Dystopian book with Brahms and Schumann
June 8, 2019 1:41 AM   Subscribe

Some time before 2006 I borrowed a book from a public library in Canberra. It was about, or partly about, the relationship between Brahms and Schumann. I am trying to find out what it was, not because I particularly want to read it but just to scratch the itch. I didn’t finish the book, partly because I know Brahms never married, and was a regular customer of Vienna’s ladies of the night, but I doubted that he was that much of a scoundrel.

What I remember:

Apparently alternate history, probably dystopian, possibly involving some sort of research institute

There was a plot point that Schumann’s psychiatric illness and incarceration was a put-up job

The point was to allow Brahms to make time with Clara Schumann

Brahms was not a good friend but a lying scoundrel

Schumann’s doctor may have been party to the plot.

I think there was some sort of time travel involved.

I seem to recall an association with Scotland but not sure why.

If anyone can identify it they will have outdone the awesomely literate denizens of LibraryThing.

posted by Logophiliac to Writing & Language (4 answers total)
Could it be Trio or Trio 2: Brahms?
posted by poodelina at 4:13 AM on June 8, 2019

Might it be The Brahms Deception? I haven't read it, but a friend described it to me recently.
posted by altolinguistic at 7:02 AM on June 8, 2019

Brahms was in love with Clara Wieck, Schumann's wife. Years later Brahms fell in love with one of the Schumann daughters. Can't remember which bio those tidbits were in.
posted by james33 at 7:28 AM on June 8, 2019

Response by poster: Thanks for trying, all, but it doesn't seem to have been any of those. It's certainly not The Brahms Deception, at least. I'll just write it off as one of Life's Little Mysteries.
posted by Logophiliac at 1:45 AM on June 12, 2019

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