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: Ein Deutsches Requiem / Wit, Warsaw
Release Date: 04/29/2014   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 573061   Number of Discs: 1
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Martin Frost Plays Brahms
Release Date: 07/08/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2063   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms / Abbado, Berliner Philharmoniker [5-CD Set]
Release Date: 07/08/2014   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002065002   Number of Discs: 5
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Wilhelm Backhaus Live In Vienna - Brahms: Piano Concertos; Haydn
Release Date: 11/15/2011   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 11051   Number of Discs: 2
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Dvorák: Requiem;  Brahms / Mertens, Hagel, Et Al
Release Date: 10/31/2006   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 6050   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Tragic Overture, Op. 81

Browse 101-125 of 149 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century / Fritz Reiner
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 62866 Release Date: 07/13/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Manuel de Falla,  Maurice Ravel,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Carol Brice,  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,  NBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 102.
    Guido Cantelli - The Nbc Broadcast Concerts
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1336 Release Date: 07/13/2004   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Don Gillis,  Claude Debussy,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Max Hollander,  Mischa Mishakov,  Ben Grauer,  Frank Miller  ... 
    Conductor:  Guido Cantelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 103.
    Bernstein Collectors Edition - Brahms: Symphonies, Etc
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000218702 Release Date: 05/11/2004   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer,  Mischa Maisky,  Gerhart Hetzel
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 104.
    Brahms: Symphony No 2, Tragic Overture / Vonk, Et Al
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186042 Release Date: 04/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Hans Vonk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Symphony
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  • 105.
    Brahms: Symphony No 1 / Bernard Haitink, London So
    Label: Lso Live   Catalog: 45 Release Date: 04/13/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 106.
    Brahms: Symphonies No 1-4... / Otto Klemperer
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 62760 Release Date: 04/06/2004   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
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  • 107.
    Brahms: Symphony No 2, Tragic Overture / Barenboim
    Label: Elatus   Catalog: 4606622 Release Date: 01/26/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 108.
    Original Masters - Igor Markevitch - Un Veritable Artiste
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000085602 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Claude Debussy,  Georges Bizet,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Suzanne Cotelle,  Fritz Demmle,  Aurèle Nicolet,  Georges Alès  ... 
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra,  USSR State Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 109.
    Classics - Brahms: Piano Concerto No 1 / Gutiérrez, Previn
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80252 Release Date: 07/22/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Horacio Gutierrez
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 110.
    Brahms: Four Hand Piano Music Vol 8 / Matthies, C. Köhn
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8554117 Release Date: 05/20/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Silke-Thora Matthies,  Christian Köhn
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  • 111.
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 3675 Release Date: 04/22/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Erik Then-Bergh
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl
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  • 112.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century - Leopold Stokowski
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75480 Release Date: 02/11/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Reinhold Gliere,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish State Radio Orchestra,  Leopold Stokowski Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 113.
    Trio - Brahms: Complete Concertos, Overtures /Brendel, Et Al
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 473267 Release Date: 01/14/2003   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng,  János Starker,  Alfred Brendel
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 114.
    Brahms: Tragic Overture, Piano Concerto No 1 / Zilberstein, Garben
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93075 Release Date: 12/24/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Lilya Zilberstein,  Cord Garben
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  • 115.
    Brahms: 4 Symphonies, Haydn Variations / Böhm, Vienna Po
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471443 Release Date: 10/08/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig,  Gerhart Hetzel
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
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  • 116.
    Bruckner: Symphony No 5;  Et Al / Knappertsbusch, Munich Po
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1105 Release Date: 09/24/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  South German Philharmonic Orchestra,  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 117.
    Brahms: Serenades Nos 1 & 2, Etc / Boult, Baker
    Label: Emi Classics Double Fforte   Catalog: 68655 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 118.
    Brahms: Symphony No 1, Tragic Overture / Masur, Nypo
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 44351 Release Date: 07/16/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 119.
    Trio - Brahms: Complete Symphonies / Riccardo Muti, Et Al
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 470942 Release Date: 06/11/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 120.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century - Fritz Busch
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75103 Release Date: 06/04/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Waldemar Wolsing,  Carl Bloch,  Leo Hansen,  Alberto Medici
    Conductor:  Fritz Busch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish State Radio Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 121.
    Karajan Edition - Brahms: Tragic Overture;  Hindemith, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 66109 Release Date: 11/07/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Paul Hindemith,  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 122.
    Bernstein Century - Brahms: Symphony No 4, Overtures
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 61846 Release Date: 04/11/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 123.
    Brahms: The Four Symphonies, Etc / Toscanini, Philharmonia
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 3167 Release Date: 03/10/2000   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 124.
    Brahms: Symphony No 1, Etc / Sawallisch, London Po
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 73555 Release Date: 08/10/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 125.
    Klemperer Legacy - Brahms: Symphony No 1, Etc / Philharmonia
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67029 Release Date: 06/08/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
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