagner’s Tristanand became the elderly Liszt’s star pupil.
Wife No 1 was the actress Louise Salingré who he married in 1884. They had children (their firstborn, the archer Louis-Albert Salingré came a poor 22nd at...