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Posted October 29, 2008
Just a couple of small observations: <BR/><BR/>**The 27th of February 1854 was the most devastating day of Brahms' life. Robert Schumann threw himself into the Rhine in an attempt at suicide. His derangement interrupted a period of enormous creative momentum in the young composer's life (P36). <BR/><BR/>After the tragedy, Brahms' immediate reaction was to rush from Hanover to Dusseldorf, to Clara Schumann's side. With the support of Grimm, Dietrich and Joachim, he offered what help he could. There were six small Schumann children to be cared for, Clara was pregnant with the seventh, and arrangements had to be made for Robert Physical safety (he would soon be taken to an asylum in Endenich, on the outskirts of Bonn) (P37). On 11 June 1854, Clara gave birth to her eighth (!!!!????) and last child, Felix. (P45). <BR/><BR/>Was Felix the Seventh ??? All my references indicate that Clara Schumann raised seven children, an eighth died in infancy. <BR/><BR/>**WAS IT CLARA'S COMPLEX that caused Brahms to fear public appearances, when he was 23-25(??); given the fact that Clara was an excellent pianist with no equal, and Brahms could not have possibly matched her skills. <BR/><BR/>""J. Brahms wrote copiously to Clara, not only during this tour (1854), but for the next two years as well. For a time he was writing at least once a day, thereby leaving us a treasury of letters which overflow with emotions, and the details of his existence"". <BR/>It looks to me Brahms feared the public, in general. See JB letter to Julius Otto Grimm; ""Dusseldorf September 1855...I intend to play in public this winter and notice with horror that my aversion to playing for people has got quite out of hand. How will it go? At times I am seriously frightened. I do now practice a lot; also I have quite a lot of lessons to give.... (P112)""... Anything to do with Clara's complex!!! I ask?? <BR/>""Brahms first appearance with orchestra took place in Bremen, on November 20, 1855. He played two works by Beethoven: The Emperor Concerto, OP.73, and the solo Fantasy in G minor, OP.77. (P114) <BR/>The greatest portion of what we know about him during these earlier periods of his life comes from what he wrote to Clara (P66). <BR/>Clara told in her diary his letters were her only joy. She too wrote frequently except that her replies have perished `I have often written to him, which always cheers me up, for of course, I cannot write to Robert of the things that occupy my mind; his spirit does not accompany me, when I go into a concert it does not feel me as if he were wishing me success - then I am dreadfully melancholy, and the one thing that lifts me , that always strengthens me, when my courage threatens to fail, is that He, Johannes, the dearest, most faithful friend, thinks of me and accompanies me with his good wishes"" . <BR/><BR/>The letters which still exist are only a portion of what he wrote. <BR/><BR/>""JB to Clara Dusseldorf 22/2/1856. .... I think to myself how beautiful it would be if we both made really vigorous strides and became capable, great musicians. Each of us places the other above himself, what is more natural but that we should squabble with each other, as long as we squabble only with each other..... (P121) Prior to that, on Feb 12, Brahms wrote Clara: ""It always depresses me a little that I am still not a proper musician, but I have the talent for it, more, probably, than is usual in young people nowadays.... (See comments on
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Posted February 25, 2009
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