Lot 166
  • 166


7,000 - 9,000 USD
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  • Important autograph letter signed (“J.Brahms”), to a friend (“Geehrtester Freund”), probably the conductor Carl Reinecke, about the first performance of the complete Deutsches Requiem in the Leipzig Gewandhaus on 19 February 1869
thanking him effusively for the performance, offering unstinting praise and thanks for the concert, expressing his concerns about the work, informing him of a meeting with Ferdinand Hiller and sending the best wishes of the singer Julius Stockhausen ...Die Concerte lassen mich nicht zu Athem kommen, sonst wäre m. Dank nicht so spät & nicht so fliegend gekommen.… Ihre Aufführung eine sehr gute war… 3 pages, 8vo, mauve monogram of “JB” on first page, no place “Feb 1869”, central fold unprofessionally repaired

Catalogue Note

Although no addressee is mentioned, it must be Carl Reinecke, the conductor who had directed the first complete performance of Brahms’s German Requiem in Leipzig on 18 February 1869, where all seven movements were heard for the first time. The performances in the previous year had included only five and six movements respectively. The first time any music from the work was performed was in 1867 where three sections were premiered. Brahms is normally a reticent correspondent, but this letter shows him in a relaxed mood, completely happy with the performance and expressing his contentment vividly. He adds some self-deprecating comments about the work, mentioning its “Schwierigkeit”. Immediately after the performance, Brahms was swept up in concert tours with Julius Stockhausen, the tenor, performing in Vienna and Budapest.

This is one of the most important letters by Brahms to be offered for sale in recent years.