Music Composers

Johannes Brahms-Part 5

In 1859 Brahms played his new pianoforte concerto at Hanover, Joachim being the conductor, and later at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig; but he soon realized that his life work lay more in the direction of creation than of execution. Great publishing firms accepted his works for publication. Clara Schumann continued her propaganda of Brahm's works and performed in Hamburg his Variations on a Theme of Handel.

The charm of Vienna attracted him at first only for a long visit, but later to permanent residence. Brahms performed there his G Minor Quartet and the Handel Variations, which were well received. Hanslick, the famous critic, wrote very favorably of his work. At Vienna Brahms met Wagner, but the two composers never became intimate. The aversion of Brahms toward other modern masters was equally accentuated. In the three years while he was conductor of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna (1871-1873), he gave evidence of a lack of interest in modern music such as was at hand in the new and revolutionary works of such composers as Liszt and Berlioz; and, when such a one was occasionally performed under has baton, there was so little enthusiasm in his interpretation that it made no impression whatever. He entertained, however, great respect for Verdi, speaking of him in glowing terms and dwelling with pleasure on the fact that in his habits of life, such as early rising, simplicity in clothing and unostentatious demeanour, Verdi resembled himself. Upon once hearing Bulow speak in disparaging terms of Verdi's Requiem, Brahms went immediately to a music store, and obtaining the pianoforte score, read it through. When he had finished it, he said: "Bulow has made a fool of himself for all time; only a genius could have written that."

The Etude Magazine April 1921





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