Brahms and His World: Revised Edition (The Bard Music by Walter Frisch, Kevin C. Karnes

By Walter Frisch, Kevin C. Karnes

Considering that its first e-book in 1990, Brahms and His international has turn into a key textual content for listeners, performers, and students attracted to the existence, paintings, and instances of 1 of the 19th century's so much celebrated composers. during this considerably revised and enlarged version, the editors stay with reference to the imaginative and prescient in the back of the unique ebook whereas updating its contents to mirror new views on Brahms that experience constructed over the last 20 years. To this finish, the unique essays by way of top specialists are retained and revised, and supplemented by way of contributions from a brand new iteration of Brahms students. jointly, they give thought to such issues as Brahms's dating with Clara and Robert Schumann, his musical interactions with the "New German institution" of Wagner and Liszt, his impact upon Arnold Schoenberg and different younger composers, his method of appearing his personal track, and his effective interactions with visible artists. The essays are complemented by way of a brand new number of feedback and analyses of Brahms's works released via the composer's contemporaries, documenting the ways that Brahms's track used to be understood via 19th- and early twentieth-century audiences in Europe and North the US. a brand new collection of memoirs by means of Brahms's buddies, scholars, and early admirers presents intimate glimpses into the composer's operating tools and character. And a catalog of the song, literature, and visible arts devoted to Brahms files the breadth of effect exerted through the composer upon his contemporaries.

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For example, when offered the directorship of the Music Society in Düsseldorf (a post held earlier by Mendelssohn and Schumann), Brahms declined. In explaining why, he wrote to Billroth: My main objections are of a rather childish nature, and I must remain silent about them. Perhaps the good taverns and restaurants in Vienna, the disagreeable, rough Rhenish tone (generally in Düsseldorf), and— and— in Vienna one can remain a bachelor without any hindrance. In a smaller city an old bachelor is a caricature.

Over the years this came to be a valuable collection, over which he fussed like • 29 • JOHANNES BRAHMS, SOLITARY ALTRUIST an orderly librarian, conscientiously keeping track of every sheet of music he ever lent out. Some of the negative impression Brahms made on others may be attributed to the difficulty he had in using words. ”11 He was often angry and self-critical for saying the wrong thing, and he would mock himself cruelly. m. in the summer), brewed many cups of strong black coffee for himself, and worked without stopping until midday.

Hitschmann described it this way: Too early he came to know the active, frivolous, purchasable sexuality of the prostitute. 18 One would have to assume that unconscious and even conscious fantasies have been incorporated into such reminiscences. Nevertheless, Hitschmann’s imagery suggests that young Brahms may have been seduced into playing the role of an aphrodisiac puppet, a go-between whose physical androgyny might be stimulating to men as well as women. And at a very critical period in his life he entered into the sexually complicated rela• 34 • Peter F.

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