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: Symphonies, Concertos / Pollini, Batiashvili, Thielemann
Release Date: 09/16/2014   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002133400   Number of Discs: 4
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Brahms: Piano, Clarinet, Horn Trios / Florestan Trio
Release Date: 10/14/2014   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 22082   Number of Discs: 2
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Brahms: Cello Sonatas / Klein, Manz
Release Date: 09/09/2008   Label: Arte Nova  
Catalog: 340430   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Double Concerto, Piano Quartet No 1
Release Date: 03/11/2008   Label: Arte Nova  
Catalog: 391150   Number of Discs: 1
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The Songs Of Brahms, Vol. 5 / Maltman, Johnson
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 33125   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 3 in F major, Op. 90

Browse 1-25 of 206 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Brahms: The Symphonies / Chailly, Gewandhausorchester   [blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002188646 Release Date: 11/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 2.
    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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  • 3.
    Brahms: Symphonies, Concertos / Pollini, Batiashvili, Thielemann
    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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  • 4.
    Brahms: Symphonies 3 & 4, Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Lso Live   Catalog: 737 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Brahms: Complete Symphonies; Ein Deutsches Requiem
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 627817 Release Date: 09/02/2014  
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
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  • 6.
    James Levine Conducts Brahms
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 686042 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax,  Kathleen Battle,  James Levine,  Håkan Hagegård
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus
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  • 7.
    Brahms: The Symphonies / Chailly, Gewandhaus
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002121502 Release Date: 08/19/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Brahms Beloved II / John Axelrod
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 34659 Release Date: 07/22/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Clara Wieck Schumann
    Performer:  Wolfgang Holzmair,  Felicity Lott,  John Axelrod
    Conductor:  John Axelrod
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Brahms / Abbado, Berliner Philharmoniker [5-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002065002 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Marjana Lipovsek
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Chamber Choir,  Berlin Radio Chorus  ... 
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  • 10.
    100 Great Symphonies
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002054602 Release Date: 06/03/2014   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Giovanni Battista Sammartini,  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf,  Johann Christian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo,  Kurt Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Kevin Mallon,  Christopher Hogwood,  Thomas Füri,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aradia Ensemble,  Academy of Ancient Music,  Camerata Bern  ... 
    On sale! $259.98
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  • 11.
    Brahms: The Symphonies; Haydn Variations; 8 Hungarian Dances
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 121165 Release Date: 05/20/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 12.
    Giulini In Vienna [15-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002037702 Release Date: 05/19/2014   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli,  Andreas Schmidt,  Barbara Bonney,  Lazar Berman  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus  ... 
    CD: $83.49
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  • 13.
    Brahms: Complete Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94860 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 58
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim,  Cécile Ousset,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Emmy Verhey  ... 
    Conductor:  Jaap Van Zweden,  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos,  Günther Herbig,  Heinz Bongartz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra,  Radio Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 14.
    Leonard Bernstein Collection Vol 1 [59 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 2027800 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Leonard Bernstein,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Performer:  René Kollo,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Kurt Moll,  Hanna Schwarz  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Concert Choir,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 15.
    Sir Colin Davis - The Complete RCA Legacy
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 300607 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Jan-Hendrik Rootering,  Barbara Fleckenstein,  Ben Heppner,  Heinrich Weber  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $119.98
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  • 16.
    Bernard Haitink: The Symphony Edition [36-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002010702 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 36
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Lucia Popp,  Carolyn Watkinson,  Peter Schreier,  Robert Holl  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Chorus,  St. Willibrod Boy's Choir  ... 
    CD: $113.99
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  • 17.
    Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2; Symphony No. 3
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350103 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
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  • 18.
    Brahms, Debussy, Chausson / Svetlanov, London Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5123 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Claude Debussy,  Ernest Chausson
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
    CD: $17.99
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  • 19.
    Brahms: Symphonies 3 & 4 / Jurowski, London Philharmonic
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: 75 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Brahms: Complete Symphonies & Discovering Brahms / Thielemann
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 715108 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
    On sale! $64.99
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  • 21.
    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
    On sale! $69.99
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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    Roger Norrington - The Romantics
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93313 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Hector Berlioz,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Anton Bruckner  ... 
    Performer:  Anu Komsi
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Stuttgart Radio Orchestra
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  • 24.
    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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  • 25.
    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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