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
Arthur Rubinstein Plays Brahms
Release Date: 06/12/2012   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 760992   Number of Discs: 9
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Leon Fleisher Plays Beethoven & Brahms
Release Date: 08/07/2012   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 1918052   Number of Discs: 5
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Brahms: Complete Piano Trios, Clarinet Trio, Horn Trio
Release Date: 10/14/2014   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 22082   Number of Discs: 2
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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: Viola Sonatas
Release Date: 02/11/2014   Label: Msr  
Catalog: 1479   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 4 in E minor, Op. 98

Browse 26-50 of 240 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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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    CD: $68.99
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  • 27.
    Brahms - Romanticism & Formal Genius
    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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  • 28.
    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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  • 29.
    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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    CD: $64.49
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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.
    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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  • 32.
    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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  • 33.
    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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  • 34.
    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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  • 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.
    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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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    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  ... 
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  • 39.
    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
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  • 40.
    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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  • 41.
    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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  • 42.
    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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  • 43.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812; Brahms: Symphony No. 4; Borodin: In The Steppes Of Central Asia / Mengelberg, Concertgebouw
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2104 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Alexander Borodin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 44.
    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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  • 45.
    Brahms: Symphony No 4; Mendelssohn: Symphony No 4 / Boult
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5093 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 46.
    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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  • 47.
    Anthology Of The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vol 7: 2000-2010
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 12004 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Leos Janácek,  Richard Strauss,  Alphons Diepenbrock,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Vesko Eschkenazy,  Godfried Hoogeveen,  Lars Vogt,  Jorgen Van Rijen  ... 
    Conductor:  Mark Elder,  Lorin Maazel,  Claus Peter Flor,  Riccardo Chailly  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    On sale! $246.98
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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.
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 4726769 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann,  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    CD: $11.99
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