Johannes Brahms was only 15 years old when he first attended a performance by the famous violinist, Joseph Joachim. Later on, he met Joachim personally, thanks to a Hungarian colleague, Eduard Reményi, with whom Brahms made a concert tour in 1853. After first hearing Brahms play, Joachim exclaimed: “I have never before come across so great a talent. He is years ahead of me.” The two of them became friends for life: not only did they give a great many concerts together, but for during various periods in 1853 and 1854 Brahms even took up resi- dence in Joachim’s house. Brahms was an avid reader of roman- tic books. He immersed himself in works by Jean Paul and Novalis, and copied his favourite passages into a notebook that he entitled ‘Schatzkästlein des jungen Kreislers’ (= little treasure chest of the young Kreisler), thus tipping his hat to the fictitious figure from Robert Schumann’s Davidsbund. Every so often, Joseph Joachim also contributed a short text to the notebook, often in the form of an aphorism. He signed most of his texts with the letters, or musical notes, F-A-E. This was an abbreviation for Joachim’s life motto:‘frei aber einsam’ (= free, but lonely).