Music Composers

Johannes Brahms-Part 13

A Sealed Book

Resuming, we may say that to the ordinary amateur Brahms is a sealed book. Not only can he not enjoy it, but is is apt to repel him. The reasons are that his is not making any concession to popularity which, indeed, he always despised; then there is a prevalent somberness, which reveals at every moment the North German; also, a lack of spontaneity. We find often the craftsman over shadowing the artist. In his works the feelings for beauty, calculation are predominant over the feelings for beauty.

I would mention as most prominent points in Brahms' career:

His devotion to Bach and Beethoven and the deep almost exclusive study of their works.

The habit of letting his works rest and rest until he could criticise them with cool objectivity.

On the other hand he fell into the other extreme where calculation suffocates spontaneity and inspiration.

The Etude Magazine April 1921





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