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: Violin Sonatas / Kavakos, Wang
Release Date: 04/15/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002032902   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms, Schumann, Frühling: Trios / Isserlis, Collins, Hough
Release Date: 10/12/1999   Label: Rca Victor Red Seal  
Catalog: 63504   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Symphonies 1 & 2 / Gergiev
Release Date: 10/08/2013   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 733   Number of Discs: 2
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Brahms: Symphony No 2, Academic Festival Overture / Judd, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 02/10/2009   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28500   Number of Discs: 1
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Janos Starker, Rudolf Buchbinder - Brahms, Schumann
Release Date: 12/28/2011   Label: Rca Victor Red Seal  
Catalog: 61562   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 3 in F major, Op. 90

Browse 26-50 of 207 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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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  • 27.
    Brahms: Symphonies, Overtures, Ein Deutsches Requiem / Klemperer [4-CD Set]
    Label: Emi 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
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  • 28.
    Brahms: Symphonies 1 & 3 / Tennstedt, London Philharmonic
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: 68 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 29.
    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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  • 30.
    Gunter Wand Edition - Bruckner, Brahms, Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 12043 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Johannes Brahms,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Jorge Bolet
    Conductor:  Günter Wand
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 31.
    Carl Schuricht Collection II - Historical Recordings 1951-1966
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93292 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $88.99
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  • 32.
    Icon - Eugen Jochum
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64004 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner  ... 
    Performer:  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Claes H. Ahnsjö,  Roland Hermann,  Helen Donath  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 33.
    From Bach To Wagner / Boult, London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 35657 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir
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  • 34.
    Arturo Toscanini - The Complete RCA Collection [84 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 791631 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 85
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell,  Nan Merriman,  Jan Peerce,  Norman Scott  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Robert Shaw Chorale,  NBC Symphony Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
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  • 35.
    Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3 / Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 1103765 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Johannes Brahms: Symphonien 2 & 3
    Label: Coviello Classics   Catalog: 31206 Release Date: 06/19/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Marcus Bosch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aachen Symphony Orchestra
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  • 37.
    Brahms: The Four Symphonies / Dohnanyi, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 255 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 38.
    Eduard Van Beinum Conducts Haydn, Brahms & Ravel
    Label: Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog: 9812 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Johannes Brahms,  Maurice Ravel,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Eduard Van Beinum
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  • 39.
    Brahms: Symphonies No 1-4, Haydn Variations, Overtures / Manze, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 777720 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Andrew Manze
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Brahms: Symphony No 3; Elgar: Symphony No 1 / Boult
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5063 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Sir Edward Elgar
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Brahms: Symphonies No 1-4 / Zinman, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 793349 Release Date: 03/20/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra
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  • 42.
    Icon - Guido Cantelli: Fiery Angel Of The Podium
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog:  6790432 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Dennis Brain
    Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra  ... 
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  • 43.
    Edition Wilhelm Furtwangler [14 LP set]
    Label: Audite   Catalog: AUD87101 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Anton Bruckner,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    LP: $349.99
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  • 44.
    Brahms: Complete Symphonies / Hans Knappertsbusch
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5066 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Lucretia West
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    CD: $14.99
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  • 45.
    Brahms: The Four Symphonies, Alto Rhapsody / Celibidache
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 9053 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Marga Höffgen
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 46.
    Brahms: The Four Symphonies; Piano Concerto No. 2
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0190 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert,  Bedrich Smetana
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  • 47.
    Joseph Keilberth: Rare Recordings
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: ANDRCD9028 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Anton Bruckner  ... 
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  • 48.
    Celibidache Vol 1 - Symphonies / Munich Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85566 Release Date: 11/29/2011   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Siegfried Jerusalem,  Helen Donath,  Doris Soffel,  Peter Lika
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Munich Philharmonic Choir
    CD: $95.99
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  • 49.
    Otto Klemperer: Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner
    Label: Membran International Gmbh   Catalog: 233373 Release Date: 11/21/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Recorded Sound,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Leon Fleisher
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
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  • 50.
    Brahms: The Symphonies / Raiskin,  Rhenish Philharmonic
    Label: Twopianists (Label)   Catalog: 1039121 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Daniel Raiskin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rhenish Philharmonic
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