Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gone for a Few Days

Going to be out of the state for a few days; a few of you have written questions to me about technical issues or methods, and I'll try to get back to you as soon as I can!

In the meantime, as is custom whenever I go on vacation, here is another late masterwork by Brahms. Always a mysterious figure, one of the greatest enigmas surrounding Brahms's life was his relationship with Clara Schumann, piano virtuoso and widow of the famous composer Robert Schumann. Scholars have speculated for decades what happened between them - because, obviously, knowing whether they hooked up or not is essential for how we listen to and appreciate the music of Brahms, and such a line of inquiry is a valid funding opportunity for government grants.

Fortunately, however, I recently came across one of Brahms's lost journals in a second-hand bookstore; and the secrets disclosed within will finally give us an answer. Let's take a look:

November 4th, 1876: Cloudy today. Composed first symphony.

August 9th, 1879: Went clubbing with Liszt and Wagner. Hooked up with Clara Schumann. No doubt about it.

October 24th, 1884: Note to self: Find out why I'm writing my journal in English.

April 3rd, 1897: Died from cancer.

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