Five Facts About Brahms
1. Although Brahms began composing his first symphony in 1854, it was not premiered until November 1876, 22 years later. The whole piece underwent severe edits until he was completely happy with it.
2. An early starter, Johannes Brahms began composing when he was just 11. However, when he was older, he found his early efforts a bit embarrassing and destroyed the majority of them.
3. Brahms loved nature and liked to take long walks in the countryside, giving out sweets to children he met along the way.
4. Johannes Brahms once found himself cornered by a group of talkative female admirers. Having made several unsuccessful attempts to escape, the composer finally lit an enormous cigar. The ladies, engulfed in smoke, chided the composer for his boorish manner. “A gentleman,” they declared, “does not smoke in the presence of ladies.” “Ladies,” Brahms retorted, puffing away, “where there are angels there must also be clouds.”
5. There was a fierce rivalry between Johannes Brahms, who represented traditional forms, and the so-called New German School (led by Liszt and Wagner), who represented advancement and new techniques. This war (called the War of the Romantics) separated the whole of Europe’s musical society right down the middle!
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