September 26, 2007 at 8:44 PM
#1 was a true gentleman. He helped his fellow musicians wherever he went. When #2 was a fugitive from justice #1 gave him refuge and helped him flee the country. He probably would have generously helped #5, had not the latter snubbed him. He was father-in-law to #2 and #4.
#5 once worked as a copyist for #2. Later on he published a “Manifesto” in which he blasted both #1 and #2. However he adored #3.
#4, strictly speaking, was not a composer although he was an important musical personage. He insulted everyone around him except for #2 who he revered. He forgave #2 for everything and there was indeed much to forgive.
#6 earned his living mainly as a music critic. His father-in-law founded the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
#3 was universally beloved. His orchestra was the best in Europe in the mid-nineteenth century — until the obnoxious #4 terrorized his own orchestra into playing even better.
#3 traveled to the United States where he conducted the what was then the world’s largest orchestra. His record was finally beaten by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1997.
#1 and #6 were both decisively inspired by #8. #5 also paid musical homage to him.
#7 was one of very few major composers who was neither a conductor nor a virtuoso performer. #1 wrote many transcriptions of his works.
1 - Liszt
5 - Brahms
7 - Schubert
8 - Paganini
Quizzes are a great idea...!
He must have left CA out by mistake. Once, leaving a party, he said, "If there is anybody that I have not insulted tonight, I apologize for leaving you out."
As I mentioned, I'm not quite sure about #6 but the nose and the hairdo seem to belong to Berlioz.
Wagner took an active part in the revolution of 1848. After the revolution was crushed there was a warrant issued for his arrest. At great personal risk Liszt hid Wagner in his house and arranged transportation out of the country for him.
It was only one example of Liszt's lifelong generosity to his fellow musicians. the only other great composer who showed such nobility in his personal dealings was Verdi.
The pairing of Brahms and Von Bulow is apt, not only because they were both crusty old misanthropes but because they were both ultra-conservative, upholding the tradition of Beethoven.
The progressives, or what became IMHO the true romantic school, started with Berlioz, was carried on by Liszt and Wagner, then on to Mahler and Strauss.
Meanwhile, Johann Strauss, because of his immense popularity was able to afford to hire the first ever full time professional orchestra, which was envied by all the conductors who were (or fancied themselves) on a more elevated artistic realm including Berlioz, Wagner, Liszt, and Von Bulow. However they all adored his music. Even Brahms who once jotted down a fragment of a Johann Strauss waltz and wrote "Not by Johannes Brahms unfortunately."
Von Bulow terrorized his students, his orchestra members and everybody else within reach except for Wagner who he worshipped and served slavishly. Wagner rewarded him by running off with his wife, Cosima, who was the daughter of Liszt.
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