Had a stressful commute on the way to work—nasty drivers (why can't they obey traffic rules and be considerate to the other motorists?), passengers fighting with each other and with the drivers, the usual traffic at Espanya—and so I decided to listen to Brahms as soon as I got to the office.
Which probably isn't the way to relax. The man is not exactly easy listening.
I know of at least two people who has Brahms as their favorite composer: critic Alex Ross, and Condoleezza Rice (who needs no title). Asked about her passion for Brahms, Rice replied that his music was "passionate without being sentimental"—to which the cellist Yoyo Ma quipped, "Do you also think it's this irresolution in Brahms, the tension that is never resolved?" (Link to the Newsweek/Evan Thomas article here.)
I'm still debating whether I should attend the PPO's performance of his Second Symphony this coming Friday.