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Vaughan Williams on Music$
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David Manning

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182392.001.0001

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Brahms and Tchaikovsky

Brahms and Tchaikovsky

(p.152) (p.153) Chapter 30 Brahms and Tchaikovsky
Vaughan Williams on Music

David Manning

Oxford University Press

The two great points of comparison between Johannes Brahms and Pyotr Tchaikovsky are depth of emotion and facility of expression. In facility of expression Tchaikovsky undoubtedly takes the lead. There was a “musical comedy” very popular not long ago in which a young lady by the name of “Maisie” used to inform the audience that she “gets there every time.” This is exactly the case with Tchaikovsky: he is the Maisie of music; he “gets there every time.” Never a stroke fails; every emotion that he feels he translates into music with the readiness of a true Russian linguist. Herein lies his weakness: that the expression is often too intense for the emotion behind it. Brahms' quality is certainly a particular long-windedness and laboriousness that often verges on the dull.

Keywords:   Johannes Brahms, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, emotion, expression, music

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