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Brahms to Clara Schumann 30 Nov. 1854

June 11, 2010

Brahms to Clara.
Hamburg, Nov.30, 11 o’clock

…. The conditions which you impose for the use of “thou” I had long promised in spirit to grant you.  I have no secrets from you.  In thought I confide everything to you.  Is that not the same as if I did so in words?… You ask whether I should like to accompany you to Bonn.  You surely did not write this as a question?  I should prefer to do so tomorrow rather than the day after tomorrow.  I did not associate the two names Mendelssohn and Kullack.  I use such names as Kullack etc. to annoy people when I am angry.  I do not use Ms name before people who are unworthy of it, but only when I am particularly proud of a certain piece.

You ought not to suspect me of having so little judgment and so little love for innately deep music (and not only for this).  Who knows whether it is you or I who love his music best?  In Lubeck you were less pleased with the A major Symphony than I was.   I readily acknowledge that you have heard Ms works far more often than I have and it is not my fate to be so spoilt in these matters as my dear mother.  Since you have gone I have not been in a single pub, so you can set your mind at rest on that score.  My passion is not nearly so great as you imagine…. Farewell for today.  There is so much noise all round me that writing is difficult.  A thousand thanks once more for your last letter.  Your Johannes.

Litzmann, Berthold, Ed., Letters of Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms 1853-1896, Vol. I, Edward Arnold & Co. 1927

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