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: Piano Concerto No. 1 & Ballades, Op. 10 / Lewis
Release Date: 04/15/2016   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902191   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol 3 / Plowright
Release Date: 03/11/2016   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2127   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Works for Piano Solo, Vol. 2 / Plowright
Release Date: 11/11/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2117   Number of Discs: 1
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Lutoslawski: Concerto for Orchestra - Brahms: Piano Quartet, Op. 25 / Harth-Bedoya, Fort Worth
Release Date: 04/01/2016   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 807668   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Violin Concerto - Brahms: Violin Sonata, Op. 100 / De Vito
Release Date: 04/29/2016   Label: Audite  
Catalog: 95621   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 4 in E minor, Op. 98

Browse 1-25 of 201 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 / Griffiths, Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt
    Label: Klanglogo   Catalog: KL1514 Release Date: 05/13/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Howard Griffiths
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt State Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 2.
    Bamberg Symphony: The First 70 Years
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002474902 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Antonín Dvorák,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff,  Carl Seemann,  Pilar Lorengar,  Gottlob Frick  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth,  Fritz Lehmann,  Ferdinand Leitner,  Richard Krauss  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $47.98
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  • 3.
    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
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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    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
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  • 8.
    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
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  • 9.
    111: The Collector's Editions [111 CDs]
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002422702 Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 111
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Lorin Maazel,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Amadeus Quartet,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
    CD: $325.49
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  • 10.
    Brahms: Symphony No. 4; Hungarian Dances 3, 7 & 11
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 35315 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Traditional
    Performer:  Attila Martos,  István Kádár,  András Szabó
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer
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  • 11.
    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
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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    Brahms: Symphony No. 4, Op. 98; Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5, Op. 64
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350111 Release Date: 08/14/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    Brahms: Symphonie No. 4; Schoenberg: Variations / Nagano
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 951884 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Arnold Schoenberg
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
    CD: $9.99
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  • 18.
    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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  • 19.
    Europakonzert 2007 From Berlin [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2055994 Release Date: 11/18/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Lisa Batiashvili,  Truls Otterbech Mork
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 20.
    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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  • 21.
    Great Symphonies
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5132 Release Date: 10/28/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  David Wilson-Johnson
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Guido Cantelli,  Ataulfo Argenta  ... 
    CD: $44.49
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  • 22.
    The Originals - Legendary Recordings from DG
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002171502 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Pierre Fournier,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  David Oistrakh,  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Franz Konwitschny,  Carlos Kleiber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4; Paganini Variations; 6 Hungarian Dances
    Label: Iba [idil Biret Archives]   Catalog: 571303 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Idil Biret
    CD: $19.99
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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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