Max Kalbeck was a member of the Brahms inner circle. There was no one quite like him in the history of the Lied: he was a musicologist (born in Breslau) who wrote the biography Johannes Brahms
(still unsurpassed in detail, and published in eight volumes) as well as being capable of more than decent poetry. The position that Kalbeck occupied in music and letters was thus an unusual one, and he became a prolific critic and writer of articles for the leading Viennese newspapers.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 2010