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 Violin Sonatas / Tetzlaff, Vogt
Release Date: 08/12/2016   Label: Ondine  
Catalog: ODE 1284-2   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms / Gabriele Carcano
Release Date: 08/12/2016   Label: Oehms  
Catalog: OC 1850   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms, Ravel & Poulenc: Piano Works / Trpceski
Release Date: 08/05/2016   Label: Wigmore Hall Live  
Catalog: 81   Number of Discs: 1
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Weber, Schumann, Brahms & Berg: Chamber Music / Kamyshev, Gavrilov, Monighetti
Release Date: 08/12/2016   Label: Melodiya  
Catalog: MELCD1002242   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Cello Sonatas & 4 Serious Songs / Baillie, Thwaites
Release Date: 08/26/2016   Label: Somm  
Catalog: SOMMCD 0158   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Academic Festival Overture in C minor, Op. 80

Browse 26-50 of 104 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Brahms: Symphonies No. 1-4
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra   Catalog: 38 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Grzegorz Nowak
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  • 27.
    Brahms: Symphonies, Overtures, Ein Deutsches Requiem / Klemperer [4-CD Set]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 043382 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Unspecified
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Ralph Downes,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Christa Ludwig
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
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  • 28.
    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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  • 29.
    Leopold Stokowski - The Stereo Collection 1954-1975
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 1916852 Release Date: 08/21/2012   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Gustav Mahler,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Margaret Price,  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Anna Moffo,  Martina Arroyo  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Symphony Orchestra,  Norman Luboff Choir  ... 
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  • 30.
    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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  • 31.
    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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  • 32.
    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
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  • 33.
    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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  • 34.
    Toscanini Collection Vol 6 - Brahms: Symphony No 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60257 Release Date: 02/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 35.
    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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  • 36.
    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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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    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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  • 39.
    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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  • 40.
    Radetzky March - Orchestral Favourites / Hans Knappertsbusch
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 440624 Release Date: 09/03/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Karel Komzak II,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Carl Michael Ziehrer  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Brahms: Symphonies 1-4, Etc / Eschenbach, Houston Symphony
    Label: Erato   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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  • 42.
    Brahms: Symphonies / Felix Weingartner, LPO, LSO
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 64256 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Felix Weingartner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 43.
    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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  • 44.
    Brahms: Symphony No 3, Academic Festival Overture / Boult
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 69203 Release Date: 12/29/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 45.
    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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  • 46.
    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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  • 47.
    Berlitz Passport - The Music Of Germany
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 47276 Release Date: 10/20/2009   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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  • 48.
    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:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Brahms: Symphonie No 3, Etc / Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 54523 Release Date: 07/22/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 50.
    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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