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Ede Reményi [1828/1830–1898]


Photo of Ede Reményi by Fritz Luckhardt

In the TWTW department, I’m doing background research on Ede Reményi, renowned Hungarian violinist, friend of Liszt and Brahms, a frequent performer in the U.S. during the mid- to late 19th century. He was in the country in ’95 and could have been booked in Agincourt on his way from Chicago to San Francisco. Much earlier, in 1880, he performed in the gold prospecting camps of Colorado, furkrysake! So a pit.stop in Iowa isn’t farfetched during at least one of his American concert tours. Well, as you might suspect, this has turned out to be one of several rabbit holes that keep me from doing other stuff.

There is a 1906 book, Reményi, Musician and Man, that seems to be the most comprehensive treatment, especially his penchant for traveling to weird places and being incognito for long periods of time — all of which work in my favor. I found a copy of the book at a dealer in California, an ex-library copy with the usual stamps and pocket but far fewer than I’d expected.  With shipping, I’ve invested $14.

This evening, I decided to check eBay; perhaps I had paid too much. Gosh! There is a British dealer who is offering his copy for the astounding price of £10,049! That’s a trifle more than $12K. Lest you think I jest, here is a screen shot of the listing:

Of course, you can ask £10K with no chance of actually getting it.

Oh, and to compound the freakishness of the day, Reményi’s birthday is the same as mine.


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