Made To Break Your Heart Richard Fellinger
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The marina was adjacent to the keysie oyster bar. The place opened for breakfast and closed at around four in the morning, every day. It took the bar's staff two hours to prep for opening, and roughly the same amount of time to close. Schooner Wharf was as much a local hang out as it was a de rigeur tourist must-see for anyone visiting the Florida Keys. It was a landmark place; part of the Conch Republic. Inside was live music, a resident magician, a well-stocked bar, amazing food, a hand-made cigar roller, and a souvenir shop.
In September, Coach made a rare trip back to Cincy to join the 1964 football team in celebrating our 50 year reunion as part of the Class of '65's year long 50th reunion activities. The very first thing he said to me was how great my \"daddy\" was. Once again Bal touched my heart.
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The relation existing at this time between the elder andyounger Brahms, of which mention was made in an earlychapter, was well illustrated during the homely 'secondbreakfast' for which the party soon assembled. Sociabilitywas rendered impossible, in spite of the persistent efforts ofJohannes, by the father's overwhelming consciousness ofhis son's presence. The awed feeling which possessed Jakobwhenever he found himself face to face with the livingembodiment of his own miraculous success in life was notunnatural, and can only inspire respect for the memory ofthe older man, in whose simple humility, rooted in thestrongest and most legitimate pride, may, perhaps, be recognisedsome of the essential qualities which endeared the greatcomposer to all who were privileged to call him friend.
Brahms was singularly unfortunate this year in his effortsto secure a quiet retreat for the pursuit of his usual summeravocations. Flying, after two days' residence in lodgingsin Gratwein, Styria, from the attentions of some 'æstheticladies' who began to threaten his peace, he took refuge inthe attic of the 'Seerose,' an inn in the Bavarian village ofTutzing, on Lake Starnberg, to receive, the very night of hisarrival, a formal written invitation to make one, during hisstay, of a light-hearted fellowship of youthful authors,painters, and musicians who held their meetings in the house.An early hour of the morning witnessed his second abruptdeparture, the only answer vouchsafed to the missive beingits torn fragments scattered on the floor of his room. Hetook refuge this time with Levi at Munich, and made hisheadquarters at his friend's house during the early part ofthe summer, seeing much also of Allgeyer, who had beeninvited to settle professionally in the Bavarian capital[Pg 121]shortly after Levi's departure from Carlsruhe. Later onBrahms attended the Schumann Festival at Bonn(August 17-19), arranged, by Joachim's suggestion, for thepurpose of assisting a fund for the erection of a memorialto Schumann in the city where the master had passed thetwo last sad years of his life, and where a Beethoven monumenthad been unveiled in 1871. There were orchestralconcerts on the 17th and 18th, both conducted by Joachim,excepting in the case of one work (Wasielewsky), and amatinée of chamber music on the 19th, the programmes, inwhich Frau Schumann, Frau Joachim, Stockhausen, andothers took part, being entirely selected from Schumann'sworks. The festival closed with a social function, an excursionby steamer to Rolandseck. The presence at Bonn ofeach member of the remarkable quartet of great musicians,whom we have seen closely bound together by ties of artisticand personal friendship through nearly twenty years, wasmade the more interesting by the addition of FerdinandHiller, the intimate ally of all four. Many other old friendswere there, of whom Freiherr von Meysenbug, as revivingDetmold memories, should be particularly mentioned.Brahms made some new acquaintances also, notably ProfessorEngelmann and his gifted wife, known in the musicalworld for a few seasons as the pianist Fräulein Emma Brandes,who retired from a public career on her early marriage.
A noteworthy addition was made in the course of the year1877 to the ranks of Brahms' most stanch and influentialsupporters in the person of Hans von Bülow. Remark hasalready been made on the change observable in the earlyseventies in the attitude of this gifted, witty, whimsical,uncompromising, true-hearted musician towards Brahms'art. The publication of the first symphony completed hisconversion, and he soon afterwards began an active propagandaon the master's behalf, to which, carried on as itwas with characteristic vehemence and eccentricity, andstarted at the very moment when the great composer wasachieving the highest summit of fame, an entirely fictitiousimportance has sometimes been ascribed in regard to itseffect upon the outward development of Brahms' career.That von Bülow during the last ten or twelve years of hispublic activity partially devoted his energies to the taskof forcing the master's works upon certain more or lessindifferent audiences, whom he harangued and lecturedconcerning their lack of interest, had no bearing on thefacts that Brahms' place amongst the immortals had beenassured, by practically general consent, with the first fewperformances of the German Requiem, and that by thebeginning of the eighties acceptance of his art had becomeworld-wide. Bülow's new partisanship, destined to bringin its train distinguished friendships that were truly prizedand reciprocated by the master, was touching from itssincerity, but is not of essential importance to Brahms'biographer. It is, however, pleasant to be able to add tothe extracts already quoted from Bülow's writings threewhich, dated October and November, 1877, mark the[Pg 168]beginning of a new epoch in his own career, and in thatof Brahms the commencement of an agreeable and valuedpersonal intimacy. The paragraphs are to be taken merelyas illustrations of Bülow's changed sentiments, and not asnecessarily expressing the personal views of the presentwriter.
Our Brahms, however, who, in spite of his increasingweight, his shaggy beard, his frequently rough manners, hisunsatisfied affections, his impenetrable reserve, remained atfifty, in his heart of hearts, the very same being whom wehave watched as the loving child of seven, the simple-mindedboy of fourteen, the broken-hearted man of thirty, sobbingby the death-bed of his mother, cannot leave the dread gloomof his subject unrelieved by a single ray. He seems, in hissetting of the last strophe but one, to concentrate attention onpast kindness of the gods, and thus, perhaps, subtly to suggesta plea for present hope. How far the musician was justifiedin thus wandering from the obvious intention of his poetmust be left to each hearer of the work to determine for himself.If it be the case, as has sometimes been suggested,that the variation was made by the composer in the musicalinterests of the piece as a work of art, it cannot be held tohave fulfilled its purpose; for the striking inconsistencybetween words and music in the verse in question has adisturbing effect on the mind of the listener. We believe,however, that the true explanation of the master's procedure[Pg 207]is more radical, and is to be found in the nature of the manin which that of the musician was grounded.
The supreme and glorious pre-eminence which the greatmaster had by this time attained in contemporary estimationnaturally made it an object of competition with concert-giversand directors to announce the earliest performancesof his works, and this was especially the case in the rare eventof a new symphony which succeeded its immediate predecessorafter an interval of six years. Brahms, however, hadhis own ideas on this matter, as on every other that hethought important, and after the first performance of thework in Vienna he sent the manuscript to Joachim inBerlin, and begged him to conduct the second performancewhen and where he liked. This proceeding would hardlyhave been noteworthy under the circumstances of intimatefriendship which had so long united the two musicians, hadit not been that the old relation between Brahms andJoachim had been clouded during the past year or two,during which there had been a cessation of their formeraffectionate intercourse. When, therefore, it became knownthat Joachim, acting on the composer's wish, proposed toconduct the symphony at one of the subscription concertsof the Royal Academy of Arts, Berlin, so much disappointmentand heart-burning were felt and expressed thatJoachim, although he had already replied in the affirmativeto Brahms' request, consented to write again and ask whathis wishes really were. The answer came without delay,and was clear enough to set the matter quite at rest.[Pg 210]Brahms desired that the performance should be committedunreservedly to the care of his old friend.
A new and important work by Brahms could hardly failto obtain a warm reception in Vienna at a period when thecomposer could look back to thirty years' residence in theimperial city with which his name had become as closelyassociated as those of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, andSchubert; but though the symphony was applauded bythe public and praised by all but the inveterately hostilesection of the press, it did not reach the hearts of theVienna audience in the same unmistakable manner as itstwo immediate predecessors, both of which had, as wehave seen, made a more striking impression on a firsthearing in Austria than the first Symphony in C minor.Strangel