Music Composers


Johannes Brahms-Part 3

The most important outcome of this tour was a meeting with the great violinist Joachim, and from that date began their lifelong friendship. Joachim was impressed with the young man and wrote to several friends prophesying a great future for him. Moreover, he gave him an introduction to Schumann, who was then at Dusseldorf. Schumann heard Brahms play his Sonata in C Major and many of his other pieces, and both he and his wife expressed the highest admiration for the work presented. More than this, he gave him real practical help by writing to Dr. Hartel and a little later, on October 2, 1853, appeared the new historic article in the Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik, which landed Brahms on one of the highest pinnacles of fame. In this he wrote that a young musician hitherto unknown was destined "to suddenly appear and give utterance to the highest ideal expression of the time; who should claim the mastership by no gradual development, but burst upon us fully equipped as Minerva sprang from the head of Jupiter." This eulogium did at first more harm than good, as it tended to create skepticism, and it took some years for Brahms to prove himself worthy of the honor which had been thrust upon him.

A beginning was made by the publication of the works which had met with the sympathy of Joachim and Schumann; and an introduction to a large number of prominent musicians at Leipsic, including Berlioz, helped still more to make him known. It must not, however, by imagined that the world unhesitatingly endorsed the opinion of Schumann. There were many, as indeed there are many today, to whom the music of Brahms was antipathetic and even revolting. Its idiom was, to a large extent, new, its technic unfamiliar, its message too obscure.

The Etude Magazine April 1921





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