RECORD: Richter, Hans. 1881. [Recollection of Darwin]. In Fifield, Christopher. 1993. True artist and true friend: a biography of Hans Richter. Oxford: Clarendon, p. 158.

REVISION HISTORY: Text prepared by Kees Rookmaaker, edited by John van Wyhe 11.2010. RN1

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[page] 158

[Diary entry for 27 May 1881]

...the following day he was taken to lunch with the great man himself at his house in Downe, Kent. Darwin was then 72 years old and had only a year to live. Richter was received in friendly fashion and after lunch he played to his host, 'mainly at the instructions of Mrs. Darwin who is very musical. A son is at present in Strasbourg and plays the bassoon very well. At half-past three Franke and I took a beautiful walk back to the station. This day remains unforgettable to me. What kindness lay in the eyes of the great man! "I think you have several instruments in your pocket," he said after I had played a few pieces by Beethoven, Wagner, and Mozart.'

Hans Richter (1843-1916), Austrian conductor.

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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

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