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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000653.txt from 2002/05

Subj: RE: [kl] More Brahms Trivia
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 18:50:02 -0400

There was a discussion of the Brahms/bordello story on the AMS (American
Musicological Society) list about a year ago in the context of the
reliability of various Brahms biographies.

The true version is apparently the non-sensational one. Brahms gigged around
in various clubs, but the bordello story is simply embroidery, with no basis
in any historical data.

Also, Brahms was desperately in love with Clara Schumann. The speculation is
that, at least during his adulthood, the reason he never married was that
Clara was unavailable. There's further speculation that Robert Schumann
had syphilis, which was the reason for his insanity and why Clara's father
opposed the marriage. He was reconciled only when Clara had apparently
healthy children. However, the all died young, perhaps indicating congenital
syphilis. If Clara contracted syphilis from Robert, that would explain why
she and Brahms didn't marry.

I haven't read anything to indicate that Brahms was closeted gay, but it's
certainly a possibility.

Best regards.

Ken Shaw


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