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Brahms to Clara Schumann 27 June 1855

June 20, 2010

Brahms to Clara
Wednesday, June 27

Beloved Frau Clara,

At last the longed for Sunday is drawing ever nearer!  If only it brings you!  I am really quivering with expectation.  Each time I am parted from you it becomes more difficult to grow accustomed to it.  May I reckon on receiving a nice long letter tomorrow ro compensate me for my waiting today?  Yesterday evening Joachim played in a quartet at von Dietz’s, five of Haydn’s.  I really felt it was almost too much.  I can enjoy three at the most, after which I can listen no longer, and cannot get away from the last one.  These quartets are really wonderfully beautiful and masterly, and contain, particularly in their magnificent adagios, an amazing wealth of fine and original ideas.  They played one in E Flat major, which, people say, was connected with Haydn’s complaint that ladies were incapable of sitting through a quartet.  He wrote it as the result of a wager.  At the end of the exquisite finale he dupes the ladies in a priceless way by pretending several times to come to an end, and then always beginning again.  We roared with laughter over it.  Today Joachim and I went to the Grafenberg for lunch.
How did things go yesterday at the Theatre?  I thought of you the whole evening.  While the last two quartets were being played I leant out of the window and thought more of you than of the music.  Joachim will probably arrive tomorrow at the same time as my letter, or before.  Are you coming back on Sunday for certain?  Has it occurred to you to have a sort of farewell festival?  And now hearty greetings.  Write to me from Pyrmont, and above all write quickly.  With fond love, Your Johannes.


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

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