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: String Quartet & Piano Quintet / Kudritskaya, Brodsky Quartet
Release Date: 04/29/2016   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10892   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms, Schumann: Lieder / Murray, Martineau
Release Date: 02/10/2015   Label: Linn Records  
Catalog: 443   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 / Griffiths
Release Date: 05/13/2016   Label: Klanglogo  
Catalog: 1514   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: 4 Ernste Gesange / Goerne, Eschenbach
Release Date: 05/27/2016   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902174   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: String Quartet No 2, Clarinet Quintet / Collins, Brodsky Quartet
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10817   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Academic Festival Overture in C minor, Op. 80

Browse 76-100 of 100 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    The Berlin Album / Claudio Abbado, Berliner Philharmoniker
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471627 Release Date: 05/14/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Hector Berlioz,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini,  Martha Argerich,  Evgeni Kissin
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    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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  • 80.
    Brahms: Symphony No 4, Etc / Sawallisch, London Po, Et Al
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 73570 Release Date: 10/19/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers
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  • 81.
    Classics For The Occasion - Classical Workout
    Label: Columbia River Entertainment   Catalog: 1058 Release Date: 03/31/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz von Suppé,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Conductor:  Václáv Smetácek,  Václav Neumann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Symphony Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 82.
    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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  • 83.
    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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  • 84.
    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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  • 85.
    Brahms: Symphony No 2 / Davis, Bavarian Radio Sym Orch
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 7980 Release Date: 08/30/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 86.
    Brahms: Symphonies 1-3, Overtures / Jochum, London SO
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 69515 Release Date: 02/18/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 87.
    Brahms: Hungarian Dances For Piano 4 Hands / Moreno, Capelli
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47136 Release Date: 09/01/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Norberto Capelli,  Hector Moreno
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  • 88.
    Famous Symphonies - Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Tchaikovsky
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8504012 Release Date: 06/18/1996   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert
    Conductor:  Michael Halász,  Richard Edlinger,  Antoni Wit,  Alexander Rahbari
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak State Symphony Orchestra,  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice,  Brussels Belgian Radio & TV Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 89.
    Bruno Walter Edition - Brahms: Symphony No 1, Etc
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64470 Release Date: 10/31/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 90.
    Art Of Classics - Brahms: Masterpieces Vol 1
    Label: Intercord Klassische Diskothek   Catalog: 25924 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Mark Kaplan,  David Geringas,  Dieter Goldmann
    Conductor:  Michael Gielen,  Hans Swarowsky,  Alfred Scholz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  South German Philharmonic Orchestra,  Munich Symphony Orchestra
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  • 91.
    Brahms: Symphony No 2, Tragic Overture, Etc / Pritchard
    Label: Imp Bbc Radio Classics   Catalog: IMP3BBCRD9113 Release Date: 03/01/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  John Pritchard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 92.
    The Complete Josef Hofmann Vol 2
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1020 Release Date: 09/01/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Moritz Moszkowski,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Hofmann
    Conductor:  Ignace Hilsberg,  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Curtis Symphony Orchestra
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  • 93.
    Best Of Brahms
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8556659 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Péter Nagy,  Jénö Jandó,  Takako Nishizaki,  Idil Biret
    Conductor:  Alexander Rahbari,  István Bogár,  Stephen Gunzenhauser
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brussels Belgian Radio & TV Philharmonic Orchestra,  Budapest Symphony Orchestra,  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 94.
    Brahms: Symphony No 4, Tragic & Academic Overtures / Rahbari
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550281 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Alexander Rahbari
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brussels Belgian Radio & TV Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 95.
    Brahms: Symphony No 2 For Piano Duo / Lonskov, Llambias
    Label: Kontrapunkt   Catalog: 32120 Release Date: 09/18/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Rodolfo Llambias,  Tove Lonskov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lonskov-Llambias Piano Duo
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  • 96.
    Brahms: Piano Concertos, Overtures / Arrau, Haitink
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 438320 Release Date: 08/10/1993   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 97.
    Brahms: The Symphonies / Solti, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 430799 Release Date: 02/11/1992   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 98.
    Brahms: Symphony No 4, Etc / Szell, Cleveland Orchestra
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 46330 Release Date: 04/05/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 99.
    Brahms: Symphony No 2 / Muti, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 422334 Release Date: 02/05/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 100.
    Brahms: Symphony No 4, Academic Festival Overture / Previn
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80155 Release Date: 10/27/1987   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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