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Zum Roten Igel - the regular haunt of ma ...

Zum Roten Igel - the regular haunt of many composers of the period

Jun 20, 2021

Zum Roten Igel in Vienna was a regular haunt of composers. It opened as a wine tavern in 1804 and transformed into a restaurant in 1838, and celebrated regulars included Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn and particularly Brahms (who stubbornly refused to eat or drink anywhere else.)

A Viennese hub of socialising, beer-drinking, and of music, both Brahms and Schubert went there to hear gypsy musicians play, and their influence found its way into their writing, most closely in Brahms' Clarinet Quintet and Schubert's C Major Quintet.

Robert Kahn recalls that Johannes Brahms never ate alone at the Rote Igel; he always had “two or three acquaintances” with him, and the meal could be accompanied by jokes and prickly insults of all sorts. Brahms was evidently fond of a “highly-seasoned meat course” there (goulash beef). The staff at the Rote Igelkept in the cellar a small barrel of the finest Hungarian Tokay for his private consumption.” He was also known to have a special weakness for Rindspilaw (beef-pilaf), a simple peasant dish.

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