Monday, January 16, 2012

I Dreamed

1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

It turns out that in his mature years, Brahms, a cantankerous and rather solitary, gruff type of person became almost obsessed with issues of anti-Semitism, which had been come to an overt boil during his long tenure in Vienna. The Wagnerian-Nietzsche camp, under the spell of their rabid anti-semitic rhetoric which took over middle Europe in the mid-19th century, upset Brahms to no end.

He wrote a few letters to many of his Jewish friends, including to the famous celebrity violinist and close friend of Brahms' Joseph Joachim, decrying this trend. To this end one of the most bizarre turns of events took place in and around 1860 - Brahms began to be known as ‘Brahms, the Jew,’ chiefly by Wagnerian groupies. In an era of rumor-turned reality, even the public bought the canard that he was Jewish, even though he was raised in a strict Lutheran household. He actually took pride in such rumors and defended his many Jewish friends with ardent loyalty to the end of his days.