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: 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 & 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: 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: Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 77

Browse 1-25 of 200 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Tchaikovsky & Bruch: Violin Concertos / Milstein
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 153 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein
    Conductor:  William Steinberg,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Leon Barzin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    On sale! $29.99
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  • 2.
    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
    DVD: $116.99
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  • 3.
    The Menuhin Century: Live Performances & Festival Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555053 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Niccolň Paganini,  Pablo de Sarasate  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Eugene Istomin,  Pablo Casals,  Mieczyslaw Horszowski  ... 
    Conductor:  Georg Schnéevoigt,  Gary Bertini,  Edmond de Stoutz,  István Kertész  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Friends of Music Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Zurich Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $26.99
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  • 4.
    The Menuhin Century: Luxury Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555050 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 91
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Hubert Giesen,  Artur Balsam,  Marcel Gazelle  ... 
    Conductor:  Landon Ronald,  Pierre Monteux,  Jean Fournet,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Symphonic Orchestra,  Colonne Concerts Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $250.99
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  • 5.
    The Menuhin Century: The Historic Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555052 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonín Dvorák,  Niccolň Paganini  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Gerald Moore,  George Enescu,  David Oistrakh  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Edward Elgar,  George Enescu,  Pierre Monteux,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Symphonic Orchestra,  Orchestre De La Société Des Concerts Du Conservatoire  ... 
    On sale! $54.98
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  • 6.
    111: 6 Classic Recordings [6 LP]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B002438901 Release Date: 01/15/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Robert Schumann,  Antonín Dvorák,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Karl Ridderbusch,  Hans Haselbock,  Julia Hamari  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  Herbert von Karajan,  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Concert Choir  ... 
    LP: $130.99
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  • 7.
    Brahms: Violin Concerto; Bartok: Violin Concerto No. 1 / Jansen, Pappano
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002375902 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Béla Bartók
    Performer:  Janine Jansen
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    111: The Collector's Editions [111 CDs]
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002422702 Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 111
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Lorin Maazel,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Amadeus Quartet,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
    CD: $325.49
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  • 11.
    Brahms: Violinkonzert
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552357 Release Date: 11/20/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    CD: $11.99
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  • 12.
    Hilary Hahn: The Complete Sony Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875126182 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Leonard Bernstein,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Performer:  Hilary Hahn
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  Hugh Wolff,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Marek Janowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
    CD: $22.99
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  • 13.
    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
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  • 14.
    Brahms: Violin Concerto
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552456 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    CD: $11.99
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  • 15.
    Itzhak Perlman: The Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552439 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 77
    Composer:  Niccolň Paganini,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Ray Still,  Samuel Sanders  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster,  Daniel Barenboim,  Itzhak Perlman,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 16.
    Brahms, Dvorák: Violin Concertos / Oistrakh, Kondrashin
    Label: Vanguard Classics   Catalog: 1024 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 17.
    Camilla Wicks: Five Decades Of Treasured Performances
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1282 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Maria Theresia Paradis,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Camilla Wicks,  Robert Levin,  Horace Martinez,  Martin Katz  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Busch,  Ari Rasilainen,  William Steinberg,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
    CD: $58.99
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  • 18.
    Imperial Oistrakh!
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564614443 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Max Bruch,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Lev Oborine,  Svyatoslav Knushevitsky,  Igor Oistrakh  ... 
    Conductor:  André Cluytens,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Lovro von Matacic,  David Oistrakh  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 19.
    Kyung-Wha Chung: The Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564614053 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Claude Debussy,  Antonín Dvorák,  Jacques Ibert  ... 
    Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung,  Itamar Golan,  Myung-Wha Chung,  Myung-Whun Chung  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $44.99
    CD: $41.99
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  • 20.
    Orchestre National de France: 80 ans de Concerts Inedits
    Label: Radio France   Catalog: 20 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Edouard Lalo,  Albert Roussel,  Francis Poulenc  ... 
    Performer:  Pierre [Baritone Vocals] Bernac,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Irma Kolassi,  Victoria de los Angeles  ... 
    Conductor:  Désiré-Emile Inghelbrecht,  Paul Paray,  Charles Munch,  Roger Desormičre  ... 
    CD: $74.49
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  • 21.
    Brahms: Double Concerto; Violin Concerto
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2418 Release Date: 05/05/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Adolf Busch,  Hermann Busch
    Conductor:  Paul Kletzki,  Hans Munch
    On sale! $13.98
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  • 22.
    Isaac Stern plays Brahms
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88843061362 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Rose,  Eugene Istomin,  Yo-Yo Ma  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Eugene Ormandy,  Milton Katims
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Decca Sound  – Mono Years 1944 -1956
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002280602 Release Date: 04/07/2015   Number of Discs: 53
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Maurice Ravel,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus,  Clifford Curzon,  Alfredo Campoli,  Henry Datyner  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Roger Desormičre,  Karl Münchinger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Paris Conservatoire Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
    CD: $213.99
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  • 24.
    Brahms, Bruch: Violin Concertos
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 6270 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Hideko Udagawa
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    CD: $14.99
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  • 25.
    David Oistrakh, Vol. 1 [Vinyl]
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: MELLP0056 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
    LP: $48.99
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