Brahms vs. Wagner
Mid-19th century Germany saw one of classical music’s most notable rifts: the War of the Romantics. Progressive composers favored program music that told some kind of story. Traditionalists believed that music shouldn’t have to be “about” anything. The stylistic differences are typified in the music of progressive Wagner and conservative Brahms. Their relationship started as an amiable one, but Wagner grew to dislike Brahms’s guts — going so far as to demand that Brahms return a gifted manuscript of Tannhauser. Full story.
James Bennett, II (WQXR) / November 21, 2016