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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 2 in D major, Op. 73

Browse 26-50 of 227 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Brahms: Complete Symphonies & Discovering Brahms / Thielemann [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 715204 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
    Blu-ray Video: $68.99
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  • 27.
    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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    On sale! $56.98
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  • 28.
    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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  • 29.
    Brahms: Symphony No 2; Wagner: Tannhauser Overture / Kempe
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5119 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic 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.
    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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  • 32.
    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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  • 33.
    Brahms Beloved / John Axelrod, Nicole Cabell, Indra Thomas
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 34658 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Clara Wieck Schumann
    Performer:  Nicole Cabell,  Indra Thomas,  John Axelrod
    Conductor:  John Axelrod
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Carlo Maria Giulini Conducts Schumann & Brahms
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6673 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
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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.
    Israel Philharmonic Orchestra 60th Anniversary Concert / Mehta, Barenboim
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2012744 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Ariel Shamai,  Maxim Vengerov,  Shlomo Mintz  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 37.
    Mariss Jansons Conducts Brahms & Janacek
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101684 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Leos Janácek
    Performer:  Tatiana Monogarova,  Marina Prudenskaya,  L'udovit Ludha,  Peter Mikulas  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
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  • 38.
    Mariss Jansons Conducts Brahms & Janacek [blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 108080 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Leos Janácek
    Performer:  Peter Mikulas,  Marina Prudenskaya,  L'udovit Ludha,  Tatiana Monogarova  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
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  • 39.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 11905 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
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  • 40.
    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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  • 41.
    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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  • 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.
    Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4; Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 / Wand, Gurzenich Orchester Koln
    Label: Acanta/Pilz   Catalog: 233703 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Günter Wand
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gürzenich Orchester Köln
    CD: $26.99
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  • 44.
    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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  • 45.
    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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  • 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.
    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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  • 48.
    Icon - Arturo Toscanini [6-CD Set]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 233342 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gioachino Rossini,  Claude Debussy,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 49.
    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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  • 50.
    Brahms: Symphonies No 2 & 3 / Skrowaczewski, German Radio Saarbrucken Kaiserslautern Orchestra
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 409 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Orchestra Kaiserslautern
    CD: $24.99
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