composer feuds: a thread
alternate title: roasted beef shared between the composers under the warm enchanting moonlight in a candle lit dinner with a rose between them ; a thread (thank u ave)
brahms v. liszt: the two split the music world in half due to writing styles. brahms and his camp evoked mozart and haydn, whereas liszt and his camp innovated to make a new sound. their feud was not solely because of their individual sounds, they also did not like each other.
(cont.) brahms fell asleep at the premiere of liszt’s piano sonata in b minor, and liszt called brahms’ music “hygienic, but unexciting”
brahms v. tchaikovsky: not only did tchaikovsky call brahms a “giftless bastard” but he also said brahms was a “conceited mediocrity [that] is regarded as a genius”. brahms never reached the same level of hatred as tchaikovsky, but he did fall asleep at the premier of tchaik 5.
(cont.) tchaikovsky wrote in a letter to his patroness, “what would i say to [brahms]? ... i would have to tell him this: ‘herr brahms! i consider you to be a very untalented person, full of pretensions but utterly devoid of creative inspiration. i rate you very poorly and...
...indeed I simply look down upon you.’”
however, upon finally meeting in person, tchaikovsky did not say any of this. in fact, he was endeared by brahms despite himself. after meeting, tchaikovsky never attacked brahms with the same viciousness.
debussy v. ravel: debussy mentored ravel but as ravel became more popular, their relationship started to strain. in 1910, the composers ended their friendship but no one is quite sure why. debussy was offended when ravel did not keep his strung quartet the same...
...and implemented changes suggested by fauré. ravel also financially supported debussy’s wife after he left her for his mistress. ravel didn’t understand why the feud came to be, but figured it was for the best.
stravinsky v. prokofiev: it is hard to describe the relationship between these two. they were cordial and prokofiev was likely influenced by stravinsky, but envy soiled an otherwise good relationship. they competed over support of collaborators and did not hesitate... give each other scathing criticism. prokofiev told stravinsky that there was no music in the opening to the firebird. after the premiere of prokofiev’s opera, the love for three oranges, prokofiev played the score for stravinsky, who hated it. he said prokofiev...
...was “wasting time composing operas”. prokofiev responded that stravinsky “was in no position to lay down a general artistic direction, since he is himself not immune to error” and stravinsky reportedly got “incandescent with rage”.
prokofiev said that event nearly “came to blows and were separated only with difficulty”. their relationship was never quite repaired and stravinsky remained critical of prokofiev.
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