Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 May 2019
It is difficult to overestimate the importance of private musical activity as a testing ground, a compositional setting and, indeed, as a pleasurable activity for Brahms. ‘Private music-making’ deserves a word of explanation first, since private spaces were not always in the home, performers were not always amateurs and repertoire was not strictly divided according to public or private consumption. While Brahms was clearly often concerned to write music suitable for amateur performers, such repertoire was not automatically excluded from the concert platform as a result. Indeed, since the public lied recital was an innovation during his lifetime, some of the pieces which had previously found readier advocates in the domestic space were pushed further into the limelight thanks to pioneering programmers such as Gustav Walter and Amalie Joachim [see Ch. 19 ‘Singers’].