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: Clarinet Trio, Cello Sonatas / Collins, Watkins
Release Date: 07/29/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10825   Number of Discs: 1
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Karajan 1947-1958: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms - Choral Music
Release Date: 05/13/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 633629   Number of Discs: 5
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Brahms, Schoenberg, Beethoven / Fujimura, Abbado, Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Release Date: 05/27/2014   Label: Accentus  
Catalog: 20282   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Viola Sonatas / Sparf, Westenholtz
Release Date: 03/25/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 213   Number of Discs: 1
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Leonid Kogan Vol 1 - Brahms: Violin Concerto;  Mozart: Violin Concerto No 3
Release Date: 04/08/2008   Label: Doremi Records  
Catalog: 7900   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Variations on a theme by Haydn

Browse 26-50 of 173 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Arturo Toscanini - The Complete RCA Collection [84 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 791631 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 85
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell,  Nan Merriman,  Jan Peerce,  Norman Scott  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Robert Shaw Chorale,  NBC Symphony Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
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  • 27.
    Arturo Toscanini Conducts Schubert, Elgar, Mozart, Rossini, Wagner, Brahms & Mendelssohn
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2384 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
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  • 28.
    Best Of Brahms
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300344 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Bruno Canino,  Jan Vogler,  Peter Rösel,  Manfred Scherzer  ... 
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann,  Hartwig Eschenburg,  Günther Herbig,  Helmut Koch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Solistenvereinigung
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  • 29.
    Ferdinand Leitner Anniversary Edition
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 12019 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Monique Haas,  Deon Van der Walt,  Barbara Kilduff,  Edith Wiens  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferdinand Leitner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Württemberg State Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $68.99
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  • 30.
    L'Art de Ferenc Fricsay
    Label: Tahra   Catalog: 732 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Irmgard Helmis,  Hans Schmitz,  Yehudi Menuhin
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
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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: Symphony No 1 / Furtwangler, Ndr Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Tahra   Catalog: 2010 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $21.98
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  • 33.
    Essential Brahms
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 78131 Release Date: 02/07/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich,  Nicholas Angelich,  Natalie Clein,  Charles Owen  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Eugen Jochum,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Klaus Tennstedt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alban Berg String Quartet,  Artemis Quartett (String Quartet)
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  • 34.
    Edition Wilhelm Furtwangler [14 LP set]
    Label: Audite   Catalog: AUD87101 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Anton Bruckner,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    LP: $349.99
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  • 35.
    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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  • 36.
    Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem; Haydn-variations
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0154 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
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  • 37.
    Brahms: The Four Symphonies; Piano Concerto No. 2
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0190 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert,  Bedrich Smetana
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  • 38.
    Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 1; Variations On A Theme By Haydn
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0254 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
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  • 39.
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5034 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Edwin Fischer
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
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  • 40.
    Celibidache Vol 1 - Symphonies / Munich Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85566 Release Date: 11/29/2011   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Siegfried Jerusalem,  Helen Donath,  Doris Soffel,  Peter Lika
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Munich Philharmonic Choir
    CD: $95.99
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  • 41.
    Brahms: Haydn Variations, Serenade No. 1, Hungarian Dances 1, 3 & 10 / Ticciati
    Label: Tudor Records   Catalog: 7183 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Robin Ticciati
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 42.
    Brahms: Complete Symphonies / Hughes, Stuttgart Philharmonic
    Label: Quartz Records   Catalog: 2054 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Owain Arwel Hughes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 43.
    Brahms: 4 Symphonies, Alto Rhapsody, Haydn Variations / Markert, Sanderling
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 11019 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Annette Markert
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus
    CD: $39.99
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  • 44.
    Brahms: The Four Symphonies / Giulini, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802063 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 45.
    Wilhelm Furtwangler - The Great EMI Recordings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 07878 Release Date: 05/17/2011   Number of Discs: 21
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Béla Bartók,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Elisabeth Höngen,  Hans Hopf,  Otto Edelmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 46.
    Haydn: Symphonies 94 & 101; Brahms: Haydn Variations / Monteux
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4804726 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 47.
    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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  • 48.
    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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  • 49.
    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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  • 50.
    Brahms: Haydn Variations; Piano Concerto No. 1
    Label: Fuga Libera   Catalog: 573 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Plamena Mangova
    Conductor:  Walter Weller
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