Johannes Brahms’ music has made it into more than one novel of worldwide fame. The obvious one is “Aimez-vous Brahms?” (English title: Goodbye Again) published by the French author Françoise Sagan in 1959. In 1987, the Japanese writer Haruki Murakami highlights in his novel “Norwegian Wood” both Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 and his Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83. Sagan and Murakami wrote love stories, very different in style, set in a different social context but with a common subject: sexual desire, moral conventions and unfulfilled love, topics linked to Brahms, his biography and his music.
The bigger picture – apparently that is what we have to look at in order to understand what’s happening around us. But is that true? By constantly looking at the bigger picture, we may well miss the little details that matter to take an informed decision. And we may also miss those little details that make an ordinary day an exceptional one.
More and more I start to appreciate very simple joys like a beautiful flower in our garden, a special pattern of the clouds in the sky, the play of light and shadows in the wood… Over the years, our sword flags have become a favourite object of contemplation of mine. Delicacy and fiery passion intertwined, the sweetness and the heat of the summer mirrored in a single plant. They are truly the queens of the garden at the moment of their blossoming.
Serenity and joy – those were the emotions that I felt after I had listened several times to Bedrich Smetana’s Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 15. Interesting when sou consider that the composer wrote this piece st a moment of incomparable sorrow. “The death of my eldest daughter, an exceptionally talented child, motivated me to compose my Trio in G minor”, he confided many years after the tragedy in a letter to one of his physicians.