10. Wiesbaden: Footsteps of Brahms Hike
The hike follows the footsteps of Brahms in the surroundings of Wiesbaden, in forest and meadow idylls, and traces the composer in the interrelationship of composing and nature, society and urban life. One of the most important and influential composers of the second half of the 19th century, Brahms composed a remarkable number of choral, orchestral, organ and chamber works. He also created numerous piano pieces and exercises for piano players. His works are mainly assigned to the Romantic era. He regularly spent summers in Wiesbaden and was close friends with Clara and Robert Schumann. The composer loved fresh air and scenic areas and was a great lover of nature. Living on the ground floor or on a slope, at the edge of a forest or park, armed with a silent keyboard and a notebook, Johannes Brahms began his daily work. Summer residences with attractive landscapes were popular with him, including Wiesbaden. He appreciated sociability, but also the originality of nature. Short-sighted and bare-headed, with trouser legs that were too short and in shirt sleeves, he walked briskly on his nature hiking and composing paths - paths and routes in the vicinity of Wiesbaden, where he was drawn by the charms of nature, the rustling of the trees, sun and water, the scents surrounded by flowers and trees with wide views. Why did he go out as a composer? Didn't musicians, artists and writers find their inspiration in nature? Does a craftsman unnecessarily exchange his workshop for being outside in nature? Brahms says: "...there is no work without hard work..." The unrest of the city drove him out into solitude, the sociability lured him. At the age of 14 he was already working as a song accompanist and piano teacher… Brahms only allowed completed works to speak. Only late did he become friends with symphonic works. Some of his symphonies are not easy to access. Clara Schumann raved about his third symphony, which he wrote in the summer of 1883: "...How one is enveloped in the mysterious magic of forest life from beginning to end!...I would like to call it a forest idyll...that one feels completely spun in everything the delights of nature". Dedicated to Wiesbaden, the work could also be described as the “national anthem of Wiesbaden”.