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Who'd win in the fight between Brahms and Mendelssohn?

Stephen  Fine

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I'm serious. It's an ongoing debate that I have with some of my friends. This isn't just on physical strength... assume they're fighting a full scale war on a man to man basis... Judge physical strength, musical ability, mental acuity, sense of humour... everything. Assume they are both 44.5 years old. Let the games begin!

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Lymond, get real. You and your friends debate over this? That is utterly absurd. Any thinking man would realize that Brahms would kick Felix' Butt. Read on:

If they are 44 years old, Felix would have been dead for many years, Even I could beat up a dead guy.

Brahms was probably pushing 220 pounds, Felix would weigh in at 140 tops.

Felix was a rich kid, Brahms once played in a brothel, and probably broke up dozens of drunken customers fighting.

Check out the beard on Brahms. If he was alive today he would be playing Keyboards for ZZTop in biker bars in Alabama. Or possibly with the Allman Brothers or Molly Hatchet.

Felix wrote music for " A Midsummers Night Dream", about fairies. Brahms wrote " We gotta fight.. for the right.. to party", which was later covered by the Beastie Boys.

Brahms also wrote " I'm too sexy for my shirt", which was lost for many years until the group "Right Said Fred" discovered it in a music library in Dinkensbuhl, Germany.

Johannes= John. John Wayne

Felix= Felix. Felix Unger

Lets see:

Wayne and Felix Unger? The Duke would have him for Breakfast, and even if Oscar Madison joined in, the Duke would give them such a pounding that Murray the Cop would have to run and hide, and maybe even run as far as Milwaukee so he can hide behind the Fonz.

I can see Felix talkin to Brahms:" You,Sir, are a Scoundrel and a Rapscallion, and I want perchance enjoy to engage in fisticuffs with you in the clearing outside, Sir".

Then Brahms would shout back, in his best DeNiro impression: " You talking to me? ARE YOU TALKIN TO ME?"

Brahms=1. Felix=0. Case closed.

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I don't know....what kind of war are they fighting? Physical combat? Fist fight or sword fight or pistol duel?

Or is it, all in all, who had the most going for him? I think Mendelssohn had genius, spirit, good people skills. What he accomplished, not only in composition, but in performance, establishing great music and high artistic standards, was an unqualified triumph. Brahms seems more reclusive, always studying and revising (where Mendelssohn could whip out a piece in weeks rather than years). Brahms never married, always seemed rather awkwards; Mendelssohn had more social graces as well as good looks.

(thus declares the biographical illiterate)

But figuratively, Brahms' music is much more --ahem-- violent. I think Mendelssohn's music says just as much as Brahms's does, only Brahms says it louder and longer. Compare their first piano concertos.

Physical strength? Well, they both were seen as "frail" in their youth. I think I'll go do some more research.

What would really be good would be Brahms vs. Mahler smile.gif.

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If there was a thread about most unique works in history, or even THE greatest, I would certainly say that Mendlesons e minor violin concerto is an extremely unique, one of its kind composition.

That's a huge point for Mendleson!

I'm quite serious about that!

It's only that I've now taken this opurtunity to air this view, if not-observation. But we have heard it so often that we hardly even contemplate it.


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Mu0n... in fact this was one of the things keeping me from polishing my Italian (but specifically I was referring to the study of Latin and Hebrew and school in general).

DavidK... I thank you for your honest and accurate post. Brahms has long been my favorite (as far as winning the grudge match goes), I'll make sure to give your response to my friends.

staylor raises a good point though.

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I think DavidK got it right. After all, Mendelssohn was a rich kid who didn't have to do anything. He composed because he was interested in music. Because of his wealth, he was able to do a lot of things other than composing. I think he would have been really great if he had spent all of his energy into composition.

I get the same kind of feelings from listening to Medelssohn when I see the English paintings of English rural areas. Quite peaceful, beautiful, but highly idealized and detached from reality.

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What a rediculous topic! Made me laugh.

All Brahms would have to do is sit on Mendelssohn and it would be all over!

Now how about a fight between Brahms and Wagner? I heard stories about Wagner fans boycotting and heckling outside during the premere of the Brahms symphony no 3. The piece was recieved so well that the hecklers could not be heard over the applause!

Furthermore, there seems to be a huge debate as to who was the true successor of Beethoven, Brahms or Wagner, a real no-brainer for me since I found Wagner to be obnoxious.

I consider the Brahms and Tchaikovsky concertos to be the best ever written for violin, powerful deep and intense.

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I think I get what you mean, besides the obvious punchy-fight associations.

In real life, with the people I know and have met, there are some people that are simply bigger than others. Although it probably is a matter of subjective perceptions, I can think of a person whose intellect, energy, creativity, and skills are so much beyond what you would expect of a normal person, that I would back him against anyone. Nor is he the only one of his kind who seems to be "larger than life".

However, he is somewhat skinny.

So the question is, who was more of a "superman", or who had the most of basic human strengths and was least hindered by human weaknesses. Yes? No?

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