Personalities of the musicians

Comfort in the score of Saul

In 1862 Brahms left Hamburg for Vienna.

Brahms was not at all sure that he would remain long in Vienna; but he must have had some premonition that his Hamburg life was nearly over.  He found it hard to say goodbye to his old father and mother; though this time he could leave secure in the knowledge that they would lack for nothing.

“Father”, he said, with a twinkle of his blue eyes, “remember that music is the best remedy for any misfortune.” He pointed to the shelf where his music scores were stacked. “If things ever go badly with you, if you need help, just look through my old copy of Saul.  I think you will find comfort there.”

Sometime later Father Brahms had occasion to remember his son’s parting words about the music cure.  When he opened the score of Saul he found it stuffed with German banknotes!

Source: Goss, Madeleine & Schauffler, Robert (1943) Brahms The Master. New York: Henry Holt and Company, p.175.

By Greg

Australian composer and pianist