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 Trios / Ma, Ax, Kavakos
Release Date: 09/15/2017   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 540729   Number of Discs: 2
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Brahms: String Quintets / West German Radio Symphony Chamber Players
Release Date: 04/28/2017   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186663   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Piano Works / Freire
Release Date: 08/25/2017   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002707502   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Violin Concerto & Sonata No. 1 / Gluzman, Gaffigan, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 05/05/2017   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2172   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Piano Quartets Op 25, 26, 60 / Beaux Arts Trio, Trampler
Release Date: 01/17/2006   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186151   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 73

Browse 1-25 of 207 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    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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  • 3.
    Brahms & Segerstam II / Turku Philharmonic
    Label: Alba Records   Catalog: 403 Release Date: 06/16/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Leif Segerstam
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    Lucerne Festival Historic Performances, Vol. 11: Carl Schuricht Conducts Mozart & Brahms
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95645 Release Date: 06/02/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Robert Casadesus
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swiss Festival Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 - Brahms: Symphony No. 2 / Jarvi, Randalu, Estonian National Symphony
    Label: Estonian Rec Productions   Catalog: 9516 Release Date: 05/19/2017   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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  • 8.
    New York Philharmonic: 175th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 533636 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 65
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Oscar Levant,  Robert Casadesus,  Isaac Stern,  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg,  Josef Stransky,  Arturo Toscanini,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 9.
    Carl Schuricht: The Complete Decca Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4831643 Release Date: 03/31/2017   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Max Bruch,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Christian Ferras,  Georg Kulenkampff,  Enrico Mainardi,  Wilhelm Backhaus
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Conservatoire Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $66.99
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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.
    Toscanini: The Essential Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 537604 Release Date: 03/10/2017   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Edna Phillips,  Jon Garrison,  Gladys Swarthout,  Nicola Moscona  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 12.
    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  ... 
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  • 13.
    Brahms: Symphony No. 2 / Zehetmair, Stavanger Symphony
    Label: Sso Recordings   Catalog: 3816 Release Date: 02/17/2017  
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Thomas Zehetmair
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stavanger Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $17.98
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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
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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    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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    CD: $43.99
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  • 18.
    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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  • 19.
    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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  • 20.
    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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  • 21.
    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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  • 22.
    Deutsche Grammophon: The Mono Era (1948-1957)
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002457272 Release Date: 03/18/2016   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Stefan Askenase,  Shura Cherkassky,  Halina Czerny-Stefanska,  Basile Bolotine  ... 
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl,  Karl Böhm,  Serge Jaroff,  Leopold Ludwig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Quartet,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $145.99
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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    Philips Classics: The Stereo Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002445602 Release Date: 02/19/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Elly Ameling,  Dalton Baldwin,  Jörg Demus  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Bernard Haitink,  Raymond Leppard,  Eduard van Beinum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $129.99
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  • 25.
    Brahms: The Four Symphonies; Academic Festival & Tragic Overtures; Haydn Variations / Barbirolli
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 553993 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $23.99
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