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
Martin Frost Plays Brahms
Release Date: 07/08/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2063   Number of Discs: 1
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Schubert: Symphony No 8; Brahms: Symphony No 3 / Davis
Release Date: 04/26/2011   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 8043   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms Beloved II / John Axelrod
Release Date: 07/22/2014   Label: Telarc  
Catalog: 34659   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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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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Work: Tragic Overture, Op. 81

Browse 26-50 of 150 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Charles Munch Conducts Romantic Masterworks
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 7826732 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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  • 27.
    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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  • 28.
    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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  • 29.
    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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  • 30.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 'eroica'; Brahms: Tragic Overture
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0138 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
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  • 31.
    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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  • 32.
    Best Of Brahms [tgg Direct]
    Label: Tgg Direct   Catalog: 60263 Release Date: 11/22/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    CD: $6.99
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  • 33.
    Anne-Sophie Mutter - The Complete Musician [40-CD Limited Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B001587372 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Mark Zeltser,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Antonio Meneses  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Paul Sacher,  Witold Lutoslawski,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 34.
    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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  • 35.
    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 Arwel Hughes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 36.
    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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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    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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  • 39.
    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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  • 40.
    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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  • 41.
    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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  • 42.
    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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  • 43.
    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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  • 44.
    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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  • 45.
    Brahms: Symphonies 1-4, Etc / Eschenbach, Houston Symphony
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 61360 Release Date: 01/28/2010   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Dunja Vejzovic
    Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Houston Symphony Orchestra,  Houston Symphony Male Chorus
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  • 46.
    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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  • 47.
    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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  • 48.
    Brahms: Alto Rhapsody, Haydn Variations / Knappertsbusch
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470254 Release Date: 10/26/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Lucretia West
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Academy Choir
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  • 49.
    Ultimate Brahms [5-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001313402 Release Date: 08/25/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng,  János Starker,  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 50.
    Brahms Complete Edition [46-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001302602 Release Date: 07/14/2009   Number of Discs: 46
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Edith Mathis,  Karl Engel,  Gernot Kahl,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Günther Jena,  Claudio Abbado,  Herbert von Karajan,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Chorus,  LaSalle String Quartet,  Amadeus String Quartet  ... 
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