Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Brahms Among FriendsListening, Performance, and the Rhetoric of Allusion$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Paul Berry

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199982646

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199982646.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 June 2021

Grief and Transformation

Grief and Transformation

(p.229) Chapter Seven Grief and Transformation
Brahms Among Friends

Paul Berry

Oxford University Press

The finale of Brahms’s Violin Sonata, Op. 78, famously incorporates material from his own Regenlied and Nachklang, Op. 59 Nos. 3 and 4. These songs, however, also carried private connotations for Clara Schumann, who first played them during a depressive turn and persistently associated them with melancholy and insomnia. Moreover, months before completing the sonata, Brahms sent her the first 24 measures of its slow movement, along with a letter presenting the excerpt as a self-standing response to news of Felix Schumann’s terminal illness. Chapter 7 reconstructs the shifting contours of Clara’s interrupted encounter—first, with Brahms’s offering of musical reassurance; next, after Felix’s death, with the sunny first movement of an apparently unrelated sonata; then, with a slow movement that reanimated Brahms’s original musical offering; and, finally, with a finale in which that offering returned once more to temper and transform the allusions to songs she had once feared.

Keywords:   Clara Schumann, Felix Schumann, Violin Sonata, Op. 78, Regenlied, Op. 59 No. 3, Nachklang, Op. 19 No. 4, Illness, Melancholy

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .