About this work
Liszt's biographer, Lina Ramann, wrote an article about Elegy No.1, which apparently gave him the idea of writing a second Elegy, which he did in 1877 and dedicated to her. The original instrumentation was for violin and piano, but Liszt also arranged it for cello and piano and for solo piano. The second Elegy is shorter than the first, but its main theme is more compelling. It begins with a meditative ascending phrase in the violin, preceding the appearance of the main theme. Tempo and dynamics reach an emotional climax in the middle section. Towards the end, violin trills are accompanied by piano arpeggios, fading calmly afterward.