1. Che Johannes, populist of the Hungarian Dance. <><>At the head of each of the chapters of my classical-music murder mystery, I put composers’ quotations. For Brahms (and I don’t remember the book I took it from): after a particularly unsocial party, he’s supposed to have said on leaving, “A thousand pardons if there’s anyone I haven’t insulted tonight.”

  2. Bill: I missed it. But I did see them perform “Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen” as a tribute to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson a couple summers ago, so I can kind of imagine.Alex: No passing fifths, at any rate.Robert: That quote was actually invented by Brahms’ friend, the Viennese wit Béla Haas—but the fact that it <>seems<> so true is a testament to Haas’s perspicacity. (It sounds like something Kalbeck’s biography would have passed off as fact.)

  3. Dang. I’ll have to fix that. <><>This is one of those stories Slonimsky loved to debunk (while he had a good time giving birth to others). Reminds me of another one, W.C. Fields’ “Any man who hates kids and dogs can’t be all bad” … which I think was actually said *about* Fields by Leo Rosten.

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