»Fixstern Beethoven«

First Opening: April 14, 2013

The Brahms-Institut an der Musikhochschule Lübeck showed a special exhibition on Beethoven and Brahms in the spring of 2013. The show at Villa Brahms presented important items from the institute’s collection to accompany the Brahms festival.

Johannes Brahms also found himself forced to measure himself according to Beethoven’s music, if he wanted to be taken seriously as a composer of symphonies, chamber music, or piano sonatas. The view of his Vienna music room shows that he literally had the honored model as a bust directly at his neck when he sat at the piano composing. And yet the great Viennese classicist was not just an inspiration for Brahms, but also a limiting burden.

The sources shown in the exhibition included an autograph Beethoven letter, Brahms’ copy of the score of the Eighth Symphony, Hans von Bulow’s “musical creed”, and programs and photographs. The show directs attention first at Brahms’ First Symphony, which the composer had great difficulties composing. Under the burdensome example of Beethoven, the work became a matter of “life or death”. The conductor Hans von Bülow was so excited about the “First” that he exaggeratedly called it “Beethoven’s Tenth”. Brahms repeatedly performed as a Beethoven conductor. Programs document his work as a pianist and conductor performing the work of the honored master.

It is not least thanks to the efforts of Liszt and Schumann that the first Beethoven monument could be dedicated: in 1845 to mark the composer’s 75th birthday, Ernst Hähnel’s Bonn monument is juxtaposed to Schumann’s musical “monument” for the composer: Fantasie op. 17 – which Brahms performed at his first Vienna concert as a pianist in November 1862.

The exhibition also gives an overview of Beethoven portraits in the 19th and early 20th centuries. From the first portrait bust by Franz Kleins (1812), showing the composer at age 42, through the Vienna monument by Kaspar Zumbusch (1880) to Max Klinger’s spectacular “Beethoven” that celebrates the composer as an artist-genius.

Other Exhibitions

»Kontinuitšten – Haydn und Brahms« (2016)
>>more
»Kontrapunkte – Tschaikowsky und Brahms« (2015)
>>more
»Konstellationen – Mendelssohn und Brahms« (2014)
>>more
»Die Erst- und Frühdrucke Robert Schumanns« (2013)
>>more
»Fixstern Beethoven« (2013)
>>more
»Ich will euch trösten«
Ein deutsches Requiem (2012)
>>more
»Beziehungszauber« (2011)
>>more
»Ikone der bürgerlichen Lebenswelt?« (2008)
>>more
»Ich schwelge in Mozart...« (2006)
>>more
Zeichen, Bilder, Phantasien (2004)
>>more