Hans von Bülow (1830-1894) is a towering figure of late 19th-century music. In his early years, he was crucial to championing Franz Liszt's instrumental works. He would also conduct the premières of Richard Wagner's musical dramas Tristan and Isolde and The Mastersingers and become the first to perform all five of Ludwig van Beethoven's late piano sonatas in one recital. In 1869, after breaking away from Wagner, Bülow became one of the most important proponents of orchestral works by Johannes Brahms, whom he had known personally for decades. Hans-Joachim Hinrichsen's Hans von Bülow's Letters to Johannes Brahms, originally published in German in 1994, covers the correspondence between Hans von Bülow and Brahms from 1877 to 1892, with Brahms's replies, where obtainable, included in the commentary. In addition to selected facsimiles of letters, postcards, and concert programs, this research edition of the correspondence of these two giants of classical music includes a thorough commentary explaining individuals, events, and issues discussed in the letters. Authoritatively researched, Hinrichsen's edition of these letters, artfully translated by Cynthia Klohr, brings to life the world of music that Brahms and Bülow inhabited.
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As the first complete English rendition of all extant letters written by Bülow to Brahms, Hans von Bülow's Letters to Johannes Brahms is a formidable collection of primary sources, offering critical insights into one of the key relationships in the history of 19th-century classical music. Musicians, musicologists, and historians will all find this book to be a fascinating read.
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