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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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Brahms: The Symphonies / Chailly, Gewandhaus
Release Date: 08/19/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002121502   Number of Discs: 3
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Beethoven: Trio; Brahms: Trio; Weber: Grand Duo
Release Date: 11/11/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 807618   Number of Discs: 1
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Warum - Brahms: Choral Works / Reuss, Cappella Amsterdam
Release Date: 11/11/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902160   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Mass, Motets / Dijkstra, Swedish Radio Choir
Release Date: 12/09/2014   Label: Channel Classics  
Catalog: 35814   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Tragic Overture, Op. 81

Browse 51-75 of 144 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    Brahms: Symphony No 3 & 4, Alto Rhapsody, Tragic Overture / Eschenbach, Houston
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 93228 Release Date: 05/19/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Dunja Vejzovic
    Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Houston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 55.
    Schubert: Symphony No 8; Mozart: Symphony No 41 / Ormandy
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 38282 Release Date: 05/08/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Karajan - Symphony Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001211702 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 38
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Agnes Baltsa,  Peter Schreier,  Anna Tomowa-Sintow,  José Van Dam
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 57.
    Paul Kletzki In Moscow - Weber, Brahms, Schubert
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001155 Release Date: 10/20/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Carl Maria von Weber
    Conductor:  Paul Kletzki
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra
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  • 58.
    Brahms: Symphony No 1, Tragic Overture / Karajan, Vienna Po
    Label: London/Decca Jubilee   Catalog: 417739 Release Date: 09/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 59.
    Johannes Brahms
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 10054 Release Date: 09/05/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
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  • 60.
    Karajan - Complete Emi Recordings 1946-84 Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 12038 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 88
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  E. Nikolaus von Reznicek,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Ernst Haefliger,  Anne-Sophie Mutter  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 61.
    Brahms - The Concerto Album / Arrau, Oistrakh, Fournier
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 09421 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Pierre Fournier,  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer,  Alceo Galliera,  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Radio Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 62.
    Brahms: Violin Concerto, Tragic Overture / Krebbers, Haitink
    Label: Philips Concert Classics   Catalog: 422972 Release Date: 03/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Herman Krebbers
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Karajan - The Legendary Decca Recordings - Brahms, Adam, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001078802 Release Date: 03/11/2008   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Brahms: Complete Symphonies / Levine, Vienna
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 449829 Release Date: 02/01/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Arnold Schoenberg Choir
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  • 65.
    Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 / Giulini , Arrau, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 575326 Release Date: 01/13/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Brahms: Symphony No 4, Tragic Overture / Giulini
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 429403 Release Date: 11/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 67.
    Brahms: Symphony No 2, Tragic Overture / Munch, Boston So
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60682 Release Date: 10/31/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Bernstein - Brahms / Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000983109 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer,  Mischa Maisky,  Krystian Zimerman
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 69.
    Brahms: Symphonies No 1-4, Etc / Wolfgang Sawallisch, Et Al
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 913 Release Date: 10/02/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Singers,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 70.
    Brahms, Reger, Beethoven / Boult, Schuricht, Et Al
    Label: Bbc Legends   Catalog: 4213 Release Date: 09/25/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Max Reger,  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 71.
    Brahms: Symphonie No 3, Etc / James Levine, Von Otter, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439887 Release Date: 08/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Arnold Schoenberg Choir
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  • 72.
    Brahms: Piano Concerto 2, Tragic Overture / Gilels, Reiner
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 5406 Release Date: 06/25/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 73.
    Brahms: Symphony No 2, Etc / Mandeal, Bucharest Po
    Label: Arte Nova   Catalog: 340510 Release Date: 05/08/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Cristian Mandeal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bucharest George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Brahms: Symphony No 2, Tragic Overture / Haitink, Boston Sym
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 432094 Release Date: 05/07/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Brahms: Symphonies, Overtures & Violin Concerto / Dohnanyi, Lindemann, Cleveland Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 64159 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Thomas Zehetmair
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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