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‘War of the Romantics’ at heart of Brahms play

Citizen Staff Writer



The very nature of music’s aesthetic lies at the core of “Beloved Brahms,” the latest presentation of Chamber Music Plus Southwest.

Visiting guest artist Edward Herrmann (“The Gilmore Girls,” several different productions as Franklin D. Roosevelt) will take the role of 19th century academic musicologist and critic Eduard Hanslick. The script was written by CMPSouthwest co-founder and cellist Harry Clark.

Before the age of radio and television, actual ideas were often discussed in debates that could became rather heated contests. One of these was the “War of the Romantics,” as cultural history recalls it – a 19th century battle between enthusiasts for the absolute beauty of Brahms’ music and others who championed the energetic feelings expressed by Richard Wagner, who confidently called his sound the “Music of the Future.”

Early in Hanslick’s writing career he supported Wagner but later favored Brahms, coming to believe that pure and true music only descended from the lineage of Mozart, Beethoven and Schumann. Wagner responded by calling Hanslick a Jew.

Wagner the modernist thought the traditional music forms of fugues, sonatas and symphonies had become obsolete. He believed a new form of music was needed in order for contemporary truths of the new century to be revealed.

Joining Clark and Herrmann on stage is pianist and CMPSouthwest co-founder Sanda Schuldmann to perform selections pertinent to the text. Their program will include pieces by Dvorak, Schubert, Liszt, Schumann and Cherubini, as well as Brahms and Wagner.

Herrmann stars in ‘War of the Romantics’


What: Chamber Music Plus Southwest presents “Beloved Brahms” by Harry Clark

When: 3 p.m. Sunday

Where: Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd.

Price: $35, with discounts to subscribers

Info: 400-5439, www.chambermusicplus.org

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