Joseph Joachim (b. Kittsee, 28 June 1831 — d. Berlin, 15 August 1907) Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Minor “in the Hungarian Manner,” op. 11 Dedication: Johannes Brahms Composed: Hanover, Summer 1857 Premiere in MS (first version): London, May 2, 1859 Premiere: Hanover, March 24, 1860; published: Breitkopf und Härtel, 1861
Joseph Joachim’s Concerto in D Minor, op. 11 “in ungarischer Weise” has long been considered one of the composer’s finest works, easily overshadowing several of his other compositions in the Hungarian style: an early fantasy on Hungarian themes (ca. 1850), and a Rhapsodie Hongrois for violin and piano (1853, written together with Franz Liszt). It is a substantial work that enjoyed great popularity during Joachim’s lifetime, though he himself ceased performing it in his later years, due to its exceptional length and difficulty. Indeed, it was said that Joachim was not the work’s best interpreter, that distinction belonging to Wilhelmj or Laub, or later to Flesch, who played it with great sentiment and Gypsy-like abandon. Joachim’s early Hungarian pieces were typical virtuoso products; the “Hungarian” concerto, on the other hand, is a symphonic work of grand design and elaborate execution — a rare and important link between the classic works of Mozart, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn, and the late 19th-century concerti of Bruch, Lalo, Goldmark, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak and Saint-Saens.
The years leading up to and during the composition of the concerto were a time of crisis for symphonic composition of all sorts, when the symphony itself was in eclipse. As Carl Dahlhaus has noted, the rigorous post-Beethoven requirements for writing music in ‘grand form’ had become inhibiting; for a generation, this led to an absence of “any work of distinction that represented absolute rather than programmatic music.” By mid-century the symphony per se had become moribund: in the “progressive” aesthetic of the New German School, compositions in traditional forms were derided as dry, academic and outmoded. In his essay Oper und Drama, Wagner famously — and prematurely — sounded the symphony’s death-knell.
Under these circumstances, the concerto offered traditionally-minded composers a genre of “absolute music” that allowed considerably more individuality and freedom of expression — more latitude for innovation in form — than the symphony, while stopping short of employing extra-musical programs. A prime example of this is Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, op. 26 (1866). The first movement of Bruch’s concerto is unusual by any standard: a free introduction (Bruch uses the Wagnerian term Vorspiel) to the central slow movement that is the real raison d’être of the piece. Bruch had compunctions about whether a work so unorthodox in form could properly fit the genre, but was reassured by Joachim:
“Finally, as to your ‘doubt,’ I am happy to say that I find the title Concerto to be in any case justified — the last two movements are too greatly and too regularly developed for the name ‘Phantasie.’ The individual constituents are quite lovely in their relationship with one another, and yet sufficiently contrasting; that is the main thing. Furthermore, Spohr also called his Gesangs-Scene ‘Concerto!’” 
It is precisely this freedom — this ability to break free of the shadow of Beethoven and “grand form” while resting on the authority of accepted models — that appealed to composers of a conservative bent and allowed the symphonic violin concerto, as a genre of absolute music, to retain its creative interest and maintain a provisional hold on the public at a time when the symphony was viewed as outmoded. As Joachim mentioned in his letter, Spohr (1816) provided an early example of unconventional form — a concerto cast as an operatic scena. Mendelssohn’s concerto (1845), which influenced subsequent composers as late as Sibelius, is replete with formal innovations (the lack of opening tutti in the first movement, as well as the centrally-placed cadenza leading to the unusual recapitulation, etc.).
Equally important, the concerto offered composers the freedom to explore certain more lyrical or characteristic moods — moods that were congenial to the era, but that lay outside the aesthetic norms of the symphony, or were problematic if subjected to the formal processes that the symphony required. A few characteristic symphonies, full of “local color” such as Goldmark’s Ländliche Hochzeit (1876), enjoyed a period of popularity, but stood apart from the rigid expectations of the genre, and eventually dropped from favor. On the other hand, characteristic concerti such as Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole or Bruch’s Schottische Fantasie, or Wieniawski’s Concerto no. 2 in D Minor, with its Finale à la Zingara, continue to be staples of the violinist’s repertoire. Joachim’s Concerto “in ungarischer Weise,” is a significant example of these “characteristic” concerti. Though early, it was considered by Carl Flesch to be a high point of the genre: “the most outstanding creation that a violinist has ever written for his own instrument.” Written during the same years as Wieniawski’s, it is also in D Minor, and also ends with a Finale à la Zingara — a wild Gypsy moto perpetuo introducing an extended, virtuosic rondo. With his op. 11, Joachim goes well beyond Wieniawski, however, taking the traditional three movement concerto form and extending and freely recasting it into a broad symphonic portrait of his native Hungary, at once personal and idealized — a full forty-five minutes of the greatest virtuosity placed at the service of the most evocative poetry.
The Style Hongrois — the Hungarian style — has a long history in Classical music going back to Haydn, if not before. Its characteristic moods and gestures were adapted by 19th-century composers as dissimilar as Liszt and Brahms, who reveled in the freedom, nostalgic melancholy, and passionate abandon native to the style. Joachim was, of course, Hungarian by birth, though like Liszt, he was taken from his native soil at an early age. He spoke little Hungarian, and he regarded the whole of Magyar culture with a wistful, romantic gaze. The Hungary of Joachim’s birth was still a land untouched by progress. Under Habsburg rule since the defeat of the Turks, it was poor, virtually without infrastructure, industry, banking or trade — a puzzle of secluded villages and feudal demesnes. From earliest times, the plains of Hungary had been swept by successive waves of invasion and immigration, and the resident population bore the impress of many cultures, from ancient Celts and Romans to modern Magyars, Slovaks, Germans, Roma, Turks, and Jews. Scarcely a third of the population spoke Hungarian — the common language of the upper classes was Latin. In this confusion of ethnicities, Joachim made no distinction between “Hungarian” and Gypsy vernacular music. Like other classically-trained musicians, he associated the undifferentiated “Hungarian” style with an exotic, uninhibited, and proudly semi-civilized folk. This is apparent in a November 1854 letter from Joachim, at that time concertmaster in Hanover, to his countryman Liszt: “I was in the homeland,” he writes. “To me, the heavens appeared more musical there than in Hanover. […] The Danube by Pest is beautiful, and the Gypsies still play enthusiastically. The sound goes from heart to heart — that you know. There is more rhythm and soul in their bows than in all north German orchestra players (“Kapellisten”) combined, the Hanover musicians not excepted.”  Writing a half-century later, William Henry Hadow could still describe Hungarian café musicians as “rhapsodists of musical art, drawing for inspiration upon the rich store of national ballad, and trusting for method to a free tradition, or an impulse of the moment. […] The whole character of their music is direct, natural, spontaneous, giving voice to a feeling that speaks because it cannot keep silence.” It is this directness, this spontaneity, this rhythm and soul, that Joachim sought to capture in his concerto. Joachim dedicated the work to Brahms, and gave its first performance in Hanover in 1860. He published it the next year, and performed it during his historic 1861 return to Vienna. At that first hearing, the renowned Viennese critic Eduard Hanslick was reluctant to offer a settled opinion of the piece, though he wrote admiringly of it. Hearing Laub play it three years later, he pronounced it unequivocally a “tone poem full of mind and spirit, of energy and tenderness [that] secures Joachim an extraordinary place amongst modern composers.” 
 “Auf Ihre ‘Zweifel’ freue ich mich Ihnen schließlich zu sagen, daß ich den Titel Concert jedenfalls gerechtfertigt finde — für den Namen ‘Phantasie’ sind namentlich die beiden letzten Sätze zu sehr und regelmäßig ausgebaut. Die einzelnen Bestandtheile sind in ihrem Verhältnisse zu einander sehr schön und doch contrastirend genug; das ist die Hauptsache. Spohr nennt übrigens auch seine Gesangs-Scene ‘Concert’”!
 “Ich war in der Heimath; der Himmel ist mir dort musikalischer vorgekommen, als der Hannover’sche. […] Die Donau bei Pesth ist schön, und die Zigeuner spielen noch enthusiastisch, von Herz zu Herz geht der Klang, das weißt Du, Es ist mehr Rhythmus und Seele in ihren Bogen, als in allen norddeutschen Kapellisten zusammengenommen; die Hannover’schen nicht ausgenommen.”
 “Diese Tondichtung voll Geist und Gemüth, voll Energie und Zartheit sichert Joachim einen hervorragenden Platz unter den modernen Componisten.”
Oil Portrait by John Singer Sargent Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
Therefore I summon age To grant youth’s heritage
—Robert Browning, Rabbi Ben Ezra
n the evening of May 16, 1904, a brilliant and distinguished audience gathered at Queen’s Hall, London, to celebrate the “Diamond Jubilee” of Joseph Joachim’s English début. Outside on Langham Place, a crush of nearly 2,500 admirers in gala attire emerged from their carriages, or arrived on foot from after-dinner strolls down Regent Street, jostling to enter the ornate, high-ceilinged auditorium, home to the “Proms” concerts, then under the direction of their popular, 35-year-old conductor, Henry J. Wood. Among the evening’s subscribers were more than six hundred eminences from the arts, literature and politics.
In the three score years since the Monday in May 1844 when the chubby little Hungarian boy had given his historic début in London’s Hanover Square Rooms, Joachim had been the unrivalled favorite of the British public. “From early childhood Joachim never appeared on a platform without exciting, not only the admiration, but the personal love of his audience,” his friend Florence May observed. “His successes were their delight. They rejoiced to see him, to applaud him, recall him, shout at him. The scenes familiar to the memory of three generations of London concert-goers were samples of the everyday incidents of his life in all countries and towns where he appeared. Why? It is impossible altogether to explain such phenomena, even by the word “genius.” Joachim followed his destiny. His career was unparalleled in the history of musical executive art.” [i]
The Jubilee was the brainchild of Joachim’s friend Edward Speyer, a remarkable, indestructible old man, a prodigious collector of musical manuscripts and a musical connoisseur, familiar with all the most important musicians of the age. Speyer had grown up among musicians. His violinist father had known Weber, Ernst, Spohr and Mozart’s eldest son, Carl.  As a boy, he had met Mendelssohn in his father’s music room, at about the time of Joachim’s London debut. “Don’t forget, child, that you have just seen a great man; that was Mendelssohn!” his father had admonished him. As an old man, he still remembered.
Speyer had first heard Joachim in Frankfurt in 1856. It was in England, however, that their 45-year friendship flourished, beginning in the early ‘sixties, during Joachim’s annual visits to London to play in the Saturday and Monday Popular Concerts at St. James’s Hall. In recent years, Speyer had helped to promote Joachim’s concerts in England. For several years, beginning in 1901, he had been the organizer of the “Joachim Quartet Concerts” in London, an annual series of six musical evenings that Joachim gave with his Berlin colleagues Carl Halir, Emmanuel Wirth and Robert Hausmann. 
“Whilst the Joachim Quartet Concerts were following their brilliantly successful course, it occurred to me one day that in 1904 an event unique in the history of music would occur,” Speyer recalled. “Sixty years previously, on May 27th, 1844, Joachim, then a boy of twelve, made his first appearance in England, playing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto under Mendelssohn at a concert of the Philharmonic Society. I formed a small committee of friends to make this anniversary the occasion of a worthy public celebration. One of them, Sir Alexander Kennedy, travelled to Berlin to inform Joachim of our plan. After some hesitation, mainly on account of his age, he finally agreed. He asked that works of his beloved friends Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms should be included in the programme.” [ii] The date was secured, and Prime Minister Arthur Balfour, known for his annual “Joachim parties,” was enlisted to chair the event.
Queen’s Hall, London
For Britons, there had been really only one previous “Diamond Jubilee” — that of the Queen. On June 22, 1897, the entire British Empire had celebrated 60 years of Victoria’s rule. From Hyderabad to Hong Kong, from Rangoon to Regent’s Park, the day had been marked by celebrations and feasts, fireworks, choral concerts, electrical illuminations and prisoner releases. In London, a service of thanksgiving had been held at St. Paul’s Cathedral, “the parish church of the Empire,” with a host of crowned heads and eleven Colonial Prime Ministers in attendance. In deference to her aging Majesty’s difficulty in negotiating steps, the ceremony was held outside. [iii] The morning had dawned dark and overcast, but by eleven o’clock the sun appeared — “Queen’s weather,” they called it. Cheering crowds lined six miles of streets that had been “splendidly decorated with flowers, garlands of bay, arches and Venetian masts from which fluttered countless blue and scarlet pennants.” [iv] There they waited in hopes of catching a glimpse of the Monarch, as she rode in her open landau along a circuitous route from Buckingham Palace to the church, accompanied by pealing bells and booming cannon. “No one, ever, I believe, has met with such an ovation as was given to me,” Victoria noted in her diary. “The crowds were quite indescribable, and their enthusiasm truly marvellous and deeply touching. The cheering was quite deafening, and every face seemed to be filled with real joy.” [v]
St. Paul’s Cathedral, ca. 1900
It was a notable tribute, then, that Joachim should be fêted with a “Jubilee.” Who but the “Violin King” could stand comparison, without a touch of irony, with a queen who created her own weather? Joachim’s British career spanned and defined an era. Victoria died on January 22, 1901, after a reign of 63 years and seven months. When Joachim died in August of 1907, he had been before the British public for 63 years and three. 
To help “make this anniversary the occasion of a worthy public celebration,” Speyer’s organizing committee decided to commission Joachim’s portrait, and to present it to him at the event. Speyer elected to approach the great, irascible Italian-born American painter John Singer Sargent, who, the year before, had been personally chosen by Theodore Roosevelt as “the one artist who should paint the portrait of an American President.”  “On learning the object of my errand,” said Speyer, “he looked much disturbed and exclaimed almost ferociously: ‘Good heavens, I am sick of portrait painting. I have just returned from Italy, where I buried myself for six weeks to escape the cursed business, and now you have come and ask me to do another one, and that too when I have a large number of old commissions still awaiting me here!’ He finally quieted down, however, and remarked: ‘Well, if it’s Joachim, I must do it.” I suggested a three-quarter portrait, but he insisted that he could do better with a kit-cat. ” [vi]
Speyer’s “committee of friends” included the preternaturally gifted young pianist and musicologist Donald Francis Tovey. Tovey had known Joachim since he was a boy, and had become a special protégé of Joachim’s late years. Tovey’s guardian and mentor, Miss Sophia Weisse,  had introduced them. She later recalled how, when Tovey was seven years old, Joachim would “strum out” fugue themes from Bach’s Well-tempered Clavier on her sitting-room table at Eton, and have Donald identify them by rhythm. “When Donald was twelve he played a violin sonata of his own with Joachim,” she wrote, “and I remember how carefully and tenderly dear Jo played it.” [vii] That same year, a meeting between Joachim and Tovey’s father helped secure parental approval for the boy’s chosen career: “My father was for a long time convinced that no musician but a Church organist could have any social status at all. He was enlightened by a visit to Eton of Joachim, whose ambassadorial presence, perfect command of English and obviously profound general culture completely changed his ideas of what a musician might be. He never forgot how when Joachim was told of my progress in Latin and Euclid he asked, ‘And does he know it gründlich? (thoroughly)’” [viii] Joachim and Tovey gave their first public concert together in March of 1894, in the Albert Institute at Windsor, just before 18-year-old Donald “went up to Balliol” to further his studies. [ix] Now, a decade later, Joachim seldom gave recitals in England with anyone else. The Manchester Guardian reported: “The combination of this young and interesting musician with an older and so well-founded an artist was in its essence extremely pathetic [touching]. One travelled back in memory to the days when Joachim himself was consorting with the great musicians of his day, himself a lad praised and encouraged, and one felt how beautifully he had read the lesson of his youth in returning the example to a young man of the present generation who is, we are certain, destined to be worthy of his beginning.” [x] Joachim admired Tovey unreservedly, and was astonished by his almost freakish abilities. “After an hour with Donald, I feel as if my head were on fire,” he said. “I have never seen his equal for knowledge and memory.”  And elsewhere, he declared: “Of all the musicians of the younger generation that I know, Tovey is assuredly the one that would most have interested Brahms.” [xi]
Several weeks prior to the Jubilee celebration, a musical party was held for the Joachim Quartet in the elegant music room of Miss Weisse’s Northlands School at Englefield Green near Windsor. Among the attendees was Poet Laureate Robert Bridges, who captured the sentiments of the hour in a sonnet: 
To Joseph Joachim
elov’d of all to whom that Muse is dear
Who hid her spirit of rapture from the Greek,
Whereby our art excelleth the antique,
Perfecting formal beauty to the ear;
Thou that hast been in England many a year
The interpreter who left us nought to seek,
Making Beethoven’s inmost passion speak,
Bringing the soul of great Sebastian near.
Their music liveth ever, and ’tis just
That thou, good Joachim, so high thy skill,
Rank (as thou shalt upon the heavenly hill)
Laurel’d with them, for thy ennobling trust
Remember’d when thy loving hand is still
And every ear that heard thee stopt with dust.
The poem seemed appropriate for the Queen’s Hall gala, and Bridges granted his permission to print it in the program. When Tovey wrote to thank him on behalf of the committee, Bridges replied: “I knew nothing of the Jubilee. I was merely prompted to write because there seemed an opportunity, when I met him among his friends, of my expressing my lifelong admiration and gratitude. […] I wish the sonnet was better, but it contains what, or some of what, I wished to say.” [xiii]
Joachim spent the weekend before the Queen’s Hall fête in Woking, at the residence of Gerald Balfour, the Prime Minister’s brother and the President of the Board of Trade. Among the other guests were the Prime Minister and his wife, Liberal MP John Morley and Donald Tovey. For Joachim and Tovey, it was a weekend of music making. On the morning of the event, Joachim and Morley rode to London together. “Joachim told Morley with much emotion how proud and happy he felt at the idea of the Prime Minister presiding at his Jubilee,” Speyer relates. “Morley replied: ‘Don’t you be so sure of that, my friend. I am going to attack the Government to-night in the House on a subject which will undoubtedly lead to a long debate, during which the Prime Minister may have to remain in his place.’” Joachim, crestfallen, went on to rehearse for the evening’s concert.
As he entered his seventies, Joachim’s best performing years were behind him. He hadn’t his accustomed energy, and his arthritic fingers no longer automatically obeyed the letter of his desires. “I am happy if I can still play chamber music to my satisfaction,” he told Speyer; “I am reluctant to think about solo playing in the long term.” [xiv] As his technique began to decline and his execution failed to live up to his eminence, Joachim’s detractors found him an easy mark. George Bernard Shaw’s classic barb has stuck in the mind of posterity as effectively as any jibe ever penned by Mark Twain: “Joachim scraped away frantically, making a sound after which an attempt to grate a nutmeg effectively on a boot sole would have been as the strain of an Aeolian harp. The notes which were musical enough to have any discernable pitch were mostly out of tune. It was horrible – damnable! Had he been an unknown player, . . . he would not have escaped with his life.” Shaw notwithstanding, the wisdom of experience and the inspiration of occasion could still be counted upon to elicit a memorable performance from the veteran violinist. Care had to be taken, though — this was not an occasion on which one could afford to have a bad night. After the morning rehearsal, Speyer urged his friend to get some rest. Returning home, however, Joachim found a note from Queen Alexandra, Edward’s queen, asking him to go to Buckingham Palace to “do some music for her.” The Queen had mistaken the day of the celebration, and was unaware of the inconvenience she was causing. It was a Royal command, nevertheless, and Joachim felt unable to refuse.[xv]
That afternoon, as Joachim was “doing music” for the Queen, the Prime Minister adroitly deflected Morley’s challenge, and adjourned the debate in time to arrive at Queen’s Hall before the overture.
Queen’s Hall, London
Dedicated with a children’s party in 1893, Queen’s Hall  was famed equally for its perfect acoustics and its short leg-room (“it appeared to be the understanding that legs were to be left in the cloakroom” sniped the Musical Times on one occasion) [xvi]. To E. M. Forster, it was “the dreariest music-room in London.” [xvii] No wonder: it was said that “the predominant colour” of the cavernous space “was that of the belly of a London mouse,” and that the hall’s architect, T. E. Knightley, kept a string of dead mice in his paint shop “to make sure that this was no idle boast.” [xviii] Be that as it may, with its large capacity, its curved splays at the orchestra end for the diffusion of sound and its free-standing wooden walls (“as the body of a violin — resonant”), Queen’s Hall was the place to go in London for orchestral music or political speech, and the most appropriate place for friends and admirers to honor the reigning musician of the day: Dr. Joachim, the “Violin King,” the “Last of a Classic School.”
Sir Henry Wood conducting the Queen’s Hall Orchestra
The Jubilee festivities began with a performance of the Hebrides Overture — Mendelssohn’s great “train oil, sea gulls and salted cod” evocation of the voyage he made in 1829 with his friend Klingemann to Fingal’s Cave on the island of Staffa off the west coast of Scotland. At the conclusion of the piece — a final, tempestuous episode, followed by a single flute reminiscence punctuated by a few quiet string pizzicati — a storm of applause greeted the great violinist, “the entire audience rising and cheering vociferously” [xix] as he made his way to the stage, accompanied by Prime Minister Balfour and Sir Hubert Parry.  “When Balfour and Parry led me on to the platform I was terribly anxious,” Joachim said afterward. “I was thinking of the speech I had to make.” But Balfour made him laugh, and prevailed upon him, over his earnest objections, to sit. Sir Hubert then read from an illuminated address, which Balfour afterwards presented to him, written for the occasion by Sir Frederick Pollock: 
“At a time known only by hearsay to most of us, you first brought before an English audience the promise of that performance which has been eminent among two generations of men… It was under the auspices of Mendelssohn that you played Beethoven’s Violin Concerto at the Philharmonic Society’s concert of May 27th, 1844. No combination could have been more prophetic of your career, though neither its duration in time nor the singular quality of its achievement was then within any probable foresight.
At that day the fine arts, and music among them, languished in this country. It was not understood that the function of art is to be not merely the recreation of a privileged class, but an integral element of national life. We have now learnt to know and to do better. Opportunities of becoming acquainted with the music of the great masters have been multiplied tenfold, and the general competence of both execution and criticism has been raised beyond comparison. This great and salutary change which we have witnessed in the course of the last generation is largely due to your exertions. Learning from Mendelssohn and Schumann, and working with Brahms in the comradeship of life-long friends, you have devoted your whole energies, as executant and as composer, to continuing the tradition and maintaining the ideal of classic music.
We now hold it fitting that the sixtieth anniversary of your first appearance here should not pass without a special greeting. The welcome we offer you is alike for the artist who commands every power of the trained hand, and for the musician whose consummate knowledge and profound reverence for his art have uniformly guided his execution in the path of the sincerest interpretation. Your first thoughts as a performer have ever been for the composer and not for yourself. In no hour have you yielded to the temptation of mere personal display, and the weight of your precepts in one of the greatest musical schools of Europe  is augmented by the absolute fidelity with which your example illustrates them….” [xx]
The next to speak was Prime Minister Balfour, who was to present Sargent’s portrait. Balfour spoke touchingly of Joachim as a friend, both to himself and to the nation. “I think that the great and beneficent influence which you have had on British music is due not merely to those high artistic qualities of which the Address gives a worthy description, but also to that human affection which it is your peculiar and supreme gift to elicit, and which so many of us have enjoyed through longer years than I care now to enumerate. For it is as the friend as much as the musician, as the musician as much as the friend, that we now desire to pay all the honour which it is within our power to give you; and, as some simple memorial, some permanent monument of this memorable night, I now beg to present you on behalf of this assembly with a portrait which will, I hope, serve to remind you of the many friends whom… you have in England, and will keep in England…” [xxi] “Joachim, rising amidst tumultuous cheers which were long continued, acknowledged the compliment in a speech of faultless English,” recalled Speyer. “He said he was sure that the object of the audience was not only to show sympathy towards himself but to honour the great composers with whom it had been his happy lot to be connected. It was a great joy to him to think that Mendelssohn was not only an artistic father to him, but was the means of bringing him to this country, which for many years had been his second home. The gift of oratory was not in him, but he would try to give his hearers pleasure by playing the piece he had first performed with Mendelssohn in this country. If he did not do justice to the work he hoped that his hearers would be indulgent, for he could not help feeling emotion on such an occasion as this.” [xxii]
Joseph Joachim and Franz von Vecsey
Following the presentation of the portrait, the 11-year-old Hungarian violin prodigy Franz von Vecsey appeared onstage with a huge crown-shaped wreath of flowers. Vecsey had studied with Joachim’s former pupil Jenö Hubay, and then with Joachim himself. “I am seventy-two years of age, yet never in my life have I heard the like; never believed it possible,” Joachim had said of Vecsey’s playing. Only days earlier, Vecsey had given his own English début, in St. James’s Hall. In a few months, he would make his first Queen’s hall appearance, playing concerti by Mendelssohn and Paganini with the London Symphony Orchestra. [xxiii]
A Queen’s Hall Concert
In planning the Jubilee program, both Joachim and Speyer had been aware that, with speeches, presentations and performances, the evening promised to be long and emotionally taxing. Nevertheless, Speyer insisted, “in order to invest this Jubilee celebration with its truest significance it was really indispensable that he should play the Beethoven Violin Concerto, and thus recall the memorable event of sixty years ago.” Joachim protested, “declaring that he had persistently abstained from playing such large works in public of late years in consideration of his advanced age, and pleading that the emotional strain on him might prevent his acquitting himself of the task.” Speyer then proposed that the second number on the program be listed simply as: “Solo Violin … Dr. Joachim.” That way, if he felt unable to do justice to the concerto, he could perform one of Beethoven’s Romances instead. To this, Joachim agreed. [xxiv] In the event, Joachim played the concerto, the piece that, together with Bach’s magisterial Chaconne, stood at the heart of his repertoire and reputation. Henry Wood recalled: “…someone went into the artists’ room and brought Joachim’s fiddlecase which he opened amid tremendous applause and enthusiasm. I began the introduction to Beethoven’s violin concerto and Joachim gave a memorable performance of it with his own cadenza. This was followed by his arrangement of Schumann’s Abendlied for violin and orchestra. The musical part of the programme closed with Joachim conducting his own overture to Shakespeare’s King Henry IV (written in 1885) and also Brahms Academic Festival Overture.” [xxv]
Fêtes and funerals, recommendations and reviews, reveal a certain kind of truth, which is seldom fully objective. Rites and references tell as much about the deep wishes and normative values of the celebrators as about the virtues and accomplishments of the celebrated. For the Jubilee audience, Joachim was more than a great violinist. Now nearly 73 years of age, he had transcended his virtuoso youth to become an elder statesman of sorts, recognized in England not only as “the last of a classic school,” the iconic representative of “absolute” German instrumental music, but as classical music’s equivalent to the great Victorian literary sages — men  like Thomas Carlyle, Matthew Arnold, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Ruskin and Alfred Lord Tennyson — the great intuitive thinkers who gave elegant voice to the moral concerns of the era in such traditional forms as essay, novel, epic, lyric and drama. Like them, Joachim was recognized for his dignity, intellect and high-mindedness. “Of all violinists, Joachim… was the noblest of all in his aims, aspirations and ideals,” wrote W. W. Cobbett. “The litteræ scriptæ which remain testify to this, his published letters addressed to leading musicians telling in almost every line of his determination to live for his art as for a religion, to place artistic before commercial considerations and to familiarise his audiences with the music of the greater masters. The great technical difficulty of his own works, which he played so magnificently, is a measure of his powers as an executant. Yet it was not as virtuoso that he elected to make his appeal to musicians, and he was only faintly interested in music which, in his estimation, did not belong to the loftiest regions of his art.… His influence extends far beyond the admiration that he aroused among his contemporaries as an executant and has left a permanent mark on the development of music and musical taste in this country.” [xxvi]
His art had great aspirations. Like the Victorian literary sages, he sought to “express notions about the world, man’s situation in it, and how he should live.” [xxvii] At the same time, the appeal of the sage’s art — Joachim’s art — lay not so much in the realm of the objective as in the imaginative: in its capacity to expand horizons — to discover the extraordinary in the common — to open minds to a quality of experience to which they had previously been deaf and blind. And as with those sages, Joachim had been — continues to be — accused of a certain maddeningly conservative dogmatism. This characteristic, however, is the distinctive stance and attitude of the Victorian sage — as Emerson expressed it: “to believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, — that is genius.” [xxviii]
One does not read the Victorians for the rigor of their logic or for solutions to modern dilemmas, but for the breadth, depth and sincerity of their concerns. For modern minds, used to more rigorous rational grounding and a greater consistency, Victorian attitudes can throw up barriers to understanding and appreciation. If this is true in literature, it is even more so in an art as ephemeral and prone to fashion as music. As early as 1930, Carl Flesch alluded to this difficulty when he wrote: “It is not surprising that Joachim’s musical and technical advantages are no longer entirely comprehensible to the youth of our day on the basis of mere description, for the very essence of Joachim’s playing eludes description, in as much as it was not purely technical, but lay in an indefinable charm, an immediacy of feeling which caused a work played by him to be haloed with immortality in the listener’s recollection. What our time fails to understand is not so much Joachim’s violin playing as Joachim’s spirit.” 
The cardinal virtues of a Victorian Englishman might be said to be sincerity, modesty and a capacity for friendship. Strike those words from a Victorian’s vocabulary, and he would have found little to praise in his fellow man. Among the great, as their contemporaries recognized the great, those virtues were not mere social niceties, but capacities of character, essential to the pursuit of truth, and the living of an engaged life.
The era named for a great queen was an era that celebrated Great Men. “The History of the world is but the Biography of great men,”  claimed Thomas Carlyle in his influential disquisition On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History. In his series of six lectures, first published in 1841, Carlyle explores the hero as divinity, prophet, poet, priest, man of letters and king, articulating his vision of the Great Man — the “great soul, open to the Divine Significance of Life” — as the primary motive force in history. For Carlyle, the man who can bend the course of history is the man of sincerity — earnest, honest, great-hearted — who wrestles “with the truth of things.” “The great Fact of Existence is great to him,” he wrote. “Fly as he will, he cannot get out of the awful presence of this Reality.” “Such a man is what we call an original man; he comes to us at first-hand. A messenger he, sent from the Infinite Unknown with tidings to us. We may call him Poet, Prophet, God; — in one way or other, we all feel that the words he utters are as no other man’s words.” For Carlyle, steeped in German idealism, “a deep, great, genuine sincerity” was the true test of worth in a man. “Not the sincerity that calls itself sincere… a shallow braggart conscious sincerity; oftenest self-conceit mainly. The Great Man’s sincerity is of the kind he cannot speak of, is not conscious of,” he wrote. “Nay, I suppose he is conscious rather of insincerity; for what man can walk accurately by the law of truth for one day?”
Joachim was raised in the traditions of German idealism that Carlyle so cogently interpreted to the English people. It must have rankled him therefore, though he joked about it later, to find that the redoubtable father of the Great Man Theory, with all his admiration for prophets, poets and priests had little respect for men of his profession. Joachim and Carlyle were introduced one day by a friend of Thackeray, who, having another engagement, left them alone together. Carlyle, about to take his morning “constitutional,” asked Joachim to join him:
During a very long walk in Hyde Park the Chelsea sage talked incessantly about Germany — the kings of Prussia, Moltke, Bismarck, the war, &c. At last Joachim thought that he ought to say something, so he innocently asked his irascible companion: ‘Do you know Sterndale Bennett?’ ‘No,’ replied Carlyle — (pause) — ‘I don’t care generally for musicians. They are an empty, windbaggy sort of people.’ ‘This was not very complimentary to me,’ Dr. Joachim laughingly said. [xxix]
Had he known Joachim better, Carlyle might have recognized in him the very ideals that he attributes to his chosen Heroes of history. The great, sincere questions of Joachim’s life were the self-same quandaries that Carlyle ascribes to Mahomet: “What am I? What is this unfathomable Thing I live in, which men name Universe? What is Life; what is Death? What am I to believe? What am I to do?” — to which the hero as musician might have added two poignant, vexed questions of his own: “What is Friendship?” and “What is Love?”
Sir Henry Wood
Joachim’s dignified presence among the Great and the Good of his time had an immeasurable, positive influence on the level of respect with which the art of music came to be regarded in England. His natural air of authority, as a man and a performer, instantly and everywhere commanded admiration. Church of England clergyman Hugh Reginald Haweis wrote of the forty-year-old: “M. Joachim is the greatest living violinist; no man is so nearly to the execution of music what Beethoven was to its composition. There is something massive, complete and unerring about M. Joachim that lifts him out of the list of great players, and places him on a pedestal apart. Other men have their specialities; he has none. Others rise above or fall below themselves; he is always himself, neither less nor more. He wields the sceptre of his bow with the easy royalty of one born to reign; he plays Beethoven’s concerto with the rapt infallible power of a seer delivering his oracle, and he takes his seat at a quartet very much like Apollo entering his chariot to drive the horses of the sun.” [xxxi]
“Joachim was always conscious of his dignity,” wrote Henry Wood, and as a member of a younger generation he probably meant it as a criticism. [xxx] One might say better that Joachim was always conscious of representing the dignity of his art in his person. (One of his favorite sayings was a quote from Schiller: “The dignity of man is given into your hand. Preserve it! It sinks with you, and with you it shall arise.”) Those who are among the first generation to labor for the recognition of a people or a principle often see things in this way — their decorum is an instrument of their struggle. Joachim’s dignity was hard won. It was not who he was born, but who he became — the skills he acquired and the values he embraced — that led him into the highest circles of culture and politics, and that determined his importance as a man and moral leader — that led to his public recognition as a Great Man.
Sargent’s kit-cat is a dignified affair. It is the classic image of a man of judgment: arms folded, the right hand protruding, the head erect, sober, distinguished, self-assured, the imperious glance turned toward the viewer — and yet the gaze is covered, inward, retrospective. Too inward for a statesman, surely — this is not a man of action like Roosevelt, hand on hip, assertive. A scholar, perhaps, or a philosopher — in any case, there is also no hint here of the virtuoso: the windbaggy sort who craves and courts approval and applause by means of his astonishing technique, his gobsmacking prowess. Though his arms may often enough have cradled a violin, they rest now upon his chest. There is no instrument, no score to indicate the practical musician, or to suggest the showman. What Sargent shows us instead is a sage, a man of mind and spirit, a mature guardian of timeless wisdom, a man of “deep, great, genuine sincerity.”
Joachim’s British friends included Tennyson, Browning, Thackeray, Dickens, Eliot, Landseer, Leighton, Alma-Tadema, Millais, Watts, Darwin, Gladstone, Jowett, Parry, Stanford and Grove.[xxxiv] In personal memoirs, we read of the countless small ways that Joachim interacted with the significant minds of his time, introducing them to great music — speaking to them, from personal acquaintance, of the great composers — ministering to their joys and sorrows, and sowing the seeds of understanding and acceptance for the art that he loved. These vignettes, as much as the numberless reviews of his appearances at public occasions, show the man, and give insight into the way in which he conceived his life’s work.
Rising above periods of intense personal and artistic struggle, Joachim became one of the most recognized and admired men of his time. Cambridge University bestowed doctoral degrees on him and Brahms on the same day, March 8, 1877 (Brahms did not attend). The University of Glasgow awarded him an LLD in 1887, and Oxford University followed suit the following year. Never had a performing musician been so honored. In an age and a place that believed in the notion of edification through art, Joachim showed that the practicing musician, as well as the composer, the poet or the painter, could unite and embody the qualities of genius and character, and that Euterpe and Polyhymnia could take their rightful place among their sister muses “not merely as the recreation of a privileged class, but as an integral element of national life.”
Writing on the centennial of Joachim’s birth, A. H. Fox-Strangways, the founder and editor of Music and Letters, articulated what, among his English contemporaries, had come to be a widely held, sympathetic judgement of the man and the artist:
“This generation never really heard him, for his power over the bow began to fail at the end of the century. That power he took great pains to achieve, and violinists can tell us something about it and its effect upon the ears of those who heard it. But no man can explain the inexplicable — how it is that the human spirit can transmute itself into sound and speak direct to other human spirits. And it was this quality in his playing, this intimate voice whispering from mind to mind that made him different from all players we have ever heard, because that mind held so much.
It held reverence. Wherever the soul of goodness lay in man or work he loved to discover it to others. He gave all their due; the great men first, but others in their order. He filled himself with the passionate immensity of Beethoven and the lyrical steadfastness of Bach, and so became aware before anyone else of the security of purpose that lay deep in the nature of Brahms. Many talk of the three B.’s: he lived them, by making them vital. He showed us by his method of approach how far we often are from being fit company for the great.” [xxxv]
Etching by Ferdinand Schmutzer
 “The two frequently played Mozart’s Violin Sonatas together,” he recalls in his memoirs. “Carl Mozart on such occasions used his father’s clavier, under which a pair of Mozart’s neat little slippers had found a permanent home. He showed my father a number of interesting documents, amongst which was a series of letters written by Mozart in Mannheim in 1777 to his cousin in Augsburg, a young girl about his own age. These letters are full of an overflowing spirit of boyish freakishness and whimsicality, and Carl Mozart declared he was going to destroy them on account of frequent passages of a somewhat equivocal nature which in the eyes of the world might reflect unfavourably on Mozart. My father’s urgent pleading induced Carl to let him take copies of them before their destruction, but only on condition that he would never publish them. I remember showing the copies to Brahms one day and his going off into fits of laughter over them.” [Speyer/LIFE, pp. 2-3].
 For many years, Joachim had led a second, “English” Joachim quartet at the “Pops” concerts in London. Members of that quartet included Louis Ries, 2nd violin, Ludwig Strauss, viola, and Alfredo Piatti, ‘cello.
 Like Mendelssohn before him, Joachim made England a second home. In his youth, he visited his uncle, Bernhard Figdor in Tulse Hill, near London, and in later years stayed with his brother Heinrich in London. Heinrich, a successful wool merchant, lived with his wife and children. Following his début with the London Philharmonic in 1844, Joachim returned to London in 1847, 1849, 1852, 1858, 1859, and 1862. After that, his annual six-week journey to England was looked upon as a matter of course.
 “Sargent found the President’s strong will daunting from the start. The choice of a suitable place to paint, where the lighting was good, tried Roosevelt’s patience. No room on the first floor agreed with the artist. When they began climbing the staircase, Roosevelt told Sargent he did not think the artist knew what he wanted. Sargent replied that he did not think Roosevelt knew what was involved in posing for a portrait. Roosevelt, who had just reached the landing, swung around, placing his hand on the newel and said, ‘Don’t I!’” This is the pose that Sargent adopted for his painting. The painting is the official White House Portrait. [see: National Portrait Gallery, http://www.npg.si.edu/exh/roosevelt/whtr.htm, from which this quote is taken.]
 The name derives from the 18th-century Kit-Cat Club in London, whose members included writers William Congreve, Jonathan Swift, Joseph Addison, Richard Steele and a number of prominent Whig politicians. A kit-cat is a portrait of less than half-length, 36 x 28 inches, showing head and shoulders, and usually one hand, following the format of Sir Godfrey Kneller’s (Gottfried von Kniller, 1646-1723) series of 42 portraits of Kit-Cat members (National Portrait Gallery, London). Sargent’s portrait is 87.6 x 73.0 cm. (34 1/2 x 28 3/4 in.). It currently hangs in the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.
 Miss Weisse (as she was known), was the founder of the Northlands School, a boarding school for “young ladies” in a large house surrounded by gardens at Englefield Green near Windsor. “The school had a wide reputation, and no wonder,” wrote Speyer, “for Miss Weisse was a woman of strong character and great intelligence. Despite her other numerous activities and responsibilities, her care of Donald was the absorbing aim and interest of her existence. When he returned after his four years at Balliol, she made Northlands a centre of intellectual and artistic life. She built a large concert-room in which frequent performances of music and lectures on other subjects were given. Here Donald could display his gifts as pianist and composer with other prominent artists. For a number of years Joachim and his Quartet were habitual visitors. On several occasions London orchestras were engaged so that Donald might gain experience as a conductor. As a result, Northlands in course of time became a centre of intellectual and artistic activity….” [Speyer/LIFE, pp.168-169.]
 Speyer/LIFE, p. 167. As examples of Tovey’s memory, Speyer recalled how Tovey played the eight movements of Mozart’s Serenade for Thirteen Wind Instruments straight through on the piano, without notes, having only seen the score “once or twice,” and on a series of evenings at Speyer’s Ridgehurst home, played, without preparation, “the whole of Beethoven’s Pianoforte Sonatas in chronological order, without a note of printed music before him.”
 Bridges was not the only British poet to catch Joachim in verse. In his 1884 occasional poem, The Founder of the Feast, later worked up into a sonnet, the music-loving Robert Browning writes:
Sense has received the utmost Nature grants,
My cup was filled with rapture to the brim,
When, night by night — ah, memory, how it haunts! —
Music was poured by perfect ministrants,
By Hallé, Schumann, Piatti, Joachim.
And George Eliot, in her poem Stradivarius, speaks of “Joachim
Who holds the strain afresh incorporate
By inward hearing and notation strict
Of nerve and muscle…”
Some have seen Joachim in the figure of Eliot’s Klesmer in Daniel Deronda: “a felicitous combination of the German, the Sclave, and the Semite, with grand features, brown hair floating in artistic fashion, and brown eyes in spectacles. His English had little foreignness except its fluency; and his alarming cleverness was made less formidable just then by a certain softening air of silliness which will sometimes befall even Genius in the desire of being agreeable to Beauty;” and elsewhere: “as versatile and fascinating as a young Ulysses on a sufficient acquaintance — one whom nature seemed to have first made generously and then to have added music as a dominant power using all the abundant rest, and, as in Mendelssohn, finding expression for itself not only in the highest finish of execution, but in that fervour of creative work and theoretic belief which pierces the whole future of a life with the fight of congruous, devoted purpose.”
 The old Queen’s Hall was destroyed by an incendiary bomb during the night of May 10-11, 1941. With it, as with so much and so many, passed an era.
 Joachim’s friend, Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918) was a noted English composer and teacher. In 1904, he was director of the Royal College of Music and professor of music at Oxford University. He is well known today as the composer of the hymn Jerusalem (text by Blake).
 Noted English jurist Sir Frederick Pollock was a friend of Speyer’s and a member of the Joachim Concerts Committee, which organized and sponsored the performances of the Joachim Quartet in England.
 The Hochschule für ausübende Tonkunst in Berlin (currently the Universität der Künste), of which Joachim was the founding director.
 Mostly men: John Holloway, in his 1953 book The Victorian Sage: Studies in Argument, also lists George Eliot among his “sages,” and Thaïs E. Morgan, in her 1990 study Victorian Sages and Cultural Discourse: Renegotiating Gender and Power, tackles the question “Can a woman’s writing be sage writing?” with reference to a host of female “sages.”
 Carl Flesch, The Art of Violin Playing, New York: Carl Fischer, 1930, pp. 74-75.
 Perhaps the one place where the Great Man [Person] Theory retains a sense of validity is in the arts. The arts are a specifically created world, in which the artist plays the god-like role of creator. A musical style is not the creation of nature, or an anonymous collection of musicians, but of a handful of brilliant minds who understand how to draw the implications of their material in an original and cogent way. We are interested in Classical music because of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, not because of the subterranean churnings of Schroeter, Hoffmeister and Dussek. We are interested in Joachim, not for how he typified his age, but for how he transformed it.
 The son of violinist Ferdinand David, Paul David (b. Aug. 4, 1840) was head of music at Uppingham School since 1865, the first person to hold such a post in England. Uppingham School’s “new” concert room was dedicated on May 23, 1905, with a performance by Joseph Joachim of Beethoven’s violin concerto. [The Musical Times, Vol. 47, No. 761 (July 1, 1906), pp. 449-457.]
 Alluded to in Mendelssohn’s letter to Klingemann, above.
 “Men of all shades of opinion met in perfect amity; the lion of Wagnerism sitting down with the lamb of orthodoxy, or vice versa… as though the one had never shown a disposition to make a meal of the other” — a full description of the event can be found in The Musical Times, Vol. 18, No. 410 (April 1, 1877), pp. 170-172.
[iv] Mary H. Krout, A Looker-On in London, New York: Dodd, Mead, & Company, p. 304.
[v] Elizabeth Hammerton and David Cannadine, Conflict and Concensus on a Ceremonial Occasion: The Diamond Jubilee in Cambridge in 1897, The Historical Journal, Vol. 24, No. 1 (March, 1981), pp. 111-112, passim.
(b. Kittsee, 28 June 1831 — d. Berlin, 15 August 1907)
Ouvertüre zu Shakespeares “Hamlet” d-moll, op. 4
Den Mitgliedern der Weimarer Hofkapelle gewidmet
(b. Kittsee, 28 June 1831 — d. Berlin, 15 August 1907)
Ouverture to Shakespeares “Hamlet” in D minor, op. 4
Dedicated to the members of the Weimar Hofkapelle
oseph Joachim is remembered today primarily as a great violinist, and as a close friend and collaborator of Johannes Brahms. If he is less well-known as a composer, it is perhaps his own fault: with the exception of a few occasional pieces, he produced very few compositions after mid-life. The products of his early maturity are significant works, however, well-suited to the concert hall, and worthy of revival. Amongst them, Hamlet is one of the best, and has found a place in the repertoire of great orchestras. It was a work of personal significance to Joachim — a quasi-autobiographical example of what he later called “psychological music.” It was also, so to say, his musical calling card— the work with which he introduced himself as a composer to Liszt and Schumann, who praised it, and to Brahms, who admired it enough to make a four-hand piano arrangement of it.
Joachim began work on Hamlet in Weimar in the summer of 1852, near the end of his two-year sojourn there as Grand-ducal Concertmaster under Franz Liszt. Mendelssohn’s former protégé had been one of the first musicians that Liszt gathered there at mid-century, determined to re-invigorate Weimar’s reputation as the “Athens on the Ilm.” The prestigious seat of German letters, the home of Goethe, Schiller, Herder, and Wieland, may well have seemed a promising arena for an artist like Liszt, in whom “renewal of the art of music through its more intimate union with poetry” had become an article of faith, and the touchstone of all things modern. One of Liszt’s first performances there was the premiere of Wagner’s Lohengrin, a performance that Joachim attended, and that helped convince the young virtuoso and aspiring composer to accept Liszt’s offer of employment. In the ensuing years, Joachim would form cordial friendships with the musicians of the Weimar Hofkapelle, to whom Hamlet is dedicated. He would also be drawn briefly into Liszt’s intimate circle at the time when the composer was inventing the Symphonic Poem. Joachim’s Hamlet is an early and significant example of this “New German” tendency in music. It is no mere imitation of Liszt’s style, however — indeed, it precedes most of Liszts compositions in that genre. In it, we hear an authentic and original voice.
In the end, Joachim’s time in Weimar proved disappointing. Between periods of intense activity, Liszt was often away, attending to his ailing companion Princess Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. Lonely and bored during Liszt’s absences, Joachim and Hans von Bülow filled their time with practicing, taking long walks in the Ilm Park, and teaching each other Spanish. After two years, Joachim left Weimar to become Royal Concertmaster in Hanover.
Joachim’s chronic loneliness was only made worse by his move to Hanover. As Julius Rodenberg later recalled: “He was the concert director, and, although favored by the court and admired by the public, he lived a quiet, secluded life. We regarded him with considerable awe as one who had a mission. He spoke little in those days; ‘Music is his language.’”
Joachim completed his Hamlet Overture during his first months in Hanover (the score is dated “Hanover, 16 March, 1853” and initialed “f.a.e,” for “frei aber einsam,” — free but lonely), and he sent it to Liszt as “a token of my gratitude and devotion.” Referring to his new position under Heinrich Marschner, he wrote: “I was very much alone. The contrast between the atmosphere that, through your activity, is ceaselessly filled with new sounds, and an air that has been made utterly tone-rigid by the rule of a phlegmatic northerner from the Restoration time is too barbaric! Wherever I looked, no one who shared my aspirations; no one except the Phalanx of like-minded friends in Weimar. […] I turned to Hamlet; the motives of an overture that I had already ‘wanted’ to write in Weimar came back to me […].”
On April 7th, Joachim sent another, rough draft of Hamlet to Woldemar Bargiel, saying: “I need hardly justify myself to you over my choice of a hero for my musical essay. Hamlet is generally regarded as too introspective. But this introspection is merely a refuge from the constant tumult of his mind. The feelings which drive him to it, the strong and constant need for action, the sombre grief because this great longing for the realization of his inner life must wither impotently when opposed to external circumstances, these feelings must have tormented every human heart; they are universal, therefore they must be musical.” For Joachim, this struggle to reconcile the inner life with outward circumstance would become a driving obsession. In the ensuing years, Polonius’ words to Laertes, “to thine own self be true,” and Hamlet’s words, “I know not seems… I have that within which passeth show,” would become for him a personal quest, and an unspoken artistic creed.
Liszt was quick to recognize the Hamlet overture as a kind of self-portrait, calling it a “remarkable work, which, among other merits, has that of bearing a strong resemblance to you as I know you and love you.” “’To be or not to be; that is the question,’” he wrote. “You resolve this great question with an emphatic affirmative, by a serious and beautiful work, greatly conceived and broadly developed, which categorically proves its right to exist.” Nevertheless, when Liszt read the work with the Weimar Hofkapelle in late May, it met with a cool reception. “My overture appealed to just a few people there,” Joachim wrote to Woldemar Bargiel. “They said it sounded as if I had roared a fearsome ‘stay ten paces away from me.’ I liked that!”
Liszt continued to think highly of Joachim’s overture, though, calling it noble and vigorous, and he often discussed it with his composition students. Five years later, Liszt would write his own Hamlet, a symphonic poem, dedicated to Princess Carolyne.
Encouraged by Liszt’s approbation, Joachim sent the score to Robert Schumann, with an appeal for criticism. “I hesitate to send it to you,” he wrote, “as this is the first time that you see one of my works.” Schumann sent a long and detailed letter in return, elaborating his impressions. “As I read it, it seemed as though the scene gradually grew before my eyes and Ophelia and Hamlet actually stood forth,” he wrote. “There are very impressive passages in it, and the whole is presented in the clear and noble form which befits such a great subject. […] Music should, in the first place, appeal to the sympathies, and when I say that your work has appealed to mine you may believe me.” Schumann’s interest in the work continued, even after his institutionalization in Endenich.
Hamlet made a strong impression on other contemporaries as well. In July, Albert Dietrich wrote to Bargiel: “[Joachim’s] entire being is impressed with the stamp of supreme artistry. Nevertheless, my respect and enthusiasm for him grew immensely when I came to know the Hamlet overture; the work has moved me deeply; the entire tragedy sounds forth from it in the most striking manner. The main motive of the allegro is remarkably characteristic — so indecisive, mysterious — like Hamlet; the interval of the minor third, distinctive of the entire overture, is of marvelous effect, etc.”
Berlioz, and Joachim’s new-found friend Brahms, also admired the work, and thought that it marked Joachim as a composer of great promise. Nevertheless, the first public performance, with the already mentally ill Schumann as the thoroughly inadequate conductor, was a disaster. As Joachim wrote to his brother Heinrich: “There was nothing good to report about the performance of my Hamlet overture: the orchestra was bad; moreover, Schumann is an excellent, poetic man, and a great musician, but unfortunately no equally-great conductor — the work was not criticized, because it was simply not heard.
Hamlet failed in Leipzig as well, under Joachim’s own direction, but for a different reason — a “progressive work,” it failed to appeal to the Leipzigers’ conservative taste. The Süddeutsche Musik-Zeitung opined that the overture “again provided clear evidence of what eccentric creations the new school produces.” The performance was hissed.
Joachim revised the overture repeatedly and extensively following its initial performances (including another reading by the Cologne orchestra under Ferdinand Hiller), mostly to make the instrumentation more transparent. “I so often allowed a host of orchestral instruments to sound along with the melody,” he wrote to Gisela von Arnim, “yes, if only they were all sensitive souls! — but the musicians blow and bow the notes so coarsely — and what in my mind was a sigh or a joyful Ach! was a crass horn tone — a screechy fiddle bow noise — why are there so many workmen, only!!”
Joachim performed Hamlet sporadically during his lifetime, and within intimate circles it was heard in Brahms’s four-hand arrangement. Though the parts were published by Breitkopf & Härtel in 1854, the score did not appear until 1908 — the year after Joachim’s death. Performance standards have risen enormously in the last century and a half, and the “progressive” music of the Weimar circle no longer provokes hisses in the concert hall. In recent years, Joachim’s Hamlet has found its audience: it has been performed and recorded often, and has taken its rightful place in the orchestral repertoire.
 “Er war Concertdirector und lebte, wiewohl vom Hofe bevorzugt und vom Publicum bewundert, ein stilles, zurückgezogenes Leben. Wir betrachteten ihn mit einiger Scheu, wie Einen, der eine Mission hat. Er sprach nicht viel damals; ‘Musik ist seine Sprache.’”
 “ein Zeichen meiner Dankbarkeit und Ergebenheit.”
 “[…] ich war sehr allein. Der Kontrast, aus der Atmosphäre hinaus, die durch Ihr Wirken rastlos mit neuen Klängen erfüllt wird, in eine Luft, die ganz tonstarr geworden ist von dem Walten eines nordischen Phlegmatikers aus der Restaurations-Zeit, ist zu barbarisch! Wohin ich auch blickte, keiner, der dasselbe anstrebte wie ich; keiner statt der Phalanx gleichgesinnter Freunde in Weimar. […] Ich griff da zum Hamlet; die Motive zu einer Ouverture, die ich schon in Weimar hatte schreiben ‘wollen’, fielen mir wieder bei […].”
 “Über die Wahl des Helden zu meinem musikalischen Versuch brauche ich mich wohl kaum bei Ihnen zu rechtfertigen. Hamlet wird gewöhnlich ein unmusikalischer Stoff genannt; die Leute halten sich daran, daß Hamlet viel reflektirt. Dies Reflektiren ist ja aber nur die nothwendige Flucht vor der Unruhe, die sein Inneres beständig durchwühlt. Was ihn da hintreibt, der ewige mächtige Thatendrang, die tiefe Trauer darüber, daß diese herrliche Sehnsucht nach Verwirklichung des innersten Lebens an äußeren Verhältnissen, an geistig Nichtigem machtlos verbluten muß, hat wohl jedes Menschen Brust durchzogen, ist allgemein menschliches Gefühl, also auch musikalisch.”
 “’To be or not to be; that is thé question’ […] Vous résolves cette grande question d’une manière très affirmative, par une œuvre sérieuse et belle, grandement conçue et largement développée, et qui prouve catégoriquement son droit d’être.”
 “Meine Ouvertüre hat dort nur wenigen Leuten zugesagt. […] Man meinte, sie klänge, als ob ich den Leuten ein fürchterliches: “Bleibt mir 10 Schritt vom Leib” zubrüllte. Das war mir lieb! — ”
 “…ich zage bei der Übersendung, denn es ist das erstemal, dass Sie von mir ein Werk zu Gesicht bekommen.”
 “Es war mir beim Lesen, als erhellte sich von Seite zu Seite die Scene, und Ophelia und Hamlet träten in leibhaftiger Gestalt hervor. Es sind ganz ergreifende Stellen darin, und das Ganze in so klarer und großartiger Form hingestellt, wie es einer so hohen Aufgabe gemäß ist. […] Sympathisch vor Allem muß die Musik wirken, und wenn ich das von Ihrer auf mich die sagen kann, so mögen Sie das glauben.”
 “[…] seiner ganzen Erscheinung ist der Stempel höchster Künstlerschaft aufgeprägt. Meine Verehrung u. Begeisterung für ihn steigerte sich aber noch gewaltig, als ich die Hamletouverture [op. 4] kennen gelernt; das Werk hat mich tief ergriffen; das ganze Trauerspiel klingt auf das Frappanteste daraus hervor. Merkwürdig characteristisch ist das Hauptmotiv des Allegro — so unentschieden, mysteriös — wie Hamlet; von wunderbarer Wirkung das der ganzen Ouverture eigene Intervall der verminderten Terz etc.”
 “Von der Aufführung meiner Hamlet-Ouvertüre war nichts Gutes zu berichten: das Orchester war schlecht, zudem ist Schumann ein ausgezeichneter, dichterischer Mann, und großer Musiker, aber leider kein ebenso guter Dirigent — das Werk wurde nicht beurtheilt, weil eben nicht gehört.”
 “ […] wieder einen recht deutlichen Beweis lieferte, welch verschrobene Schöpungen die neue Schule zu Tage fördert […].”
 “Ich ließ so oft neben der Melodie eine Menge Instrumente des Orchesters mitschwingen — ja wären das lauter fein empfindende Seelen! — aber so blasen und streichen die Musici roh die Noten — und was in mir ein Seufzer oder ein freudig Ach! war, wird ein plumper Hornton — ein kreischender Fiedelbogenlaut — Warum giebts nur so viele Handwerker!!”
Carl Reinecke, Joseph Joachim and the Reinecke Violin Concerto, op. 141
Robert W. Eshbach
arl Reinecke’s violin concerto in G minor, op. 141 is the Sleeping Beauty among nineteenth-century violin concerti. Written for Joseph Joachim, who performed it only once, in a Leipzig Gewandhaus concert under Reinecke’s direction on 21 December 1876, it slept thereafter undisturbed until violinist Ingolf Turban recorded it with the Berner Symphonie-Orchester in September of 2004.  Reinecke’s concerto is a work of considerable inherent quality that never entered the repertory, and therefore had no impact on the future history of the genre. It nevertheless occupies a noteworthy niche in the evolutionary history of the Romantic violin concerto.
Reinecke composed two violin concerti. The first was conceived in Barmen in the year 1857, and was premiered under Reinecke’s baton by Franz Seiss. It was repeated in altered form by Ferdinand David in Leipzig, on 3 October 1858, and thereafter put aside.  It was never published. Reinecke himself described the work as his “totgeborenes Kind” (“stillborn child”). He had originally wanted Joachim to give its Leipzig performance, but Joachim, who had also recently received the revisions of Brahms’s D minor piano concerto, found Reinecke’s work uninspired by comparison. On 3 January 1858 he wrote to Clara Schumann: “Reinecke hat ein Violin-Concert geschickt — so gewöhnlich, so manchmal sogar ungeschickt klingend, wie ich’s von einem so routinirten Componisten nie erwartet hätte.”  Joachim, who never played a work that he did not believe in, refused Reinecke’s invitation.
With the Violin Concerto op. 141, the matter stood otherwise. Reinecke’s G minor concerto, which carries the dedication “Seinem Freunde Joseph Joachim,” belongs to a distinguished tradition of “Freundschaftskonzerte” that includes, among others the concerti of Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Brahms. Like the other concerti in this tradition, Reinecke’s work seems to embody many of the characteristics of its dedicatee’s violin playing, as well as his general attitude toward art. A critic for Signale für die musikalische Welt mentions that Joachim took up the work “mit ersichtlicher Liebe und Hingebung.”  Nevertheless, Joachim’s performance at the premiere fell below his usual standard. The reviewer for the Musikalisches Wochenblatt wrote: “Die diesmalige Ausführung des Werkes war eine nur mittelmässige; weder der Solist, noch das begleitende Orchester wussten ihren Vortrag von mancherlei Unsauberkeiten, als da sind: theilweise ziemlich unreine Intonation, schlaffe Rhythmik etc., hinreichend frei zu halten. Den befriedigendsten Eindruck hinterliess als Composition, wie auch hinsichtlich der praktischen Ausführung, der zweite (langsame) Satz des Concertes.” 
Reinecke’s concerto never won a place in Joachim’s concert repertoire; it is likely that it was crowded out by the appearance, the following year, of Brahms’s Violin Concerto in D major, op. 77. Though it was published by Breitkopf und Härtel in October 1877, no other violinist seems to have taken it up, perhaps out of deference to its prominent dedicatee. When Joachim and Reinecke next performed together, Joachim played Spohr’s E minor concerto (likely no. 7, op. 38, a favorite of Joachim’s), and the second movement of Joachim’s own Hungarian Concerto, op. 11. 
Program: Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig
Carl Reinecke and Joseph Joachim met for the first time in 1843. Reinecke was nineteen years old, and Joachim twelve, when they made their Leipzig debuts on the same 16 November Gewandhaus program. In his memoir, Erlebnisse und Bekenntnisse, Reinecke recalled the event:
“[…] da trat ein zwölfjähriger Knabe im Jäckchen und mit umgeschlagenem Hemdkragen auf und trug die seinerzeit berühmte Othellophantasie von Ernst mit vollendeter Virtuosität und mit knabenhafter Unbefangenheit vor. Es war Joseph Joachim, dem am Schlusse das sonst etwas reservierte Gewandhauspublikum stürmisch zujubelte. […] Daß das Publikum meine Leistung zwar freundlich aufnahm, mir aber nicht in gleicher Weise zujauchzte wie dem zwölfjährigen Wunderknaben, kränkte mich nicht, denn ich war verständig genug, um es für selbstverständlich zu halten, daß das Publikum einen Knaben, der auf seiner Geige das ganze Feuerwerk eines brillanten Virtuosenstückes hatte aufblitzen lassen, enthusiastischer belohnte als einen neunzehnjährigen befrackten Jüngling, der die liebenswürdige, aber keineswegs bravourmäßig ausgestattete Serenade von Mendelssohn vorgetragen hatte.” 
In the immediately ensuing years, Reinecke and Joachim had ample opportunity to form a close musical and personal relationship. Reinecke remained in Leipzig until 1846, returning briefly in 1848. Joachim lived in Leipzig until October 1850, after which he settled in Weimar as concertmaster under Franz Liszt. During their Leipzig years, the two young musicians performed together frequently, in both private and public settings, often in partnership with Gewandhaus colleagues Ferdinand David, Moritz Klengel, Niels Gade, Andreas Grabau, and Franz Carl Wittmann.
Though primarily a pianist, Reinecke was also an accomplished violinist. “Meine Violinstudien,“ he wrote, “mußte ich zunächst nach der Schule von Rode, Kreutzer und Baillot, später nach der von Spohr betreiben. Ich brachte es schließlich bis zu dem ersten Konzert von de Bériot und dem jetzt vergessenen in Es-Dur von Spohr. Mein größter Stolz als Geiger bleibt aber, daß ich einst der Witwe Felix Mendelssohns im Verein mit David, Joachim und Rietz einige Quartette von ihrem dahingeschiedenen Gatten vorgespielt hatte.“ 
Active composers both, Reinecke and Joachim belonged to the circle of Mendelssohn and Schumann. They shared many musical opinions, among them a strong antipathy toward virtuosity for its own sake.  This bias is evident in Reinecke’s late assessment of Joachim’s musical career:
“Ganz naturgemäß stak Joachim bei seinem Erscheinen in Leipzig noch ganz im Banne der Virtuosität, aber durch den steten Umgang mit Mendelssohn, der den Knaben wie ein Vater liebte und förderte, ward er gar bald ins Heiligtum der Kunst eingeführt, und fortan verwertete er sein künstlerisches Können lediglich zur vollendeten Wiedergabe wahrhafter Kunstwerke der Geigenliteratur.” 
In 1853, Reinecke was among the auditors in Düsseldorf when Joachim played Beethoven’s violin concerto under Schumann’s leadership at the thirty-first Niederrheinisches Musikfest. “Welch ein andrer, größerer war er inzwischen geworden,” Reinecke recalled. “Einst Gefolgsmann der Virtuosität, jetzt Priester der Kunst. […] Es ist ein müßiges Beginnen, so ein vollendetes Spiel mit Worten zu beschreiben. Aber noch heute, nach sechsundfünfzig Jahren, erinnere ich mich deutlich, daß ich nach diesem Vortrage mich in die einsamsten Gänge des Hofgartens schlich, um ungestört dieses künstlerische Ereignis noch einmal in meinem Innern zu durchleben.” 
Like others in the Mendelssohn/Schumann circle, Reinecke and Joachim shared a predilection for Classical composers and their compositions — for Bach, Mozart and Beethoven in particular. Reinecke went so far as to occupy himself with Joachim’s repertoire, preparing a piano reduction for an edition of Beethoven’s violin concerto, and arranging Bach’s Chaconne and a few other movements from Bach’s violin Sonatas and Partitas for piano solo. But Reinecke’s special love was Mozart: his advocacy for Mozart’s piano concerti was expressed in his 1891 book, Zur Wiederbelebung der Mozart’schen Clavierconzerte. Today, this advocacy may seem an innocuous enough undertaking, but in those days of musical party-spirit, it evoked considerable derision from the ranks of the Fortschrittspartei — and not in Germany alone. In the New York Evening Post, for example, we read:
“Carl Reinecke, late conductor of the Gewandhaus concerts at Leipsic, has written a brochure in which he pleads for the restoration of the Mozart concertos to our concert halls. In his conservative blindness he cannot see that those works are hopelessly antiquated. Reinecke has written more than 200 works, of which probably a dozen will survive him a decade or two. The works of conservative and reactionary composers (like Reinecke and Brahms) never live long, for genius means progress in an inflexible line of evolution.” 
Strongly influenced by Hegelian philosophy, the advocates of the neudeutscheSchule argued the cause of “progress” in the arts. For them, Mozart’s works represented, in the buzzword of the day, “einen überwundenen Standpunkt.”  Reinecke and Joachim, on the other hand, viewed the musical classics sub specie aeternitatis — that is to say, “from the standpoint of eternity,” as timeless expressions of spiritual truth. This is the sense of Joachim’s lines, jotted as a dedication in a book of Brahms lieder that Joachim gave to Agathe (Siebold) Schütte in the Autumn of 1894:
Nur das Bedeutungslose fährt dahin. Was einmal tief lebendig ist und war Das hat Kraft zu sein für immerdar. 
The two friends went so far as to share a mutual interest in the works of Spohr, though a less fashionable composer could hardly be found. In an undated letter, Joachim writes:
Es hat mir leid gethan, Deinen Spohr-Erinnerungsabend nicht mitmachen zu können, da ich wirklich eine große Verehrung für ihn hege, und glaube er wird jetzt unterschätzt. Auch seine Zeit wird wohl wieder kommen, d. h. man wird sich unbefangener manches Herrlichen erfreuen, das er aus echtester Empfindung gesungen als jetzt möglich ist, wo starke Aufregungen und Geistreichelei an der Tagesordnung sind. 
Today, one might be tempted to apply Joachim’s words concerning Spohr to Reinecke and his violin concerto. Already in 1858, this seems to have been Eduard Hanslick’s view:
“Reinecke ist eine ungemein liebenswürdige künstlerische Natur. […] Mit der Technik der musikalischen Composition vollständig vertraut, würde er so gut wie mancher Andere die imponirenden Grimassen falscher Genialität ziehen, und sich damit zu einer gewissen Größe hinauflügen können. Daß er es verschmäht, und nur bedacht ist, dasjenige in reiner Form zu geben, was ihm die Natur echt verlieh, macht uns diesen Mann in dieser Zeit aufrichtig wert.” 
This Classical, anti-virtuosic, orientation placed Reinecke and Joachim on one side of a significant aesthetic divide. It is customary today to separate violin concerti into two categories: virtuoso concerti and “symphonic” concerti.  Nineteenth-century virtuoso concerti include, for example, the works of Paganini, Ernst, Lipinski, Maurer, Wieniawski, Vieuxtemps, et alia, in which the technical and soloistic element predominates and is set in high relief against the tutti. To the other category belong concerti of Spohr, Mendelssohn, Bruch, Brahms, Dvorák and Chaikovsky: works in which the symphonic element plays a pervasive role, and in which the solo violin holds more-or-less constant dialogue with the tutti. Virtuoso concerti have much in common with operatic virtuosity and the art of embellishment. The symphonic style originates in the Classical works of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, and, as the term implies, shares a common history and aesthetic with the symphony itself.
Indeed, the history of the 19th century symphonic violin concerto closely reflects the troubled progress of the symphony during the same period. It is well-known that the generation that followed Beethoven had significant issues with the perpetuation of the symphonic form. Carl Dahlhaus famously wrote:
“Die symphonie, die durch Beethoven aus einer Gattung, die eine unbefangene Massenproduktion zuließ, zur “großen Form” geworden war […] geriet um die Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts in eine Krise, als deren sichtbares Zeichen die Tatsache erscheint, daß nach Schumanns Dritter Symphonie (1850), die chronologisch seine letzte ist, fast zwei Jahrzehnte lang kein Werk von Rang geschrieben wurde, das die absolute, nicht durch ein Programm bestimmte Musik repräsentiert. […] Um so auffälliger — und für Historiker, die in der Geschichte einer Gattung nach ungebrochener Kontinuität suchen, geradezu irritierend — ist die Tatsache, daß in den siebziger und achtziger Jahren mit den Werken von Bruckner und Brahms, Čajkovskij und Borodin, Dvořák und Franck die symphonie in ein ‘zweites Zeitalter’ eintrat, dessen Hinterlassenschaft heute, ein Jahrhundert später, immer noch einen großen Teil des Konzertrepertoires beherrscht.” 
Dahlhaus’s formulation was the subject of considerable discussion at the 1989 Internationales Musikwissenschaftliches Colloquium in Bonn, “Probleme der Symphonischen Tradition im 19. Jahrhundert.”  The history of the symphonic violin concerto may perhaps shed light on this discussion: first, because the composers who wrote them were by and large the same as those who cultivated the symphony, and second, because the symphonic violin concerto, while a related form of “serious” orchestral music, offered those composers a congenial alternative to the symphony — an alternative that allowed more lattitude for innovation in form and expression than the symphony, which by mid-century had become moribund, through its pretentions, its formal and aesthetic limitations, and the intimidating influence of Beethoven. The violin concerto therefore allowed the creation of at least a few symphonic “Werke von Rang” during the fallow decades of the symphony that Dahlhaus references.
The prime example of this is Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, op. 26 (1866), which likely served as an inspiration for Reinecke’s concerto in the same key. The first movement of Bruch’s concerto is unusual by any standard: a free introduction (Bruch uses the Wagnerian term Vorspiel) to the central slow movement that is the real raison d’être of the piece. Bruch had compunctions about whether a work in so unorthodox a form could properly fit the genre, but was reassured by Joachim:
“Auf Ihre ‘Zweifel’ freue ich mich Ihnen schließlich zu sagen, daß ich den Titel Concert jedenfalls gerechtfertigt finde — für den Namen ‘Phantasie’ sind namentlich die beiden letzten Sätze zu sehr und regelmäßig ausgebaut. Die einzelnen Bestandtheile sind in ihrem Verhältnisse zu einander sehr schön und doch contrastirend genug; das ist die Hauptsache. Spohr nennt übrigens auch seine Gesangs-Scene ‘Concert’”! 
It is precisely this freedom — this ability to break free of the shadow of Beethoven and “großer Form” while resting on the authority of accepted models — that appealed to composers of a conservative bent and allowed the symphonic violin concerto, as a form of absolute music, to maintain a provisional hold on the public at a time when the symphony itself was in eclipse. As Joachim mentioned in his letter, Spohr provided an early example of unconventional form — a concerto in the form of an operatic scena. Mendelssohn’s concerto (1845), which influenced subsequent composers as late as Sibelius, is replete with formal innovations (the lack of opening tutti, the centrally-placed cadenza in the first movement, the unusual recapitulation in the first movement, etc.). Equally important, later composers also felt freer in the violin concerto to explore certain more lyrical or characteristic moods — moods that were congenial to the era, but that lay outside the aesthetic norms of the symphony, or were problematic if subjected to the formal processes expected in the symphony post-Beethoven. Thus, while characteristic symphonic works such as Goldmark’s Ländliche Hochzeit Symphony (1876) once enjoyed a protracted period of popularity, they are no longer frequently performed. Similarly conceived concerti such as Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole or Bruch’s Schottische Fantasie, on the other hand, continue to be staples of the violinist’s repertoire.
Symphonic Violin Concerti in the 19th Century
1806 Beethoven Concerto in D major, op. 61 (Joachim)
1816 Spohr Concerto no. 8 in modo di scene cantante, op. 47 (Joachim)
1834 Berlioz Harold en Italie (performed by Joachim under Berlioz)
1844 Mendelssohn Concerto in E minor, op 64 (Joachim, 2nd performance)
1853 Schumann Concerto in D minor WoO 23 (withheld) (dedicated to Joachim)
1853 Schumann Fantasie op. 131 (dedicated to Joachim)
1857 Hiller Concerto in a A major, op. 152 (dedicated to Joachim)
1861 Joachim Concerto no. 2 in D minor, op. 11 Hungarian (Joachim)
1867 Bruch Concerto no. 1 in G minor, op. 26 (dedicated to Joachim)
1874 Lalo Symphonie Espagnole (written for Sarasate)
1875 Joachim Concerto no. 3 in G major, WoO (Joachim) 1876 Reinecke Concerto in G minor, op. 141 (dedicated to Joachim) 1877 Damrosch Concerto in D minor WoO (dedicated to Joachim)
1877 Dvořák Romanze in F minor, op. 11 (dedicated to Ondříček)
1877 Goldmark Concerto in A minor, op. 28 (Lauterbach)
1878 Brahms Concerto in D major, op. 77 (dedicated to Joachim)
1878 Bruch Concerto no. 2 in D minor, op. 44 (dedicated to Sarasate)
1878 Chaikovsky Concerto in D major, op. 35 (dedicated to Brodsky/ Auer/ Halíř)
1879 Dvořák Concerto in A minor, op. 53 (B. 108) (dedicated to Joachim/ Ondříček)
1880 Bruch Schottische Fantasie, op. 46 (dedicated to Sarasate)
1880 Niels Gade Concerto in D minor, op. 56 (dedicated to Joachim)
1880 Saint-Saëns Concerto in B minor, op. 61 (dedicated to Sarasate)
[Names in parentheses indicate that the works were either written by, dedicated to, premiered by, or predominantly championed by those players.]
The foregoing table demonstrates the dominance that Joachim had over the whole genre of symphonic violin concerti in the 19th century, approached only, from the 1870s onward, by Pablo de Sarasate. Even Beethoven’s concerto would have sunk into obscurity, had not the young Joachim revived and championed it. Joachim learned Mendelssohn’s concerto from its composer — he was the second violinist to play it, contemporaneous with David. He also played Harold in Italy under the composer’s baton, whereas Paganini, who commissioned the work from Berlioz, never played it, claiming the viola part was lacking in virtuosity, and insufficiently prominent. The works of Schumann and Spohr likewise belonged to Joachim’s repertoire. It is telling that Joachim never played the concerti of Ernst, Wieniawski or Vieuxtemps, although he was friendly with their creators, and valued them highly both as violinists and as men. Though he was a great virtuoso, Joachim eschewed violinistic fireworks. More than any other 19th century violinist, he was responsible for promoting the violin concerto as a “serious” form — in the sense of the Leipziger res severa — that, in its expressive possibilities, could stand comparison with the symphony.
Reinecke’s concerto reflects his sympathy with Joachim’s project: he worked within the traditions of the symphonic concerto, anticipating and advancing the revival of the genre. Viewing this table, one might argue that Reinecke’s concerto, far from being “reactionary,” was a harbinger, not only of a zweites Zeitalter of symphonic violin concerti, but of a goldenes Zeitalter. The subsequent four years alone saw the appearance of the canonical concerti of Goldmark, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Dvořák, Bruch (Schottische Fantasie), and Saint-Saëns.
The third movement of the work will serve briefly as an example of Reinecke’s poetic, anti-virtuosic conception, expressed with the innovative freedom of form that is characteristic of the 19th-century symphonic violin concerto, generally. The entire concerto is strongly reminiscent in tonality, mood, and theme of Bruch’s popular Concerto no. 1 in G minor, and, like the Bruch, it seems to glory in its elegiac slow movement as its real reason for being.
Instead of following that movement with the customary light, brilliant rondo finale, Reinecke has given us an expressive movement of a lyrical, cantabile, character — a series of developing variations, closely related to, and at times recapitulating, the theme of the slow movement. Of it, a contemporary critic wrote that “der Finalsatz viel zu weitschichtig angelegt und mit zu wenig Rücksicht auf klar übersichtliche Gliederung seiner Theile ausgeführt ist.”  This seems a mis-hearing of the work, however, for the movement can be understood as a rather traditional sonata-rondo form (or what might better be described with James Hepokoski’s term: a “sonata-rondo deformation”), as this analytical diagram shows:
A short transition, such as one finds in Beethoven or Mendelsson, introduces the movement. The main theme, a broad amabile, demonstrates the double stop technique for which Joachim was famous in his time. It is difficult to play, but not virtuosic in character. The recursive nature of the theme creates a somewhat too-static impression at the start of a movement that is conceived in a similarly recursive form. The “A” theme alternates with a contrasting, arpeggiated, “B” theme, the character of which is strongly reminiscent of Schumann. The “C” group can be heard as a variation or development of the “A” theme — further contributing to the recursive nature of the movement.
An interesting feature of the movement is the presence of two dramatic, symmetrically placed D major scales that function as audible orientation points within the overall structure. Symmetric, as well, are two short, rather brilliant developments: one in double stops, and the other in triplets. The most interesting feature of the movement, however, is the threefold return of the main theme from the second movement — each time varied and ornamented — first in E, then in F, and finally in the tonic G major. These tonally progressive “reminiscences,” which function as interruptions (or “deformations”) of the Rondo, emphasize the familial relationship between the last movement “A” and “C” themes, and the main theme “X” of the lyrical slow movement. Thus, the entire third movement can be understood as a continuation, or development, of the second movement. The deformation of the standard sonata-rondo form through lyrical reminiscences serves an expressive purpose that carries the piece far from mechanical, “empty,” virtuosity into the world of Schumannesque poetry.
According to Joseph von Wasielewski, Reinecke’s Violin Concerto deserves, “in musikalisch künstlerischer Hinsicht unstreitig ein hervorragender Platz in der Geigenliteratur, wenn auch die Principalstimme nicht mit bestechender Brillanz ausgestattet ist. Reinecke hat es sich offenbar angelegen sein lassen, mehr die solide Seite als die virtuosenmäßige Bravour des Geigenspieles hervorzukehren.” Wasielewski hints at the work’s fatal weakness — as well as, potentially, its most ingratiating attribute — when he continues: “Wer das Werk von diesem Gesichtspunkt aus betrachtet wird seine Freude daran haben.”  In any case, Reinecke’s violin concerto is an attractive work that despite, or perhaps even because of, its previous neglect would provide a welcome alternative in the violinist’s repertoire to Bruch’s all-too-frequently performed masterpiece. It also provides a valuable insight into the musical friendship between two important 19th-century performer/composers and their relationship to aesthetic trends in European symphonic music at a critical point in its development.
 Recorded at the Grosser Saal, Kultur-Casino Bern, Johannes Moesus, conductor, 09/23/2004 and 09/24/2004; released 04/24/2007 on the CPO label, no. 777 105-2, ISBN 761203710522.
 Reinecke: “David hatte das Werk übrigens eigenmächtig in solcher Weise zugestutzt, daß ich förmlich erschrak, als ich die Partitur später zurückerhielt. Es war eine Schwäche von David, daß er alles für seine, vielleicht etwas eigenseitige Technik umarbeitete und sich auch anderweitige Eingriffe in die Komposition anderer erlaubte.” Carl Reinecke, Erlebnisse und Bekenntnisse, Doris Mundus (ed.), Leipzig 2005, p. 102.
A review of the October 3 concert appeared in the Wiener Zeitung, October 14, 1858: “Aus dem am 3. d. M. stattgefundenen ersten unserer ‘großen Konzerte’ nenne ich als besonders bemerkenswerth die Solovorträge unseres Konzertmeisters Ferdinand David. Derselbe führte uns ein neues noch im Manuskript vorliegendes Violinkonzert von dem talentvollen jungen Tonsetzer Karl Reinecke und den bekannten Tartinischen Teufelstriller vor, das Erstere eine in der That anmuthende Novität von solider Arbeit.”
 Johannes Joachim and Andreas Moser (eds.), Briefe von und an Joseph Joachim (2/3), Berlin 1912, pp. 1-2.
Signale für die musikalische Welt, vol. 35, no. 3 (January 1877) p. 35.
Musikalisches Wochenblatt, vol. 8, no. 2 (5 January 1877), p. 21.
 Kiel, 24 June 1878. Vide: Signale für die musikalische Welt, vol. 36, no. 43 (September 1878), p. 681.
 — Reinecke, Erlebnisse und Bekenntnisse, p. 260.
 Though this bias, on Joachim’s part, may have been as much an image as a reality. His wife, Amalie, claimed in a letter: “Unparteiische Richter welche genug von Violine verstünden müßten ihm auch als Techniker die erste Stelle zuweisen. Ich habe oft genug ihn, seine Art einzelne Stellen zu spielen mit der Art Sarasate’s u. Anderer vergleichen können u. stets gefunden, daß er alles größer, kühner u. feuriger vorträgt — auch ‘Virtuosenstückchen’ kühner u. eleganter spielt, als die andern, wenn er dies freilich nur für sich allein in seinem Studierzimmer vollbringt — weil er öffentlich sich nur als Priester des Allerschönsten u. Höchsten zeigen will.” [Beatrix Borchard, Stimme und Geige: Amalie und Joseph Joachim, Biographie und Interpretationsgeschichte, Wien 2005, p. 502.]
Based on a paper given to the American Brahms Society Conference, Brahms in the New Century, Brook Center for Music Research, City University of New York, March 21, 2012.
The story of Johannes Brahms’s first encounter with Joseph Joachim in May, 1853 has been told many times — not always accurately, and seldom without a condescending bias toward Ede Reményi, the man who made that meeting possible. It seems that this bias originated with Joachim himself: Joachim was famously possessive in friendship and in love, and, at the beginning of his relationship with Brahms, he can fairly be described as having been “smitten.” From the first, he was fully aware of his new-found friend’s musical and personal worth, and coveted for himself not only an exclusive relationship with the beautiful, enigmatic young tone-poet, but also the role of being Brahms’s “discoverer.” 
Joachim was barely 22 years old, and only 6 months into his new job as Royal Concertmaster to the King of Hanover when his boyhood acquaintance Eduard (Ede) Reményi paid him a surprise visit, bringing with him his young accompanist, Johannes Brahms. Like Schumann, who, in those early days of acquaintance spoke of Brahms in awestruck, messianic terms, Joachim saw his new acquaintance as born to greatness: the preternaturally unspoiled embodiment of the high ideals toward which he, himself, inclined. It is striking that, despite the loneliness that consumed Joachim in his first months in Hannover — what he called his “Hamlet mood” — his first response upon meeting Brahms was to see him, not as a potential new friend, but as a protégé. As he wrote to his brother Heinrich later that November in a still-unpublished letter: “My only companion here is now a young Hamburger named Brahms, a 20-year-old powerful talent in composition and piano playing, the good fortune of wresting which from the darkness is mine.”  He expressed himself to Hanover court pianist Heinrich Ehrlich with uncharacteristic poetry, emphasizing Brahms’s obscurity and undefiled nature: “Brahms has a quite exceptional talent for composition and a nature that could have been developed in its integrity only in the strictest retirement — pure as diamond, soft as snow.” 
For his part, Brahms looked the role. To the Leipzig matron Hedwig von Holstein, the young genius exuded “purity, innocence, nature, power and depth. […] And, with all this free power, a thin little boy-voice, that had not yet changed! And a child-face that any girl could kiss without blushing! And the purity and security of his entire being, that guaranteed that this person can have nothing to do with this corrupt world! —”
The flamboyant, garrulous, shrewd and Gypsy-like virtuoso Ede Reményi seemed to Joachim, as to others, then and later, an impossible figure to play the role of mentor to a boy with such deep blue, “forget-me-not” eyes. In his festival address at Meiningen on October 7, 1899, the 66 year-old Joachim coined the oft-repeated phrase die ungleichen Kunstgenossen (“the unequal comrades-in-art”) to describe not merely a difference in talent or temperament between Brahms and Reményi, but a difference in moral/artistic outlook between — note the adjectives — “the tender, ideal Johannes and the worldly, fanciful virtuoso” Reményi. Thus, he placed the young Brahms at the parting of two paths: the noble path of Joachim/Schumann artistry and the corrupting path of Reményi/Liszt showmanship. As Joachim told the story, his “discovery” of Brahms was a tale of rescue — of the “young fellow at whose cradle graces and heroes stood watch” — from the sinking weight of temporal concerns and the corrupting snares of musical charlatanism.
Joachim’s pronouncements held something of the vox dei for his contemporaries, and the spirit of his Meiningen speech has since entered all the Brahms biographies. Among biographers, it was Kalbeck who initiated the universally-accepted negative image of Reményi. Kalbeck introduces Reményi in the context of the violinist’s notorious accusation that Brahms plagiarized the Hungarian Dances. That is not an issue to be settled here, but it’s obvious that, whether or not Brahms stole anything, he owed a great musical debt to his early partnership with Reményi. He must have enjoyed the repertoire they played together, — he continued to slip quite happily into the Style Hongrois for the remainder of his life. However, even he refused to acknowledge his debt to Reményi. After the initial hurt of being rejected by Reményi in Weimar, he seemingly shut the door on that episode of his life. Three years later, he wrote to Clara Schumann: “I was delighted […] to learn that you heard the gypsies playing. I have often wanted to hear them. […] They are a very strange race but I was never able to learn very much about them from Reményi. He is such a dreadful liar.” 
For a century now, beginning with Kalbeck, Reményi has been portrayed in the Brahms literature as Brahms’s diametrical opposite: The flamboyant, dark-eyed, rootless, cosmopolitan, opportunistic, fawning and deceitful full-blooded Magyar, German-Hungarian Gypsy/Jew who didn’t even use his real name, Eduard Hoffmann. But how real is the commonly-credited and widely disseminated image of Reményi? The recorded facts are these: Eduard Hoffmann/Ede Reményi was born in 1828, 1829, 1830 and 1831. He was a conservatory classmate of Joseph Joachim, studying violin in Vienna with Joseph Böhm between the years 1840-1842, or again from 1842–1845. He and Brahms first met in 1848, 1849, 1850, 1851, 1852 and 1853. That is, assuming Reményi stayed in Germany, shamelessly milking the sympathy of the hapless Hamburgers for his own personal gain, and didn’t go to America in 1849, 1850, 1851 and 1852. As the character of Franz Schubert in the play “Three Pianos” says when asked about his life: “it depends on which biography you read.” One thing all the biographies seem to agree on: Eduard Hoffmann, known to his contemporaries by the “pseudonym” Reményi, was an unreliable, “musically and ethically dubious” person who, in his later life, harbored a personal jealousy of Brahms. That characterization is itself unreliable, however, and dubious in the extreme.
There are many things to be learned about Reményi. I will limit myself to exploring the following vexed questions, which are almost universally misrepresented in the literature:
When was Reményi born?
What is the significance of his name change?
What was the nature of Reményi’s early relationship with Joachim?
When and why did Reményi go to America, and what did he do there?
Was Reményi a spy?
When did Reményi first meet Brahms?
In general, I hope to shed some light on Reményi’s well-known predilection for the folk-, café and national music of his native Hungary, which made him so mistrusted among the high-minded German classicists.
When Was Reményi Born?
Ede Reményi was born Eduard Hoffmann in the remote town of Miskolc  in northeastern Hungary.
He was the son of goldsmith János Henrik (Johann Heinrich) Hoffmann and Josepha Rosina Lustig Hoffmann. Reményi’s birth date is unknown.
The Miskolc Kehilla of Reményi’s birth was the third-largest Hungarian Jewish community. Preserved records for Jewish births in Miskolc begin in 1836 — too late to include Reményi. Grove’s and MGG both give the date of his birth as January 17, 1828. The preponderance of early references to Reményi’s age make this seem too early, however, and point to 1830 as the year of his birth.
A century ago, George Upton, who had access to the Reményi family, gave Reményi’s birthday as July 17, 1830 — the 17th of some month or other seems to be a common feature of all accounts. On May 14, 1836, Eduard’s parents and four of their five children were baptized in the Roman Catholic faith. The baptismal register gives Eduardus Franciscus Hoffman’s age as 6. Based in part on this evidence, the German scholar Adam Gellen, who has researched this issue exhaustively, argues convincingly for the 17th of June 1829 as the probable date of Reményi’s birth. This date would make Reményi two years older than Joachim, and four years older than Brahms.
What is the significance of Reményi’s name change?
Reményi is commonly reported to be a “German Jew” or a “German-Hungarian Jew,” but he was not. Again according to Gellen, the Reményis were of eastern-European origin, probably from Galicia. Eduard’s father was born in present-day Slovakia, and the family may originally have been Yiddish speakers. As Gellen points out, the name Hoffmann — upon which the notion of Reményi’s German heritage apparently rests — is meaningless as an indicator of heritage: after January 1, 1788, all Jews in the Austro-Hungarian territories were required to take German surnames. Before that, Jews didn’t commonly use family names. Joachim’s great-grandfather, for example, was Victor Schul, because he lived near the synagogue. After 1788, his family took the name Figdor, a variant of Victor.
The Patent issued by Emperor Joseph II, requiring the use of German surnames.
Language was of course an important marker of cultural and national identity in the early 19th century. At that time, the Lingua Franca of Hungary was Latin, and all official business was conducted in that tongue. The Hungarian magnates, many of whom lived abroad, spoke Hungarian poorly, if at all, and then only to their serfs. From the late 1820s on, Miskolc was at the forefront of Magyar cultural and linguistic politics, and the Jews of Miskolc were the cutting edge of the change. Jews were amongst the most ardent Magyar nationalists, since they stood to gain the most by the overthrow of the feudal Austrian regime. Beginning in the late 1830s, the Miskolc Kehilla began a gradual shift in their official documents away from Yiddish and toward the Magyar language.
Edward Hoffmann and his older brother Antál, both passionately committed to the Magyar cause, began using the name Reményi — the Hungarian equivalent of the German “Hoffnung,” or hope — in the years leading up to the revolution of 1848. The entire Hoffmann family later adopted the name in 1862.
Reményi’s name-change is almost always cited in tandem with a mention of his Jewish background, and often together with qualifiers that imply that he was somehow disreputable for using a pseudonym. But, as we see, the name Hoffmann was of relatively recent origin, and probably fairly unsentimental to the family — and the use of the Magyar language was a part of all that was progressive in the culture. The Hoffmanns’ identity was doubtless better expressed, then, by the Hungarian “Reményi,” which goes farther than “Hoffnung” to connote expectancy, confidence and trust in the future.
What was the nature of Reményi’s early relationship with Joachim?
Both Hungarian Jews, Reményi and Joachim were nevertheless of significantly dissimilar backgrounds and of opposite temperaments. Joachim was a blue-eyed blonde, of German-Jewish descent. He was born in the prosperous Kittsee Kehilla on the Austrian border, and his wealthy family oriented toward nearby Vienna.
Psychiatrist Henri Ellenberger tells us “the attitude and mentality of the Austrian Jews largely depended upon the group to which their parents or grandparents belonged before the emancipation.” It made a significant difference, he claims, whether one’s parents “carried with them the resentment accumulated by the Jews of Galicia and south Russia,” or whether they “came from the comparatively privileged community of Kittsee.”  This would seem to be true where Reményi and Joachim are concerned — in any case, they were certainly of widely disparate temperaments: Reményi flamboyant and outgoing; Joachim self-effacing and reserved. Joachim a classicist; Reményi “an ardent Hungarian,” whose “national sentiment was reflected alike in his life and in his music.”  “It is useless to compare Reményi with Joachim,” wrote George Bernard Shaw. “They are both fiddlers, it is true; but then John the Baptist and the late Archbishop Tait were both preachers.” 
Reményi and Joachim both studied in Vienna with Beethoven’s colleague, Joseph Böhm. How well they knew one another as children is open to question, however. Joachim lived with Böhm, and studied privately with him for more than two years before enrolling at the Conservatory. His name appears as a registered student there for a short time only — during the school year 1841-1842 — and then, only as a member of Böhm’s advanced violin class.
A pampered prodigy, he seems to have been regarded in other ways as a special student. According to Otto Gumprecht, “during the three years that this relationship [with Böhm] lasted, he diligently attended the Vienna Conservatory, without, however, being an official pupil of the institution. He took part, with particular eagerness, as a section leader in all the orchestra rehearsals.” 
Reményi’s experience was likely quite different. With his conservatory students, Böhm used his own adaptation of the Lancasterian Monitorial System, a method developed by the British pioneer of mass education, Joseph Lancaster (1778-1838) and widely adopted in Austria by the Catholic church. Following Seneca’s motto, Qui docet, discit (“He who teaches, learns”), Lancaster’s system employed advanced students as peer tutors to help the less experienced members of the class.  Karl Goldmark, who briefly studied with Böhm in 1847, gives an insight into this tiered system of instruction as Böhm practiced it. He writes: “In the five months that I attended school in [Böhm’s] upper class, I only got to see how one holds the violin. And yet, from this class the greatest violinists emerged […]. Admittedly, only his private students got to hear him. And we learned from them.” 
It seems likely, then, that if Joseph and Edward interacted at all, it would have been either in the orchestra, where the young prodigy Joseph would have stood apart as a section leader or concerto soloist,
or in a situation where Joseph, around 11 years of age, might have been placed in a superior role to Edward, then about 13.
In any case, Eduard and Joseph did not formally overlap. Joseph withdrew as a student in the Spring of 1842. Eduard began as a mid-level student in the Fall of 1842, advancing to Böhm’s upper class in 1844. He left school at the end of the academic year 1844-45.
When did Reményi go to America, and what did he do there?
After his conservatory studies, Eduard spent some time Paris, and subsequently spent about a year in London, as a first violinist with “Her Majesty’s Theatre.” Reményi was in England in 1848 when the Hungarian revolution broke out. Inspired by patriotic feelings, he quit his job, and hurried home to join the army, serving as a kind of musical aide-de-camp to the commander-in-chief of the Hungarian troops, General Artúr Görgey.
Adam Gellen gives a lot of detail about Reményi’s involvement in the revolution, and evaluates, I believe correctly, the veracity of the various legends and stories that surround this time. It seems that Reményi was close to Görgey, and well known amongst the Hungarian forces, not for wielding a sword, but for wielding a bow. As a violinist, and a leader of military bands, the 18 year-old played a prominent, public role in building morale and patriotic spirit amongst the troops. His celebrated life-long passion for Hungarian music was thus set aglow on the coals revolution and forged on the anvil of war.
The rebellion succeeded for some months, but was eventually crushed when the Austrian Kaiser joined forces with the Russian Tsar. Görgey’s surrender to the Russian troops at Világos was a humiliation, and widely perceived as a traitorous act. A poignant story of the surrender, and of Reményi’s encounter with Görgey there, is told in the 1852 book, Kossuth and His Generals, and is included in your handout.
Reményi’s brother Antál was an aide to another of the principal generals, General György Klapka. Klapka’s forces were the last Hungarian holdouts against the Austrians, defending the fortress at Komárom.
After surrender, many of Görgey’s officers were executed by the Austrians. Klapka’s men were forced into exile, and given passage out of the country. About 60 of them, led by the civil governor of Komárom, Count Lajos Ujhazy, traveled to Hamburg, Germany, where they were received as heroes by the freedom-loving Hamburgers. Accompanying Ujhazy to Hamburg were the brothers Antál and Eduard Reményi. A number of Brahms biographers claim that it was at this time, in 1849, that Reményi met Brahms, then a young Hamburg piano teacher. I believe this to be incorrect, for reasons that I will give later. The exiles, many of whom had been prominent men of means, found themselves cast upon the charity of strangers. They appear to have relied on Reményi, at least to some extent, to raise money for them by playing benefit concerts. Apparently Reményi was not penniless: on November 7, he registered at Streit’s Hotel, one of Hamburg’s nicest establishments. 
Three days later, he took part in a benefit concert at the Thalia theater
playing Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst’s Elégie, his own arrangement of Hungarian National Melodies, and Wilhelm Bernhard Molique’s Souvenir de la Hongrie with orchestral accompaniment.  The following week, he had a brilliant success, playing for an audience of a thousand at the Tonhalle with a slightly altered program. For the performance, he wore the scarlet uniform of Görgey’s Hussars. A review of the concert mentions his “secure intonation, brilliant, bold bowing, impressive proficiency and deep emotion.” He was also singled out for his outstanding staccato, which was a characteristic of all Böhm students. 
On the 22nd of November, Reményi was cheered by an audience of 1,500 in a concert given by the pianist Otto Goldschmidt. Also participating was the phenomenally popular soprano, Jenny Lind, who would later become Goldschmidt’s wife.
On November 27th, he performed for a fourth and final time in Hamburg.
Trip to America
Kalbeck tells us that the exiles soon departed for America, but that Reményi stayed on in Hamburg playing concerts, and didn’t go to America until 1851. Biographers who apparently rely on Kalbeck, like Walter Niemann, Ludwik Erhardt or Jan Swafford, repeat this fallacy.  Siegfried Kross doubts that Reményi went to America at all. Florence May implies that he stayed in Hamburg for many months (he stayed 6 weeks), and she then writes: “It would be difficult, and is fortunately unnecessary, to trace the exact steps of Reményi’s career after his flight from Germany.”  Not only are these surmises casual or incorrect, but they obscure one of the most interesting parts of Reményi’s resumé: a part that even Brahms may have taken for a lie. The now easily demonstrable fact is that Reményi’s first journey to America took place in December, 1849, and not in 1851, and lasted for at least eight months.
Expelled from Hamburg, the exiles departed as a group in December, 1849, arriving penniless at Leith, Scotland, where the local citizens took up donations to send them on their way to America. They arrived in New York just before Christmas, armed with letters of introduction to President Zachary Taylor, and intending to found a Hungarian colony in the United States.
Arrival in Boston and stay in New York
Eduard and his brother Antál travelled separately from the group, arriving in Boston aboard the ship Cambria on December 31st.
Ship’s List for the Cambria on arrival in Boston. Note that Reményi gives his age as 19, and profession as “artist.”
Reményi’s arrival was noted in the press.
Tremont House, Boston
Once in America, Eduard resumed his fund-raising concerts on behalf of the exiles. Reményi’s American debut took place three weeks later, on January 19, 1850 at Niblo’s Saloon in New York City. The program for this concert, shown here, has been widely distributed in print since 1906, yet it has been all but ignored in the Brahms literature.
On this evidence, the only contemporary writer to discuss this program, Joseph Gold, writes in The Strad magazine: “The young violinist first travelled to America, where his concert on 19 January 1850 was a huge success. Remenyi’s performance was at New York City’s Niblo’s Gardens, probably a glorified saloon. He was accompanied by an ‘efficient’ orchestra and performed unnamed concertos by Vieuxtemps and Molique, La Sonnambula Fantasy by de Beriot and his own Hungarian Melodies.”  Lest you have visions of Doc Holliday, however, when you think of this “glorified saloon,” let’s take a look at the interior of the opera house at Niblo’s Garden.
Located on Broadway between Spring and Prince Streets, Niblo’s establishment was less than a year old when Reményi gave his American debut there, and was the most fashionable performance venue in New York. Niblo’s Theater, the best-equipped theater in the city, held more than 3,000 people. Reményi’s concert probably took place, not in the theater, but in the ballroom, or saloon, of Niblo’s establishment.
The perspective in this picture is probably not right — the accompanying article states that the room accommodated an audience of twelve hundred people. During the 1850’s, this room (not the opera theater) was home to the Philharmonic Society of New York, and the venue for appearances by such prominent musicians as Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Adelina Patti, Ole Bull, Henriette Sontag, Sigismund Thalberg and Henri Vieuxtemps.
Reményi’s collaborators on this program were Mr. William Scharfenberg, Mr. H. C. Timm and Mr. Theodore Eisfeld. Timm, Scharfenberg and Eisfeld were President, Vice-President and Assistant, respectively, of the Philharmonic Society of New York.
It seems highly likely, then, that the ‘efficient’ orchestra mentioned in the program was the New York Philharmonic, hired especially for the occasion. The concert is reported to have been well attended by a “highly respectable” audience.
How could an unknown 19- or 20 year-old violinist, arriving as a refugee in Boston a mere three weeks earlier, arrange and finance such an event? Clearly, the celebrity of the Hungarian refugees helped to fill the hall, but Reményi must also have been the beneficiary of considerable financial and logistical aid from an organized group of local supporters. It seems likely, also, that the lion’s share of the receipts from the concert went to support his compatriots in their exile.
Forty-five years later, Reményi gave an interview to the NewYorkTimes, in which he described the heros’ welcome that the Hungarian patriots received at the hands of the New Yorkers. “When I first came to New-York […],” he said, “I was an exile. At that time the people of this country knew such enthusiasm for Kossuth and the Hungarian cause as you of to-day can never know for anything — not even for yourselves. […] Citizens of the town came down to the ships to welcome the exiles and to provide for them. They were taken into the New-York families when they landed. It so happened that I became the guest of John Keeze Bailey, a Knickerbocker. In that family Washington was spoken of as familiarly by the mother and older members as we at this table would speak of each other. […] The name of Washington by us at home was worshipped. What then did it mean to me to be a member of a household where his past visits were spoken of, his words quoted trivially, as would be the expressions of any intimate friend! Ah! it seems that I could almost touch the hem of the garment of the hero worshipped in Hungary! […] The Baileys lived at 9 Sixteenth Street, Union Square. […] John Keeze Bailey’s father had given Union Square to the city in order to enhance the value of his property in Sixteenth Street, which was hopelessly far from town.” 
Reményi gave a second New York performance on February 25th in the Broadway Tabernacle, located at 340 Broadway, near the present-day city hall.
The Tabernacle, which held 2,400 people, was known for its embrace of liberal causes: within its walls, William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass advocated the abolition of slavery and Sojourner Truth spoke in favor of women’s suffrage. A decade earlier, church members had helped to raise a defense fund in the famous case of African slaves captured aboard the ship Amistad. Now, the speeches were mixed with advocacy of the Hungarian cause. In March, Horace Greely told an enthusiastic Tabernacle crowd: “Tyranny, by the help of Treachery, has Hungary at its mercy. […] It is ours to show to the world that our appreciation of the champions of Human Rights is not affected by the accidents of Fortune, but that they are as dear to us in this hour of their adversity and sorrow as they were in their proudest day of hope and victory.” 
The exiles continued their triumphant and celebrated tour from New York to Philadelphia, Baltimore, and then to Washington D. C., where Count Ujhazy met with President Taylor. In Philadelphia they were greeted by cheering crowds. In this picture, Count Ujhazy addresses a torchlit gathering in front of the Hotel Washington. According to the article in the Illustrated London News, Reményi also spoke on that occasion.
In each of these places, Reményi gave high profile concerts to benefit the Hungarian ex-patriots, playing in major venues, and with the best orchestras, including, in Baltimore, the Germania Musical Society — 25 Berliners who left Prussia for political reasons, but who were known in America for their exceptional musical skill and precision of execution.
The Germania performed all over the east coast, and formed the orchestra for Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society.
Reményi eventually left the company of his brother and the refugees, and proceeded on his own to New Orleans, another locus of the Hungarian diaspora. In July, we find him again in New York, living together with several other Hungarians, and playing again at Niblo’s Saloon.
Was Reményi a spy?
Perhaps. By all appearances, Reményi was an active member of the radical diaspora — the undead of the Hungarian revolutionary movement — and a visible contributor to the cause. It is not known whether his activities went beyond the musical. Reményi lived an itinerant life, and his movements were always difficult to trace. In later life, he turns up in South Africa, on the pyramids of Giza — in the most remote and remarkable places. Reports of his death were always greatly exaggerated, and he once amused himself by making a collection of his own obituaries. In the years following his sojourn in America, we lose track of him for months at a time. One thing is striking, however: he always resurfaces in places like Paris, Brussels and Hamburg, where there was a significant presence of the Hungarian “Umsturzpartei” — the revolutionaries in exile. We know that, at least in Germany, the police closely followed his activities and reported on his associations. According to these reports, his companions were known radicals, several traveling under assumed names.
In November and December of 1851 Reményi was in England, performing with leading British musicians in the celebrations surrounding the visit of the Hungarian leader in exile, Lajos Kossuth, newly released from detention in Turkey and on his way to America to plead the Hungarian cause to the American people and to President Millard Fillmore. Reményi was later associated in police reports with Kossuth’s sisters.
In April of 1853, Reményi and Brahms set out on the famous concert tour that would take them to Joachim in Hannover, and eventually to Liszt in Weimar. Within a half hour of their departure, the police were knocking on the Brahms family door, inquiring after Reményi. It is possible, though I can’t prove it, that Reményi’s interest in meeting Joachim during this tour, and especially in meeting Liszt, who had harbored the famous radical Richard Wagner, was as much political as musical. He may have tried to enlist them in the Hungarian national cause. As is well known, Reményi was detained and questioned in Hannover (June 10, 1853), and was immediately sent packing by police chief Wermuth, no doubt to Joachim’s extreme embarrassment. Joachim was, after all, new in his job there, and answerable, not only directly to King George, but to a very touchy, uncongenial Court Intendant, Count von Platen, with whom he was never able to establish a good working relationship. Inspector Wermuth’s report exists, and published excerpts of it are included in your handout.
When did Brahms and Reményi meet?
As I indicated earlier, published speculaton as to the first meeting between Reményi and Brahms ranges from 1848 to 1853. It seems that only Adam Gellen, Robert Pascall and Kurt Hofmann plead for 1853 — and I’d like to add my voice to theirs. As far as I have been able to determine, there is no direct evidence linking Brahms and Reményi before January of 1853.
Reményi himself left a rather detailed account of their first meeting, reported in the New York Herald on January 18, 1879 — 26 years after the fact. Probably because of the rather breathless nature of the reporting, and perhaps because of Reményi’s bad reputation, this account seems not to be widely credited. Nevertheless, I have found many of Reményi’s statements to the press to be highly credible, even after the passage of some time, and it’s worth taking a close look at this one. In Reményi’s words:
“In January, 1853, a fashionable musical entertainment was announced at the house of one of the great merchant princes of Hamburg, a Mr. Helmrich. On the very day that the soirée was to take place I received a letter from my regular accompanist stating that he would be unable to be present that evening, owing to illness. I went across the street from my hotel — Le Soleil — to the music establishment of Mr. Auguste Böhm, to ascertain where I could find a substitute. In answer to my inquiries, that gentleman remarked, in a nonchalant manner, that little Johannes would perhaps be satisfactory. I asked what sort of Johannes he was. He replied, ‘He is a poor piano-teacher, whose name is Johannes Brahms. He is a worthy young man, a good musician, and very devoted to his family.’”
As it happens, there are a number of verifiable facts in this account. If we look at the Hamburg Adreßbuch of 1853, we find that there was, indeed, a merchant named H. A. Hellmrich, who lived in the Gröningerstraße, one of the most fashionable streets in the city. There was also Johann August Böhme’s music store, at Neuerwall 53. (The founder of the business, Johann August Böhme, died on February 8, 1847. His son, Julius Eduard, took over the business in 1839 or 1840, and is perhaps the person that Reményi is referring to).
Reményi gives his hotel as Le Soleil — The Sun. We can confirm that he once stayed there around that time, insofar as the Hamburger Nachrichten of 18 November, 1852, lists “Remengi, Artiste v. Brüssel” among the foreign arrivals registered at the “Hôtel zur Sonne.” This is so far the only verifiable date that Reményi stayed in that hotel.
The address of the Hôtel zur Sonne, as it turns out, was Neuer Wall 49: as Reményi said, directly across the street from Böhme’s music shop.
Remenyi’s date of January 1853 is further confirmed by another source. Florence May gives details of Reményi and Brahms’s first acquaintance, and without giving specific dates, implies that it took place in 1849, before the Hungarian refugees departed for America. In this passage, she describes frequent visits in Dehensen at the villa of a Hungarian magnate named Begas, who was anxious to elude the police authorities.
“The violinist had connections of his own in the neighbourhood. Begas, a Hungarian magnate, had settled down into a large villa at Dehensen, on the Lüneburg Heath, that had been placed at his disposal for as long a time as he should find it possible to elude or cajole the police authorities, and kept open house for his compatriots and their friends. To his circle Brahms was introduced, and much visiting ensued between Dehensen and Winsen, for one or two musicians staying with Begas were pleased to come and make music with Reményi and Johannes, and to partake of the Giesemanns’ hospitality.”
This story, which May probably got from Brahms’s friend Elise Giesemann Denninghoff, is doubtless accurate, but the published report of police commissioner Wermut in Hannover from 1853, obviously referring to the same events, suggests that her implied date is too early.
Wermuth’s report mentions a certain 28-year-old former law student named Justinus Michael Begyats, one of the “Ungarische Emissäre der Umsturzpartei”
who had been living since 1851 in Dehnsen under the pseudonym Justinus Becker. The report states that Reményi and his traveling companion, the known subversive Alexander Asztalos, had secretly been staying with Begyats off-and-on during the end of 1852 and the beginning of 1853 — the very time Reményi claims he first met Brahms.
Justin von Begyats made several journeys to Australia aboard the ship La Rochelle, in January, 1855, and in November, 1856:
In conclusion: the information on Reményi in the Brahms literature is mostly self-contradictory, and, indeed, most of it is untrue. Trying to unearth just a few basic facts leads one to a fascinating story about this truly remarkable artist and man, who was intimately connected with the political and cultural ferment of his time. The numerous facts and anecdotes that I have been forced to leave out of this paper, particularly concerning his sojourn in America, are, if anything, even more interesting than the things that I have presented, but I hope I have at least been able to shed a little light on this history, and to pique your interest in this extraordinary man. Reményi has often been dismissed as a showman. That he was, but he was also a serious artist. This little-appreciated side of his character becomes clear when reading his description of Brahms, written shortly before his death, with which I would like to close. Who but a man of integrity could have written these words:
“Taking a broad view of him, Brahms was a man; a manly nature in contrast to the degenerate effemination of present-day art; a sturdy North German, sound to the roots, detesting pretences and mannerisms, an enemy of empty phrases; distinguished, forcible in character, strong in will and sentiment; a man possessing under a hard and rough exterior a warm and throbbing heart. Thus in Brahms the requirements for a true artist are an inseparable unit. Equipped with the highest artistic endowments, genius, and originality, having the power which can create and need not borrow, endowed with artistic culture in all its ramifications, he has created masterpieces, long secure in the sacred shrine of German music; treasures wrought of precious metal, remaining untarnished forever. Brahms’s systematic development reminds one forcibly of the evolution of Beethoven; a healthy instinct conjoined with imperturbable self-criticism always guarded him against mistake; and, although a born lyrist, he withstood the alluring voice of the stage, and never was faithless to his mission.”
From: The Magazine of Poetry. A Monthly Review, Vol. 6, Buffalo, N. Y.: Charles Wells Moulton, 1894, p. 365.
 This desire extended into later life: see Marie von Bülow’s criticism of Joachim’s Meiningen Festrede:
 “Mein einziger Umgang ist jetzt hier ein junger Hamburger, Namens Brahms, ein 20 jähriges gewaltiges Talent in Komposition und Klavierspiel, das der Dunkelheit zu entreißen, mir das Glück wird.” Holograph,Brahms Institut Lübeck, 1918.104.22.168.
 Ehrlich/KÜNSTLERLEBEN, p. 184. This was, of course, pure romanticism and wishful thinking on Joachim’s part, and the reality was not long in sinking in. On October 20, 1854, Joachim wrote differently about the effects of an obscure upbringing on Brahms’s character: “Brahms is the most inveterate egotist one can imagine, without being at all conscious of it, as indeed everything with him pours altogether unconcernedly, in the most spontaneous geniality, from his sanguine nature — albeit at times with a recklessness (not a lack of reserve, for I would welcome that!) that is offensive because it betrays a lack of education. He has never in his life taken the trouble to think about what others are bound, by their nature and their upbringing, to value; whatever does not fit his own passions, his experience, even his mood of the moment, is rejected with loveless coldness, nay, assailed at will with the most malicious of sarcasms. So that for the listener who was just now warming to the blissful, radiant young man, his entire being marked with the traces of spirit, a barrier suddenly rises up. I often had to call upon my concern for justice, lest I plunge from my high spirits into coldness. He knows the weaknesses of those whom he deals with, uses them, and has no qualms about then showing them the fun he is having at their expense.” [“Brahms its der eingefleischste Egoist, den man sich denken kann, ohne daß er es selbst wüßte, wie denn überhaupt Alles bei ihm in unmittelbarster Genialität ächt unbesorgt aus seiner sanguinischen Natur hervorquillt — bisweilen aber mit einer Rücksichtslosigkeit (nicht Rückhaltlosigkeit, denn das wäre mir recht!), die verletzt, weil sie Unbildung verräth. Er hat sich nie in seinem Leben Mühe gegeben auch nur nachzudenken, was Andere ihrer Natur und dem Gang ihrer Entwickelung gemäß hochhalten müssen; was nicht in seine Begeisterung, in seine Erfahrung, ja in seine Stimmung paßt, wird mit liebloser Kälte zurückgewiesen, ja nach Laune mit den hämischsten Sarkasmen angefallen, daß [für] den Zuhörer, der sich noch eben an dem in sich selbst glückseligen, strahleneden jungen Menschen, auf dessen ganzem Wesen der Geist seine Spuren geprägt hat, recht erwärmte, eine unwillkührliche Scheidewand sich aufrichtet. Ich mußte oft meinen Wunsch der Gerechtigkeit aufrufen, um nicht aus meiner Stimmung in Kälte zu verfallen. Er kennt die Schwächen der Menschen, mit denen er verkehrt, benützt sie, und scheut es nicht dann zu zeigen (freilich ihnen selbst gegenüber) daß er sich über sie gaudiere.”] [Joachim/BRIEFE I, p. 218]
 Lancaster made use of an intricate scheme of rewards and punishments, including silver-plated badges, toys or money for the diligent—and humiliation for the lazy. Some of Lancaster’s maxims, “a place for everything and everything in its place,” and “let every child at every moment have something to do and a motive for doing it,” are still known. Though Lancaster’s personal life “was mainly one of failed prospects, broken engagements, sordid quarrels, and endless debts,” his method achieved worldwide popularity by the beginning of the 19th century, especially in Christian education. Böhm may have learned of the method through the Catholic Church, which formally adopted the system in many of its schools.
 The following account, from Swafford, is surely fanciful. Reményi was in America at the time that Swafford has him establishing a friendship with Brahms: “Brahms may or may not have attended Reményi’s Hamburg farewell, but he certainly heard about this virtuoso who had made a sensation in the city with his perfervid playing of both the standard and nationalistic repertoires. Meanwhile, Reményi stayed on and concertized for some time after this ‘farewell.’ In August 1850, Brahms got to know him when the violinist asked him to accompany a private concert at the house of a local merchant. That was an honor for Brahms; if this virtuoso was not world-renowned yet, he seemed likely to be — he had the thirst for it.
Brahms and Reményi began playing and socializing with the violinist’s circle of Hungarian exiles. There were trips to Winsen for pleasant evenings of playing at the Giesemanns’. Already a devotee of folk music in general, Brahms responded enthusiastically to the czardas and other styles that made up the alla Zingarese(in the gypsy style) repertoire. Still, there was little more to their relations than playing chamber music, a few shared interests, some sociable times in city and country. At that point, Reményi was likely just another contact for Johannes, who had no discernible plans for his career and little time for friends. The fun ended in early 1851, when rumors of an arrest warrant put Reményi on a boat to America.” Swafford/BRAHMS, p. 56.
»In einer Abendgesellschaft bei Mendelssohn hatte dieser mit Joachim die Kreutzersonate von Beethoven gespielt. Nach der Musik nahm die Gesellschaft in zwangloser Weise an kleinen Tischen das Abendbrot ein. Joachim fand sein Unterkommen an einem Tischchen, an dem Schumann saß. Es war Sommerzeit, und durch die weitgeöffneten Fenster sah man den mit unzähligen Sternen besäten Nachthimmel. Da berührte Schumann, der lange schweigsam dagesessen hatte, leise das Knie seines kleinen Nachbarn, und mit der Hand auf den Sternenhimmel deutend, sagte er in seiner unnachahmlich gütigen Weise: ›Ob wohl da droben Wesen existieren mögen, die wissen, wie schön hier auf Erden ein kleiner Junge mit Mendelssohn die Kreutzersonate gespielt hat?‹«
The tale varies somewhat from telling to telling — Edith Sichel recalled the event as following a performance of the Beethoven Concerto. Be that as it may, for Joachim this encounter was clearly of seminal significance: »Fifty years afterwards he loved to tell the story, in his vivid way, acting the gesture, recalling the tones which the years had not dulled for him,« Sichel writes. 
The kindly smile, the warmth of Schumann’s voice — these were among Joachim’s earliest, indelible, impressions of his future mentor. The hand on his knee, the gesture toward heaven and the poetic reference to otherworldly beings would have come as an unfamiliar — though not unwelcome — gesture of intimacy to a boy who, for the last five years, had been raised under the rigid regime of a succession of strict taskmasters. Joseph had been born into the Jewish merchant class. His father, Julius Joachim, a sober, modestly successful wool merchant, viewed his son’s occupation from his own accustomed perspective, as the business of giving concerts. The profession of buying and selling commodities had not always been kind to Julius, and his letters make clear that he viewed his son’s extraordinary gift for music as a preferred alternative to a life spent in the wool-room and the counting-house. When his personal fortunes were at their lowest ebb, Julius sent his 8-year-old, youngest son to Vienna to be trained as a virtuoso.  For many years thereafter, the concern of the extended family, often anxiously expressed, seemed to center on how their prodigy might achieve security and renown as a performer and composer. 
Amidst these worldly concerns and family pressures, the taciturn Schumann’s gesture to the heavens , his quiet reference to the success of a little boy, not in terms of careerist ambitions, parental approval, the pride of a teacher or the applause of an audience, but rather in terms of beauty achieved, sufficient to please celestial beings — was something rare, and perhaps unique, in Joseph’s experience. Schumann always made a distinction between the poetry of art and the prose of practical or pecuniary arrangements. This evidence of his idealistic nature, and of his solicitousness toward the young, was Joachim’s first real personal contact with a man who, upon their first introduction, had managed merely to smile and to stare.
Joseph first encountered Schumann in August of 1843. The young Hungarian-Jewish violinist had come to Leipzig to study at the newly-founded Konservatorium, and had quickly captured the heart of the school’s spiritus rector. »Der Posaunenengel hat für sein Instrument kein Konservatorium mehr nötig,« Felix Mendelssohn is reported to have said. »Überhaupt keinen Lehrer im Violinspiel. Er kann getrost für sich allein weiter arbeiten und von Zeit zu Zeit [Ferdinand] David etwas vorspielen, um dessen Rat und Urteil zu hören. Im übrigen will ich selber öfters und regelmäßig mit dem Jungen musizieren und sein künstlerischer Berater in musikalischen Dingen sein.« 
The great man was as good as his word. On Saturday, August 19, barely two weeks after settling in Leipzig, Mendelssohn’s new protégé, »12 jährige Joseph Joachim, Schüler des Herrn Böhm in Wien « appeared for the first time in the city’s renowned Gewandhaus, as an assisting artist in a soirée given by the 22-year-old mezzo-soprano Pauline Viardot-García.  The other assisting artists were Mendelssohn, and Viardot- García’s friend Clara Schumann. At the rehearsal for the concert Joseph was introduced to Mme. Schumann’s husband, who, as Joachim later told Frederick Niecks, silently »looked at him through his lorgnette, smiling kindly.« 
For Joseph, the contrast between his home life and the world he was entering could not have been more stark. In Leipzig, Joseph was the ward of his cousin Fanny and her wealthy, wool-merchant husband, Hermann Wittgenstein.  The man that he called »Herr Wittgenstein« was an imposing presence to young Joseph. A self-made man — a businessman, not a musician — he had an unsentimental outlook on the world. »[Ich kann] ihn mir nicht eigentlich behaglich im Umgang vorstellen,« wrote his granddaughter Hermine; »ich spüre immer die etwas steife, würdevolle Art, die meine Mutter später so fremdartig berührte und die meinen Vater, der nichts weniger als steif war, die häuslichen Mittagessen ›das Hochamt‹ nennen ließ.«  With his own children, Hermann was a formidable, controlling figure, who brooked no opposition within his household. Punishments for the children were severe, and included occasionally locking them away in a dark room. The lesson that Hermann ultimately hoped to impress upon his wayward son Karl — »daß man ein Ziel nur durch Arbeit […] erreichen kann « — was a familiar household refrain. »Ich wünsche [Joseph] gewiß alles Gute,« he once wrote to Fanny, »allein er sollte doch Rücksicht darauf nehmen, daß der Mensch oft vom Schicksal wie aus Laune von den Armen des Wohllebens auf das Pflaster der härtesten Entbehrungen geworfen wird, wogegen nichts schützt als der Stoicismus, nämlich Abhärtung. Nächst diesem, wenn nicht vor kömmt das Beschäftigtsein […].« 
In Schumann, as in Mendelssohn, Joseph encountered a radically different conception of childhood — one that was grounded in the writings of Rousseau, Jean Paul Richter, Pestalozzi and Fröbel, and in the practical educational experiments of the Kindergarten movement. In this Biedermeier sensibility, childhood was no longer viewed as a stage to be passed through as quickly as possible on the way to a responsible adulthood, but a sacred time — a time of innocence and wonder, learning and creativity, with its own particular insights into the meaning and value of human existence. Here, for the first time, children were looked upon not merely as unformed adults, but as creatures deserving of their own culture, to be brought up in nursery rooms replete with age-appropriate toys, pets, clothing, books — and music.  Childhood was a time to be prolonged and savored, and ultimately a time to be looked back upon with nostalgia as the purest and best years of one’s life. »Das Kind gilt als der bessere Mensch,« writes Bernhard R. Appel in his study of Schumann’s Jugendalbum. »Es ist durch seine unverbildete Natur noch fern von zivilisatorischen Deformationen. Das Kind ist eo ipso im moralischen Sinne gut. Es lebt — gemäß dieser verklärenden Kindheitsideologie — noch in arkadischem Glück, unbelastet von Sorgen und fern der prosaischen Arbeitswelt des Erwachsenen.«  This attitude toward childhood, which Schumann shared, was something quite new in young Joachim’s experience, and one that he deeply appreciated. »In jedem Kinde liegt eine wunderbare Tiefe,«  Schumann once wrote. The man who can acknowledge this possesses depths of his own. In the end, the ability of this gentle, taciturn man to draw a connection between a child’s performance of a mature work and an imagined reception in the celestial realm — ideal, timeless, disinterested and otherworldly — marked him permanently in Joachim’s mind as a man who had himself somehow managed to retain those moral and spiritual characteristics that the Biedermeier ascribed to childhood.
On Sunday, November 9, 1845, Schumann wrote Mendelssohn an urgent letter, requesting help with an orchestra concert to take place on the following Tuesday night in Dresden: »Meine arme Frau ist krank, nicht bedenklich, doch so, daß sie übermorgen im hiesigen 1sten Abonnementconcert nicht spielen kann. Die Direction ist nun in großer Verlegenheit. Da dachte ich an Joachim, ob er nicht kommen könnte, und an Ihre immer gern unterstützende Freundlichkeit, ob Sie nicht Joachim dazu aufmuntern helfen wollten. Freilich die größte Eile ist von Nöthen. Mein Schwiegervater [Friedrich Wieck] hat sich deshalb gleich selbst auf den Weg gemacht. Wollten Sie ihm nun noch diesen Abend in seinen Bemühungen behülflich sein, dadurch, daß Sie ein paar Zeilen an Joachim schrieben, oder daß Sie meinen Schwiegervater zu Joachim selbst begleiten — so sind wir Ihnen zu herzlichem Danke verpflichtet.«  This letter was never received: at the time, Mendelssohn was not in Leipzig, but in Berlin. Wieck tried his luck with Wittgenstein, and at 9:00 o’clock that evening he wrote back to Schumann: »mit dem Onkle [sic] des Joachim — Herr Wittgenstein, eigentlich gar nicht zu reden sey.« Joseph »ist nur der Sklave seines Onkels,« he continued, »und da ich, durch David auch vorbereitet, sahe, daß hier mit [d]ringenden Vorstellungen auch gar nichts zu machen sey, so operirte ich anders u. wohl gut, denn er sagte nicht ›Nein‹ sondern wollte sich es überlegen u mir Morgen bis 12 Uhr Nachricht geben. Als ich ihm mit himmlischer Sanftmuth bemerklich machte, daß ich vielleicht nur mit dem Packwagen um 10 Uhr eine Nachricht zu Ihnen bringen könnte, um es noch in den Anzeiger zu setzen, wollte er mir um 10 Uhr Nachricht geben […].«  In the event, Schumann’s and Wieck’s efforts paid off. On November 11, 14-year-old Joseph performed Ferdinand David’s Variationen über Schuberts Lob der Thränen für Violine mit Orchester, op. 15, and gave the Dresden premiere of Mendelssohn’s new Violin Concerto, op. 64.
In the ensuing years, Joseph would come to know the Schumanns and would come to appreciate Schumann’s music — first through Mendelssohn (who, among other things, encouraged him to attend the premiere of Das Paradies und die Peri) , and later through the Schumann-enthusiams of his tutor, Dr. Klengel. In 1848, Joachim was hired for four hours a week as a violin teacher at the Leipzig Konservatorium — principally as an assistant to David.  One of the two students assigned to him was Clara Schumann’s half-brother, the pianist and composer Woldemar Bargiel. Joachim’s friendship with Bargiel helped to reinforce his cordial relations with the Schumanns during this time. The Schumann’s admiration for Joachim was not unqualified, however. On the first of June 1850, after a musical evening with Joachim, Clara wrote in her diary: »… so entzückt aber alle von ihm sind, so will er uns doch gar nicht erwärmen! Sein Spiel ist vollendet, alles schön, das feinste Pianissimo, die höchste Bravour, völlige Beherrschung des Instrumentes, doch das, was einen packt, wo es einem kalt und heiß wird, das fehlt — es ist weder Gemüt noch Feuer in ihm, und das ist schlimm, denn ihm steht keine schöne künstlerische Zukunft bevor, technisch ist er vollkommen fertig, das andre, wer weiß ob das noch kommt?!«  A month and a half later, Clara nevertheless thought better of her remarks: »Joachim spielte Roberts 2. Quartett wunderschön, mit herrlichem Ton und einer außerordentlichen Leichtigkeit,« she wrote, »und heute bereute ich in meinem Innern, was ich neulich über ihn gesagt.«  It would be several years before they would meet again.
II — Rapprochement, 1853.
In mid-April, 1853, Schumann invited Joachim to take part in the thirty-first Niederrheinische Musik-Fest in Düsseldorf (May 15-17, 1853).« So kommen Sie denn,« he wrote, »und vergessen Sie auch nicht Ihre Geige und das Beethoven’sche Concert mitzubringen, das wir Alle gerne hören möchten.«  In provisionally accepting Schumann’s offer, Joachim alluded to the nearly three-year interval since their last interaction: »Daß ich recht von Herzen erfreut war, daß Sie, verehrter Meister, meiner sich erinnern, werden Sie mir wohl glauben; schon hatte ich gemeint, es wurde dem Zufall überlassen bleiben, meinen Namen Ihrem Gedächtnis einmal zurückzurufen. So schöner, daß es anders kömmt!« 
Once again, Schumann had turned to Joachim to help him out of a dilemma. The original soloist for the festival was to have been Ferdinand David — but the Gewandhaus concertmaster had turned him down, and it may have been David, rather than »Zufall,« that had reminded Schumann of Joachim. This time, Schumann’s invitation proved to be one of the most important opportunities in Joachim’s career. According to Schumann’s friend and amanuensis Wilhelm von Wasielewski: Joachim »genoß bereits einen seinem hohen kunstlerischen Range entsprechenden ausgebreiteten Ruf in der musikalischen Welt. Begreiflicherweise waren daher die rheinischen Musiker, welche noch keine Gelegenheit gehabt hatten, ihn zu hören, auf seine Leistungen außerordentlich gespannt, jedoch in nicht ganz unbefangenem Sinne. Man vermeinte nämlich, Joachims Ruf sei zum Teil ein durch Parteiwesen künstlich gemachter und einigermaßen übertrieben. Mit einem gewissen Vorurteil erwartete man daher sein erstes Auftreten in den Rheinlanden, allem Anschein nach, um ihm möglichst scharf auf die Finger zu sehen.« 
Joachim’s appearance was a triumph. Clara Schumann wrote to Hermann Härtel: »Joachim spielte das Beethoven’sche Concert mit einer Vollendung, wie ich kaum jemals einen Geiger gehört, so genial, so nobel, so einfach und doch bis in’s Innerste ergreifend! er fand aber auch einen Beifall, wie ich noch nie einen erlebt habe, wurde mit Blumen überschüttet, und spielte dann noch die Ciaconne von Bach.«  »Ich mag jetzt an keine andre Violine denken,« she wrote in her diary the day after the festival. That day, she and Joseph had performed Schumann’s a minor sonata for a small circle of friends. Joseph’s performance of the sonata struck her as »so wundervoll, daß mir das ganze Werk nun erst recht den Eindruck gemacht hat, wie ich es immer gedacht hatte.« »Jedoch nicht allein als Künstler haben wir Joachim erkannt, sondern auch als liebenswürdigen, echt bescheidenen Menschen. Er hat eine Natur, die, um genau gekannt zu sein, eines nähern und längern Umgangs bedarf, wie das ja eigentlich wohl bei allen ausgezeichneten Menschen der Fall ist!«  Robert noted a simple mnemonic in their Haushaltsbuch: »18. May 1853 Joachim’s performance of my sonata.«
Joachim’s appearance at the 1853 Niederrheinische Musik-Fest marked, not only the beginning of his adult solo career, but also the beginning of his intimate creative friendship with the Schumanns. In a letter of thanks to Robert Schumann, Joachim wrote: »Die Tage, die ich letzthin in Ihrer Nähe verbracht habe, sind für mich von zu grosser Bedeutung, als dass ich nicht wünschen müsste, sie Ihnen ein wenig im Gedächtniss zu erhalten. Die Partitur des Beethoven’schen Violin-Concertes, welche Sie zu besitzen wünschten, und die ich mir erlaube Ihnen mit diesen Zeilen zu übersenden, biethet mir dazu hülfreiche Gelegenheit. Möchte doch Beethoven’s Beispiel Sie anregen, den armen Violinspielern, denen es, ausser der Kammermusik, so sehr an Erhebendem für ihr Instrument fehlt, aus Ihrem tiefen Schacht ein Werk an’s Licht zu ziehen, wunderbarer Hüter reichster Schätze! Die Ouvertüre zu Hamlet, welche dem Concert beiliegt, das im schlimmsten Fall als Gegengift fungiren soll, ist von meiner Composition; ich zage bei der Übersendung, denn es ist das erstemal, dass Sie von mir ein Werk zu Gesicht bekommen. […] Einige Bemerkungen von Ihnen, verehrter Meister, könnten für mich und mein Weiterstreben von hoher Wichtigkeit sein […].« 
Schumann’s reply , six days later, is a model of effective mentorship: observant, encouraging, appreciative, and detailed. In it, we seem to hear him as if in intimate conversation over the piano. He begins by describing the poetic effect that the music had upon him (»Es war mir beim Lesen, als erhellte sich von Seite zu Seite die Scene, und Ophelia und Hamlet träten in leibhaftiger Gestalt hervor.«). He continues with a general musical discussion (»Was nun, außer dem poetischen Menschen in uns, den speciell musikalischen interessirt, dafür haben Sie auch reichlich gesorgt. Die kunstreiche Verwebung der Motive, die Weise, wie Sie schon früher Ausgesprochenes in neuer Art wiederbringen, und vor Allem die Behandlung des Orchesters und dessen eigenthümliche Verwendung zu seltenen Licht- und Schatteneffecten — dies Alles scheint mir sehr preiswürdig.«) Schumann proceeds finally to a discussion of specific passages that he finds praiseworthy or problematic (»Welche Stellen mich noch besonders anmuthen, das ist der 1ste Eintritt des Hauptgesanges in F dur (dringt die Hoboë genug durch?), dann der Eintritt desselben Gesanges in D dur (in den Hörnern), vorher der Accordenwechsel […],« etc.). »Nehmen Sie denn meinen Glückwunsch zur Vollendung dieses Werkes,« he concludes. »Ändern Sie auch nichts daran, bevor Sie es nicht mehrmals gehört. Gern wünschte ich die Ouverture in einem der ersten unserer Concerte aufzuführen.« For a short time that Spring, Joachim enjoyed Schumann’s undivided attention. Later that Summer, their friendship would take a further, fateful turn, with the appearance of the beautiful, astonishing, enigmatic Johannes Brahms. 
The story of Joachim’s introduction of Brahms to the Schumanns, and of their gathering together with the von Arnim women and the artist Jean-Joseph Bonaventure Laurens in the autumn of 1853, has been told too often to warrant recounting here. Suffice it to say that Joachim’s immediate outpouring of admiration for Brahms was as strong as Schumann’s,  and that the bonds of affection formed en trois that autumn in Düsseldorf would have important consequences for each man’s personal and creative life. For his part, Brahms’s admiration for Schumann (»soll ich in Lobpreisungen seines Genies und seines Charakters ausbrechen […]?«)  unquestionably also had a profound influence upon Joachim. Brahms’s attitude would eventually help to draw Joachim away from the influence of another mentor — Franz Liszt — and of the Weimar circle in which Joachim was then a leading member: a circle with which Schumann professed himself »out of tune.«
Joachim had been among the first of Liszt’s disciples when the pianist abandoned his »traveling-circus life,« and settled in the »Athens on the Ilm« to mount his avant-garde challenge to Leipzig’s musically conservative Gewandhaus and Konservatorium. In those heady early days, Joachim joined with Liszt, Bülow, Cossmann, Cornelius and Raff to promote what he later called a new, »psychological music.« Nevertheless, after having served for several years as Liszt’s concertmaster and chamber music partner, Joachim chose to strike out on his own: on January 1, 1853, he entered the Royal Hanoverian service as concertmaster to King George V. Two months later, Joachim was already regretting his decision. In sending Liszt the manuscript to Hamlet, he wrote: »Ich war sehr allein. Der Kontrast, aus der Atmosphäre hinaus, die durch Ihr Wirken rastlos mit neuen Klängen erfüllt wird, in eine Luft, die ganz tonstarr geworden ist von dem Walten eines nordischen Phlegmatikers aus der Restaurations-Zeit [Heinrich Marschner], ist zu barbarisch! Wohin ich auch blickte, keiner, der dasselbe anstrebte wie ich; keiner statt der Phalanx gleichgesinnter Freunde in Weimar.« 
On October 3-5, the »Phalanx« gathered for the Karlsruhe music festival, where Liszt was to conduct, and Joachim to play. In anticipation of the event, Joachim wrote to Liszt: »Es sollen, denke ich, schöne Tage werden in Karlsruhe; die ›Weimar’sche Schule‹ in voller Rührigkeit und Freudigkeit versammelt zu sehen, wird für mich auch ein anderes als bloß musikalisches Fest werden, und ich hoffe, wir jüngeren Genossen sollen einen herrlichen Sporn zu neuer Thätigkeit mit fortnehmen, wie wir gewiß alle die herzlichste Freude hinbringen!«  With Liszt’s disciples gathered for the festival, Dionys Pruckner originated the conceit of the Verein der Murls;  an informal and convivial fellowship whose purpose was to do battle with the armies of the Philistertum. The Murls wore Fezzes, smoked Turkish pipes, and bestowed Turkish honorifics on each other. Liszt they dubbed Padischah (chief); Joachim became »Murl Ali Pascha.« From Karlsruhe, a company of Murls including Liszt, Bülow, Pruckner, Pohl and Cornelius embarked on a pilgrimage to Basel to visit Wagner, whom they greeted in the restaurant of the Hotel Zu den drei Königen with a choral rendition of the King’s summons trumpet fanfare from Lohengrin. During their visit, they persuaded Wagner to read aloud from Siegfried.  Before leaving Basel, the Murls and »Richard Löwenherz« drank a toast and agreed to address each other with the familiar Du.
Though Joachim was then, by all evidence, a happy Murl, a letter from Schumann, written at the same time (October 7) hints at the beginning of what Wagner later called Joachim’s »feindselige Haltung« with regard to himself and Liszt: »Unser letzter Briefwechsel kömmt zwar an Umfang dem Goethe-Zelterschen nicht gleich,« Schumann wrote, »aber man könnte ihn zu einem nach und nach anwachsen lassen, wenn ich auch nicht Willens bin, über den, den es betraf, mich weiter auszusprechen.  […] Nun ich glaube, Johannes ist der wahre Apostel, der auch Offenbarungen schreiben wird, die viele Pharisäer, wie die alte, auch nach Jahrhunderten noch nicht enträthseln werden; nur die andern Apostel verstehen ihn, auch vielleicht Judas Ischarioth, der aber getrost an der Ilm dociren mag. Dies alles ist nur für den Apostel Joseph.« 
In his last lucid months, Schumann was gathering a circle of his own — his Davidsbund — and girding for a righteous struggle against the Phalanx of the Zukunftsmusiker.»Judas,« of course, refers here to Liszt. The betrayed one was most likely not Schumann, however, but Schumann’s friend of hallowed memory, and Joachim’s beloved surrogate father, Felix Mendelssohn. Given Schumann’s messianic attitude, it was inevitable that Joachim would soon find himself having to choose between two conflicting schools — and two conflicting mentors.
III — The rift between Schumann and Liszt
On June 9, 1848, Liszt arrived unexpectedly at the Schumann’s home in Dresden, and was received with delight, though with no little consternation when he expressed his wish to hear some of Schumann’s chamber music later that evening. Clara had but a few hours to gather together the musicians and guests  for the evening’s festivities. »It was difficult,« she said, »to get four other artists to come at such short notice, but I took a cab and drove about [town] until I was fortunate enough to succeed in my mission.«  The party started badly, with the guest of honor nowhere to be seen. After more than an hour of waiting, the disappointed guests began to make music without him. As they reached the last page of Beethoven’s d major trio, Liszt stormed in the door, two hours late. He seemed to enjoy the ensuing performance of Schumann’s trio, but his host’s quintet he belittled as too »Leipzigerisch.« »No, no, my dear Schumann, this is not the real thing,« he said. »It is only Kapellmeister music.«  After dinner, Liszt sat down to play, in Clara’s words, »so schändlich schlecht […] daß ich mich ordentlich schämte, dabeistehen zu müssen und nicht sogleich das Zimmer verlassen zu können, was Bendemann tat.«  When he finished playing, Liszt gave an after-dinner speech, declaring that new trails were being blazed for music everywhere, and even that which a few years before had evoked the admiration of the world was already Rococo . He tactlessly praised the music of Meyerbeer at the recently-deceased Mendelssohn’s expense, heedless of Schumann’s well-known aversion to Meyerbeer’s music. Schumann flew into a rage, seizing Liszt by the shoulder and shouting: »Und Mendelssohn? Der also ist auch Rokoko?«  »Meyerbeer sei ein Wicht gegen Mendelssohn,« he continued, »letzterer ein Künstler, der nicht nur in Leipzig sondern für die ganze Welt gewirkt hätte, und Liszt solle doch lieber schweigen.« After more similar abuse, Schumann left the room. Liszt made an attempt to downplay the event, but eventually gave up and left the party, saying to Clara as he departed »Sagen Sie Ihrem Manne, nur von einem in der Welt nähme ich solche Worte so ruhig hin, wie er sie mir eben geboten.«  Later, Liszt admitted to Lina Ramann that they had »suffered through a very agitated evening together — which was my fault.«  »Robert hatte das zu tief verletzt, als daß er es jemals vergessen könnte,« Clara wrote afterward, saying of Liszt: »Ich habe für ewige Zeit mit ihm abgeschlossen.« 
Schumann eventually re-established relations with Liszt, though the former cordiality never returned. A year later, in May of 1849, Schumann was still smarting from Liszt’s assessment of his music. Liszt, trying the door that had been slammed in his face, inquired through Carl Reineke whether he might perform Schumann’s Faust at Weimar’s upcoming Goethe celebration. Schumann replied: »Aber lieber Freund, würde Ihnen die Komposition nicht vielleicht zu Leipzigerisch sein? Oder halten Sie Leipzig doch für ein Miniaturparis, in dem man auch etwas zustande bringen könne?« He then went on to defend himself and Leipzig against Liszt’s criticisms that Leipzigers were concerned only with perpetuating dead forms, and that their music consequently sounded too much alike. »Im Ernst — von Ihnen, der so viele meiner Kompositionen kennt, hätte ich etwas andres vermutet, als im Bausch und Bogen so ein Urteil über ein ganzes Künstlerleben auszusprechen. […] Und wahrlich, sie waren doch nicht so übel, die in Leipzig beisammen waren — Mendelssohn, Hiller, Bennett u. a. — mit den Parisern, Wienern und Berlinern konnten wir es ebenfalls auch aufnehmen. […] So viel über Ihre Äußerung, die eine ungerechte und beleidigende war. Im übrigen vergessen wir des Abends — ein Wort ist kein Pfeil — und das Vorwärtsstreben die Hauptsache .« Liszt replied: »Hochverehrter Freund, Vor allem erlauben Sie mir Ihnen zu wiederholen, was Sie eigentlich nach mir am Besten seit langer Zeit wissen sollten, nämlich, dass Sie niemand aufrichtiger verehrt und bewundert als meine Wenigkeit. Gelegentlich können wir allerdings über die Bedeutung eines Werkes, eines Mannes, ja sogar einer Stadt, freundschaftlich discutiren […].« 
Despite Schumann’s stated wish, the memory of their »agitated evening« was still green in his mind in early February, 1851, when he found himself seated next to the pianist Marfa Sabinina following a concert in Düsseldorf. »Er erzählte mir auch von Liszt,« Sabinina later wrote, »und zwar von einem Streit mit ihm über Mendelssohn und Meyerbeer. Dabei äußerte Schumann erneut, er könne die Musik von Meyerbeer nicht ertragen. […] Nun schloß sich Frau Schumann unserem Gespräch an; heftig redete sie gegen Liszt, insbesondere als Komponisten. Es ist klar, daß zwei so verschiedene Wesen wie Clara Schumann und Liszt sich nicht finden konnten. […] Robert Schumann teilte aber die Meinung seiner Frau nicht, er fand, Liszt ›sei ein geistreicher Klavierspieler und Mensch.‹ Dieser gerechten Meinung ungeachtet, hielt sich Schumann, von seiner Frau beeinflußt, Liszt fern oder — besser gesagt — er hielt sich an die Leipziger Musikwelt, in der er aufgewachsen war und nicht wenige Freunde hat.« 
»Joachim found it difficult to believe that Schumann should have any enemies,« wrote Frederick Niecks, »and perhaps he had as few as any man can expect to have; but his ways were at times liable to give offence, and his friendships were not all free from friction.«  Personal frictions aside, Schumann clearly had artistic differences with Liszt, and he was concerned about the damage that the polemics of the Weimar school were doing to the legacy of his music, as well as to that of his friends and the traditions in which their music was rooted. Shortly before his suicide attempt, he wrote a touching apologia to Richard Pohl (who wrote articles for the Murls under the pseudonym »Hoplit«):  »Ich Harmoniere nicht sonderlich mit [Hoplit’s] und seiner Parthey Liszt-Wagnerschen Enthusiamus. Was Sie für Zukunftsmusiker halten, das halt’ ich für Gegenwartsmusiker, und was Sie für Vergangenheitsmusiker (Bach, Händel, Beethoven), das scheinen mir die besten Zukunftsmusiker. Geistige Schönheit in schönster Form kann ich nie für ›einen überwundenen Standpunkt‹ halten. Hat diese denn R. Wagner? Und wofür denn die genialen Leistungen Liszts — wo stecken sie? Vielleicht in seinem Pulte? Will er vielleicht die Zukunft abwarten weil er fürchtet, man versteh’ ihn jetzt nicht? Ich kann nicht mit diesem Lisztschen Enthusiasmus harmonieren.« 
Schumann’s mentorship of Joachim, Brahms, Dietrich and others must be understood against the backdrop of this increasingly bitter partisan rivalry. As Liszt’s former pupil and concertmaster, Joachim was clearly an important ally for Schumann in his defensive struggle. Joachim was seduced away from the Weimar circle by Schumann; Clara Schumann, Brahms and Bettina von Arnim unquestionably exercised an even stronger influence, however, on Joachim’s ultimate distaste for Liszt’s compositions and his flamboyant manner. Liszt was well aware of this, as he acknowledged in a pathetic letter to Joachim, just weeks before Schumann’s death [Weimar, July 10, 1856]: »Diese paar Worte sollen Dir nur meine wahre, innige und verehrungsvolle Freundschaft wieder in’s Gedächtniss rufen Liebster Joachim. Sollten auch andere Deiner Dir Näherstehenden bemüht gewesen sein diese Freundschaft Dir zu verargwohnen, so laß Ihre Mühe eine vergebene gewesen sein — und bleiben wir uns stets getreu und wahrhaftig wie es so ein paar Kerle unsrer Sorte geziemt! […] Härtel wird Dir meine Dinge oder Undinge nach Hannover gesandt haben. Wenn sie Dir auch gar nicht zusagen, soll dies kein Zankapfel in unser Freundschaft sein. ›Ein großer Fehler,‹ sagt Goethe, daß ›man sich mehr dünkt als man ist und sich weniger schätzt als man werth ist.‹ Diesen Fehler möchte ich vermeiden; daher sehe ich daß Geringe was ich geleistet und noch leisten kann sehr objectiv an. […] Nun Saprament wenn du noch nicht weißt daß Du mir Lieb bist so hole der Kukuck deine Geige!« 
IV — Davidsbündler
The »Weimar’sche Schule« was fighting a battle in the papers, principally including — no doubt to Schumann’s annoyance — the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, then under the editorship of Franz Brendel. Emboldened by his newfound allies, Schumann famously engaged in some polemics of his own, returning on October 28 to the Neue Zeitschrift to publish his Neue Bahnen article (not before showing it first to Joachim). »Es waltet in jeder Zeit ein geheimes Bündnis verwandter Geister,« he wrote there. »Schließt, die ihr zusammengehört, den Kreis fester, daß die Wahrheit der Kunst immer klarer leuchte, überall Freude und Segen verbreitend.«
»Lieber Kriegscamerad!« Schumann wrote to Joachim shortly thereafter, »Nachdem ich in den vorigen Tagen einige 20 Pfünder-Ladungen in das feindliche Lager geschickt, ist einige Ruhe eingetreten […].«  Though outwardly relishing the fight, Schumann nevertheless seemed mostly glad to have found in this Ruhe the artistic stimulation and companionship that his young friends willingly provided. Among the pieces that flowed from Schumann’s pen that Autumn were the violin Fantasie, op. 131 and the Violin Concerto in d minor, both inspired by Joachim. 
On September 14, Schumann invited Joachim to perform the Fantasie in Düsseldorf,  sending him the manuscript »bei der ich indeß während des Schaffens mehr an Sie gedacht,« and asking for Joachim’s help. »Es ist mein erster Versuch,« he wrote. »Schreiben Sie mir, was daran vielleicht nicht praktikabel.«  Once again, planning for the concert was a last-minute affair. The concert — at which Schumann conducted Joachim’s Hamlet overture and Joachim performed not only the Fantasie, but the Beethoven Violin Concerto as well — was to be Schumann’s last.
Schumann, who had shown himself to be such a fine critic of Joachim’s work, proved himself incapable of conducting it. He had never been a good conductor; nevertheless, in his final months in Düsseldorf, his incapacity had grown alarming: while conducting, he would occasionally drift off into daydreams, or continue to conduct after the music had stopped. »At a performance of one of his own symphonies he stood dreamily with raised baton, all the players ready and not knowing when to begin,« writes Frederick Niecks. »Königslöw and Joachim, who sat at the first desk, therefore took the matter into their own hands and began, Schumann following with a smile of pleasure.« 
A contemporary Promemoria account of Schumann’s final, disastrous concert, written for the Düsseldorf Allgemeine Musikverein by its secretary, Wilhelm Wortmann, gives details of the dress rehearsal and performance: »Am Donnerstag den 27. Oktober Morgens war Orchester-Probe für das am Abend desselben Tages stattfindende Conzert, in welcher Herr Conzertmeister Joachim selbst erschien, um seine Violin-Solostücke zu probiren. Die Einleitung zum Conzerte sollte Herrn Joachim’s Ouvertüre zu Hamlet bilden, und hatte man gehofft, daß er sie selbst dirigiren werde, denn das Werk ist schwierig, wechselt oft das Metrum und das Tempo, und verlangt einen eben so gewandten Dirigenten, als ein gut eingeübtes Orchester. Diese Hoffnung wurde indeß nicht erfüllt, denn Herr D. Schumann übernahm die Direction und zwar in einer Weise, wobei alle bisher wahrgenommenen Mängel auf Tiefste empfunden wurden.«  Niecks reports that »Schumann had […] written to Joachim of a beautiful effect in a passage for the horns in his Hamlet overture, and Joachim inquired afterwards how they had sounded. ›They didn’t come in.‹ ›Perhaps the parts are not right?‹ ›Yes, I saw to that myself.‹ At the dress rehearsal the horns failed again. Instead of rating the players roundly Schumann turned sadly to Joachim and said ›They don’t come in.‹« 
One observer called Schumann’s direction that day »Menschenquälerei.«  »Man lavirte mittlerweile durch das chaotische Wogengebrause,« wrote Wortmann, »und in dem Conzerte am Abend deckte Herrn Joachims Meisterspiel die Mängel der Uebrigen zu.«  »Von der Aufführung meiner Hamlet-Ouvertüre war nichts Gutes zu berichten,« Joachim later wrote to his brother Heinrich: »das Orchester war schlecht, zu dem ist Schumann ein ausgezeichneter, dichterischer Mann, und großer Musiker, aber leider kein ebenso guter Dirigent — das Werk wurde nicht beurtheilt, weil eben nicht gehört.« 
Prior to Joachim’s visit, Schumann had sensed a certain melancholy hanging over his young friend, and held it to be lovesickness. He suggested to Brahms and Albert Dietrich that together they should compose a sonata, and present it to Joachim. The theme of the work was to be Joachim’s recently-adopted motto frei aber einsam, expressed in the tones F A E, the musical inversion of the name of the young lady in question: Gisela von Arnim.
These musical sphynxes later became the basis of several of Joachim’s own compositions, and were also used by Brahms. 
The presentation of the sonata took place on October 28th, the day after the previous evening’s debacle, in the company of Gisela and her mother Bettina, who had arrived that morning. Gisela, dressed in folk costume, emerged carrying a basket of flowers, beneath which the sonata lay concealed. On the title page of the manuscript was Schumann’s message, elaborating the letters of Joseph’s motto in retrograde: »F. A. E. In Erwartung der Ankunft des verehrten und geliebten Freundes Joseph Joachim schrieben diese Sonate Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Albert Dietrich.« Joachim and Clara premiered the work that evening. 
In his mentorship, Schumann led by example, and he was happy to provide Joachim with the solo violin music that he requested. Due in part to Joachim’s influence, and later that of Brahms, 1853 was to be a remarkably productive time in Schumann’s career. »Robert ist fleißig,« Clara wrote to Joachim on the 2nd of November, »— er hat zu der bewußten Sonate  noch einen ersten und dritten Satz componirt. Überhaupt hat Ihr letzter Aufenthalt hier so erheiternd auf ihn gewirkt, daß ich Ihnen noch ganz besonders dankbar sein muß.« 
In January, 1854, the Schumanns visited Joachim and Brahms in Hanover, where Clara played Beethoven’s e flat major Concerto, and Joachim conducted Schumann’s Fourth Symphony and again performed the violin Fantasie. It was a successful visit that left a lasting impression on the music-loving Hanover court, but Brahms was seen to be unusually quiet, and Joachim even more serious than was his wont. »Schumann und Clara besuchten Hannover,« Joachim recalled more than fifty years later, »und ich hoffte, ihnen durch Vorführung von Musik eine Freude zu bereiten. Wir spielten dem Meister Quartette vor, wobei es natürlich war, dass ich u. a. ein Lieblingsstück von mir wählte, das f-moll Quartett von Beethoven. Als ich nun darauf eines seiner eigenen herrlichen Quartette auf das Pult legte und er dies sah, gab er mir in seiner treuherzigen Weise die Hand und mit einem eigentümlich schönen Ausdruck der wunderbar milden Augen sagte er: »Nein, dies nicht, nach dem, was wir soeben gehört!« Ich werde die Herzlichkeit im Ton, die Wahrheit, die daraus sprach, nie vergessen.« 
Encouraged by Schumann, Joachim turned more and more to his own efforts at composition. »Ja, ich glaub’ es,« Schumann wrote him on February 6, 1854, teasing him for the intensely serious nature of his works, »— die Virtuosenraupe wird nach und nach abfallen und ein prächtiger Compositionsfalter herausfliegen. Nur nicht zu viel Trauermantel, auch manchmal Distelfink!« 
V — Cliffs of Fall
O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap
On March 4, 1854, Joachim wrote to his friend Arnold Wehner: »aus Düßeldorf sind die allerschlimmsten Nachrichten eingegangen: Schumann — schon geraume Zeit an nervösen Aufregungen leidend, gepeinigt von allerlei Zuflüsterungen von Geistern, die ihm bald sphärische Musik, bald gräßliche Klänge vernehmen ließen, hatte sich der überwachenden Aufsicht zu entziehen gewußt und sich von der Rhein-Brücke in den Fluß gestürzt, aus dem ihn Schiffer erretteten. Sein Leben ist erhalten, der Geist aber zerrüttet. Armer Schumann, arme Frau und Kinder, arme Musik, die in ein unheimlich Geisterreich flüchten mußte, statt unter uns lebendig Schönheit und Natur zu verbreiten.«  The terrible news shook Joachim, as it did his friend Brahms. In the ensuing months and years, Joachim would prove himself a true friend to the ailing Schumann, and especially to Clara. Joachim was among the very few who were permitted to see Schumann in the asylum at Endenich, and to carry news back to his grieving wife.
»When Joachim visited Schumann at Endenich,« wrote Frederick Niecks, »he talked about books and music, inquiring specially about Rubinstein, whose compositions were being much praised at the time. Then Schumann led Joachim into a corner of the room, and said: ›I cannot stay here any longer. They do not understand me.‹ To Joachim’s question whether he wished to go back to Düsseldorf, he answered: ›Oh no, that is degradation.‹ At the first visit Joachim thought that improvement might be hoped for; but at the second he thought Schumanns’s condition hopeless. He was trembling, and when he played Joachim his own compositions with trembling hands it was horrible to hear. When Joachim left, Schumann took his hat and said he would accompany him a little way. But at the door he stopped suddenly, nodded quickly, and said abruptly, ›Adieu.‹ Joachim inferred that Schumann imagined that he was being followed by attendants […].« 
With Joachim, as with Brahms, Schumann’s illness had the immediate effect of drawing him closer into Schumann’s mental and spiritual world, both as a means of understanding Schumann’s disease, and as a way of appreciating the friend and mentor who was gradually and inexorably being taken from him. Like Brahms, Joachim occupied himself with Schumann’s papers and writings, and this gave him deeper insights into the man whom he had only so recently come to know and to love. A week after Schumann’s suicide attempt, Joachim wrote to Woldemar Bargiel: »Schumann hat noch nach dem erschütternden Vorfall so erhabene Momente der Ruhe gehabt, daß er seiner Frau Variationen über ein Thema, das ihm ›Engel als Gruß von Mendelssohn und Schubert‹ während der ersten Krankheit hören ließen, fertig schrieb. Die häuslichen Verhältnisse sind von Schumann, wie durch eine Art Ahnung, bis auf’s Kleinste vorher geordnet; selbst zu allen Manuscripten hatte er in der letzten Zeit die genauesten Andeutungen gefügt. In einem seiner frühern Hefte, die er mit Bemerkungen aller Art vollgeschrieben hatte, findet sich der Satz: ›Man hüte sich als Künstler den Zusammenhang mit der Gesellschaft zu verlieren, sonst geht man unter wie ich.‹ Es hat mich schauern gemacht, wie ich denn überhaupt keinen andern Gedanken fassen kann, als den der tiefsten Trauer über das Ideal, das in so herzzereißender Weise von der Schönheit zum Entsetzlichen getrieben wird.« 
Several months later, he wrote to Brahms: »Ich habe in der letzten Zeit in seinen Schriften gelesen; welch Gemüt, welcher Geist, welche reiche Phantasie! Je mehr man ihn kennt, so mehr muß man ihn ins Herz schließen; er sieht Sterne, wo andre nur Nebelschatten sehen.«  Later still, in a letter to Gisela von Arnim, he would begin to draw distinctions between various aspects of Schumann’s character: »[…] seine Papiere haben mir über vieles in ihm Aufschluß gegeben, auch über wirklich große, schöne Seiten seines Charakters. Ein merkwürdiges Wohlwollen neben der eigensinnigsten Pedanterie.« 
Gradually, an idealized picture emerged in Joachim’s mind of the man he had called »Herr Doctor,« »Sir,« »Geliebter Meister,« and finally »Verehrter Freund« — the man who, in the end, had addressed him simply as »Lieber Joseph.« That picture increasingly included reference to the heavens, to Reinheit and to noble striving, as if Schumann’s terrible loss of Zusammenhang mit der Gesellschaft had in some way been presaged, balanced and justified by another kind of disengagement — a saintly withdrawal from the prosaic, contentious arena of worldly success and failure, and into a sphere of spiritual purity analogous to that of the wunderbare Tiefe of childhood.
After Schumann’s death, at Clara’s request, Joachim undertook to inform Schumann’s friends of her husband’s passing. On the 30th, he wrote to Ferdinand David: »Es ist Frau Schumanns Wunsch daß ich Ihnen noch heute mittheile wofür Sie den tiefsten Antheil haben werden, die Nachricht von dem dahinscheiden Schumanns! Als ich gestern, dem 29ten, von der Reise aus Heidelberg anlangend, nach Endenich kam war Schumann um 4 Uhr Nachmittags eben entschlafen. Ruhig war sein Tod. An den Tagen vorher hatte Schumann wohl viel gelitten und gekämpft, wie mir Brahms erzählt; auch die Lunge war angegriffen, außer der Lähmung des Gehirns! Doch hat er bisweilen gelächelt, offenbar Seine Frau freudig erkennend, die um Ihn war. Es ist Ihr dies eine letzte Beruhigung. […] Morgen soll die Leiche des Freundes in Bonn bestattet werden, dessen reines, unausgesetztes Streben ich so tief verehrte und um dessen Schicksal ich Traure. Möge der Himmel Ihm Friede schenken.« 
To Liszt, Joachim’s message was more pointed: »Daß Du, der in frühen Tagen schon in künstlerischer und freundlicher Beziehung zu dem entschlummerten Meister gestanden, die Kunde besonders teilnehmend hören würdest, war einer meiner ersten Gedanken — denn mag auch Schicksal: äußere wie innere Erfahrung die Wege von Euch beiden gerade verschieden im Leben gestaltet haben, — mir ist doch gewiß, daß niemand den vollen Wert des leider uns entrückten Mannes reiner zu verstehen, schöner zu empfinden Macht und Willen hat als Du in diesem ernsten Moment.«  Liszt replied: »Verehrter Joachim, Sursum Corda — Dies gebietet die ernste Trauer, das mahnende Stillschweigen, Robert Schumann’s Grab! Überbringe seiner Frau den Ausdruck meiner innigsten Theilnahme an dem großen Verluste, der sie am herbsten betroffen hat; — meine wahrhaftige Verehrung und Ergebenheit für sie wünschte ich überzeugender als durch Worte beweisen zu können. Dir aber danke ich herzlich und insbesondere, daß Du mich nicht verkennst und die Überzeugung festhältst, daß Niemand mehr durchdrungen von dem vollen Werth des entrückten Meisters sein kann, und mit reiner Empfindung und begeisterterem Verständniss seinem Genius huldigt als Dein in herzlicher Verehrung getreuer F. Liszt.« 
The following week, Joachim wrote to his parents: »Sie kennen meine herzliche Verehrung für den Verstorbenen, den warmen Antheil den ich für Ihn wie für die Familie derselben hege, und werden denken können wie tief mich die Nachricht ergriff; es war mir unmöglich in Heidelberg zu bleiben und ich reiste nach Bonn, wo ich meinen tiefbetrauerten Freund zwar nicht noch lebend traf, doch wenigstens Gelegenheit fand seines verehrten Frau in manchem Liebesdienst nachträglich, vereint mit meinem kollegen Brahms, beizustehen. Schumanns Zustand war freilich in den letzten Jahren so gewesen, daß man eine Erlösung aus der trüben Welt die den Meister quälte, selbst als Freund wünschte, dennoch ward mir mit dem Tode erst doppelt fühlbar wie viel ich an reinem Wohlwollen an fördernder Theilnahme für mein künstlerisches thun verloren! Sie haben keine Idee wie liebevoll, wie mild, wie geistig Sch. als Mensch wie als Musiker gegen Reinstrebende Gutes Wollende im Umgang war. Auch darin wie im nimmer ruhenden Fleiß ein wahres Vorbild, deßen ganze Bedeutung mir für meine Lebens-Zeit ins Herz geschrieben ist.« 
Joachim passed this benign image on to posterity in anecdote, interview and public appearance: this apotheosis of the spiritual Meister, tortured by the cheerless world, whose first gesture of friendship had been to point to the star-filled heavens and wonder aloud »ob wohl da droben Wesen existieren mögen, die wissen, wie schön hier auf Erden ein kleiner Junge mit Mendelssohn die Kreutzersonate gespielt hat?« and whose last gesture on earth had been a recognition and embrace of his beloved. On May 20, 1906, prior to the memorial Schumann-Fest in Bonn of May 22-24, Joachim spoke these words at Schumann’s grave: »Ehrfurchtsvoll nahen wir huldigend der geheiligten Stätte, in der Robert und Clara Schumann ruhen. Fünfzig Jahre sind hingegangen seit dem Tode des Meisters, vor gerade zehn Jahren ward uns Clara Schumann entrissen. Beide bleiben leuchtende Sterne am Kunsthimmel für Schaffende und Ausübende. […] Aber hier wollen wir besonders des edlen Menschen gedenken, des hohen Menschen, wie sein Lieblingsdichter Jean Paul diejenigen seltenen Sterblichen bezeichnet, die immer hienieden unentwegt ein Geistesleben führen, den göttlichen Funken in sich fördernd; deren Gedanken dem Weltgetriebe fern bleiben, das weitab in wesenlosem Scheine hinter ihnen liegt. Und doch wie gütig, wie liebevoll wandelte dieser hohe Mensch unter seinen Mitmenschen, wie suchte er fördernd jedes Fünkchen echten, wahren Strebens zu reiner Flamme zu entfachen. Wie rein und neidlos war er in seiner Bewunderung anderer Meister, wie liebte er Mendelssohn, Brahms, wie willig erkannte er andere, auch Geringere, an! Seine Schriften geben dafür ein bleibendes Zeugnis. Aber auch für seine Gerechtigkeitsliebe! Er durfte im Bewusstsein seines reinen Wollens bei Gelegenheit streng sein und verschwieg seinen Unmut nicht. Eine äussere Würde war ihm eigen, der sich nichts Unlauteres zu nahen wagte […].« 
Da droben and hienieden. These were the terms by which Joachim ultimately came to understand Schumann’s loss of Zusammenhang mit der Gesellschaft. These were the conflicting landscapes of 19th-century idealism, according to which Joachim lived his own artistic and moral life — striving for higher, purer thoughts in the belief that
 Andreas Moser: Joseph Joachim, Ein Lebensbild, vol. 1, Berlin 1908, p 72.
 Edith Sichel: Joseph Joachim — A Remembrance, in The Living Age, vol. 254 (1907), p. 694.
 Joseph Joachim was the seventh of eight children. The name and fate of the youngest child are unknown, and it seems likely that the youngest child did not survive childbirth.
 See, for example, Ferdinand David’s June 17, 1844 letter to Mendelssohn: »Daß Joachim so sehr gefallen hat, hat mir viel Freude gemacht; der Himmel gebe ihm Ausdauer und Gesundheit, und ein ganz prächtiger Künstler muß daraus werden, nur sollten seine Verwandten etwas weniger vorsichtig und vernünftig sein, es scheint mir etwas übertrieben, wie da hin und her überlegt wird, was wohl jetzt das Beste für ihn wäre, und wenn man ihnen hundertmal gesagt hat, daß sie ihn ruhig weiter studiren lassen sollen, so scheinen sie doch lieber hören zu wollen, daß man ihn je eher je lieber nach Paris und in alle Welt schicken möchte.« [Julius Eckhardt: Ferdinand David an die Familie Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Leipzig 1888, p. 216.]
 For Schumann’s interest in the stars at around this time in his life, see: Gerd Nauhaus: Schumann und die Sterne, in Schumann Studien 3/4, Köln 1994, pp. 174-178.
 Andreas Moser: Joseph Joachim, Ein Lebensbild, vol. I, Berlin 1908, p. 45.
 Joseph Böhm (1795-1876) was the first violin professor at the Vienna Conservatory. A pupil of Pierre Rode, he was an associate of Beethoven, whose String Quartet in e-flat major, op. 127 he premiered. Joachim had lived with the Böhms in Vienna’s Alservorstadt near the Schwarzspainierhaus, currently Berggasse 7. Siegmund Freud’s famous residence at Berggasse 19 had not yet been built.
 Joseph played an Adagio and Rondo by Viardot-García’s brother-in-law, the renowned Belgian violinist Charles de Bériot.
 Frederick Niecks: Robert Schumann, ed. by Christina Niecks, New York 1925, p. 8.
 Hermann and Fanny Wittgenstein were the parents of the industrialist Karl Wittgenstein, and the grandparents of the philosopher Ludwig and the pianist Paul Wittgenstein.
 Hermine Wittgenstein: Familienerinnerungen, unpublished typescript, Vienna 1944, pp. 15-16.
 Wittgenstein Familienerinnerungen, pp. 14-15.
 See: Bernhard R. Appel: Robert Schumanns »Album für die Jugend,« Zürich & Mainz 1998, in particular the chapter »In jedem Kinde liegt eine wunderbare Tiefe. Schumann und die Pädagogik seiner Zeit.«
Gesammelte Schriften über Musik und Musiker von Robert Schumann, ed. by Martin Kreisig, Leipzig 1914, p. 20. Quoted in Appel, Album, p. 17.
Robert Schumanns Briefe, Neue Folge, ed. by F. Gustav Jansen, 2nd ed., Leipzig 1904, p. 253. Schumann Briefedition, (7 vols.), ed. by Thomas Synofzik and Michael Heinemann, Köln 2009, vol. 1, pp. 242-243.
 Schumann, Briefedition, vol. 1, p. 244, fn. 5.
 According to Joachim, there was real warmth of feeling between the two composers. See: Niecks, Schumann, pp. 149-150.
 Conservatory records for October 7, 1848 state: »Anstellung des H Joachim mit 4 Stunden Wöchentlich, hauptsächlich in RepetitUebungen von den Schülern des H. Cmst David.« [Bekanntmachungen, Circular u.s.w., Bestände der HMT Leipzig, Signatur: A, IV.1/2, p.  – 6, https://sachsen.digital/werkansicht/20236/12/0?cHash=acccecbbdd88f01b6ab733f211718663%5D.
The 17-year-old Joachim’s appointment was considerably more modest than has been implied elsewhere, especially in Moser’s biography, and he seems not to have been a successful teacher. According to Joachim’s semester report, one of his two students, Johann Müller aus Gerhardsbrunn, »War in der ersten Zeit sehr eifrig, besuchte jedoch zuletzt die Stunde nicht mehr.« [Archive, Hochschule für Musik und Theater »Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy« Leipzig]
 Berthold Litzmann: Clara Schumann: Ein Künstlerleben, (3 vols.), Leipzig 1920, vol. 2, p. 112.
 Litzmann, Schumann, vol. 2, p. 112. What Clara Schumann may or may not have known was that between these two events, Joachim had acquired his first great instrument: a Stradivarius. On August 4th, he wrote to his brother Heinrich: »Die Sache von der es sich handelt, ist die für mich höchst folgenreiche Anschaffung einer Violine ersten Ranges. […] Die Violine, die ich mir aber erkoren habe (vielleicht die beste Stradivari die ich in Deutschland kenne) gehört einem reichen Privatmann, der sich auch wirklich, obwohl die Geige ihm über alles gieng mir zu Liebe entschlossen hat, sich dann zu trennen, und zu dem Preise, den er dafür gegeben hatte (300 Louis d’or) sie mir zu lassen.« [Unpublished letter in the collection of the Brahms Institut an der Musikhochschule Lübeck] To his wealthy uncles, who bought the instrument for him, he wrote [July 17, 1850]: »Ich bin nun wirklich so glücklich ein Instrument mein zu nennen, welches zu den vorzüglichsten im Europa gehört, und das mir stets als Ideal eines schönen tones vorgeschwebt hat. Meine Freude darüber ist unbeschreiblich.« [Unpublished letter in the museum of the Brahms-Gesellschaft, Baden Baden].
 Such late invitations were typical of the time, and particularly typical of Schumann, whose executive skills apparently left a great deal to be desired.
Briefe von und an Joseph Joachim, (3 vols.), ed. by Johannes Joachim and Andreas Moser, Berlin 1911-1913, vol. 1, p. 52.
 Wilhelm Joseph von Wasielewski: Aus siebzig Jahren: Lebenserinnerungen, Stuttgart and Leipzig 1897, p. 80. Wasielewski gives a full account of the event.
 Düsseldorf, 19. May 1853. [Clara Schumann, … daß Gott mir ein Talent geschenkt: Clara Schumanns Briefe an Hermann Härtel und Richard und Helene Schöne, Monica Steegmann (ed.), Zürich 1997, p. 105.] Carl Reinecke, present for the occasion, wrote in his memoirs: »Es ist ein müßiges Beginnen, so ein vollendetes Spiel mit Worten zu beschreiben. Aber noch heute, nach sechsundfünfzig Jahren, erinnere ich mich deutlich, daß ich nach diesem Vortrage mich in die einsamsten Gänge des Hofgartens schlich, um ungestört dieses künstlerische Ereignis noch einmal in meinem Innern zu durchleben.» [Carl Reineke: Erlebnisse und Bekenntnisse: Autobiographie eines Gewandhauskapellmeisters, ed. by Doris Mundus, Leipzig 2005, p. 262.]
 Joachim wrote to his brother Heinrich from Hannover: »Mein einziger Umgang ist jetzt hier ein junger Hamburger, Namens Brahms, ein 20 jähriges gewaltiges Talent in Komposition und Klavierspiel, das der Dunkelheit zu entreißen, mir das Glück wird.« [Unpublished MS. Brahms-Institut an der Musikhochschule Lübeck, ABH 6.1922.214.171.124]
»Ich halte ihn für eine der edelsten Naturen, von jugendlichen Härten und Ungezogenheiten abgesehen, vielleicht auch mit etwas jung[g]esellenhafter Verwilderung — und damit basta.« [Joseph Joachim, unpublished MS, British Library: Joachim Correspondence, bequest of Agnes Keep, Add. MS 42718.]
Johannes Brahms im Briefwechsel mit Joseph Joachim, ed. by Andreas Moser, vol. 1, Berlin1908, pp. 8-9.
 Joachim, Briefe, vol. 1, p. 73 [9 September 1853.]
 The Murls included, among others, Bronsart, Bülow, Cornelius, Cossman, Klindworth, Pruckner, Laub, Raff, Reményi, Pohl, Preller, Milde, Germanist Oskar Schade, and philologist and literary historian Reinhold Köhler. C. f. William Mason, Memories of a Musical Life, New York 1901, pp. 158-159. Also: Reinald Chraska, Der Mainzer Dichter-Komponist Peter Cornelius in Salzburg und Trier, Trier 1992, p. 23; Carl Maria Cornelius, Peter Cornelius: Der Wort- und Tondichter, (2 vols.), Regensburg 1925, vol. 1, pp. 149-150.
 Wagner left a remarkable description of the event in his autobiography. »Über Joachim,« he writes, »der stets in bescheidener, fast weicher Zurückhaltung geblieben war, sagte mir Bülow zur Erklärung, daß er in einer gewissen wehmütigen Schüchternheit gegen mich befangen sei, und zwar wegen meiner, in jenem famosen Artikel über das ‘Judentum’ ausgesprochenen Meinung. Bei der Vorlegung einer seiner Kompositionen habe er ihn mit einer gewissen freundlichen Ängstlichkeit gefragt, ob ich dieser Arbeit wohl etwas Jüdisches anmerken können würde. Dieser rührende, ja ergreifende Zug regte mich zu einem besonders teilnamvollen Abschiedswort und einer herzlichen Umarmung Joachims an. Ich habe ihn seitdem nie wieder gesehen, sondern über seine nicht lange hiernach angenommene und andauernde feindselige Haltung gegen Liszt und mich nur das Allerwunderlichste erfahren müssen.« [Richard Wagner: Mein Leben, München 1914, p. 71.] The anti-Mendelssohnian, and frequently anti-Semitic nature of the Murls’ discourse was unquestionably a contributing factor in Joachim’s eventual desertion from the »neudeutsche Schule.« In letters to Liszt, for example, Bülow wrote unabashedly of the Leipzigers as »bâtards de mercantilisme et de judaisme musical« (Hannover, 9 January, 1854), and vowed »Une guerre d’extirpation contre le ›Mendelssohnianisme.‹« (Posen, 14 March, 1855) [Klassik Stiftung Weimar, Goethe- und Schiller- Archiv, GSA 59/ 10; GSA 59/ 10.]
 The earlier letters in this correspondence no longer exist, and may have been destroyed.
 Joachim, Briefe, vol. 1, pp. 83-84. This passage was suppressed in Jahn’s 1904 edition of Robert Schumanns Briefe.
 Liszt later told Lina Ramann that Wagner had been among the evening’s guests. [Franz Liszt and his World, ed. by Christopher Gibbs and Dana Gooley, Princeton 2006, p. 406 fn. 17.]
 Edward Speyer, My Life and Friends, London 1937, p. 82. Speyer, who heard this story directly from Clara Schumann, nevertheless mistakenly places it in Leipzig instead of Dresden.
 Litzmann, Schumann, vol. 2, p. 122. Speyer quotes Clara Schumann that Liszt said: »I am deeply sorry to have been the cause of such an unleasant incident. I feel I am in the wrong place here; pray accept my humble excuses and allow me to depart.« Speyer, Life, p. 82]
 On the same day, Schumann wrote Joachim a letter that has often been cited as evidence of his growing mental instability: »Und geträumt habe ich von Ihnen, lieber Joachim; wir waren drei Tage zusammen — Sie hatten Reiherfedern in den Händen, aus denen Champagner floß — wie prosaisch! aber wie wahr !« [Joachim Briefe I, p. 154]
Schumann and His World, ed. by R. Larry Todd, Princeton1994, p. 262.
 Klassik Stiftung Weimar, Goethe- und Schiller- Archiv, 59/ 70, 1.
 Joachim, Briefe, vol. 1, p. 105 [21. November, 1853]
 Joachim became a strong advocate for the former, and, famously, suppressed the latter. »Ich kann nicht ohne Bewegung davon sprechen,« Joachim wrote to Andreas Moser in 1898: »stammt es doch aus dem letzten Halbjahr vor dem Ausbruch der Geisteskrankheit des theuern Meisters und Freundes, (Düßeldorf, 11. September — 3 Oktober 1853 steht auf dem Titelblatt)! Der Umstand, daß es nicht veröffentlicht worden ist, wird Sie schon zu dem Schluß bringen, daß man es seinen vielen herrlichen Schöpfungen nicht ebenbürtig an die Seite stellen kann.« [Joachim, Briefe, vol 3, p. 486.]
 The concert took place on October 27, 1853, a mere 13 days later.
 B. R. Appel: Das Promemoria des Wilhelm Wortmann: Ein Dokument aus Schumanns Düsseldorfer Zeit, in Schumanniana nova: Festschrift Gerd Nauhaus zum 60.Geburtstag. ed. by Bernhard R. Appel et al. Sinzig 2002, p. 14.
To Eric Rosenblith Gifted teacher, profound practitioner of our great art
I — The Composer’s Voice
To those who knew Joachim in his latter years, he was the Geigerkönig — the “King of Violinists” — the “Last of a Classic School.” Reflecting on Joachim’s career, Brahms biographer Florence May observed:
“…from early childhood Joachim never appeared on a platform without exciting, not only the admiration, but the personal love of his audience. His successes were their delight. They rejoiced to see him, to applaud him, recall him, shout at him. The scenes familiar to the memory of three generations of London concert-goers were samples of the everyday incidents of his life in all countries and towns where he appeared. Why? It is impossible altogether to explain such phenomena, even by the word “genius.” Joachim followed his destiny. His career was unparalleled in the history of musical executive art. It began when he was eight; it closed only a few weeks before his death at the age of seventy-six.” 
Five-score years after his death, Joachim remains a celebrated artist. There is hardly a biography of any 19th-century musician in which we do not read his name. Letters, memoirs, photographs, recordings and manuscripts survive, giving evidence of his remarkable life, rich in music and association. In that sense he is, as British poet-laureate Robert Bridges wished he would be,
Remember’d when thy loving hand is still, And ev’ry ear that heard thee stopt with dust. 
And yet, Carl Flesch observed, “the remembrance of a great interpreter grows weaker in the degree that the living witnesses of his achievement go the way of all flesh.” Twenty years after he died, the vital Joseph Joachim was already fading from public consciousness, and Flesch noted with regret that he was beginning “to take on the semblance of a myth.” “It is not surprising that Joachim’s musical and technical advantages are no longer entirely comprehensible to the youth of our day on the basis of mere description,” he wrote. “For the very essence of Joachim’s playing eludes description, in as much as it was not purely technical, but lay in an indefinable charm, an immediacy of feeling which caused a work played by him to be haloed with immortality in the listener’s recollection. What our time fails to understand is not so much Joachim’s violin playing as Joachim’s spirit.” 
Today, the transformation from man to icon is complete: Joachim’s position in the musical pantheon is that of the distinguished, musically conservative violinist, the graybeard gatekeeper of 19th-century Germany’s musical establishment — and especially the eminent “Friend Of Brahms.” Few remember Jussuf Joachim, the youthful Joseph who stood at the center of the greatest artistic disputes of his age — an age renowned for its partisan spirit. For a brief period, around mid-century, Joachim was a Zukunftsmusiker, a member of the musical avant-garde. At the dawn of Weimar’s second Golden Age, Franz Liszt hired the 19-year-old violinist to be concertmaster of his orchestra. There, the young man who had grown up under the personal and artistic guidance of Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann helped give birth to the tone poem and the Wagnerian music drama, and contributed some convincing works of his own in the new “psychological” style. For several years, he enthusiastically carried the banner of this new music — and then he dropped it and walked away. Joachim’s desertion from the progressive cause was Liszt’s first great blow at Weimar, and it stung. But, as May pointed out, “Joachim followed his destiny.” In his long life, he was destined to play many roles: child prodigy, composer of a short but distinguished catalog of works, virtuoso, conductor, pioneer of the quartet literature, Zukunftsmusiker, founding director of the Berlin Hochschule, surrogate and advocate for his early-departed mentors Mendelssohn and Schumann, and midwife to the careers and compositions of others, most notably his great “Friend Brahms.”
Along the way, by precept and example, Joachim helped bring about a fundamental change in the artistic attitude of virtuosi toward composers and their works. “The simple refinement and cohesive unity with which Joachim brought forth the concerti of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Spohr and Viotti, movements from Bach’s works for violin alone, sonatas of Tartini, the Schumann Fantasy, etc., acted practically as revelations and conveyed to his contemporaries a hitherto completely unknown understanding of the mission of a performing musician,” wrote his biographer Andreas Moser.  In Joachim’s youth, virtuosi mostly played a repertoire, often of their own confection, tailored to show off their particular violinistic skills and specialties. Joachim stood as primus and exemplar among a new breed of interpretive artists. According to Leopold Auer: “it was about the middle of the nineteenth century that a nobler, more artistic trend made itself plainly evident in the recital programs of the really great virtuosi. The change was inspired, I am inclined to think, by Mendelssohn, and, after his death, by Schumann in Leipsic and Liszt in Weimar. Ferdinand David and Joachim were the first to make a breach in the approved and sanctioned violin program of their time.”  “What type of program did he present at about the middle of the past century?” asked Flesch. “Did he court the public’s favor and follow the example of those who were his colleagues by trying to drag down the auditor’s taste to the level of the fantasies on successful operas? No, what he undertook was to draw his listeners up to him, to extend their understanding, to broaden their intellectual horizon, by offering them a musical fare which in its very self, without any theatrical ‘make-up,’ was of lofty musical worth. What a need of moral earnestness, what courage is required, in the days of Prume’s ‘Mélancholie,’ of Ernst’s ‘Élegie’ and of Paganini’s ‘Carneval de Venise,’ relinquishing all claim to the applause of the multitude, to put on a program of Bach’s sonatas and partitas for solo violin, the concertos of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Spohr, and Beethoven’s last quartets! This consciousness of an educational mission entrusted to the artist, of his moral obligation with respect to the composer awaiting the performance of his work, have for the most part become quite foreign to the generations of the age of transcriptions.” 
The idea of elevation, of “drawing one’s listeners up,” remains an essential element of Joachim’s legacy — an element as vulnerable in this age of popular culture as it was in Flesch’s “age of transcriptions.” It belongs most properly to the era of Joachim’s youth — a time in which music was enlisted to serve the ideals of Bildung, or edification, as celebrated in the salons of Berlin, Leipzig and Weimar. It was there, in the elite company of the Mendelssohns, Schumanns, von Arnims and others, that Jussuf came of age. The notion of Bildung has deep connections with the Athenian notion of Paideia (παιδεία), the process of educating man to his own ideal form, the Kalos Kagathos — the “beautiful and good.” This process was understood to take place in a social context, in conversation and performance, through occupation with great questions and great works. Like Paideia, it represented a marriage of intellectual, emotional and moral virtues: a quest for mental illumination, a broadening of spiritual horizons and a disdain for that which is understood to be self-seeking or dishonorable. “Supreme is the morally beautiful character, who through reverence for the holy and a deeply felt love of the purely good and true, is educated to a noble revulsion against everything unclean, indelicate and coarse,” wrote the great educational reformer and architect of Bildung Wilhelm von Humboldt. 
Joachim was raised an idealist and an acolyte of high culture. He was the first great violinist to receive a university education, which he pursued at Göttingen on his own initiative. To Anton Rubinstein, the young Joachim gave “the impression of a novice at a convent, who knows he can choose between the convent and the world, and who has not yet made his choice.”  At 22, Jussuf wrote in Brahms’s commonplace book:
Künstler sollen nicht Diener, sondern Priester des Publikums sein. Artists should not be servants, but priests of the public. 
As we aspire, so we become. “I always felt as though he were a priest, thrilling his congregation with a sermon revealing the noblest moral beauties of a theme, which could not help but interest all humanity,” Auer recalled.  “Of all violinists, Joachim… was the noblest of all in his aims, aspirations and ideals,” wrote W. W. Cobbett. “The litteræ scriptæ which remain testify to this, his published letters addressed to leading musicians telling in almost every line of his determination to live for his art as for a religion, to place artistic before commercial considerations and to familiarise his audiences with the music of the greater masters…. He was happily indicated for the task by the possession of an exceptional mentality allied in nature to that of the composers he selected for interpretation, and this it probably was that gave him an almost uncanny insight into their intentions.” 
Joachim’s performances were informed by the understanding of a first-rate creator — a composer whose work had been admired by the greatest of his age: Mendelssohn, Schumann, Liszt and Brahms. His contemporaries repeatedly observed that what set him apart as an interpreter was his ability to think like a composer. “His playing was (as Wagner said of Liszt’s) no mere reproduction, but creation,” wrote Donald Francis Tovey. “Only those who have known his playing can realize what a great composer he was. Posterity will learn from his compositions how vivid, and how free from all conventionality or imitative mannerism, was his presentation of classical music.” 
Joachim’s contemporaries frequently commented on his ability to disappear into the music that he was interpreting. “You forget the virtuoso, and hear nothing but a musician of the purest water,” observed Thomaskantor Moritz Hauptmann in 1865.  And elsewhere: “Joachim stands by himself. It is not his technique, it is not his tone, it is not anything that anybody could describe; it is the reserve of all these qualities, so that you hear, not Joachim, but the music. With all his depth of character, there is a rare modesty about him; he never makes a fuss about himself, but he does make an effect, which is recognised everywhere.” 
Joachim is most closely associated with the music of Beethoven, and his interpretation of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto was legendary. When he was just a 12-year-old boy, his electrifying performance of the work in London under Mendelssohn’s direction permanently altered the concerto’s critical reception and helped to rescue the work from an ill-deserved oblivion. According to Eugène Ysaÿe, Joachim played the concerto “… so well that he now seems part of it. It was he… who showed it to the world as a masterpiece. Without his ideal interpretation the work might have been lost among those compositions which are placed on one side and forgotten. He revived it, transfigured it, increased its measure. It was a consecration, a sort of Bayreuth on a reduced scale, in which tradition was perpetuated and made beautiful and strong… Joachim’s interpretation was as a mirror in which the power of Beethoven was reflected.”  For Viennese critic Eduard Hanslick, the mature Joachim’s interpretation of Beethoven’s concerto was the greatest of his age:
“At the close of the first movement it must have been clear to everyone that this was not merely an astonishing virtuoso, but an eminent and striking personality. Joachim, with all his bravura, is so completely lost in the musical ideal, that one might almost describe him as having passed through the most brilliant virtuosity to perfect musicianship. His playing is great, noble, and free. . . . The Beethoven Concerto, especially the free, deeply emotional performance of the adagio (which almost sounded like an improvisation), proved the most decided independence of interpretation. Under Vieuxtemps’ bow the concerto sounded more brilliant and lively; Joachim’s interpretation was deeper, and surpassed, with truly ethical power, the effect which Vieuxtemps obtained by reason of his temperament.” 
Oral tradition through Joachim’s student Karl Klingler has it that before Joachim, Beethoven’s concerto was played dryly, like an etude, and it produced little effect.  All attempts to recreate it as a virtuoso showpiece were similarly unsuccessful. Klingler reaffirmed Clara Schumann’s observation that the mature Joachim played it with “such soul in each little note” that, for the first time, listeners were allowed to partake of the poetry that only a mature musical mind can discover in Beethoven’s score. “It is an error to think that a work ‘can speak for itself,’” wrote Carl Flesch in The Art of Violin Playing. “Its soul is a dream, and it is mute until awakened to life by the magic rod of an artist in harmony with it.” 
In May 1843, following several years’ apprenticeship in Vienna with the violinist Joseph Böhm and the composer Gottfried von Preyer, 11-year-old Pepi Joachim arrived on Mendelssohn’s doorstep in Leipzig, determined to study at the newly founded Leipzig Conservatorium. Mendelssohn listened as he played a few solos. Together, they played Beethoven’s Kreutzer sonata. Mendelssohn then gave Joseph a few harmony exercises to complete. When it came time to render judgment, he first asked Joseph’s cousin Herman Wittgenstein what he should do for the boy. “Just let him breathe the air you breathe!” Wittgenstein is reputed to have replied.  And that is essentially what he did. In Mendelssohn’s opinion, Joachim did not need a school, but for the next four years he guided the young prodigy, regarding him almost as an adopted son. Six months after arriving in Leipzig, Joachim made his Gewandhaus debut with a virtuoso piece, Ernst’s Othello Fantasy, appearing in the same concert with another debutant: Carl Reinecke, then an aspiring pianist. Another six months later, in May 1844, Joseph gave his famous London performance of the Beethoven Concerto under Mendelssohn’s direction. Following Mendelssohn’s shocking death in 1847, Joachim remained for three despondent years in Leipzig, where his friends and mentors attempted to retain him by creating positions for him at the Conservatorium and in the Gewandhaus Orchestra. But the association there with David, Moscheles, Gade, Klengel and Hauptmann could not make up for Mendelssohn’s absence, and it failed to inspire him to greater artistic achievement. In June 1850, after a musical evening with Joachim, Clara Schumann wrote in her diary: “as enamored as everyone is of him, we can’t warm up to him. His playing is accomplished, everything beautiful, the finest pianissimo, the greatest bravura, complete mastery of the instrument, but that which grips one, that which makes one go hot and cold, is missing — there is neither spirit nor fire in him, and that is bad, for no fine artistic future awaits him. Technically, he is entirely proficient — the other, who knows if that will come?” 
It was the astute and generous Franz Liszt who saw Joachim’s potential and led him out of the doldrums. Joachim had made Liszt’s acquaintance four years earlier, while visiting relatives in Vienna. In Liszt’s pied-à-terre, the Hotel Stadt London, the great pianist astonished Mendelssohn’s protégé by sight-reading his mentor’s new violin concerto — with a lit cigar held between his fingers.  Now, in 1850, Liszt asked Joachim to join him as a colleague in his ambitious avant-garde enterprise in Weimar. Joachim’s first act in the Athens on the Ilm was to perform the Beethoven Concerto under Liszt’s direction. He continued to work closely with Liszt for several years, as concertmaster and chamber music partner, and, as he himself acknowledged, Liszt’s pupil.  Gradually, though, Joachim’s sympathy for Liszt and his disciples began to wane, and in January 1853 he struck out on his own as the Royal Concertmaster in Hanover. On May 17, 1853, four months into his new position, Joachim appeared once again with the Beethoven Concerto. No longer a child prodigy but a 22-year-old artist, he performed the work under Ferdinand Hiller’s baton before an elite — and initially skeptical — audience at the Lower-Rhine Music Festival in Düsseldorf. This performance marked the true beginning of Joachim’s adult career. Clara Schumann was enthralled: “Joachim won the victory over us all with the Beethoven concerto,” she noted in her diary, “but he also played with a perfection, and with such deep poetry, with such soul in each little note, really ideal, that I have never heard such violin playing, and I can truly say that I have never received such an unforgettable impression from a virtuoso. And how the great work was accompanied — with what perfection! It was as if a holy devotion possessed the whole orchestra.”  Carl Reinecke, present at the same performance, never forgot it. “What a different person, how much greater he had become in the meantime,” he recalled. “Once an acolyte of virtuosity, now a priest of art… It is an idle thing to describe such consummate playing. But even today, after fifty-six years, I remember clearly that I stole through the loneliest walks of the court gardens, to relive this artistic event inwardly.” 
Joachim’s bitter split with Liszt did not occur until 1857,  but the seeds of their estrangement were planted with this event, as Joachim grew closer to the Schumanns. The estrangement grew that summer when Jussuf met the astonishing, beautiful, enigmatic Brahms; and a coterie formed that autumn, when, together with Bettina and Gisela von Arnim and the artist Jean-Joseph Bonaventure Laurens, they all experienced a brief idyll of music, art and conversation before the darkness fell.
For years, Joachim and his partisans would seek to play down Liszt’s influence on his style, but Joachim’s debt to Liszt is clear. Knowledgeable contemporaries, such as Joachim’s student Waldemar Meyer, were struck by the similarity of their artistry, and regretted the personal rift between the two artists. Joachim himself acknowledged that his playing combined the “strictness of Mendelssohn and the freedom of Liszt,”  and, as Moser tells us, he often cited the article On Conducting, in which Richard Wagner had chided him: “…from what I have heard concerning his playing, this virtuoso truly knows and practices the style of execution I demand for our great music. Beside Liszt and his disciples he is the only musician I know to whom I can point as a proof and example of the foregoing assertions. It is irrelevant if it annoys Herr Joachim, as I understand, to be mentioned in such company; for, with regard to that which we can do, it matters little what we choose to profess, but what is true. If Herr Joachim thinks it necessary to allege that he has developed his fine style in the company of Herr Hiller, or of R. Schumann, this may rest upon its merits, provided he always plays in such a way that one may recognize the good results of several years’ intimate association with Liszt.” 
II — Das Freispielen
…There has hardly ever existed a more subjective artist, in the noblest sense of the word, a genius of interpretation who ever renewed without repeating himself. In spite of the fact, he has been labelled “objective,” whereas he was, perhaps, the most subjective of all violinists, save that he was dominated by his reverence for the art-work, whose spiritual content he was able to select as the guiding thread for the manner of his own expression. 
— Carl Flesch
At the beginning of the twentieth century, a young Scottish violinist, Marion Bruce, later Marion Bruce Ranken, attended the Berlin Hochschule, where, in the course of six years of lessons with Karl Klingler, she came regularly into contact with Joachim and his quartet colleagues. Her inexplicably neglected memoir is one of the most extensive and valuable sources of information extant about Joachim’s playing and teaching, as well as that of his Hochschule colleagues.  Like many such works, it has the character of a defense of a beloved but dying art, and thus continually draws useful contrasts with more modern practice. Among Ranken’s many perceptive comments on Joachim’s playing two stand out, especially when taken together. First, Ranken notes the characteristic “which of all its qualities was the most striking… i.e. its spontaneity — the impression made that nothing was prearranged, that all of it was feeling and thought experienced at the very moment of playing.”  At the same time, she notes that the “restfulness (Ruhe) of Joachim’s playing was continually being commented upon… and no one hearing him could help being struck by this quality in all his performances, whether of slow or fast music. Liveliness, spirit, subtlety, speed, nothing seemed to make any difference to this sense of rest and balance…” 
By all reports, Joachim was a supremely centered and balanced performer — personally, musically, and physically. “Joachim’s bearing was exemplary and truly regal,” wrote Karl Klingler. “His appearance alone sufficed to give an audience the confidence that something extraordinary could be expected to occur.”  His stance, adopted and taught by his disciples Adila Fachiri, Jelly D’Aranyi, Carl Courvoisier, Karl Klingler and others, was “normal, easy and dignified, without any angularities or any self-conscious pose liable to distract the attention of the listener from the music.”  “The stillness of Joachim’s style of playing was a thing which every one noticed,” wrote Ranken. “There never were any disturbing or unnecessary movements and yet there was the greatest sense of flexibility. I have since come to the conclusion that this complete absence of rigidity was due to the fact that his body was never really motionless although it seemed to be so; but that all the movement was in the contrary direction to that of the bowing.” 
If there was a natural freedom in Joachim’s physical approach to playing, there was a lack of rigidity, too, in his interpretation. “He has unjustly been called a ‘Classical violinist,’” claimed Carl Flesch, “with the somewhat suspect implication that this adjective has acquired in common parlance over the course of time, and that always puts one in mind of a certain respectable stuffiness. In reality he was romantic through and through, inwardly unrestrained, in fact, disposed to be somewhat gypsy-like, and he remained so over the course of time, just as his ‘Concerto in the Hungarian Manner,’ would lead us today to imagine him.” 
The charge, often made against Joachim in his latter years, that his playing was “dry and academic,” probably stems from his manner of tone-production, which, in the heyday of Ysaÿe, had long since gone out of fashion. Ranken describes an “intense and pure tone, which can be produced without any vibrato whatever” as being characteristic of the Joachim quartet. This tone, produced with a slow-moving bow (usually in the middle) was used in all dynamics from pp to ff. “Joachim very generally used this sort of tone in deep and intense passages, such as those which occur so often in Beethoven,” claimed Ranken, “and once having heard them played so, the sickly wobble of most modern playing, in such places, becomes very painful.”  Elsewhere she states: “no one who listened appreciatively to his playing will ever forget the stillness and grand simplicity of the way he so often played slow themes of Beethoven, allowing himself not one single slide when avoidable or one hint of vibrato, but remaining unabashed in the low positions, using fingerings such as would probably be chosen for a child in its first lessons.” 
All of the players in the Joachim tradition railed against the modern habit of continuous and wide vibrato.  It is well-known that Joachim used vibrato sparingly, as a means of emotional emphasis rather than as an artificial sweetener for the sound, and that his vibrato was of a quick, close variety: according to Flesch, more of a Bebung (“tremble”) than the plangent pulsation of a Kreisler or Ysaÿe. Nevertheless, according to Ranken: “Joachim’s flexibility of wrist, both right and left, was famous. Consequently his vibrato was very easy and free, and he used it a great deal and with the greatest effect when he wished to.” […] “The sudden free use of vibrato immediately after the still, intense tone already mentioned and in contrast to it, was an effect often produced with great expressiveness. Or still more striking was the sudden hairpin crescendo out of dead stillness culminating in a sforzando climax, where every ounce of force, both of bow and of vibrato, would be let loose.”  “Vibrato was made great use of in sforzandos and the fact that it was often switched off entirely in other places made the added weight that it imparted on such occasions all the more effective.” 
The lack of a consistently sweet, saturated sound renders all the more important the variety of articulation and degree of expressivity produced with the bow alone. “He had… all tone colors on his palette,” recalled Andreas Moser, “and knew how to mix them in such a manner that his slow movements were as reverently devotional as his fiery-rhythmic movements were electrifyingly Magyar-like. Of all other artist violinists together, I have not heard the words “tone color” and “supple tone production” used nearly as frequently as of Joachim alone.” 
That Joachim was a master of tempo rubato is one of the most universally noted aspects of his style. Modern scholarship identifies two main varieties of rubato playing: a Classical type — rhythmically emancipated melody over a strict rhythmic foundation— and a freer “agogic rubato” — alteration of the underlying tempo — increasingly favored as the 19th century progressed. The Classical, “contrametric”  type of rubato, identified by Pier Francesco Tosi in 1723 and well known from the writings of the Mozarts, father and son,  seems always to have been regarded as a rare art — the province of only the most sophisticated performers. In Joachim’s youth it was practiced by such musicians as Spohr and Viardot-García. Later, it continued to be employed by some in Joachim’s circle for a considerable time after it had fallen into general disuse. Its nature was well described by Joachim’s friend Bernhard Scholz, who, as late as 1859, learned it from the eminent baritone Julius Stockhausen:
“I often had the pleasure of accompanying [Stockhausen] with the orchestra or at the piano. At first, I endeavored to follow every small inflection of his performance; he asked me, however, to remain calmly and consistently in tempo, even as he allowed himself, here and there, small deviations, which he would then recoup; he could achieve full freedom of motion only on a firm rhythmic base. […] From him I first came to a full understanding of the character of the tempo rubato: freedom of phrasing on an imperturbably stable rhythmic foundation. This is, of course, also what Chopin demanded for the performance of his own music, according to his student Mikuli.” 
Joachim, too, favored a contrametric-style rubato, enhanced by copious and varied accentuation, both dynamic and agogic. Sam Franko spoke of “the freedom of his interpretation while preserving perfect rhythm.”  Richard Hohenemser observed: “Joachim’s playing was characterized by strict adherence to the underlying pulse (Zeitmass) with constant small deviations, i. e. by the employment of tempo rubato in the Mozartean sense (‘let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth’), and further by sharply bringing out all requisite accents. This comprehensive treatment of the rhythm lent his interpretations firmness and, at the same time elasticity and freedom, where the exaggerated use of actual tempo rubato, that is to say change in the underlying pulse, leads to distortion, and the lack of sharp accentuation leads to vagueness, a fact of which even celebrated artists provide ample proof.” 
Joachim’s use of rubato extended to quartet playing, with the first violinist taking the lead in the Classical manner of Spohr. According to Ranken: “In long florid passages such as occur so often in slow movements of Haydn or Mozart quartets… above an accompaniment of quavers in the under parts, there seemed in Joachim’s playing to be no attempt at exact ‘ensemble’ between the two, that is to say the quavers, which in this case took on themselves the role of the ‘beat,’ moved along unconcernedly in strict time while the demi-semiquavers moved as unconcernedly up above, without any attempt to syncronise regularly with the beat…, but with free and gracious lines, only making sure to arrive at certain given points at the right moment and together.”  This manner of playing was emphasized by Joachim and his colleagues at the Berlin Hochschule as an essential part of musical artistry. “Not only were you ‘allowed’ this freedom from the beat,” declared Ranken, “but if you did not take it, you were at first looked upon as a novice who required instruction and later on as an unmusical person whom it was not worth instructing.” 
Joachim did not in principle oppose the judicious use of agogic rubato. According to Andreas Moser, he “frequently expressed himself on the topic of ‘freedom of shaping’ (‘Freiheit des Gestaltens’) with regard to rhythm, and in so doing liked to refer to Richard Wagner’s penetrating essay ‘On Conducting,’ with which he was thoroughly familiar. But he believed that Richard Wagner, with his advice and suggestions concerning the ‘modification of tempo,’ had not sufficiently emphasized moderation and restraint in the use of this means of expression. ‘Spohr was much more careful in his suggestions on the performance of his own works, published in his School of Violin Playing, and he grew to be the excellent conductor that he was later to become, so to speak, under Beethoven’s eyes, during the time that he was active in Vienna.’” 
As Wagner noted and he himself acknowledged, the freedom of Joachim’s playing reflects the influence of Liszt. Nevertheless, Andreas Moser traces Joachim’s use of rubato to Mendelssohn’s instruction, and Joachim claimed that his musical father “perfectly understood the management of time as a subtle means of expression.”  The lengthening of particular notes for emphasis, agogicaccent, was indeed characteristic of the Gewandhaus style under Mendelssohn,  and was among the devices that Joachim used liberally, as may be heard particularly in his recording of the Adagio of Bach’s G minor solo sonata. “If my memory is not very much at fault,” writes Ranken,” Joachim used this kind of accent quite freely. In his hands, however, it did not degenerate into a senseless habit.” 
Tovey, who often accompanied Joachim on the piano, speaks of his “largeness of rhythm” — the “the giving of full measure,” which is “a primary quality in all great art, both productive and reproductive, and in all great personality.” “But… it follows that to us, who are so much more accustomed to stiff rhythm and therefore take it as normal, true artistic rhythm always seems unexpectedly large for its pace. Taking players of real rhythmic power, it is astonishing to notice how, when they follow Dr Joachim’s reading of a work… they are forced to play actually slower than he does in order to produce an analogous impression of breadth and detail. If they tried to play at his pace their expression would become breathless and coarse.”  Klingler, who played in the Berlin Joachim Quartet, called attention to one way in which this was managed: Joachim’s predilection for entering early, to give a relaxed character to upbeat motives.  Ranken gives as an instance “the arpeggio triplet on which the solo violin floats up to the high A that begins the first theme of the Beethoven Concerto. One usually hears this played exactly on the last crotchet beat as written, but Klingler, who studied the concerto under Joachim, told me that Joachim always played the triplet broadly, deliberately borrowing what time he needed for this from the rest which precedes it and thus not in any way interfering with the tempo. Played so the triplet has the same serene character as the theme itself, and seems to belong to it, instead of appearing like a rather unhappy tag-end or a flimsy ladder put there only to enable the player to reach his high A in tune.” 
To Ranken, this “largeness of rhythm” — this “giving of full measure” — gave Joachim’s playing a retrospective quality, like “one looking backwards through a long vista of years, recalling things long ago felt deeply and subjectively and now made still more beautiful by the distance… Although in Joachim’s later years age may have fixed this deep retrospective attitude as a prevalent mood, one felt that the power to take this most impressive and mature of all long views must have been his much earlier, and that at all times his playing must have conveyed a sense of space and distance…” 
Joachim called his practice Freispielen — “free-playing” — a term that has wider implications than are generally understood by rubato.  His method of playing was true Freispielen — deliberately spontaneous in its conception. “One felt that it was the replica, the reproduction, which was being guarded against as perhaps the very lowest crime in art,” wrote Ranken. Joachim’s friend, Edward Speyer, remembered:
“It was astonishing, sometimes even amusing, to listen to his variations in interpretation. In a simple Haydn minuet, for instance, you would be particularly delighted by a characteristic rendering of a phrase; you looked forward to enjoying it again in the repeat and would then be pleasantly surprised to hear him play it differently but equally delightfully. I remember his playing with Leonard Borwick the great G major Violin Sonata of Beethoven, Op. 96. Borwick was on the watch for the shape of each phrase and turn which Joachim played, to echo it on the piano. But the next time the phrase recurred Joachim would make a subtle difference and Borwick had to change again. On the other hand, I often heard Joachim stop at rehearsals with his own colleagues and ask them almost naïvely whether they agreed with a turn he had given to a phrase.” 
It was the near universal judgment of Joachim’s contemporaries that his playing was characterized by the greatest of all artistic ideals: that which Pablo Casals called “freedom with order.” This is the true substance of classicism, and the sense of Joachim’s late-life reply to the “Proust questionnaire” poser:
“Your favorite composers?” “The masters of form who have lost nothing in depth of feeling or free flight of fantasy: our great masters.” 
III — Performer and Audience
The power of playing a thing perfectly familiar to him “as if he were playing it for the first time,” was a feature of Joachim’s playing which excited much comment and which none could miss who had ears to hear… [Yet this] does not absolutely describe my own personal impression of his performance. To me it seemed more like some one renewing the acquaintance of an old friend — a thing which always calls up deeper human feelings than does the meeting of an entire stranger. Or it was as if her were throwing open a chest full of precious possessions which have been carefully laid aside and half-forgotten and was now experiencing keen pleasure both in discovering new qualities in them and in displaying them to his friends. 
— Marion Bruce Ranken
Nearly a decade before he sketched Brahms, the Schumanns and Joachim in Düsseldorf, the artist Jean-Joseph Bonaventure Laurens received a visit from Franz Liszt at his studio in Montpellier. Laurens’ brother Jules recalled their meeting:
Laurens, who had heard of Liszt’s “piano acrobatics,” greeted him in a less than civil way: “You are reputed to be just as great a charlatan as you are a great artist.” Laurens drew his guest, and asked him to play a certain organ piece with obbligato pedal by Bach, the first of the volume of six fugues — the one in a minor — whose difficulties Liszt would certainly be able to master. Liszt: “Forthwith. How do you want it played?” Laurens: “What? — Now then, just as one must play it.” Liszt: “To begin, then, as I believe Bach would have understood it.” Liszt played wonderfully, perfection itself, and in a strictly classical style. Then Liszt continued: “Now a second time, the way I feel the work, somewhat more colorful and more flowing, in the modern spirit and with the tonal effects of an instrument that has been significantly perfected since the 17th century.” With these nuances, the fugue sounded no less grand. “And finally, a third time, as I would do as a charlatan, to amaze and astonish the public.” Liszt lit a cigar, held it now between his lips, now in one hand, performed the most unbelievable legerdemain and carried the pedal voice into the left hand. This way, too, the fugue sounded fabulous, and the good Laurens was won over. In bidding farewell, Liszt signed the sketch that Laurens had done of him: “Tel quel pour copie conforme. 13 août 1844. Montpellier. F. Liszt” 
One wonders if Laurens fully appreciated the remarkable lesson he had been given. The artist and musical amateur collected musical scores as he would drawings. For him, performance apparently meant simply the precise aural reproduction of the text, like the iteration of an etching: one played “just as one must play it.” In his ingenious and charming way, Liszt gradually widened the circle for Laurens, revealing three different points of view that a performer must consider — that of composer, interpreter and audience — all the while showing an admirable awareness of historical context. And, just so the lesson wouldn’t be lost, he signed Laurens’s sketch with the arch comment that the portrait was a true copy of its original.
“You are reputed to be just as great a charlatan as you are a great artist,” Laurens had said, and Liszt as much as admitted the possibility, at least as far as the greater public was concerned (and revealed the reality when it came to impressing the young protégé of his friend and rival Mendelssohn). According to Joachim’s colleague Ernst Rudorff, it was this element of showmanship in Liszt’s manner — his readiness to treat music as a fungible commodity of personality — his ability to ask “how do you want it played?” as casually as if he were asking “how do you like your eggs?” — his willingness, as he himself once said, to “string the piano differently for the public than for connoisseurs, in order to make an impression” — that ultimately occasioned the breach between the two erstwhile friends. “As proximate as their talents were,” wrote Rudorff, “so radically different were their characters. It was a short beguilement that both believed that they fundamentally belonged to one another; the paths that their deepest natures compelled them to take led them in diametrically opposite directions. Joachim once commented to me: ‘Even in the time of my greatest enthusiasm for Liszt, I never heard him play in such a way that, in the innermost corner of my being, the voice of conscience did not object.’ Later, when I reminded Joachim of this, he claimed: ‘I can’t have said that, because I know, for example, that Liszt, Cossmann and I played the B flat Major trio of Beethoven as beautifully as I have ever heard it in my life. To be sure, the three of us were making music quite alone. As soon as some woman appeared, it was naturally all over with artistic seriousness, and the theater began.’” 
The young American Amy Fay was one such admiring object of Liszt’s attention. “Liszt is a complete actor who intends to carry away the public, who never forgets that he is before it, and who behaves accordingly,” she wrote. “Joachim is totally oblivious of it. Liszt subdues the people to him by the very way he walks on to the stage. He gives his proud head a toss, throws an electric look out of his eagle eye, and seats himself with an air as much as to say, ‘Now I am going to do just what I please with you, and you are nothing but puppets subject to my will…’ Joachim, on the contrary, is the quiet gentleman-artist. He advances in the most unpretentious way, but as he adjusts his violin he looks his audience over with the calm air of a musical monarch, as much as to say, “I repose wholly on my art, and I’ve no need of any ways or manners.” In reality I admire Joachim’s principle the most, but there is something indescribably fascinating and subduing about Liszt’s willfulness. You feel at once that he is a great genius, and that you are nothing but his puppet, and somehow you take a delight in the humiliation!” 
In his late thirties, Liszt retired from what he described as “my traveling-circus life,” to devote himself to composing, teaching and spiritual matters, and to lead, from his staging ground in Weimar, his futuristic charge against what he called the “posthumous party” located a scant 80 miles away in Leipzig. At a similar age, Joachim, by contrast, gave up composing, except as an occasional occupation, to devote himself to teaching and performance, both of which became, for him, the vehicle for sharing his deepest spiritual joys and concerns. Joachim’s solo repertoire had always been limited, even for his time. It was in quartet playing that he found his true vocation.  He founded two quartets, and gave two concert series: one in London and one in Berlin. Perhaps the most significant was the series of quartet concerts that he gave over the course of nearly forty years in Berlin’s temple to musical Bildung, Schinkel’s chastely classical Singakademie — a favored gathering place for Berlin’s edified classes, hallowed through its association with the Mendelssohns and the Bach revival. To borrow Ysaÿe’s phrase, the concerts were “a sort of Bayreuth on a reduced scale, in which tradition was perpetuated and made beautiful and strong.” Like the salons of Joachim’s youth, the Joachim concerts were a haven — a secure public-private space that provided a spiritual oasis for Berliners in an otherwise contentious and mundane world.
In Art and Revolution, Wagner had written: “When the prince leaves a heavy dinner, the banker a fatiguing financial operation, the working man a weary day of toil, and goes to the theater, they ask for rest, distraction and amusement, and are in no mood for renewed effort and fresh expenditure of force. This argument is so convincing that we can only reply by saying: it would be more decorous to employ for this purpose any other thing in the wide world, but not the body and soul of Art.”  Those who attended the Joachim Quartet concerts were witnesses for the opposite proposition. Hans Joachim Moser’s description of the atmosphere surrounding those concerts is revealing of the audience’s attitudes and expectations:
“Whenever people entered the Berlin Singakademie for a Joachim Quartet soirée, they greeted one another in a cheerful and familiar way; all were mutually acquainted — indeed, they knew that all had been brought here for the same purpose: to pay homage to beauty. Joachim stood, his violin under his arm, in a corner of the thickly-occupied stage and conversed with this one or that; he chatted as though at home, and when he then walked to his music stand, it was as if he simply wanted to continue the conversation with his dear guests. There was nothing studied or calculated in his movements, when he quietly tuned his violin, when he dog-eared the corner of a page of music or polished his glasses. But then — a slight nod of the head — and he began. An inner excitement came over all of us, a sweet, intangible delight. He who arrived jaded from indifferent occupations or wearying work, was here refreshed; he who had lived frivolously or thoughtlessly was here stirringly admonished. He who had experienced sadness, who had lost that which was dear to him, received solace and comfort; the mourner smiled, the angry were quieted, and the faithless confessed: “I believe again!” 
The entire absence of the spirit of display at once made itself felt so that the listeners’ attention, like that of the players themselves, became almost wholly absorbed in the music alone,” wrote Marion Ranken. “There was something venerable and priestlike in the appearance of the four elderly men earnestly applying themselves to their task and one felt a reverent and almost religious spirit in their whole performance.  Edith Stargardt-Wolff concurred: “Words can hardly describe the reverential atmosphere of those quartet evenings in the Singakademie,” she wrote. “The audience listened to the quartet’s playing devoutly, like the congregation of a church. Even if one did not know one’s neighbors and those who were sitting nearby by name, one nevertheless felt united with them through regular encounters at this place which was consecrated to the noblest art.” 
The artist Adolph Menzel attended the Joachim Quartet concerts from the very beginning until his death on February 9, 1905. Edith Stargardt-Wolff recalled: “A concert of the Joachim Quartet was planned for the same evening. Joachim’s three partners had already seated themselves at their stands when Joachim appeared, mounting the ramp, and, with deepest seriousness, spoke these simple words: ‘Before we begin our program, we wish to play, in memory of the man whose seat is empty today for the first time, the Cavatina from Beethoven’s Opus 130, which he particularly loved.’ — Those present arose, and stood while they listened to the magnificent movement, which may never have been played or listened to with greater warmth of feeling than in that hour.” 
Joachim was a man who, in his most impressionable youth, breathed Mendelssohnian air — who imbibed the spirit of Bildung from its greatest prodigy. It was Mendelssohn’s project to use music in the furtherance of universalist social aims, attempting to create, through music, an organic social order in which individual expression and collective identity would be mutually stimulating and supportive. In the Joachim Quartet soirées in Mendelssohn’s beloved Singakademie, as in London, Mendelssohn’s spirit reigned under the auspices of his greatest disciple.
There was, in Joachim’s professional credo, a deeply-felt sense of connection — of covenant rooted in humility and respect. Joachim believed that the performer has a profound responsibility vis-à-vis the composer to portray his works honestly, with dignity, skill and personal sympathy. In bringing a work to life, he has the self-respecting freedom of his own feelings and intuitions, as well as the responsibility to speak his own convictions, sincerely and forthrightly. His covenant with his auditors was to treat them with the respect of a true friend; to regard them as a community — an audience and not a crowd — to throw open for them a chest full of precious possessions, and give them the best that he had to offer.
 Florence May, The Life of Johannes Brahms, (2 vols) London: William Reeves, n.d. (1905), vol. II, pp. 210-211.
 Robert Bridges sonnet: To Joseph Joachim
 Carl Flesch, The Art of Violin Playing, New York: Carl Fischer, 1930, pp. 74-75.
 Andreas Moser, Joseph Joachim: Ein Lebensbild, (2 vols.), Berlin: B. Behr’s Verlag, 1898, vol. II, pp. 343-344.
 Leopold Auer, Violin Playing as I Teach It, New York: Dover Publications, 1980, p. 208.
 Carl Flesch, op. cit., pp. 74-75.
 Wilhelm von Humboldt, Briefe an eine Freundin, Zweiter Theil, (5. Auflage), Leipzig: 1853, 61. Brief, pp. 291f.
 Andreas Moser, op. cit., vol.II, p. 225.
 Johannes Brahms, Des jungen Kreislers Schatzkästlein: Ausspruche von Dichtern, Philosophen und Künstlern, Carl Krebs (ed.), Berlin: Verlag des Deutschen Brahmsgesellschaft, 1909, p. 58.
 Auer op. cit., p. 6.
 Joachim Centenary Concert 1831-1907, Queen’s Hall, London, London: Ibbs & Tillett, July 14, 1931, p. 6.
 ibid., p. 8.
 Moritz Hauptmann, The Letters of a Leipzig Cantor, Being the Letters of Moritz Hauptmann to Franz Hauser, Ludwig Spohr, and Other Musicians, (2 vols.), Alfred Schöne and Ferdinand Hiller (eds.), A. D. Coleridge (trans.), London: Novello Ewer and Co., 1892, vol. II, p. 167.
 Ibid. II, p. 275.
 Quoted in Robin Stowell, Beethoven: Violin Concerto, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. 36.
 Quoted ibid. pp. 37-38.
 Conversation with Eleonore Schoenfeld.
 Flesch, op. cit., p. 69.
 Ray Monk, Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius, New York: The Free Press, 1990, p. 6.
 Berthold Litzmann, Clara Schumann: Ein Künstlerleben, Leipzig: Breitkopf und Härtel, 1920, vol. II, p. 112.
 Andreas Moser, op. cit., vol. I, p. 76.
 Johannes Joachim and Andreas Moser (eds.), Briefe von und an Joseph Joachim, (3 vols.), Berlin: Julius Bard, 1911-1913, vol. I, p. 443.
 Berthold Litzmann, op. cit., vol. II, p. 278.
 Carl Reineke, Erlebnisse und Bekenntnisse: Autobiographie eines Gewandhauskapellmeisters, Doris Mundus (ed.), Leipzig: Lehmstedt Verlag, 2005, pp. 261-262.
 “I am completely cold [unzugänglich] to your music,” he wrote to Liszt. “It contradicts everything which from early youth I have taken as mental nourishment from the spirit of our great masters. Were it possible to imagine that I could ever be robbed of, that I should ever have to relinquish, that which I have learned to love and honor in their creations, that which I feel to be music, your sounds would not fill for me any of the vast and annihilating desolation.” [Johannes Joachim and Andreas Moser (eds.), Briefe von und an Joseph Joachim,op. cit., vol. I, p. 442.]
 Karl Klingler, “Über die Grundlagen des Violinspiels” und nachgelassene Schriften, Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag, 1990, p. 96.
 Richard Wagner, Über das Dirigieren, in: Richard Wagner: Dichtungen und Schriften (Dieter Borchmeyer, ed.), Frankfurt am Main: Insel Verlag, 1983, vol. VIII, p. 212.
 Carl Flesch, op. cit., p. 69.
 M[arion]. [Bruce] R[anken]., Some Points of Violin Playing and Musical Performance as learnt in the Hochschule für Musik (Joachim School) in Berlin during the time I was a Student there, 1902-1909, Edinburgh: Privately Printed, 1939. I am indebted to Dr. Dietmar Schenk for help in ascertaining the author’s identity. Other important sources on Joachim’s playing are the essays of Donald Francis Tovey and Karl Klingler.
 Ranken, op. cit., p. 50.
 ibid., p. 54.
 Karl Klingler, op. cit., p. 1.
 Ranken, op. cit., p. 23.
 ibid., p. 23.
 Carl Flesch, Erinnerungen eines Geigers, 2., Durchgesehene Auflage, Zürich: Atlantis Verlag, 1960, p. 33.
 Ranken, op. cit., pp. 12-13.
 Ranken, op. cit., p. 16.
 Jelly d’Aranyi, for example, recalled her “Onkel Jo’s” advice: “Never too much vibrato!” he said, “That’s circus music.” [Joseph Macleod, The Sisters d’Aranyi, Boston: Crescendo Publishing Company, 1972, p. 48.]
 Ranken, op. cit., p. 13.
 ibid., p. 41.
 Andreas Moser, Geschichte des Violinspiels: Zweite verbesserte und ergänzte Auflage von Hans-Joachim Nösselt, (2 vols.), Tutzing: Schneider, 1967, vol. II, p. 268.
 The term is Sandra P. Rosenblum’s, from her Performance Practices in Classic Piano Music, Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1988.
 “What these people cannot grasp is that in tempo rubato, in an Adagio, the left hand should go on playing in strict time. With them the left hand always follows suit.” — W. A. Mozart, 1777, quoted ibid., p. 379.
 Bernhard Scholz, Verklungene Weisen: Erinnerungen von Bernhard Scholz, Mainz: Jos. Scholz, 1911, p. 127.
 Sam Franko, Chords and Discords: Memoirs and Musings of an American Musician, New York: The Viking Press, 1938, p. 20.
 Richard Hohenemser, Joseph Joachim * 28. Juni 1831 zu Kittsee, + 15. August 1907 in Berlin, Die Musik, Vol. 23, No. 9 (June, 1931), pp. 641-644. In a 1905 essay, J. A. Fuller-Maitland observed: “The moulding of [Joachim’s] phrases, as it may be called, is inimitable, for it consists of slight modifications of the strict metronomic value of the notes, together with slight variations of power such as no marks of expression could convey. “Elasticity” is the word which best expresses the effect of his delivery of some characteristic themes; as in a perfect rubato there is a feeling of resilience, of rebound, in the sequence of the notes, a constant and perfect restoration of balance between pressure and resistance taking place, as an indiarubber ball resumes its original shape after being pressed. Compared with this kind of subtIe modification, the phrasing of many players who lack a keen sense of rhythm, but who wish to play in a free style, suggests the same pressure when applied to a lump of dough; the slackening of pace is here made up by no acceleration in another place as it is with the great artists. It is, perhaps, this subjection to the real laws of rhythm that makes Joachim an extraordinarily easy player to accompany; one seems to know what he is going to do before he does it, and the notes of his phrases seem to follow a natural curve which, once started, must pursue an inevitable course.” [J. A. Fuller Maitland, Joseph Joachim, London & New York: John Lane, 1905, pp. 26-29.] Pace Fuller-Maitland, it should be noted that Joachim’s playing was not always considered easy to accompany. “To play with the ‘old man’ is damned difficult,” one of his partners told Julius Levin. “Always a different tempo and different accents…” [Die Musik, Vol 18, No. 10 (July, 1926), p. 746.]
 Ranken, op. cit., p. 79.
 ibid., p. 76.
 Andreas Moser, Geschichte des Violinspiels, op. cit., p. 268.
 Joachim and Moser, Violinschule, Berlin: Simrock, 1905, vol.III, p. 228.
 Henry F. Chorley on the Gewandhaus Orchestra: “Then those small aggravations of emphasis, those slight retardations of time, neither finically careful nor fatiguingly numerous, — for which Imagination thirsts so eagerly, so rarely to be gratified, — were all given; and with such ease and nature, that I felt the gift was no holiday effort, got up for once, but the staple mode of interpretation and execution to the place.” [Henry F. Chorley, Music and Manners in France and Germany: a series of travelling sketches of Art and Society, London: Longman Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1844, vol. III,pp. 103-104.]
 Ranken, op. cit., p. 78.
 Donald Francis Tovey, The Classics of Music: Talks, Essays, and other Writings Previously Uncollected, Michael Tilmouth (ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001, p. 644. Tovey’s essays provide many interesting and nuanced explanations of Joachim’s style, too numerous to be included here.
 See also: Klingler, op. cit., p. 96.
 Ranken, op. cit.,p. 129.
 ibid., pp. 102-103.
 “The literal translation ‘free play,’ or ‘playing,’ does not convey all that was meant by this word… The word ‘Rubato’… is apt, on the other hand, to convey a meaning which was often not intended at all when ‘freispielen’ was spoken of, i.e. a special kind of ‘free playing,’ sudden and emotional, which is more often associated with a Chopin Mazurka or a Hungarian Dance, than with Beethoven or Mozart.” [Ranken, op. cit., p. 67.]
 Edward Speyer, My Life and Friends, London: Cobden-Sanderson, 1937, pp. 181-182.
 Julius Rodenberg: Zur Erinnerung an Joseph Joachim, Deutsche Rundschau CXXV, (May, 1908), p. 229.
 Ranken, op. cit.,p. 47.
 J. Marcelle Herrmann, J. B. Laurens’ Beziehungen zu deutschen Musikern, Schweitzerische Musikzeitung CV (1965), pp. 257-266.
 MS transcript: Brahms-Institut Lübeck ABH 6.3.106.
 Amy Fay, Music-Study in Germany, from the Home Correspondence of Amy Fay, Mrs. Fay Pierce (ed.), New York: MacMillan, 1896, pp. 269-270.
 His quartet repertoire was comparatively large. In the course of its existence, the Berlin Joachim Quartet’s repertoire included compositions by: Bargiel, Beethoven, Berger, Brahms, Cherubini, d’Albert, Dittersdorf, Dohnányi, Dvorak, Gade, Gernsheim, Haydn, von Herzogenberg, Kahn, Kiel, Klughardt, Mendelssohn, Mozart, von Perger, Prince Reuss, Rubinstein, Scholz, Schrattenholz, Schubert, Schumann, Spohr, Stanford, Taubert, Vierling and Volkmann. [See: Ivan Mahaim, Beethoven: Naissance et Renaissance des Derniers Quatours, Paris: Desclee de Brouwer, 1964, vol. I, p. 276.]