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
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: Piano Works, Vol. 5 / Plowright
Release Date: 10/06/2017   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2147   Number of Discs: 1
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Schumann, Bach & Brahms / Argerich, Perlman
Release Date: 09/30/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 557553   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Piano Concerto No 1;  Schumann / Biret, Wit, Et Al
Release Date: 01/16/2001   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8554088   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Complete Piano Quartets / Faust, Giuranna, Meunier, Han
Release Date: 08/28/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 930404   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Double Concerto, Op. 102

Browse 1-25 of 100 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Andre Navarra: Prague Recordings
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 2542292 Release Date: 09/29/2017   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann,  Ernest Bloch,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Suk,  André Navarra,  Alfred Holecek,  Frantisek Maxian
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl,  Martin Turnovsky,  Constantin Silvestri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra
    On sale! $47.99
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  • 2.
    Joshua Bell: The Classical Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 539520 Release Date: 08/18/2017   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Alexander Courage,  George Gershwin,  Nicholas Maw,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Joshua Bell,  John Williams,  Craig Ogden,  Gregory Knowles  ... 
    Conductor:  John Williams,  Roger Norrington,  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  David Zinman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 3.
    Tribute to Gregor Piatigorsky: Works by Brahms, Saint-Saens & Bloch / Reiner, Munch, RCA Victor Symphony, BSO
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 250368 Release Date: 06/09/2017  
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ernest Bloch
    Performer:  Gregor Piatigorsky,  Nathan Milstein
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $22.99
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  • 4.
    Carl Schuricht: The Complete Decca Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4831643 Release Date: 03/31/2017   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Max Bruch,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Christian Ferras,  Georg Kulenkampff,  Enrico Mainardi,  Wilhelm Backhaus
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Conservatoire Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $66.99
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  • 5.
    Mstislav Rostropovich: Cellist of the Century
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 559857 Release Date: 03/24/2017   Number of Discs: 43
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Nikolay Myaskovsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Alexander Dedyukhin,  Alexander Dedyuhkin,  David Oistrakh  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Sir Adrian Boult,  George Szell,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $166.99
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  • 6.
    Complete Concerto Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon / Kremer
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002582102 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Alban Berg,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer,  Heinz Holliger,  Mischa Maisky,  Rainer Keuschnig  ... 
    Conductor:  Gidon Kremer,  Pierre Boulez,  Sir Colin Davis,  Emil Tchakarov  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $120.49
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  • 7.
    Brahms: Violin Concerto & Double Concerto / Fischer, Muller-Schott
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186592 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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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    For the Love of Brahms / Denk, Bell, Isserlis, ASMF
    Label: Sony Music Entertainment   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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  • 10.
    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
    CD: $101.49
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  • 11.
    Beethoven: Triple Concerto - Brahms: Double Concerto
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 8047 Release Date: 07/01/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Eugene Istomin,  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Rose
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    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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  • 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.
    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,  Paris Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $325.49
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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    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: $11.99
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  • 18.
    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:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    CD: $15.99
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  • 19.
    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
    CD: $18.99
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  • 20.
    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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  • 21.
    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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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    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: $36.99
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  • 25.
    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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