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: Violin Concerto; Bartok: Violin Concerto No. 1 / Jansen, Pappano
Release Date: 01/08/2016   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002375902   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Symphony No. 4; Hungarian Dances 3, 7 & 11
Release Date: 11/13/2015   Label: Channel Classics  
Catalog: 35315   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Symphony No 2... / Fischer, Budapest Festival
Release Date: 01/13/2015   Label: Channel Classics  
Catalog: 33514   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: The Four Symphonies; Tragic Overture; Academic Festival Overture; Variations on a Theme by Haydn / Barbirolli
Release Date: 01/29/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 553993   Number of Discs: 3
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Brahms: String Quartet; Schoenberg: Verklarte Nacht / Thompson, Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Release Date: 05/10/2011   Label: Channel Classics  
Catalog: 30411   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Academic Festival Overture in C minor, Op. 80

Browse 51-75 of 90 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    Brahms: Symphony No 1, Etc / Mandeal, Bucharest Po
    Label: Arte Nova   Catalog: 378520 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Cristian Mandeal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bucharest George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 53.
    Ouverturen - Mozart, Salieri, Rossini, Beethoven, Etc / Fey
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98269 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Fey
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Heidelberg Symphony
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  • 54.
    The Organ Of Westminster Cathedral - Brahms, Etc / Quinney
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 89 Release Date: 01/30/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Marcel Dupré,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Robert Quinney
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  • 55.
    Brahms: 4 Symphonies / Chailly, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Asko Ensemble
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 000725902 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Hans Vonk - The Final Sessions
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186045 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Yvonne Naef
    Conductor:  Hans Vonk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Symphony,  Netherlands Radio Men's Chorus
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  • 57.
    Brahms: Symphony No 1 [dvd Audio]
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 5110077 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Marin Alsop
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD Audio: $19.99
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  • 58.
    Brahms: Symphony No 1, Overtures / Alsop, London PO
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557428 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Marin Alsop
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 59.
    Brahms: Symphony No 1
    Label: Avid Master Series   Catalog: 603 Release Date: 06/04/2004  
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 60.
    Arts Archives - Brahms: Piano Concerto No 2, Etc / Maag
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 43038 Release Date: 05/25/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Alexis Weissenberg
    Conductor:  Peter Maag
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin
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  • 61.
    Bernstein Collectors Edition - Brahms: Symphonies,  Concertos
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000218702 Release Date: 05/11/2004   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer,  Mischa Maisky,  Gerhart Hetzel
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 62.
    German Romantic Organ Music / Johannes Skudlik
    Label: Motette   Catalog: 1300 Release Date: 04/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Robert Schumann,  Sigfrid Karg-Elert,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Johannes Skudlik
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  • 63.
    Otto Klemperer Conducts Weber, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1241 Release Date: 03/30/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Marguerite Roesgen-Champion,  Cortet,,  Henri Merckel
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  ProMusica Chamber Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Brahms: Four Hand Piano Music Vol 9 / Matthies, Köhn
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8554116 Release Date: 11/18/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Silke-Thora Matthies,  Christian Köhn
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  • 65.
    Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Historic Telecasts / Reiner, Stokowski, Hindemith
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4237 Release Date: 06/24/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Paul Hindemith,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Hindemith,  Leopold Stokowski,  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Life And Works - Johannes Brahms / Jeremy Siepmann
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8558071-74 Release Date: 01/21/2003   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jénö Jandó,  Christian Köhn,  Silke-Thora Matthies,  Jenö Keveházi  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Rahbari,  Antoni Wit,  Andrew Constantine,  Robert Jones  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brussels Belgian Radio & TV Philharmonic Orchestra,  Stuttgart Soloists,  Polish Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 67.
    Trio - Brahms: Complete Concertos, Overtures /Brendel, Et Al
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 473267 Release Date: 01/14/2003   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel,  Henryk Szeryng,  János Starker
    Conductor:  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt,  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Winds Of A Higher Order
    Label: Mark Custom Recording Service,   Catalog: 4722 Release Date: 01/01/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Morton Gould,  Johannes Brahms,  Luigi Zaninelli,  David Gillingham  ... 
    Conductor:  James Keene
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Illinois State University Wind Symphony
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  • 69.
    Trio - Brahms: Complete Symphonies / Riccardo Muti, Et Al
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 470942 Release Date: 06/11/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
    CD: $25.49
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  • 70.
    A Night At The Symphony
    Label: Lifestyles   Catalog: 215003 Release Date: 01/16/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Frédéric Chopin,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 71.
    Famous Overtures - Marriage Of Figaro, Egmont, Hebrides, Etc
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553627 Release Date: 10/05/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth,  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Oliver Dohnányi,  Alexander Rahbari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra,  Brussels Belgian Radio & TV Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 72.
    Bernstein Century - Brahms: Symphony No 4, Overtures
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 61846 Release Date: 04/11/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 73.
    Brahms, Strauss, Stravinsky / Krips, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1122 Release Date: 08/01/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Strauss,  Igor Stravinsky
    Conductor:  Josef Krips
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Brahms: The Symphonies, Etc / Harnoncourt, Berlin Po
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 13136 Release Date: 11/25/1997   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Brahms: Symphony No 1, Etc / Mackerras, Scottish Co
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80463 Release Date: 10/28/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
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