The Vossische Zeitung has on this tenth anniversary of Brahms’s death a short reminiscence by the violinist and writer Franz Friedberg. The main theme is Brahms’s humorous, sarcastic, and sometimes downright rude behavior. A few examples: Friedberg relates that when Brahms was arguing a point but saw the other didn’t understand, he would give up, saying “ach, was!” (“whatever!”) and end the conversation. This customary response became famous in Vienna.
The music critic Julius Bauer made a toast at a dinner party to Brahms, calling him “den großten Schimpfoniker” (instead of Sinfoniker) of his time.
The first time Friedberg encountered Brahms was when he was a student at the Vienna Conservatory. He was part of a group of friends who after being out late, decided to congregate in a couple hours’ time so they could hike up a mountain to see the sun rise. Brahms ended up being over an hour late, however. His friends reproached him and wanted to call the excursion off, since the sun had now risen. But Brahms insisted that he wasn’t late and made them go through with the hike. On the way he made them all laugh again by acting very silly. When they arrived and the sun was high in the sky, Brahms exclaimed how beautiful it was and how right he had been to make them wait.
Erinnerungen an Johannes Brahms. Zum 10. Todestage des Meisters. Von Franz Friedberg. Vossische Zeitung, 3 April 1907, Morgen-Ausgabe, p. 2.
- Brahms Abend at the Philharmonie: Otto Marienhagen conducting the Philharmonic Orchestra with the singer Therese Schnabel-Behr (the wife of Artur Schnabel), Anton Witek performing the Violin Concerto, and the 2nd Symphony. Starts at 7:30, price is 75 pfennigs.
- Brahms Sonata-Abend: The three Violin Sonatas will be performed by Coenraad Bos, piano, and Ludwig Wüllner, violin. The proceeds from the concert will go to the rescuers involved with the ship wreck last February. (Wüllner was primarily a singer, but he also played the violin. He was one of the first to try out the D minor Sonata with Brahms himself before it was published.)
- A Russian symphony concert conducted by S. Rumschiysky will feature music by Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky, and a symphony by Scriabin. F. Busoni will also perform the E-flat Piano Concerto by Liszt.
- The Welsh mezzo-soprano Teify Davies is giving a Lieder-Abend with Erich J. Wolff at the piano. Composers represented include Herr Wolff, Walter Meyrówitz (the singer’s husband), Brahms, Fleck, and Tchaikovsky. Folk songs in English, Scottish, Irish, and Welsh will close the program.
- At the Königliche Oper: Strauss, Salome, Leo Blech conducting
- Komische Oper: Berlioz, Fausts Verdammung
- Lortzing Theater: Der Wildschütz
- Theater des Westens: Die Lustige Witwe
- Deutsch-Amerikanisches Theater: Mamselle Ritouche
- Central Theater: Wiener Blut