Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/11/21

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] RE: OT Brahams, Beethoven and Mozart
From: Carl Pultz <>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 01:31:42 -0500

Felix wrote:

"Beethoven was, after the first Wien school, Mozart and Haydn, one of the
main first romantic composers and Brahams may consider himself as a to be on
his trail. For him Mozart is far behind in style. Bach was ignored up to the
moment Berlioz rediscovered him. But the true german opponent and, again,
revolutionary in all senses was in fact Richard Wagner who openen the way
for the second Wien school Schomberg, etc. Excuse me not everything in life
is Leica..."

Yes, sir, way off topic, but it's a story worth knowing for anyone who is 
working within a art/craft tradition.

While JS was not heard in concert halls, Mozart knew Bach's music and was 
schooled in the traditions of the German and Italian music that Bach summed 
up and passed on. Beethoven certainly was aware of all his antecedents.

By the time Brahms came to notice, just 100 years after Bach's death, there 
was a grand tradition of Germanic art music, from pre-Bach through to his 
own time. Johannes collected rare scores, owned some of Beethoven's 
sketchbooks, helped organize the great collection of music at the 
Gesellschaft in Vienna, was schooled in the music of his predecessors more 
than any other major figure before him; he was a musicologist. The past and 
the present often lived together in his music. Besides the towering figures 
of Mozart and Ludwig von, both of whom he venerated, it was the idea that a 
whole tradition rested on his shoulders that freaked him out.

He looked over his shoulders at Wagner, too. They were rivals, and 
according to their followers, enemies, but that's not really true from 
Brahms' perspective. He admired Wagner's achievement. It was some of the 
music put out by Wagerians like Liszt and Bruckner that he hated. No doubt 
he worried what was to become of music, and who knows how he'd have 
received Schoenberg? He was cordial to Mahler, personally at least.

You can read in his letters the same sorts of concerns voiced by Adams; a 
generous spirit but cautious and protective of an art form he felt some 
ownership of. I wonder if some of the current masters of photography work 
in color in part (besides the fact that the film is simply better now) to 
distance themselves from the masters of the past. Takes guts to shoot 
Yosemite or aspins in monochrome with a 8x10 after Ansel was there. Or, 
don't even try to do vegetables after Weston.

Well, fortunately most people aren't as shy as Brahms.


- --
To unsubscribe, see