The Fleeing of Sorrow by Ken Myers

Column: From Heavenly Harmony

The Fleeing of Sorrow

by Ken Myers

In January of 1865, in Hamburg, Christiane Brahms suffered a stroke. Her youngest son, Fritz, immediately sent off a telegram to his brother, then living and working in Vienna, urging him to return home. Shortly before Johannes Brahms got to his mother's bedside, she died. Deeply stricken, the 32-year-old Brahms was suddenly faced with the tasks of arranging for her funeral and assuring that other family members were cared for.

He eventually returned to Vienna and his musical life, but at this time, Brahms's reputation as a significant composer had not yet been confirmed. His ambitious . . .