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Celebrate 'BFFs' Brahms and Tchaikovsky with a Birthday Gift to WWFM

We're celebrating the birthdays of Brahms and Tchaikovsky today - and hope that you will join us in membership, either by becoming a new member, renewing your membership or making an additional donation. Think of it as a birthday gift to all the great composers out there, past and present. And when you donate, you can cast your vote for your favorite of these two titans of the Romantic era.

Brahms and Tchaikovsky were totally B.F.F. – Best Frenemies Forever.

The latter famously confided to his diary, “I have played over the music of that scoundrel Brahms. What a giftless bastard!”

And that’s only the short version.

The two shared the same birthday, May 7 (Brahms born in 1833 and Tchaikovsky in 1840). Unfortunately, that was about all they had in common – Brahms, the great classicist among Romantics, and Tchaikovsky, always heart-on-the-sleeve.

Or so they thought, until the two met on New Year’s Day, in 1888. Surprise! They actually delighted in one another’s company. There was much drinking and backslapping and drinking and hanging on one another’s shoulders and drinking and happy tears and drinking. (Of course, all this took place in spite of Brahms falling asleep during a rehearsal of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.) In fact, they liked one another so well, they decided to do it again.

However, the two never could reconcile themselves to one another’s music. After a lovely evening with Brahms, during which both men drank and smoked prodigiously, while Adolph Brodsky (the violinist who had introduced Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto) rehearsed with some friends a Brahms piano trio, Mrs. Brodsky asked Tchaikovsky what he had thought of the piece.

“Don’t be angry with me, my dear friend,” he said, “but I did not like it.”

Happy birthday, boys!

We'll be happy to thank you for  your contribution with a number of wonderful thank-you gifts - choose from the following selection of Brahms and Tchaikovsky CDs, or for a $235 donation, you'll get all 8 CDs and our 35th Anniversary Tote Bag! Call 1-888-232-1212 or donate online. Thank you for being a member of The Classical Network! And when you make your donation, don't forget to vote for your favorite - Brahms or Tchaikovsky.

Rachel Katz is the host of A Tempo which airs Saturdays at 7 pm.