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Johannes Brahms – The Magic of Relationships

online and in the Villa Brahms from 30 June

"The magic of relationships" – what a term in times of the pandemic! A word of longing in times of restricted contacts, without travels to friends and relatives, without shared visits to concerts and museums... It is all the more fitting that the Brahms-Institut now presents exhibits in which the charm of a relationship is inherent: Around 60 valuable music manuscripts, dedicated works, letters and photographs from the Lübeck Brahms collection trace the composer’s complex relations.

For the first time, the Brahms-Institut presents an exhibition both online (since 30 April) and on-site in the Villa Brahms (from 30 June). The visitors meet friends and benefactors who were important throughout the composer’s life: Theodor Avé-Lallemant, the musician-couple Schumann or Hans von Bülow. The »magic of relationships« also unfolds when examining the pictures of women whom the eternal bachelor Brahms kept in his photographic collection. Furthermore, the exhibition focusses on compositions dedicated to Brahms by his closest friends and revering colleagues (Joseph Joachim, Clara Schumann, Johann Strauss, Hans Huber, Carl Reinthaler etc.), works which mirror Brahms: often, the dedicated works refer to Brahms’s preferred genres or to certain popular compositions, such as his Ungarische Tänze WoO 1 or Walzer op. 39.

Key graphic works such as the symbolist painter, graphic designer and sculptor Max Klingers Brahms-Phantasie are inspired by Brahms’s compositions. The various Brahms busts presented in the Gründerzeit winter garden of the Villa Brahms show the ways in which the composer was perceived by the visual artists: from the naturalistic portraits of Tilgner and Küchler, created during Brahms’s lifetime, to the portrait bust by Ilse Conrat, conceived for her Viennese Brahms tomb, to the idiosyncratic solutions of Arno Breker and Milan Knobloch created in the late twentieth century.

The visitors of the exhibition experience the fascination of the suggestive exhibits in the recently restored rooms of the former country home. They are invited to listen to music examples in the winter garden, where the view of the historical Eschenburg-Park ist fare more than a mere ›fair décor‹.

The digital exhibition, however, offers other incentives which are not possible with exhibits ›behind glass‹: zooming, turning the pages of autograph manuscripts, looking at the back of photographies, listening to music when studying historical scores. In this sense, the digital exhibition may also provide the possibility for further immersion after a visit to the museum.

Please note:

From August 23, 2021, admission to the museum will only be granted according to the following rule: you will only be able to visit the museum if you can prove that you have been vaccinated, have recovered or have tested negative on Covid-19. Please present the appropriate proof when you arrive at the museum. A negative rapid antigen test must not be older than 24 hours.

Wearing a medical protective mask covering mouth and nose is compulsory for everybody for the entire duration of the stay. We will also need to collect your contact data.

Due to the current situation, short-term changes are possible. Please consult our website concerning potentially updated hygiene measures previous to your visit.

Johannes Brahms – The Magic of Relationships
online and in the Villa Brahms from 30 June

Opening Times:
From 30 June: Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 2 till 6 p.m. (September 11th: 2 till 5 p.m.)
and online:

Initial Opening:

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Sandberger,
Stefan Weymar

Der Katalog ist erhältlich bei: