The most abstract idea conceivable is the sensuous in its elemental originality. But through which medium can it be presented? Only through music. Kierkegaard, Either/Or
It was not in the Brahms that one looked and not in the old and sad poetry but——he wrung out his ear——but here, under your nose, here in the very curiousness and drollness and extraness of the iron and bark. Walker Percy, The Last Gentleman p332
I like the Brahms symphonies, even though he was a reactionary composer … Witold Lutoslawski
Brahms is just like Tennyson, an extraordinary musician with the brains of a third-rate village policeman. George Bernard Shaw
And yet, and yet … last week’s post has me reconsidering Brahms. Julius Katchen has always been one of my favorite interpreter of this composer who may or may not have got his start playing in brothels.