On the 7th February, 1864 an historic meeting took place in Penzing, Vienna. The fifty year old Richard Wagner, who had lived near the river Wien for the previous nine months, invited to a soiree. Aside from the common friends such as Carl Tausig, Peter Cornelius and Dr. Josef Standhartner, the thirty year old Johannes Brahms was also present and riding on his recent success with the premier of his Bb sextet, performed by the Hellmesberger Quartet in the previous December.
In actual fact, neither Wagner nor Brahms never spoke highly of each other and Brahms was abjectly vocal against Wagner’s compositional style described in his co-authored polemic of 1860, relating to the New German School. However, on this particular evening, the atmosphere was convivial. Johannes Brahms presented his ‘Variations and Fugue’ on a theme by Handel op. 24 and organ ‘Toccata’ in F major BWV 540 by J.S Bach. Richard Wagner was allegedly pleased and full of admiration, summarising with the words: “One sees what still can be achieved from the study of the old form, if one understands how to exploit them”.
(from Max Kahlbeck, Johannes Brahms, Deutsche-Brahms-Gesellschaft, 1909)
This single encounter between the two great composers took place over 150 years ago in Wagner’s music salon of today's Richard-Wagner-Villa. In the year 2016, Julia Maria Pasch was given the opportunity to acquire these premises. This unique environment of historical importance, shall once again, become a meeting place for artists and visionaries alike.
Today, in this atmosphere, fine stringed instruments are created and sound perception set with no limits, and each an original in itself.