Hans von Bülow

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Baron Hans Guido von Bülow (January 8, 1830 – February 12, 1894) was a German conductor, virtuoso pianist, and composer of the Romantic era.


  • Here Chopin has the conviction that he has lost his power of expression. With the determination to discover whether his brain can still originate ideas, he strikes his head with a hammer (here the sixteenths and thirty-seconds are to be carried out in exact time, indicating a double stroke of the hammer). In the third and fourth measures on can hear the blood trickle (trills in the left hand). He is desperate at finding no inspiration (fifth measure); he strikes again with the hammer and with greater force (thirty-second notes twice in succession during the crescendo). In the key of A flat he finds his powers again. Appeased, he seeks his former key and closes contentedly.
    • On Chopin's E major Prelude, quoted in Harold C. Schonberg, The Great Pianists

Quotes about Bülow[edit]

  • It was von Bülow more than anybody else who by the force of personality, skill, perseverance and rasplike intelligence established the supremacy of the German school for several decades. He was the archetype of the Geramn Tonkünstler: demanding, dictatorial, testy, chauvinistic, convinced of his superiority, possessed of a fine musical culture plus executive ability and leadership, and also of virulent, pathological anti-Semitism...
    • Harold C. Schonberg, The Great Pianists
  • Through his life he cut a wide swath through Europe and American, terrifying and amazing people with his intellect, his temper, his sarcasm (Brahms once said, "Hans von Bülow's praise smarts like salt in the eyes so that tears run") and his undisputed musicianship. His temper was legendary. As a teacher he was a holy terror. Often he would take over Liszt's classes and attempt to weed them out. He told one of Liszt's young ladies that she should be swept out of the class "not with a broom but a brommstick. Go home!" To a girl who played Liszt's Mazeppa, the Étude that describes the galloping of a horse, von Bülow's compliment was that her only qualification for her playing the work was that she had the soul of a horse.
    • Harold C. Schonberg, The Great Pianists

External links[edit]

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