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
Mahler, Brahms, Lieberson / Hunt Lieberson
Release Date: 04/10/2007   Label: Wigmore Hall Live  
Catalog: 13   Number of Discs: 1
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Mozart, Brahms: Clarinet Quintets / Anthony McGill, Pacifica Quartet
Release Date: 05/27/2014   Label: Cedille Records  
Catalog: 147   Number of Discs: 1
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Stravinsky: Petrouchka, Brahms: Liebeslieder Waltzes / Stenzl, Racz
Release Date: 11/16/2004   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 100715   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Symphony No 3, Etc / Bernard Haitink, London So
Release Date: 11/09/2004   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 56   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem / Thielemann, Schafer, Gerhaher, Munich Philharmonic
Release Date: 10/26/2010   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 703308   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Variations on a theme by Haydn

Browse 1-25 of 140 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Europakonzert: 25 DVD Anniversary Box (1991-2015) / Berliner Philharmoniker
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26098 Release Date: 04/29/2016  
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Leonidas Kavakos,  Mikhail Pletnev,  Violeta Urmana,  Elke Wilm Schulte  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Pierre Boulez,  Gustavo Dudamel,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Swedish Radio Choir,  Eric Ericson Chamber Choir
    On sale! $118.99
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  • 2.
    Deutsche Grammophon: The Mono Era (1948-1957)
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002457272 Release Date: 03/18/2016   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Stefan Askenase,  Shura Cherkassky,  Halina Czerny-Stefanska,  Basile Bolotine  ... 
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl,  Karl Böhm,  Serge Jaroff,  Leopold Ludwig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Quartet,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $145.99
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  • 3.
    Kurt Sanderling Edition
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 13037 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Thomas Zehetmair,  Antonio Meneses,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Annette Markert
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $68.99
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  • 4.
    Brahms: The Four Symphonies; Academic Festival & Tragic Overtures; Haydn Variations / Barbirolli
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 553993 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $23.98
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  • 5.
    Johannes Brahms Cycle / Franz Welser-most, Cleveland Orchestra
    Label: Belvedere (Dvd)   Catalog: 8005 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Julia Fischer,  Yefim Bronfman
    Conductor:  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
    On sale! $65.98
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  • 6.
    Johannes Brahms Cycle / Franz Welser-most, Cleveland Orchestra [blu-ray]
    Label: Belvedere   Catalog: 8009 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Julia Fischer,  Yefim Bronfman
    Conductor:  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
    On sale! $65.98
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  • 7.
    Brahms: Complete Orchestral Music / Chailly
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002405502 Release Date: 11/06/2015   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Leonidas Kavakos,  Péter Nagy,  Vadim Repin,  Truls Otterbech Mork  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    On sale! $49.98
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  • 8.
    The Complete HMV Recordings / Markevitch
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 552546 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Richard Strauss,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Jacques Neilz,  Henri Bronschwak,  Fernand Dufrene,  Denyse Gouarne  ... 
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
    On sale! $55.98
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  • 9.
    Transfigured Brahms
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98051 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernö von Dohnányi,  Johannes Brahms,  Eduard Schütt
    Performer:  Petronel Malan
    CD: $18.99
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  • 10.
    Karajan Spectacular, Vol. 4: Brahms
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6704 Release Date: 08/14/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    CD: $14.99
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  • 11.
    Brahms: Serenades 1 and 2; Overtures; Haydn Variations
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95073 Release Date: 05/26/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    CD: $11.99
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  • 12.
    Bruno Walter Conducts Brahms
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88843072592 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Pierre Fournier,  Zino Francescatti,  George London,  Irmgard Seefried  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Occidental College Consort,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 13.
    Karajan - 1980s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002187902 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 78
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Anton Bruckner,  Johannes Brahms,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  José Van Dam,  Barbara Hendricks,  Gösta Winbergh  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Domenico Bartolucci
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein  ... 
    CD: $245.99
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  • 14.
    Lorin Maazel: The Cleveland Years - Complete Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002217602 Release Date: 11/10/2014   Number of Discs: 19
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Mikhail Glinka  ... 
    Performer:  Kenneth Riegel,  Lynn Harrell,  Pascal Rogé,  Ivan Davis
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Detroit Symphony Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Leonard Bernstein Edition - Concertos & Orchestral Works
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301330 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 80
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Gomberg,  William Heim  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Seiji Ozawa,  Maurice Peress
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New York Philharmonic members,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 16.
    Brahms: Complete Symphonies; Ein Deutsches Requiem
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 627817 Release Date: 09/02/2014  
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    CD: $29.99
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  • 17.
    Ferenc Fricsay: Complete DG Recordings, Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002132602 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 45
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Tibor Varga,  Helmut Krebs,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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    On sale! $175.98
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  • 18.
    Karajan - Orchestral Recordings From Germany & Austria, 1970 - 1981: Brahms, Bruckner, Wagner, R. Strauss, Sibelius, Schmidt / Berlin PO
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 33622 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Franz Schmidt,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Michel Schwalbé
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    CD: $39.99
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  • 19.
    Brahms: The Symphonies / Chailly, Gewandhaus
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002121502 Release Date: 08/19/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Brahms / Abbado, Berliner Philharmoniker [5-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002065002 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Marjana Lipovsek
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Chamber Choir,  Berlin Radio Chorus  ... 
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  • 21.
    Giulini In Vienna [15-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002037702 Release Date: 05/19/2014   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli,  Andreas Schmidt,  Barbara Bonney,  Lazar Berman  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 22.
    Karajan 1951-1960: Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Strauss, Wagner
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633623 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $80.99
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  • 23.
    Brahms: Complete Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94860 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 58
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim,  Cécile Ousset,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Emmy Verhey  ... 
    Conductor:  Jaap Van Zweden,  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos,  Günther Herbig,  Heinz Bongartz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra,  Radio Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 24.
    Emil Gilels In Ensembles
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 2210 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Emil Gilels,  Yakov Zak,  Elizaveta Gillels,  Yakov Shapiro  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    CD: $54.49
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  • 25.
    Leonard Bernstein Collection Vol 1 [59 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 2027800 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Leonard Bernstein,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Performer:  René Kollo,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Kurt Moll,  Hanna Schwarz  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Concert Choir,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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