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Clara Schumann to Brahms 31 May 1865

June 15, 2010

Clara to Brahms
London, May 31, 1, Orme Square, Bayswater.

It is already plain to me that I must write again, otherwise I shall not get another word from my dear Johannes.  You really might have sent me another note from home, for there is not a moment of the day when I don t think longingly of Germany.  But writing letters here is almost impossible;  the whole day is mapped out minute by minute, and at night one drops into bed almost dead.  It is a most dreadful life.  All artistic interest, in fact all idealism of every kind here is sacrificed to “business” (sic).  Every one lives and strives only for himself, and I cannot describe to you how hard I find this.  Nevertheless I suppose I shall have to decide to come here every year for three months in future (but from March to June), for it is the only way by which I can hope to secure for myself a more or less certain means of livelihood.  But we shall be able to talk about this soon and about many other things as well.
I still continue to be received with the most extraordinary friendliness.  The moment I appear the enthusiasm is so great that I usually have to wait some time before I can sit down at the piano.  The day before yesterday at the Philharmonic Concert I received an ovation after Robert’s Concerto, and tomorrow I shall play it again at the Crystal Palace.  Wherever I go I have to play Schumann and although in regard to the general public this may be merely a matter of fashion, it probably takes it origin in a not inconsiderable number of genuine admirers of Robert’s work, and this affords me great pleasure.  I shall have to play a good deal within the next few days, and I find it a twofold strain in the very great heat.  We are still having the most magnificent weather, which only increases my longing for Baden.  We cannot enjoy it here very often because we never have any time for walks.  Oh, if only these three weeks were over – I count the hours!  On the 20th I shall play for the last time.  I hardly dare to look forward with certainty to my home, and yet how often does my heart not leap with joy at the thought of Baden!…..Your Clara.

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


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