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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: Ein Deutsches Requiem / Wit, Warsaw
Release Date: 04/29/2014   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 573061   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: The Symphonies / Chailly, Gewandhaus
Release Date: 08/19/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002121502   Number of Discs: 3
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Warum - Brahms: Choral Works / Reuss, Cappella Amsterdam
Release Date: 11/11/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902160   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Trio; Brahms: Trio; Weber: Grand Duo
Release Date: 11/11/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 807618   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Mass, Motets / Dijkstra, Swedish Radio Choir
Release Date: 12/09/2014   Label: Channel Classics  
Catalog: 35814   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 1 in C minor, Op. 68

Browse 26-50 of 266 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Icon: Wolfgang Sawallisch - Beethoven, Brahms The Complete Symphonies
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 9356521 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Margaret Price,  Jan-Hendrik Rootering,  Marjana Lipovsek,  Peter Seiffert
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Düsseldorf Städtischer Musikvereins Chorus,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 27.
    Brahms: Symphony No. 1
    Label: Lodia Music   Catalog: 779 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Carlos Païta
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  • 28.
    Stokowski - Brahms Wagner 1960
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2402 Release Date: 12/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 29.
    Carlo Maria Giulini: The London Years
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 93739 Release Date: 12/03/2013   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Benjamin Britten,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Sheila Armstrong,  Anna Reynolds,  Robert Tear,  John Shirley-Quirk
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 30.
    Stanislaw Skrowaczewski: The Complete Oehms Classics Recordings
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 90 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 28
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Annette Dasch,  Daniela Sindram,  Christian Elsner,  George Zeppenfeld  ... 
    Conductor:  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Saarbrücken Radio Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 31.
    Zubin Mehta: Live In Front Of The Grand Palace, Bangkok
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 6227 Release Date: 11/12/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Unspecified,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Roman Spitzer,  Ilya Konovalov
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
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    On sale! $35.98
    CD: $30.99
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  • 32.
    Berlin Philharmonic - Centenary Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001923302 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Walter Berry,  Gundula Janowitz,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Nikisch,  Alfred Hertz,  Richard Strauss,  Bruno Walter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Swedish Radio Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
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  • 33.
    Brahms: Symphonies 1 & 2 / Gergiev
    Label: Lso Live   Catalog: 733 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Dvorak: Symphony No 8; Brahms: Symphony No 1 / George Szell
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95625 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Swiss Festival Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Karajan - 1970s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001873702 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 82
    Composer:  Arcangelo Corelli,  Francesco Manfredini,  Pietro Antonio Locatelli,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Brandis,  Michel Schwalbé,  Karlheinz Zöller,  Edith Mathis  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Hans Priem Bergrath
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus  ... 
    CD: $313.99
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  • 36.
    Salzburg Festival 2012 - Strauss: Don Juan; Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2072628 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Nina Stemme
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 37.
    Salzburg Festival 2012 - Strauss: Don Juan; Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2072624 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Nina Stemme
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 38.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22304 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert,  Hector Berlioz,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 39.
    Bruno Walter - The Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548952 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Hendl,  John Corigliano Sr.,  Leonard Rose,  Martha Lipton  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Occidental College Consort,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 40.
    Claudio Abbado - The Symphony Edition [41-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001846502 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Violeta Urmana,  Thomas Moser,  Thomas Quasthoff,  Karita Mattila  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra Mozart,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $129.99
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  • 41.
    Brahms: Symphonies 1 & 3 / Saraste, Wdr Sinfonieorchester Koln
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 13028 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 42.
    Brahms: Symphonies / Svetlanov, Russian State Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001746 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $44.49
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  • 43.
    Wilhelm Furtwangler: Wiener Konzerte 1944-1954 [18-CD Set]
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 834118 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  César Franck,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Badura-Skoda,  Dagmar Bella,  Paul Schöffler,  Anton Dermota  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singakademie,  Vienna Boys' Choir
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    CD: $118.99
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  • 44.
    Brahms: Symphonies No. 1-4
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra   Catalog: 38 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Grzegorz Nowak
    CD: $39.99
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  • 45.
    Liszt: Les Preludes; Ravel: Left-hand Concerto; Brahms: Symphony No 1 / Celibidache
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 788122 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Maurice Ravel,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Robert Casadesus
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $39.99
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  • 46.
    Brahms: Symphonies / Berglund, Chamber Orchestra Of Europe
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1229 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
    CD: $17.99
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  • 47.
    Brahms: Symphony No 1; Martinu: Symphony No 4 / Tennstedt
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5090 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Bohuslav Martinu
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 48.
    Wiener Philharmoniker Symphony Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001797302 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo,  Kurt Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Karl Böhm,  Leonard Bernstein,  John Eliot Gardiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Monteverdi Choir  ... 
    CD: $163.49
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  • 49.
    Brahms: Symphony No. 1; Tragic Overture; St. Anthony Variations
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1395 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    CD: $9.99
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  • 50.
    Brahms: Symphonies, Overtures, Ein Deutsches Requiem / Klemperer [4-CD Set]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 043382 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Unspecified
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Ralph Downes,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Christa Ludwig
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
    CD: $18.99
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