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: String Quartet & Piano Quintet / Kudritskaya, Brodsky Quartet
Release Date: 04/29/2016   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10892   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms, Schumann: Lieder / Murray, Martineau
Release Date: 02/10/2015   Label: Linn Records  
Catalog: 443   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 / Griffiths
Release Date: 05/13/2016   Label: Klanglogo  
Catalog: 1514   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: String Quartet No 2, Clarinet Quintet / Collins, Brodsky Quartet
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10817   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem / Janowski, Tilling, Detlef
Release Date: 09/28/2010   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186361   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 73

Browse 1-25 of 188 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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: $113.99
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  • 2.
    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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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    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: $134.49
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  • 5.
    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: $22.99
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  • 6.
    Johannes Brahms Cycle / Franz Welser-most, Cleveland Orchestra
    Label: Belvedere   Catalog: 8005 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Julia Fischer,  Yefim Bronfman
    Conductor:  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
    On sale! $65.98
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  • 7.
    Johannes Brahms Cycle / Franz Welser-most, Cleveland Orchestra [blu-ray]
    Label: Belvedere   Catalog: 8009 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Julia Fischer,  Yefim Bronfman
    Conductor:  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
    On sale! $65.98
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  • 8.
    A Flight Through the Orchestra - Deutsches Symphonie
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26117 Release Date: 12/18/2015  
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Tugan Sokhiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
    On sale! $28.99
    Blu-ray Video: $25.99
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  • 9.
    A Flight Through the Orchestra: Brahms: Symphony No. 2 - A Film by Henning Kasten
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26117 Release Date: 12/18/2015  
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Tugan Sokhiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 10.
    Brahms: Complete Orchestral Music / Chailly
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002405502 Release Date: 11/06/2015   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Leonidas Kavakos,  Péter Nagy,  Vadim Repin,  Truls Otterbech Mork  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    On sale! $49.98
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  • 11.
    Brahms: Die Symphonien / Jansons, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Br Klassik   Catalog: 900140 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $39.99
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  • 12.
    Brahms: Symphonies 1 & 2 / Griffiths
    Label: Klanglogo   Catalog: 1513 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Howard Griffiths
    CD: $18.99
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  • 13.
    Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 1813 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Andres Orozco-Estrada
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  • 14.
    Brahms: Symphony No 2, Alto Rhapsody / Nelsons, Lucerne Festival Orchestra
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 20325 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Sara Mingardo
    Conductor:  Andris Nelsons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
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  • 15.
    Brahms: Symphony No 2, Alto Rhapsody / Nelsons, Lucerne Festival Orchestra [blu-ray]
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 10325 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Sara Mingardo
    Conductor:  Andris Nelsons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
    On sale! $39.99
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  • 16.
    Bruno Walter Conducts Brahms
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88843072592 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Pierre Fournier,  Zino Francescatti,  George London,  Irmgard Seefried  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Occidental College Consort,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 17.
    Mercury Living Presence - The Collector's Edition Vol 3
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 002275902 Release Date: 03/23/2015   Number of Discs: 53
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Lehár,  Emil Waldteufel,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Rafael Druian,  Georges Miquelle,  Eugene List,  Alfred Mouledous  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski,  Frederick Fennell,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica  ... 
    CD: $213.99
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  • 18.
    Brahms: Symphony No 2... / Fischer, Budapest Festival
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 33514 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Festival Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Brahms: Symphony No. 2; Mozart: Symphony No. 28; Piano Concerto No. 27
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 21499 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $34.98
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  • 20.
    Karajan - 1980s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002187902 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 78
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Anton Bruckner,  Johannes Brahms,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  José Van Dam,  Barbara Hendricks,  Gösta Winbergh  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Domenico Bartolucci
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein  ... 
    CD: $245.99
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  • 21.
    Seiji Ozawa - The Philips Years: Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002185602 Release Date: 11/18/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Mariko Kobayashi,  Everett Firth,  Hiroshi Arimori,  Sawako Yasue  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Saito Kinen Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers  ... 
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  • 22.
    Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1-4 / Jurowski, London Philharmonic [Vinyl]
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: LPO-LP906 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    LP: $179.99
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  • 23.
    Lorin Maazel: The Cleveland Years - Complete Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002217602 Release Date: 11/10/2014   Number of Discs: 19
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Mikhail Glinka  ... 
    Performer:  Kenneth Riegel,  Lynn Harrell,  Pascal Rogé,  Ivan Davis
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Detroit Symphony Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Brahms: Symphonies / Wand, NDR Sinfonieorchester
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 14046 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Günter Wand
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $48.99
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  • 25.
    Brahms: Symphonies, Concertos / Pollini, Batiashvili, Thielemann [3-CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002133400 Release Date: 09/16/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini,  Lisa Batiashvili
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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