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In addition to his interest in music, the young Brahms was an avid reader, fascinated by folk tales, medieval legends, and other fiction. In the beginning of 1853, the two left on a tour of Germany.This enthusiasm for literature remained with him throughout his life and he accumulated a library of no less than 800 volumes. On their journey, they visited another celebrated Hungarian violinist, Joseph Joachim, whom Reményi had met previously in Vienna.

Consequently, in 1840 he began formal piano lessons with Otto Cossel.

Three years later Brahms took part in a chamber music recital, after which Cossel recommended that he study with his own teacher, Eduard Marxsen, then considered to be one of the finest musicians in Hamburg.

Brahms’s desire to leave as soon as possible, although they had been graciously received, caused a definitive break with Reményi.

Brahms, dismayed, decided to retrace his steps in order to see Joachim, with whom he had felt an immediate affinity.

Only later in life, after his children had left home, did he obtain more respectable positions, including one as a bass player with the Hamburg Philharmonie.

During Brahms’s youth, his mother also contributed to the family income by working as a seamstress; nonetheless, money was still a constant source of worry.

While Brahms was probably flattered to be placed alongside these greats, there can be no doubt that it also stifled him.

This is especially true when it came to Beethoven and Beethoven’s symphonic legacy.

Among his favorite authors were Eichendorff, Goethe, Heine, Rückert, Geibel, and E. Their next stop was Weimar, where they hoped to meet Liszt, then at the height of his fame.

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