Widmungen, Werke, Weggefährten
The exhibition with the subtitle "Beziehungszauber. Dedications, works, companions" shows the composer Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) in his diverse relationships with friends and colleagues from his immediate surroundings. It presents important exhibits from the Brahms collection in Lübeck, including valuable music manuscripts, busts, prints, letters and photographs. The director of the Brahms-Institut, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Sandberger: "The interplay of the exhibits creates a dynamic image of Brahms for the visitor, which takes on new and surprising contours through the view of his network."
The exhibition focuses on compositions dedicated to the composer by his closest friends (Joseph Joachim, Clara Schumann) and honored colleagues (Johann Strauss, Hans Huber, Carl Reinthaler, etc.), works that reflect Brahms: often, the dedicated works refer to preferred genres or popular compositions of Brahms, as for example his Ungarischen Tänze WoO 1 or Walzer op. 39. Key graphic works like Max Klinger’s Brahms-Phantasie were also included in the show.
The magic of relationships finally culminated in the subject »Brahms and Women«. The bachelor Brahms collected photographs of women in portrait and visiting card format. The Brahms-Institut also presented various Brahms busts in the late 19th century conservatory at Villa Brahms: from the naturalistic portraits of Tilgner and Küchler, that were made during Brahms’ lifetime, to the idiosyncratic solutions of Arno Breker and Milan Knobloch, created in the late twentieth century.
The exhibition was linked to the Lübeck research project »Brahms gewidmet« (»Dedicated to Brahms«), generously supported by the Possehl-Stiftung. This project was focused on the evaluation of 100 compositions dedicated to Brahms during his lifetime: as an honor or in friendship.