Johannes Brahms in Vienna
The series about historical places of opera art & culture. Get to know exciting excursion and travel ideas for opera lovers. This time: Johannes Brahms in Vienna.
All Destinations on google maps with links to detailed Blogposts:
Johannes Brahms in Vienna
The 29-year-old Brahms visited Vienna for the first time in 1862, and when he presented his G minor piano quartet at an evening event there, the director of the conservatory and musician Joseph Hellmesberger is said to have already proclaimed Brahms the heir to Beethoven. Although Brahms struggled with these comparisons throughout his life, he felt valued in Vienna, which could not be said of his native Hamburg, where his music met with skepticism and he was passed over for appointments. So he decided to accept an offer as choir master and moved to Vienna.
But Brahms did not stay in office for long and became a freelance artist in the 1870s.
Brahms’ center of life remained Vienna until his death. However, Brahms was often on the road, every year 3-4 months took him to the summer resort and in the winter months he was often on the road as a performer and conductor of his own works.
Vienna historic foto Mariahilferstrasse:
Destination Brahms museum at Haydn Gasse
Brahms lived in various apartments after moving to Vienna, and from 1872 until his death in 1897 he lived at Karlgasse 4. The house was demolished, and a memorial plaque commemorates the location of his death residence.
Karlsgasse 4 (historic picture):
Furnishings from his apartment can be seen in the Hayndmuseum at Haydn Gasse 19.
A look inside the Brahms memorial in the Haydn Museum:
Destination Concert hall of the Musikverein
The Musikverein Hall was opened in 1870 and its acoustics have been praised. A cavity under the wooden floor creates a resonance chamber and the suspended coffered wooden ceiling creates perfect vibrations. Brahms’ second and third symphonies were premiered in this venue, both times conducted by Hans Richter. The second was immediately acclaimed, while the performance of the third was repeatedly disrupted by claqueurs of the New Germans, but successfully received in the end.
Brahms made his last public appearance in the Musikverein hall on March 7, 1897. It was a month before his death and Brahms was already stricken with jaundice and weakened when Hans Richter conducted his Symphony No. 4; there was an ovation after each of the four movements.
Brahms, who had also assumed functions of the Musikverein for three years, decreed in his will that his meticulously administered estate should be given to the Musikverein (the Society of Friends of Music). This estate is now located in the Musikverein building and is the only documentation of a musician collected centrally in one place.
Concert hall of the Musikverein:
The Musikvereinssaal is still the performance venue of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Destination Brahms monument in the Resselpark
In Ressel Park there is a monument to Brahms erected in 1908. At his feet lies an inconsolable muse of musical art with a lyre. The figures are made of marble and the steps of granite.
Destination Zentralfriedhof (Central cemetery)
Brahms died on April 3, 1897 in his apartment on Karlsgasse. According to the diagnosis at the time, it was liver cancer; today it is suspected that it was pancreatic cancer. He was buried in a grave of honor in Vienna’s Central Cemetery.
Brahms on his deathbed: