Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms

Excerpt

A literary occupation that busies itself with manufacturing a twenty-first out of twenty books has always seemed to me suspicious. I may say that my writings never came into being in that manner : the present work no more than the others. Needless to say I had been familiar with the Brahms biographies of Max Kalbeck, Walter Niemann, Florence May, Fuller-Maitland, Wolfgang Thomas-San Galli, Heinrich Reimann and Richard von Perger long before I was impelled to write the pages which follow ; but I did my best to forget them all, and only at the close of my labour did I check my facts with the aid of Kalbeck's life of Brahms--incomparable as a collection of materials, full of colour and warmth in its representation, but too discursive and weighted with superfluous controversy. It was my intention to recount the career of the last great master of music produced by the nineteenth century straight from the documents and not from the descriptions of others. There are no outward or inward events in his life which cannot be gathered from his letters and from his music. Yet I should scarcely have succeeded in drawing my portrait, had I not been in time to enjoy the good fortune of feeling the pressure of the master's firm, stumpy hand, to hear the rusty and creaking voice, to listen to his wholly world-remote, unvirtuosic, self-absorbed playing, and to be in contact with his humanity.

The incitements to write this book were manifold. That a portion of my own life coincided with what I have here to tell and that I was intimately concerned with the people and the events of my story--though it was granted me to see and feel them closely but during the last decade of Brahms's time on earth-- is a personal matter which may well justify my desire to write a chronicle of that period, though not my importuning the public.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.