A Sad Dream of Innocence
In the case of Johannes Brahms, everything is connected, the life story, the artistic career, the events, the person and the music. It may seem as if a hidden pattern governed his movements – his personality, his talent and his ambitions were uniquely in harmony. A close connection is attempted also in the narrative strategy of this book. Surely it is more overtly chronological than any of my previous biographies. In his own time Brahms' very complex personality gave all a hard time figuring out what he was thinking and feeling, thus making it unusually tempting to consider why and how such a genius could emerge among low class people in Hamburg's harbor district, and what might have conditioned this. A temptation no biographer could or should renounce.