Brahms Goes to Academia

Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897) once wrote “I am only too often reminded that I am a difficult person to get along with. I am growing accustomed to bearing the consequences of this”. Famously bad-tempered, tactless and cynical, he is once said to have left a party saying “if there is anyone in here I…

Brave New World

In December 1790, shortly before his departure for London, Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809) dined with his friend and former pupil Mozart, and the Dutch aristocrat, Baron Gottfried van Swieten. Mozart was uneasy; Haydn was famous internationally but had rarely travelled, having spent most of the previous 30 years ensconced in rural Eisenstadt as the…

From Major to Minor – Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin

With the song-cycle Die Schöne Müllerin (“The Miller’s Lovely Daughter”), Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828) crafts one of his most loved and deeply-felt works. Its beguilingly simple tale of youthful optimism and unrequited love is a universal one in which the protagonist, an infatuated young miller, lurches from fervent passion to the leaden depths of despair and, ultimately, perdition.