A Brief Encounter

A Brief Encounter

He who considers himself a paragon of wisdom is sure to commit some superlatively stupid act. – Johann Ludwig Tieck

Johann Ludwig Tieck was a German poet, translator, editor, and novelist. He was one of the leading figures in the early Romantic movement. He was born on 31 May, 1773 in Berlin.

In 1789, he had a brief encounter with a famous composer of the classical era.

Johann Ludwig Tieck
Johann Ludwig Tieck1

On the evening of 19 May, 1789, Tieck who was not quite 16 years old, attended a performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera Die Entführung aus dem SerailHe arrived at the theater early, as was his wont. While waiting for the performance to begin, he saw a man whom he didn’t know. He observed the man moving about in the orchestra pit, going from one music desk to the next, apparently looking carefully through the music on them. He entered into a conversation with the stranger, where they spoke of the orchestra, the theatre, the opera, the public’s taste. The conversation was brief, but the man’s words left a totally strange and moving experience for Ludwig. He made enquiries about the man, and he learned that it was Mozart himself, the great master, who had spoken with him.


1By Vogel, C. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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