Joachim on Ole Bull

Posted on January 2nd, 2010 by

On Ole Bull

Extracts from Joseph Joachim letters

  1. To Clara Schumann [HANOVER, December 12, 1860]-It is only partly owing to me that Ole Bull is playing. I wanted to get permission for him to give a con cert in the Theatre and mentioned it to HM; but the king would not hear of anything but that he should be invited for the concert, and although I imagined at first that Ole Bull himself would rather play in theatre, and said so several times, etiquette did not me did not permit me to oppose the King any longer, as it might have been interpreted as a kind of jealousy on my part. The Norwegian interests me more than I expected : he has remarkable power over his instrument, a very fine tone, and plenty of vitality, It is true I have only heard him play, in a room, fragments of some very beautiful little Norwegian folk-songs, of the simplest description. . . .
  2. To Hermann Grimm [HANOVER, about December 22, 1860] –Ole Bull has been here over a week, and as a man, I like him very much. We have several times discussed a two days’ visit to Berlin to see you both, and I think we shall carry it our…Ole Bull played at a concert the other day, and on Sunday at Court together with Frau Schumann. We may hear him once more in the theatre. I like his playing better in a room than in public, because, in private, he often selects very original Norwegian melodies. His tone is pleasantly soft and full of feeling…