Johannes Brahms

Biography

Born: 1833   Died: 1897   Country: Germany   Period: Romantic
The stature of Johannes Brahms among classical composers is well illustrated by his inclusion among the "Three Bs" triumvirate of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. Of all the major composers of the late Romantic era, Brahms was the one most attached to the Classical ideal as manifested in the music of Haydn, Mozart, and especially Beethoven; indeed, Hans von Bülow once characterized Brahms' Symphony No. 1 (1855-1876) as "Beethoven's Tenth." As a Read more youth, Brahms was championed by Robert Schumann as music's greatest hope for the future; as a mature composer, Brahms became for conservative musical journalists the most potent symbol of musical tradition, a stalwart against the "degeneration" represented by the music of Wagner and his school. Brahms' symphonies, choral and vocal works, chamber music, and piano pieces are imbued with strong emotional feeling, yet take shape according to a thoroughly considered structural plan.

The son of a double bassist in the Hamburg Philharmonic Society, Brahms demonstrated great promise from the beginning. He began his musical career as a pianist, contributing to the family coffers as a teenager by playing in restaurants, taverns, and even brothels. Though by his early twenties he enjoyed associations with luminaries like violinists Eduard Reményi and Joseph Joachim, the friend and mentor who was most instrumental in advancing his career was Schumann, who all but adopted him and became his most ardent partisan, and their esteem was mutual. Following Schumann's death in 1856, Brahms became the closest confidant and lifelong friend of the composer's widow, pianist and composer Clara Wieck Schumann. After a life of spectacular musical triumphs and failed loves (the composer was involved in several romantic entanglements but never wed), Brahms died of liver cancer on April 3, 1897.

In every genre in which he composed, Brahms produced works that have become staples of the repertory. His most ambitious work, the German Requiem (1863-1867), is the composer's singular reinterpretation of an age-old form. The four symphonies -- lushly scored, grand in scope, and deeply expressive -- are cornerstones of the symphonic literature. Brahms' concertos are, similarly, in a monumental, quasi-symphonic vein: the two piano concertos (1856-1859 and 1881) and the Violin Concerto (1878) call for soloists with both considerable technical skill and stamina. His chamber music is among the most sophisticated and exquisitely crafted of the Romantic era; for but a single example, his works that incorporate the clarinet (e.g., the Trio in A minor, Op. 114 and the two Sonatas, Op. 120), an instrument largely overlooked by his contemporaries, remain unsurpassed. Though the piano sonata never held for Brahms the same appeal it had for Beethoven (Brahms wrote three to Beethoven's 32), he produced a voluminous body of music for the piano. He showed a particular affinity for variations -- notably, on themes of Schumann (1854), Handel (1861), and Paganini (1862-1863) -- and likewise produced a passel of national dances and character pieces such as ballades, intermezzi, and rhapsodies. Collectively, these constitute one of the essential bodies of work in the realm of nineteenth century keyboard music. Read less
Brahms: Piano Works, Vol. 5 / Plowright
Release Date: 10/06/2017   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2147   Number of Discs: 1
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Schumann, Bach & Brahms / Argerich, Perlman
Release Date: 09/30/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 557553   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Complete Piano Quartets / Faust, Giuranna, Meunier, Han
Release Date: 08/28/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 930404   Number of Discs: 2
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Brahms: Piano Concerto No 1;  Schumann / Biret, Wit, Et Al
Release Date: 01/16/2001   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8554088   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Complete Symphonies / Van Zweden, Netherlands Radio PO
Release Date: 05/31/2011   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94074   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Symphony no 1 in C minor, Op. 68

Browse 1-25 of 246 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    BBC Legends, Vol. 2
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: ICAB5141 Release Date: 10/20/2017   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Eugčne Ysa˙e,  Niccolň Paganini,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Nathan Milstein,  Ernest Lush  ... 
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Rudolf Schwarz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $52.99
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  • 2.
    Boston Symphony Orchestra: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797718 Release Date: 10/20/2017   Number of Discs: 57
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Alexander Scriabin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Zukofsky,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Teresa Berganza  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  William Steinberg,  Rafael Kubelik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Chamber Players
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  • 3.
    The Gerard Schwarz Collection
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8503294 Release Date: 10/13/2017   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Webern,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Thelma Handy,  Kenneth Munday,  David Shifrin,  Richard Todd  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz,  Gunther Schuller,  Jason K. Fettig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra,  New York Chamber Symphony  ... 
    On sale! $149.99
    CD: $94.99
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  • 4.
    Sir Georg Solti: The Complete Chicago Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4831375 Release Date: 09/15/2017   Number of Discs: 108
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $373.99
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  • 5.
    Brahms: The 4 Symphonies / Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic [Vinyl]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797429 Release Date: 08/18/2017   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    LP: $114.99
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  • 6.
    DG 111: The Conductors / Various
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797477 Release Date: 08/04/2017   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Alexander Scriabin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Gaston Litaize,  Alain Moglia,  Luben Yordanoff,  Christa Ludwig  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Leonard Bernstein,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $138.99
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  • 7.
    Karl Bohm: The Early Years
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 561986 Release Date: 06/02/2017   Number of Discs: 19
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Jan Dahmen,  Max Zimolong,  Elisabeth Höngen,  Josef Herrmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden,  Dresden State Opera Chorus,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 8.
    Brahms: The Symphonies / Nelsons, Boston Symphony
    Label: Boston Symphony Orch   Catalog: 34 Release Date: 05/26/2017   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Andris Nelsons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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    On sale! $50.98
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  • 9.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 - Brahms: Symphony No. 1 / Jarvi, Randalu, Estonian NSO
    Label: Estonian Rec Productions   Catalog: 9416 Release Date: 04/21/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Kalle Randalu
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 10.
    Wiener Philharmoniker: 175th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797090 Release Date: 03/31/2017   Number of Discs: 45
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Emmanuel Chabrier  ... 
    Performer:  Anton Dermota,  Irmgard Seefried,  Rosette Anday,  Paul Schöffler  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Rafael Kubelik,  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Arnold Schoenberg Choir,  Kuchl String Quartet  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 11.
    Brahms: Symphony No. 1 / Konwitschny
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 0300839 Release Date: 02/24/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Brahms: Symphony No. 1 / Konwitschny [Vinyl]
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 0300845BC Release Date: 02/24/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    LP: $39.99
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  • 13.
    Karl Bohm: Great Recordings 1953-1972
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797021 Release Date: 02/24/2017   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Max Reger,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Wolfgang Meyer,  Marianna Radev,  Josef Greindl,  Maria Stader  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin St. Hedwig Cathedral Choir,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $63.98
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  • 14.
    Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 / Young, Philharmoniker Hamburg
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 030 Release Date: 01/27/2017   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Simone Young
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $19.99
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  • 15.
    Edition Staatskapelle Dresden, Vol. 40: Weber, Beethoven, Brahms / Haitink, Zimmerman
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 09036 Release Date: 01/13/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Frank Peter Zimmermann
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden
    CD: $34.99
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  • 16.
    Charles Munch: The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 516979 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 86
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Vincent D'Indy  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Artur Rubinstein,  Margaret Roggero,  Leslie Chabey  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Harvard Glee Club  ... 
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    CD: $226.99
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  • 17.
    Bruckner, Schubert, Brahms & Beethoven: Symphonies / Wand, Munich Philharmonic
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 16060 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Günter Wand
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $29.99
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  • 18.
    Eugen Jochum: Complete Recordings on DG, Vol. 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002565702 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
    CD: $108.49
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  • 19.
    Michael Gielen Edition, Vol. 3 (1989-2005): Brahms - Symphonies and Concertos
    Label: Swr Music   Catalog: 19022 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Gerhard Oppitz,  Mark Kaplan,  David Geringas
    Conductor:  Michael Gielen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  South West German Radio Orchestra,  Cologne West German Radio Chorus
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  • 20.
    The Originals, Vol. 2
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002534902 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Helmut Walcha,  Nathan Milstein,  Géza Anda,  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Eugen Jochum,  Wolfgang Schneiderhan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $142.49
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  • 21.
    Brahms: Symphonies, Piano Concertos, Overtures & Haydn Variations / Harnoncourt, Buchbinder
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 556697 Release Date: 08/26/2016   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Rudolf Buchbinder
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    CD: $16.99
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  • 22.
    Brahms & Sergerstam: Orchestral Works / Turku Philharmonic
    Label: Alba Records   Catalog: 390 Release Date: 07/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Leif Segerstam
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $18.99
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  • 23.
    Zubin Mehta conducts Brahms
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875166762 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $25.49
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  • 24.
    Europakonzert: 25 DVD Anniversary Box (1991-2015) / Berliner Philharmoniker
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26098 Release Date: 04/29/2016  
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Leonidas Kavakos,  Mikhail Pletnev,  Violeta Urmana,  Elke Wilm Schulte  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Pierre Boulez,  Gustavo Dudamel,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Swedish Radio Choir,  Eric Ericson Chamber Choir
    On sale! $118.99
    DVD: $116.99
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  • 25.
    Kurt Sanderling Edition
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 13037 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Thomas Zehetmair,  Antonio Meneses,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Annette Markert
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $68.99
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