Of the three important composers and performers with Weimar connections – Bach, Hummel and Liszt – only Franz Liszt is remembered well. All that remains of the house in which Johann Sebastian Bach and his new bride lived from 1708 to 1717 is a wall with a plaque, next door to the well-known Hotel Elephant, although I understand that the basement of the house is still preserved below the hotel's car park. Bach was leader of the court orchestra and organist from 1708 until 1717, when he moved on to Köthen. It was his first well-paid job and perhaps his first chance to have a full professional orchestra to work with. His eldest sons Wilhelm Friedemann (1710-1784) and Carl Philipp Emanuel (1714-1788) were born here.
Johann Nepomunk Hummel, Kapellmeister from 1819 to 1837, has his bust on a pedestal at the back of the Theatre, looking out over the main road, and is buried with a nice gold-trimmed headstone in the Historiche-Friedhof [the old cemetery]. He also has a plaque on the house in Marienstrasse (now a private house) in which he lived and died.
Fifty metres further up Marienstrasse is Liszt's summerhouse, now the Liszt Museum. Franz Liszt was Kapellmeister from 1848 to 1859, conducting a huge number of works – particularly by Berlioz and Wagner – and turning Weimar into a leading musical centre. He died in 1886, and returned to his house here every summer for the last 17 years of his life. Richard Strauss conducted the first performance of Engelbert Humperdinck's acclaimed opera Hänsel und Gretel in the Theatre in December 1893.
I approached the Liszt Museum from the Park an der Ilm, after visiting Goethe's summerhouse and working my way – past a statue of William Shakespeare – to the Marienstrasse exit from the park. It presents music samples and a lot of information (in German only unfortunately) using headphones which plug into different places on very modern display panels; quite a nice way of doing it. Perhaps more interesting for me were the reconstructions of his rooms upstairs; very heavy and ornate. No photos, sadly.
Liszt is also commemorated in the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt, in the Fürstenhaus in Platz der Demokratie, where earlier in the day I'd seen a a poster for a chamber recital in the evening. So after returning to my pension for some smarter clothes, and finding a quick evening meal, I headed off to the Fürstenhaus for the concert: string quartets by Webern and Haydn, and an octet by Gade, with the Shostakovich octet as an encore: full details in the Music Trail. On the way there I paused to listen to a bassoon and two flutes busking Mozart in Schillerstrasse, rather well actually, and I left a euro in the hat.