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: The Symphonies / Chailly, Gewandhausorchester
Release Date: 08/19/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002121502   Number of Discs: 3
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Brahms: Hungarian Dances / Ivan Fischer, Budapest Festival
Release Date: 11/09/1999   Label: Philips  
Catalog: 462589   Number of Discs: 1
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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: Symphonies, Overtures, Haydn Variations, Song Of Destiny / Sawallisch
Release Date: 01/24/2006   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 92878   Number of Discs: 3
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Brahms: Symphonies 3 & 4, Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 737   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Academic Festival Overture in C minor, Op. 80

Browse 26-50 of 126 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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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  • 27.
    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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  • 28.
    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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  • 29.
    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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  • 30.
    Willen Van Otterloo: The Original Recordings: 1951-1966
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72383 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  César Franck,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Feike Asma,  Cor de Groot,  Theo Olof,  Herman Krebbers
    Conductor:  Willem van Otterloo
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  • 31.
    Sir Thomas Beecham: The Later Tradition - Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Etc.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 18611 Release Date: 03/22/2011   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Liszt,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Jennifer Vyvyan,  Monica Sinclair,  Richard Lewis,  Marian Nowakowski  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beecham Choral Society
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  • 32.
    Toscanini Collection Vol 6 - Brahms: Symphony No 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60257 Release Date: 03/10/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 33.
    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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  • 34.
    100 Best Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 17639 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 648513 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
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  • 36.
    The Brahms Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564680814 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Rudolf Buchbinder,  Thomas Zehetmair,  Hélène Grimaud,  Brigitte Fassbaender  ... 
    Conductor:  Domonkos Héja,  Christoph von Dohnányi,  Juha Kuivanen,  Pedro Halffter-Caro  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danubia Symphony Orchestra,  Arnold Schoenberg Choir,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    Radetzky March - Orchestral Favourites / Hans Knappertsbusch
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 440624 Release Date: 09/03/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Otto Nicolai  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 39.
    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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  • 40.
    Brahms Greatest Hits / Various
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 761878 Release Date: 02/02/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Alfred Scholz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  London Festival Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Brahms: Symphony No 3 / Sir Georg Solti, Chicago Symphony
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 414488 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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  • 42.
    Brahms: Symphonie 2, Academic Festival Overture / Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 410082 Release Date: 11/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 43.
    Berlitz Passport - The Music Of Germany
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 47276 Release Date: 10/26/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Orff,  Richard Wagner,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  William Wildermann,  Emilia Cundari,  Albert Da Costa,  Nell Rankin
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Leonard Bernstein,  Eugene Ormandy,  Andre Kostelanetz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra Boys Choir,  Cleveland Orchestra Chorus  ... 
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  • 44.
    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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  • 45.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 46.
    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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  • 47.
    Brahms: Symphony No 1 & 2, Haydn Variations, Etc / Christoph Eschenbach, Houston Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 93223 Release Date: 05/19/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Houston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Brahms: Symphony No 2, Academic Festival Overture / Judd, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog: 28500 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  James Judd
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Brahms: Double Concerto, Academic Festival Overture
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 410031 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Mischa Maisky,  Gidon Kremer
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 50.
    Label: Classic Fm   Catalog: 1425204 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Jean Sibelius,  Max Bruch,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
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