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Brahms, Johannes (1833-1897) composer and pianist
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Letter from Sophie Weisse to R. C. Trevelyan

93, High Street, Knaphill, Woking. - Is getting ever more anxious about Donald [Tovey]; claims the many illnesses he has had recently 'derive from Lady Tovey' and is sorry John [Wellcome Tovey] is there; Lady Tovey has also stopped Donald's Edinburgh doctor [Robert Thin?] from coming. Says the doctor knows, as she does that Lady Tovey 'does not speak the truth'; her 'jealousy amounts to insanity'; when she was young and was jealous of the other girls 'she hid under the table and bit their legs'. When Donald escorted Sophie Weisse to the door and gave her a kiss on her first visit to the Royal Terrace house, his wife 'howled like a wolf and slammed the doors until the house shook'. On Sunday, Donald's Norfolk doctor, Corbett, came to see Miss Weisse against her wishes; she 'went into peals of laughter' and repeatedly assured him she had 'not the slightest confidence in him'. John writes today that they are waiting for Trevelyan's 'Austrian doctor' [Karl Bluth, actually German?] to make plans for Donald. Thinks well of the Viennese medical school, but demands to know who the doctor is, and what his qualifications are. Remembers that a lady she met recently at a wedding told her what a reputation Donald had in Vienna as a player, alongside people such as Joachim and Mandyczewski, and 'that Brahms when he was dying hoped Donald would come so that he might hear him before he died'. Says she 'must' see the doctor first, and will be at Hedenham when he comes; 'unless he comes here and entirely satisfies [her] - which seems hardly probable' she will do all she can 'to put him out of court'. Is thinking of coming to see Trevelyan tomorrow if he does not bring the doctor to her.

Letter from G. H. Lewes to Edmund Gurney

Explains that Gurney's 'seductive invitation' has arrived just as he is recovering from an attack of gout, and adds that his wife [Marian: George Eliot] is still ill. States that he would be delighted to [ ] his Cambridge experiences at the end of May, suggesting the 30th of that month. Hopes to see Gurney many times before that. Reports that the previous day he was at the rehearsal of the 'Brahms and Joachim pieces', which, he laments he cannot [leave/have] at Cambridge.

Lewes, George Henry (1817-1878) writer

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

93, High Street, Knaphill, Woking. - Bessie's letter arrived just in time: would have started for Norwich tomorrow if had not come. The description of the doctor [Karl Bluth] sounds much like that of Adolf Schott, her doctor at Nauheim for 'some years after his justly very famous father [Theodor Schott?] died' and has now come to practise in Wimpole Street.; he is 'quite a good doctor' and studied every winter in Vienna and she thinks London, but she feels 'more Arisch [Aryan] of late' and has had some good spells at a nursing home in Nauheim. Has sometimes wondered whether Donald [Tovey] has diabetes; thinks probably not and the two 'very distinguished doctors in Bath were right'. Repeats the story she heard from a lady musician, who used to live in Vienna, last Saturday about Brahms 'longing' to hear Donald before he died. Sorry to say that when she saw the Hedenham doctor [Corbett] she 'burst into peals of laughter'; Bessie's letter gives her hope they will 'get a move on now'; she 'must certainly see [Dr Bluth]'.

Letter from Donald Tovey to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Northlands, Englefield Green, Surrey. - Ariadne ["The Bride of Dionysus"] is 'a joy' to Tovey; has tried it on 'several unprejudiced people' who all confirm his impression that it is a beautiful poem. 'The poet' [Bob Trevelyan] over-rates Tovey's role in it: this is only 'practical & prosaic and mechanical', and Tovey has as much right to praise it as [Joseph] Joachim has to praise the D minor concerto of Brahms. No 'greater proof of originality than the ability to act on external interferences'. Thinks it a totally unique opera. Trevelyan must not 'despoil his other works in this'; cites the bracketed passages in the last act which come from "Polyphemus". Sends 'veneration' to Paul.

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

The Park, Prestwich, Manchester. - Anxious to hear what Elizabeth has decided [about treatment carried out or advised by Dr Scharlieb]; hopes she has managed to arrange a room in the Home. Joined Annie [Philips] on Friday at Leeds 'where she had quite a party of relations' and made everything 'quite comfortable at the hotel' for them. Went to a concert in the evening, and the morning performance on Saturday; will send Elizabeth the concert program. The Brahms and the 'Russian music' were very interesting. and Elgar's "[Enigma] Variations" 'curious & amusing', if music can be described in that way. On Saturday, there was a 'very fine Bach cantata' and Beethoven's Mass in D. The chorus at Leeds is 'wonderful', and she thought 'the Band splendid'. [Joseph] Joachim was there, and his solo violin part was 'lovely', show she could not see him or the other performers because of the 'rows of hats'. Came to the Park on Saturday afternoon, and spent a quiet Sunday with Annie; is going to Welcombe this afternoon, then returning home [to Wallington] on Thursday. Asks what news there is of the book [Robert's "Polyphemus and Other Poems". Thinks Sir George and Miss Martin 'are getting on all right'.

Letter from Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven to R. C. Trevelyan

10 Prinsegracht, the Hague; addressed to Bob at the Mill House, Westcott, Dorking, Surrey. - Is drying her hair by the fire. Has been to the oculist to discuss her spectacles. Received Bob's letter enclosing the note from his aunt [Margaret Price]; will ask her sister Mien for advice on a piano when she comes tonight for [her husband] Rontgen's concert; it is a very kind present; agrees that they ought to get an upright. Has finished "Villette" and enjoyed it very much, more than "Jane Eyre" and "Shirley"; discusses it briefly; has now got "Wuthering Heights" from the library. Had a very nice letter from Booa [Mary Prestwich], saying it was a pleasure to see Bob 'really in love'. Asks for the measurements of Bob's dining table and the door of her 'little room'. Returns to the letter next morning after practising the violin. This afternoon Mr Kattendijke is coming to play a Mozart sonata with her and try the Brahms songs. The concert last night was 'delightful'; wishes Bob could have heard Messhaert sing; Röntgen was also very good. Sat with her sister and discussed Bob's aunt's offer of a piano; Mien said she knows Broadwood's are excellent pianos, and that Bob's aunts 'professional friend' could be trusted to choose an instrument; it is not like choosing a violin, where each instrument is an individual; Mien suggested they ask for an upright to be replaced by a grand when they have space, as one was offered, but does not know if they can ask Mrs Price for this. Glad Bob feels hopeful about the play. Saw the 'tall doctor of the Swedish Institute' last night at the concert; hadn't seen him since 'the time when his appearance always gave [her] a little thrill' but it did not make any impression on her at all.

Letter from Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven to R. C. Trevelyan

10 Prinsegracht, the Hague'; addressed to Bob at The Mill House, Westcott, Dorking, Surrey. - Sorry that Bob has a cold; he should 'choose a better way of showing [his] sympathy' with her. Discussion of comforting and sharing things with each other. Bob will have received her uncle's letter; thinks he is right to advise waiting to write to Sir Henry Howard [British ambassador to the Netherlands] until they hear from 'the Paris oracle' [Mr Barclay; see 9/40]. Hopes Bob has a good Easter with his friends; he must decide whether to go to Salisbury Plain rather than Borrowdale [for their honeymoon] as she does not know either place, and just wants the place to be 'retired from tourists... real country'. Describes Bob's enthusiasm for Flaubert and a performance by him from "La vision de St. Antoine" while they were sitting by the edge of a wood. Charming of [Bob's brothers] Charles and George to think of giving them a box to hold music. Spent a long time yesterday working on her will; it will be almost the same as her sister's. Will go to Amsterdam on Saturday if her cold is better to hear a Brahms chamber concert and have another lesson [with Bram Eldering]. Has read a great deal of "Wuthering Heights"; it is 'tremendously fierce & powerful'. Asks whether Bob has copies of certain books, if so she will leave them behind or give them to someone. The Boers have suffered a great loss with the death of Joubert; asks what the feeling is about it in England. Has had to order more photographs of Bob as she has given so many away. Scolds him for not spelling the name of the place where he lives correctly.

Letter from Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven to R. C. Trevelyan

13 Sarphatikade, Amsterdam; addressed to Bob at The Mill House, Westcott, Dorking, Surrey. - Is writing from the Rontgens' house; is staying another night in Amsterdam and going to dinner with great friends of theirs. The Brahms concert last night was 'delightful'; there will also be music tonight. Had a good lesson this morning with Eldering; stayed on afterwards to see his wife, 'such a nice woman', and their child; Eldering strongly advised her to take lessons with [Johann] Kruse, to whom he will give her an introduction; they will also give her an introduction to their friends the Elders, a very musical family in London; seems Eldering also knows Charles [Trevelyan's?] friend [William?] Shakespeare the singer. All the Röntgens are well and send love; she will now go and play with Johannes, who is 'such a darling'. Dreamt last night she and Bob were having their first breakfast at the Mill House after their honeymoon.

Continues the letter next day, when she has returned to the Hague; very much enjoyed her dinner with the Röntgens' friends last night; felt like her 'last plunge into what is the nicest & best of... home life'; does not think she will have anything like that again, and recognises that she is talking as Bob was about Greece [see 9/40]. Found her alone when she returned and, perhaps because of the contrast with the Röntgen spirit, felt 'chilled and stiffened'; always a struggle not to see 'the tragic side of things in this house'; it would in some ways be good for her uncle and aunt to have 'lots of young people about them', though it would give them 'endless worry & fuss'. Had a very nice letter from Bob's mother.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Hôtel Bellevue, Bad Nauheim, Germany. - Thinks there has been a problem with the dispatch of Julian's picture book: asks Bessie to let her know if it has not arrived. Is sending another copy to 'Durchläuchting's' [sic: Durchlauting, or Serene Highness: Eydua Scott Elliott, née Odescalchi] little daughter, Aydua Scott Elliott. Tells Bessie off for paying for the Trevelyans' stay at the Wheatsheaf at her invitation; Margaret Parratt has a bag with the money which must be returned, so Bessie must not talk of washing bills for 'that wretched Donald [Tovey]' who has not yet written to her. Nonsense that Donald's compositions and operas ["The Bride of Dionysus"] prevent him writing: she is 'smothered' under many tomes by letters of Wagner and Brahms, 'quite prolific if undistinguished composers', and if she does not receive regular news from Donald she will come home as it is 'no use spending a fortune here just to be cross and desolate'. A postscript asks what has happened about 'Mr Hilary [sic] Belloc': hopes the matter has not been neglected; also asks Bessie to tell Donald she never got the Northlands programmes he promised, which they must have.