Friday, April 11, 2014

“He told me I was heartless.”

           On January 4, 1908, a mysterious young man paid Ima a visit. She wrote about him in her diary:
           “In the afternoon Ariel came to see me, making himself miserable again--I hoped he had understood after what I told him last summer. I acted like a cold blooded vampire--he told me I was heartless, but often I seemed to be sympathizing with him, it didn’t do at all--! Well, I was upset anyhow. He’s off for Heidelberg in the morning.”
         The reference to “last summer” means that she had met him soon after her arrival in Europe in July 1907. Where? What had she told him then? What was their relationship? Did she see him again?
         No one knows.
         In Berlin Ima met another young man, a violinist named Arthur Hartmann, who was just a year older than she. Like her, he was musically talented at a young age, playing his first concert at age 6. He had done an American tour in 1906-7. Did the two young musicians meet in New York while Ima was there?
         Ima kept a postcard card from Hartmann. a photo, signed “To Miss Hogg, Cordially, Arthur Hartmann, Berlin 1908.” He was young and gifted and handsome, with intense dark eyes and flowing black hair. . . .
         Who knows?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

4/5 Hours of piano practice--but what else?

        In one of the first entries of the diary that Ima began while she was living in Germany in 1908, she wrote, “I was most anxious to learn to speak German—more than to play music—really.” She already had some knowledge of that language, from her mother’s German maid in Austin. But now she wanted to become fluent.

         She also wanted to become a concert pianist. She had a Bechstein piano to practice on, and she took private lessons from a distinguished musician, Professor Franz Xaver Scharwenka at his house. He was a renowned concert pianist, and the founder and director of a music school of his own in Berlin.

         Ima worked diligently at her music, and scolded herself when she slept in and did not rise early to practice. 
Jan. 1 “Among my resolutions are to rise at half past seven.”

         But hours  of piano practice did not take all of her time.

         What else did she do?