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Clara Schumann to Brahms, 5 May 1876

October 11, 2010

CLARA to Brahms

BERLIN, May 5, 11 [1876] IN DEN ZELTEN.

DEAREST JOHANNES

Here I am once more at home and my first letter is to send you my best wishes for the 7th of May – how often now have I been obliged to convey my birthday wishes to you on paper, which seems so cold compared with a hearty shake of the hand!..

Just fancy, on the return journey I heard Liszt again for the first time in many years, and was carried away by some of Schubert’s things which he played wonderfully, but certainly not by his own works – a Duet for two Pianos on B.A.C.H. was odious, but it became diverting when he flew from one end of the piano to the other.  It is true that he is unique in his mastery of the instrument – what a pity it is that one derives so little calm enjoyment from it, one always feels as if some devilish force were sweeping one along.  I observed him closely and saw all his petty coquetries, his noble urbanity etc.  The women were, of course, mad about him – it was revolting.

Oh, how my heart yearns for Baden once more!  Marie was there for a few days in order to the house ready for another tenant – we have now let it out until the middle of June.  It is always rather a blow to me…

But everything seems to pass away except my cordial wishes for your welfare and my friendship which remains as true as ever.

Your CLARA.

Litzmann, Berthold, Ed., Letters of Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms 1853-1896, Vol. I, Edward Arnold & Co. 1927,pp.289-290.

Clara Schumann

Clara Schumann.

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