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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: Ein Deutsches Requiem / Wit, Warsaw
Release Date: 04/29/2014   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 573061   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: The Symphonies / Chailly, Gewandhaus
Release Date: 08/19/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002121502   Number of Discs: 3
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Beethoven: Trio; Brahms: Trio; Weber: Grand Duo
Release Date: 11/11/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 807618   Number of Discs: 1
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Warum - Brahms: Choral Works / Reuss, Cappella Amsterdam
Release Date: 11/11/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902160   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Mass, Motets / Dijkstra, Swedish Radio Choir
Release Date: 12/09/2014   Label: Channel Classics  
Catalog: 35814   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: German Requiem, Op. 45

Browse 1-25 of 119 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $259.98
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  • 2.
    Brahms: Complete Symphonies; Ein Deutsches Requiem
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 627817 Release Date: 09/02/2014  
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
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  • 3.
    James Levine Conducts Brahms
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 686042 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax,  Kathleen Battle,  James Levine,  Hĺkan Hagegĺrd
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus
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    CD: $11.99
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  • 4.
    Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem
    Label: Gramola   Catalog: 99014 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Elena [Soprano (Vocal)] Copons,  Veronika Trisko,  Johanna Grobner,  Adrian Eröd
    Conductor:  Johannes Hiemetsberger
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  • 5.
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002046202 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Lucia Popp,  Wolfgang Brendel
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
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  • 6.
    Johannes Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300569 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Sibylla Rubens,  Daniel Ochoa
    Conductor:  Roderich Kreile
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  • 7.
    Giulini In Vienna [15-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002037702 Release Date: 05/19/2014   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli,  Andreas Schmidt,  Barbara Bonney,  Lazar Berman  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 8.
    Brahms: German Requiem / Gergiev, Maltman, Matthews, London Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Lso Live   Catalog: 748 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Sally Matthews,  Christopher Maltman
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus
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  • 9.
    Karajan 1947-1958: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms - Choral Music
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633629 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Nicolai Gedda,  Marga Höffgen,  Heinz Rehfuss  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 10.
    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  ... 
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  • 11.
    Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem / Libor, Bauer, Wit, Warsaw Philharmonic [blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 39 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Christiane Libor,  Thomas E. Bauer
    Conductor:  Antoni Wit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra,  Warsaw Philharmonic Chorus
    On sale! $19.99
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  • 12.
    Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem / Wit, Warsaw
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 573061 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Thomas E. Bauer,  Christiane Libor
    Conductor:  Antoni Wit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra,  Warsaw Philharmonic Chorus
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  • 13.
    Sir Colin Davis - The Complete RCA Legacy
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 300607 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Jan-Hendrik Rootering,  Barbara Fleckenstein,  Ben Heppner,  Heinrich Weber  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $119.98
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  • 14.
    Herbert Blomstedt - The San Francisco Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002032302 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Berwald,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Jard Van Nes,  Elisabeth Norberg-Schulz,  Wolfgang Holzmair,  Wendy Hoffman  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Chorus,  San Francisco Girls Chorus  ... 
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  • 15.
    Brahms - Romanticism & Formal Genius
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908401 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Alessandro Carbonare,  Luc Héry,  Florence Binder,  Nicolas Böne  ... 
    Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe,  Kent Nagano,  Jiri Belohlávek,  Daniel Harding  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Collegium Vocale,  Champs-Élysées Orchestra,  La Chapelle Royale Paris  ... 
    On sale! $39.98
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  • 16.
    Teldec - 50-CD Collection
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 643851 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonín Dvorák,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  András Schiff,  Josef Protschka,  Barbara Bonney,  Edita Gruberova  ... 
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Carlo Rizzi,  Reinbert De Leeuw  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Festival Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $299.98
    CD: $230.49
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  • 17.
    Wilhelm Furtwangler Conducts Brahms Vol. 2
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6674 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    CD: $17.99
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  • 18.
    Bernard Haitink - The Philips Years [20-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001903502 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng,  Herman Krebbers,  Menahem Pressler,  Isidore Cohen  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beaux Arts Trio  ... 
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  • 19.
    Johannes Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem
    Label: United Classics   Catalog: 2013007 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
    CD: $12.99
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  • 20.
    Brahms: German Requiem / Alsop, MDR Radio
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572996 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Anna Lucia Richter,  Stephan Genz
    Conductor:  Marin Alsop
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Middle German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Middle German Radio Chorus Leipzig
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  • 21.
    Brahms: German Requiem / Equilbey, Accentus
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 40028 Release Date: 08/06/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Stčphane Degout,  Sandrine Piau,  Brigitte Engerer,  Boris Berezovsky
    Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
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  • 22.
    Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem (version with 2 pianos and timpani) / Huber
    Label: Neos   Catalog: 30803 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Kay Stiefermann,  Simone Nold,  Ian Pace,  Mark Knoop  ... 
    Conductor:  Rupert Huber
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  West German Radio Chorus
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  • 23.
    Bruno Walter - The Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548952 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Hendl,  John Corigliano Sr.,  Leonard Rose,  Martha Lipton  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Occidental College Consort,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 24.
    Claudio Abbado - A Life Dedicated To Music
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2059588 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Igor Stravinsky,  Johannes Brahms,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Bonney,  Bryn Terfel,  Lucio Gallo,  Ramón Vargas  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Eric Ericson Chamber Choir,  Swedish Radio Choir  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 25.
    Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem / Karg, Bauer, Beck
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 13023 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Christiane Karg,  Thomas E. Bauer
    Conductor:  Rolf Beck
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basel Chamber Orchestra,  Schleswig-Holstein Festival Choir
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