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, Clarinet, Horn Trios / Florestan 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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The Songs Of Brahms, Vol. 5 / Maltman, Johnson
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 33125   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Piano Concertos / Hough, Wigglesworth, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg
Release Date: 12/10/2013   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 67961   Number of Discs: 2
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Helene Grimaud Piano Recital - Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Rachimaninov
Release Date: 10/29/2013   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4891   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Tragic Overture, Op. 81

Browse 26-50 of 144 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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
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  • 27.
    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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  • 28.
    Leopold Stokowski - The Columbia Stereo Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 197115 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Charles Ives  ... 
    Performer:  Shirley Verrett,  Fernando Valenti,  Anshel Brusilow,  William Kincaid  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski,  Gregg Smith
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  American Symphony Orchestra,  Schola Cantorum New York members  ... 
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  • 29.
    From Bach To Wagner / Boult, London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Warner 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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  • 30.
    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  ... 
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  • 31.
    Charles Munch Conducts Romantic Masterworks
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 826732 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Gary Graffman,  Artur Rubinstein,  Jascha Heifetz
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 32.
    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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  • 33.
    Brahms: Symphony No 2, Tragische Overture / Young, Hamburg Philharmonic
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 676 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Simone Young
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Essential Brahms
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 78131 Release Date: 02/07/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich,  Nicholas Angelich,  Natalie Clein,  Charles Owen  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Eugen Jochum,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Klaus Tennstedt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alban Berg String Quartet,  Artemis Quartett (String Quartet)
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  • 35.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 'eroica'; Brahms: Tragic Overture
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 138 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
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  • 36.
    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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  • 37.
    Best Of Brahms [tgg Direct]
    Label: Tgg Direct   Catalog: 60263 Release Date: 11/22/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
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  • 38.
    Anthology Of The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Vol 6 - Live Radio Recordings 1990-2000
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 11004 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Luciano Berio,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Ildiko Komlósi,  Kolos Kovacs,  Martha Argerich,  Ann Murray  ... 
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer,  Claus Peter Flor,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Luciano Berio  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Swingle Singers,  Netherlands Radio Women's Chorus
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  • 39.
    Brahms: Complete Symphonies / Hughes, Stuttgart Philharmonic
    Label: Quartz Records   Catalog: 2054 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Owain A. Hughes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Brahms: Symphony No 4, Tragic Overture / Muti, Philadelphia
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 422337 Release Date: 07/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Brahms: The 4 Symphonies / Masur, Leipzig Gewandhaus
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186182 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 42.
    Brahms: The Four Symphonies / Giulini, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802063 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 43.
    Brahms: Piano Concerto, Tragic Overture / Richter, Szeryng, Leinsdorf, Ormandy, Monteux
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 24693 Release Date: 03/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 44.
    Brahms: Orchestral Works
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 6130 Release Date: 02/08/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Yondani Butt
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  • 45.
    Brahms: Concertos, Symphonies / Haitink, Arrau, Szeryng, Starker [7-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001479902 Release Date: 10/19/2010   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau,  Henryk Szeryng,  János Starker
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 46.
    Brahms: Symphonies 1-4, Etc. / Mehta, Israel Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 53279 Release Date: 04/08/2010   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 47.
    Brahms: Complete Symphonies / Alsop, London PO
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 940257 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Marin Alsop
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Sir John Barbirolli - The Great EMI Recordings - 40th Anniversary
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57767 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Giacomo Puccini,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  André Navarra
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Brahms: Symphony No 2, Tragic Overture / Solti, Chicago So
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 414487 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 50.
    Brahms: Symphonie No 4, Tragic Overture / Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 410084 Release Date: 11/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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