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Monday, May 10, 2010

How To Shortcut Critics

"Brahms was curiously insecure about his work, and appeared to have nervous dread of seeming to appraise a given piece too highly. Hence this defense mechanism of beating his critics to the punch, as it were, disparaging his music before anyone else had a chance to do so."

Deems Taylor


  1. On the other hand he had no doubts concerning the quality of his work. He even was unable to believe that he could be the author of so wonderful music. He was sure he didn't create it and that he only wrote down, what God suggested him to write. But he would never affirm publicly to be God's secretary. He was a shy and humble man. From time to time he visited a brothel. At least this is what Andrei Volkonsky told me abot him.

  2. Brahms is my favourite composer. It was my father´s and my grandmother´s favourite as well. We all are genetically modified by Brahms and so we are able, since being a tiny baby, to knocking on the table 3 times with the right hand and 4 times with the left hand, synchronistically.
    Alors, ne me raconte pas des sottises! Brahms was much to shy to enter a brothel.

  3. So where did he meet your cute great-grandmother?

    Being a secretary, I thaught, he went there secretly with a special dispensation (not of the pope obviously, because he was a bloody lutheran; but of Himself).

  4. At the age of about 30 I planned to establish a musical magazine (its intended title “Musik machen”). Some articles had already been written by several friends of mine, dedicated for the pilot issue. I was the author of “Johannes and Clara”.

    Although and unfortunately my familiar relationship with Johannes is pure agape, as it was, very sadly, between him and Clara….

  5. It is so hard sometimes to be a german requiem, isn't it? Especially being an artist. Fortunatly he had a friend in Austria who was jewish and catholic like Da Ponte. But no Wiesendonklieder without Werther's pungent awareness of unfullfilled desire, and a mother of 6 children has more important passions than just "Passion". Brahms was shrewd! He published under pseudoname and put big opus numbers to his works, suggesting a huge production. Gesualdo da Venosa wrote his best after killing his wife and the lover of his wife. Maybe Schumann's greatest works were never written, because Brahms was too shy (or too shrewd)

  6. Now I am certain that Brahms isn´t my grandgrandfather. Read what Friedrich Nietzsche said about J.B. (chapter Beurteilungen).

  7. "We all are genetically modified by Brahms..." Like Jesus being an offspring of King David through his step-father Joseph! Once again spirit has triumphed on DNA. Or by sophisticated genetic sound engineering in F sharp major or through transubstantiation induced by His Grace, invoked by the Secretary.

    But you must admit, Robert Schumann's headache... That's hornache!