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
For the Love of Brahms / Denk, Bell, Isserlis, ASMF
Release Date: 09/30/2016   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 532179   Number of Discs: 1
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Bernstein, Brahms, Burgmuller, Francaix & Widmann: Works for Clarinet & Piano / Aust
Release Date: 09/09/2016   Label: Genuin Musikproduction  
Catalog: 16432   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 / Buchbinder, Mehta, Vienna Philharmonic
Release Date: 09/30/2016   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 733508   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Symphony No 2, Tragische Overture / Young, Hamburg Philharmonic
Release Date: 02/28/2012   Label: Oehms  
Catalog: 676   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms/Schoenberg: Piano Quartet; Brahms/Berio: Clarinet Sonata
Release Date: 08/26/2008   Label: Cpo  
Catalog: 777356-2   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Double Concerto, Op. 102

Browse 1-25 of 96 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Brahms: Violin Concerto & Double Concerto / Fischer, Muller-Schott
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: PTC5186592 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Julia Fischer,  Daniel Müller-Schott
    Conductor:  Yakov Kreizberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Michael Gielen Edition, Vol. 3 (1989-2005)
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: SWR19022CD 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
    On sale! $34.99
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  • 3.
    For the Love of Brahms / Denk, Bell, Isserlis, ASMF
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 532179 Release Date: 09/30/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Joshua Bell,  Steven Isserlis,  Jeremy Denk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 4.
    Jascha Heifetz: The Complete Stereo Collection (Remastered)
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 309534 Release Date: 08/26/2016   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz
    On sale! $99.98
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  • 5.
    Brahms: Works for Piano Trio / Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5934 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Raphael Wallfisch,  Hagai Shaham
    Conductor:  Daniel Raiskin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch (Piano Trio),  Rhenish Philharmonic
    CD: $29.99
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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    Brahms: Double Concerto
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552981 Release Date: 11/06/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    CD: $9.99
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  • 11.
    Brahms: Double Concerto; Mendelssohn, Stravinsky, Prokofiev: Violin Concertos
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552421 Release Date: 11/06/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Igor Stravinsky,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
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  • 12.
    Brahms; Prokofiev: Concertos for Cello & Orchestra / Gutman, Kagan, Svetlanov
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002380 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Natalia Gutman,  Oleg Kagan
    Conductor:  Alexander Lazarev,  Yevgeny Svetlanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Academic Symphony Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Yo-Yo Ma: The Classical Cello Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 513074 Release Date: 10/02/2015   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Luigi Boccherini,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Ton Koopman,  Emanuel Ax,  Edgar Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Ton Koopman,  Claudio Abbado,  Kurt Masur,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  ORTF National Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $47.99
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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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
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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    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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  • 18.
    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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  • 19.
    Europakonzert 2007 From Berlin [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2055994 Release Date: 11/18/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Lisa Batiashvili,  Truls Otterbech Mork
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 20.
    Brahms: Double Concerto For Violin And Cello In A Minor, Op. 102; Piano Concerto In D Minor, Op. 15
    Label: Arcodiva   Catalog: 5 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Jiri Vodicka,  Jan Pálenícek,  Jitka Cechova
    Conductor:  Ondrej Kukal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hradec Kralove Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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  • 21.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $175.98
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  • 22.
    Claudio Abbado: The Complete RCA & Sony Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 304505 Release Date: 08/05/2014   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Claudio Abbado,  Murray Perahia,  Anatoly Kotcherga,  Midori  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
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  • 23.
    Brahms Concerti
    Label: Talent Records   Catalog: 291099 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Yuzuko Horigome,  Viviane Spanoghe
    Conductor:  JoAnn Falletta
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  • 24.
    The Art Of Zino Francescatti
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 9112 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Paul Ben-Haim  ... 
    Performer:  Zino Francescatti,  Eugenio Bagnoli,  Pierre Fournier
    Conductor:  André Cluytens,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Dimitri Mitropoulos,  Fernando Previtali
    CD: $19.99
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  • 25.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
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