“Poor Brahms. Poor, poor Brahms.”


Not too long ago I posted about accidentally stumbling upon the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 and how gorgeous it was. Nicole said in the comments section that Brahms is underrated and it’s really true.

I didn’t pay attention to him myself until my choir did his Requiem, and then, of course, I was blown away. Now we’re doing something called Fest-und Gedenkspruche, Op. 109, and it’s just so beautiful.  I also love singing in German.  I think it’s all the v’s (which are reallly w’s) and z’s (which are s’s).

At one point during rehearsal last night our director asked if we liked it, and we said yes, and he said “Poor Brahms. Poor, poor Brahms.”  And he talked about Brahms being under-appreciated, and in his lifetime too. The woman sitting to my left started saying something about Clara, and I didn’t get a chance to ask her for more details, but I got the idea that Brahms loved and must have been unloved by someone named Clara.

Poor Brahms.  Well, I love you.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

5 thoughts on ““Poor Brahms. Poor, poor Brahms.”

  1. Thank you for the link. Absolutely fascinating. Okay, now I love him with reservations.

    It’s interesting though, because based on the parts that he wrote for sopranos, there’s definitely love there, at least love of the sounds that sopranos make.

  2. Yes. And to be more specific, like most DUDES that many of us choose to love, he had really serious issues. 🙂 I guess some things never change … even centuries later.

    I still love him for his work (you can hear the love and the mourning in it) and pity him for his conflicted psyche.

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