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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Brahms: Piano Quartet / Perahia, Amadeus Quartet
Release Date: 10/25/1990   Label: Cbs Masterworks  
Catalog: 42361   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 4 in E minor, Op. 98

Browse 1-25 of 237 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    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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    CD: $128.99
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  • 3.
    Simon Rattle - Berlin Philharmoniker [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 59734 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Yefim Bronfman,  Lisa Batiashvili,  Truls Otterbech Mork
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $98.99
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  • 4.
    Sir Colin davis - The Complete Rca Legacy [51-CD Set]
    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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  • 5.
    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  ... 
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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    Brahms: Le Romantisme De La Grande Forme [8-CD Set]
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908401 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Alessandro Carbonare,  Luc Héry,  Florence Binder,  Nicolas Böne  ... 
    Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe,  Kent Nagano,  Jiri Belohlávek,  Daniel Harding  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Collegium Vocale,  Champs-Élysées Orchestra,  La Chapelle Royale Paris  ... 
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  • 12.
    Carlo Maria Giulini - The Chicago Years
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 317522 Release Date: 12/03/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    Brahms: The Symphonies / Riccardo Chailly, Gewandhausorchester
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001929802 Release Date: 11/11/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    On sale! $35.98
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  • 16.
    Celibidache - The Berlin Recordings 1945-1957
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 21423 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Raoul Koczalski
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $58.99
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  • 17.
    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
    Conductor:  John Axelrod
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Brahms: Sinfonien No 3 & 4 / Simone Young, Philharmoniker Hamburg
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 677 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Simone Young
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Brahms: Symphony No. 4 / Skrowaczewski, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 410 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbruecken Kaiserslautern
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  • 20.
    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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  • 21.
    L'art De Joseph Keilberth: Beethoven, Brahms (Live 1962)
    Label: Tahra   Catalog: 742 Release Date: 08/13/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth
    CD: $19.99
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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    Verbier Festival 2012 - Dutoit Conducts Tchaikovsky, Honeck Conducts Brahms
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 3079958 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Manfred Honeck
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Verbier Festival Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 25.
    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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