Hannes was not always solemn – far from it! He could be as full of fun and wild pranks as any boy. With Christian he worked out a scheme which they both found hugely entertaining. They would knock at the door of a house where, perhaps a century before, some illustrious citizen of Hamburg had once lived.
“Is Herr Georg Friedrich Handel at home?” they would ask with great seriousness.
“Herr Handel?” The housewife would look puzzled . “Why, no – I don’t know anyone by that name.”
“Are you quite sure now?” the young rascals would insist with feigned astonishment. “We understood that this was his house.” Then they would hurry off, shaking with laughter.
Source: Goss, Madeleine & Schauffler, Robert (1943) Brahms The Master. New York: Henry Holt and Company, p.182-183.