Quotes by Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist and is considered a leading composer in the romantic period.

“It is not hard to compose, but what is fabulously hard is to leave the superfluous notes under the table.” – Johannes Brahms

“Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind.” – Johannes Brahms

“The fact that most people do not understand and respect the very best things, such as Mozart’s concertos, is what permits men like us to become famous.” – Johannes Brahms

“Composers in the old days used to keep strictly to the base of the theme, as their real subject. Beethoven varies the melody, harmony and rhythms so beautifully.” – Johannes Brahms

“Straight-away the ideas flow in upon me, directly from God, and not only do I see distinct themes in my mind’s eye, but they are clothed in the right forms, harmonies, and orchestration.” – Johannes Brahms

“A symphony is no joke.” – Johannes Brahms

“We cling nervously to the melody, but we don’t handle it freely, we don’t really make anything new out of it, we merely overload it.” – Johannes Brahms

“I sometimes ponder on variation form and it seems to me it ought to be more restrained, purer.” – Johannes Brahms

“Those who enjoy their own emotionally bad health and who habitually fill their own minds with the rank poisons of suspicion, jealousy and hatred, as a rule take umbrage at those who refuse to do likewise, and they find a perverted relief in trying to denigrate them.” – Johannes Brahms

“If there is anyone here whom I have not insulted, I beg his pardon.” – Johannes Brahms

“What would become of all historical biography if it was written only with consideration for other peoples’ feelings?” – Johannes Brahms

“How lucky is the man who, like Mozart and others, goes to the tavern of an evening and writes some fresh music. For he lives while he is creating.” – Johannes Brahms

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