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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 / Masur, Leipzig Gewandhaus
Release Date: 01/30/2007   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4168   Number of Discs: 2
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Brahms: Piano Trios / Ma, Ax, Kavakos
Release Date: 09/15/2017   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 540729   Number of Discs: 2
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Final Thoughts: The Last Piano Works of Schubert & Brahms / Osorio
Release Date: 05/12/2017   Label: Cedille Records  
Catalog: 171   Number of Discs: 2
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Brahms: Complete Piano Trios & Quartets / Gould Piano Trio
Release Date: 11/10/2017   Label: Champs Hill Records  
Catalog: CHRCD129   Number of Discs: 6
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Brahms & Schumann: Chamber Music / Pressler, Pacifica Quartet
Release Date: 03/10/2017   Label: Cedille Records  
Catalog: 170   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Variations on a theme by Haydn

Browse 1-25 of 154 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Sir Georg Solti: The Complete Chicago Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4831375 Release Date: 09/15/2017   Number of Discs: 108
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $321.49
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  • 2.
    Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 & Haydn Variations / Belohlavek, Tiberghien, BBC Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 501977 Release Date: 08/11/2017  
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Cédric Tiberghien
    Conductor:  Jiří Bělohlávek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $13.99
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  • 3.
    Weber, Beethoven & Brahms: Orchestral Works / Knappertsbusch, Cologne Radio Symphony
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 916172 Release Date: 07/07/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Géza Anda
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $22.49
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  • 4.
    New York Philharmonic: 175th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 533636 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 65
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Oscar Levant,  Robert Casadesus,  Isaac Stern,  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg,  Josef Stransky,  Arturo Toscanini,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 5.
    Toscanini: The Essential Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 537604 Release Date: 03/10/2017   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Edna Phillips,  Jon Garrison,  Gladys Swarthout,  Nicola Moscona  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Allusions & Beyond / Piano Duo Takahashi-Lehmann
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 97700 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Bernd Alois Zimmermann,  Johannes Brahms
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Piano Duo Takahashi-Lehmann
    CD: $19.99
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  • 7.
    Brahms: Serenade No. 1 & Haydn Variations / Vriend
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72692 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Jan Willem de Vriend
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hague Philharmonic Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $18.99
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  • 8.
    Eugen Jochum: Complete Recordings on DG, Vol. 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002565702 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
    CD: $108.49
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  • 9.
    Michael Gielen Edition, Vol. 3 (1989-2005): Brahms - Symphonies and Concertos
    Label: Swr Music   Catalog: 19022 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Gerhard Oppitz,  Mark Kaplan,  David Geringas
    Conductor:  Michael Gielen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  South West German Radio Orchestra,  Cologne West German Radio Chorus
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  • 10.
    Brahms: Symphonies, Piano Concertos, Overtures & Haydn Variations / Harnoncourt, Buchbinder
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 556697 Release Date: 08/26/2016   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Rudolf Buchbinder
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Zubin Mehta conducts Brahms
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875166762 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $25.49
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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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
    CD: $23.99
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  • 16.
    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
    DVD: $65.99
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  • 17.
    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
    Blu-ray Video: $65.99
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  • 18.
    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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  • 19.
    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,  Denyse Gouarne,  Fernand Dufrene,  Henri Bronschwak  ... 
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
    CD: $58.99
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  • 20.
    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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  • 21.
    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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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    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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  • 25.
    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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