Music Composers

Johannes Brahms-Part 8

Rude But Amiable

In spite of his reputation as a rude fellow, I found Brahms comparatively amiable. He soon honored me with his autograph, the first measures of his famous song Oh versenk.

Brahms was an inveterate smoker. He loved a good weed, but did not turn up his nose at a bad one. Erich Wolff, the composer, used to tell a story about Brahms' cigarettes. He had only just emerged from the Academy of Music at Vienna when he ventured to submit one of his first compositions to the redoubtable master and played it in his house on the piano. Brahms was in a cheerful mood and showed his approbation of Wolff's composition. As the young man rose to go he asked him whether he smoked; and, on Wolff's confessing with a bow that he did, the master said; "Then you shall have something really choice." With that he took out of his cigarette case an Egyptian cigarette with a gold mouthpiece and handed it to the young musician, who received it with thanks and placed it carefully in his breast pocket. "Why do you put the cigarette away? Why not light it now?" asked Brahms.

"I cannot smoke it," replied Wolff, "I shall take great care of it. It is not every day that one gets a cigarette from Brahms."

The Etude Magazine April 1921





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