Joachim, Joseph. (1831–1907)
Autograph Letter, Regretting He Cannot Perform Brahms' Double Concerto
Autograph letter from the important violinist and Brahms collaborator to the Viennese impresario Albert Gutmann, regretting that he cannot perform Brahms' double concerto as requested, because of his many commitments, and hoping to arrange a performance the following year. Amsterdam, January 27, [ca. 1890's]. 1 p. Translated from the German: "Dear Herr Gutmann! You make me very sad, always having to say 'no' to such attractive offers (now the Brahms Double Concerto!). I am engaged to play in London on February 13, and to stay there until around Easter. In the week between April 1 and 7, I am committed in Brussels, Antwerp and Liège, and after that the exams begin in Berlin, where I am also traveling tomorrow after 3 successful weeks [...] in order to work there until I go to England. So, God willing, next year! With best thanks for your kind words, yours, Joseph Joachim." Some light toning and one spot of soiling; overall fine. 4.5 x 7 inches (11.4 x 18 cm).
The Double Concerto was Brahms' final work for orchestra, composed in the summer of 1887, and first performed on 18 October of that year in Gürzenich in Cologne by cellist Robert Hausmann and Brahms' old but estranged friend, the violinist Joseph Joachim. The concerto was, in part, a gesture of reconciliation towards Joachim, after their long friendship had ruptured following Joachim's divorce from his wife Amalie. (Brahms had sided with Amalie in the dispute.) The concerto makes use of the musical motif A–E–F, a permutation of F–A–E, which stood for a personal motto of Joachim, Frei aber einsam ("free but lonely").