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: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 / Pollini, Thielemann, Staatskapelle Dresden
Release Date: 07/15/2016   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: B002520602   Number of Discs: 2
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Brahms: The Four Symphonies; Academic Festival & Tragic Overtures; Haydn Variations / Barbirolli
Release Date: 01/29/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 553993   Number of Discs: 3
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Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms: Concertos / Klemperer
Release Date: 01/22/2013   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 43482   Number of Discs: 6
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Brahms: Complete Piano Trios, Vol. 1 / Vienna Piano Trio
Release Date: 07/08/2016   Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)  
Catalog: 9421962   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms & Sergerstam: Orchestral Works / Turku Philharmonic
Release Date: 07/29/2016   Label: Alba Records  
Catalog: ABCD 390   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: German Requiem, Op. 45

Browse 1-25 of 104 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Deutsche Grammophon: The Mono Era (1948-1957)
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002457272 Release Date: 03/18/2016   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Stefan Askenase,  Shura Cherkassky,  Halina Czerny-Stefanska,  Basile Bolotine  ... 
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl,  Karl Böhm,  Serge Jaroff,  Leopold Ludwig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Quartet,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $145.99
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  • 2.
    Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem / Niquet, Flemish Radio Choir
    Label: Evil Penguin Records   Catalog: 19 Release Date: 03/04/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Lore Binon,  Tassis Christoyannis
    Conductor:  Hervé Niquet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Flemish Radio Choir,  Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Philips Classics: The Stereo Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002445602 Release Date: 02/19/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Elly Ameling,  Dalton Baldwin,  Jörg Demus  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Bernard Haitink,  Raymond Leppard,  Eduard Van Beinum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $134.49
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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem / Jansons, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 15003 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Genia Kühmeier,  Gerald Finley
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Chorus
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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem / Norrington, SWR Radio Symphony Stuttgart
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93327 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Christina Landshamer,  Florian Boesch
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Stuttgart Southwest German Radio Vocal Ensemble
    CD: $18.99
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  • 8.
    Treasures Of World Music
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002320 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Ottorino Respighi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Konstantin Lisovsky,  Alexander Vedernikov,  Sergei Leiferkus,  Sergey Yakovenko  ... 
    Conductor:  Dmitri Kitayenko
    CD: $72.99
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  • 9.
    Brahms: Complete Choral Works
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002244602 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Andreas Schmidt,  Barbara Bonney,  René Kollo,  Wolfgang Brendel  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Günther Jena
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung  ... 
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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    Mozart: Requiem; Brahms: Ein Deutsche Requiem; Bruckner: Te Deum / Walter
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 121232 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Anton Bruckner,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Léopold [Tenor Vocal] Simoneau,  Irmgard Seefried,  William [Baritone Vocals] Warfield,  Mack Harrell  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
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  • 12.
    Brahms: A German Requiem
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98038 Release Date: 09/30/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Gilles Cachemaille,  Donna [Soprano Vocal] Brown
    Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
    CD: $14.99
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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 1158844 Release Date: 07/15/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Walter Berry,  Werner [Tenor Vocal] Hollweg,  Gundula Janowitz,  José Van Dam  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 16.
    Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem
    Label: Gramola   Catalog: 99014 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Adrian Eröd,  Johanna Grobner,  Veronika Trisko,  Elena [Soprano Vocal] Copons
    Conductor:  Johannes Himetsberger
    CD: $18.99
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  • 17.
    Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45
    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
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Chorus,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $7.99
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  • 18.
    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
    CD: $18.99
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  • 19.
    Giulini In Vienna
    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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  • 20.
    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
    SuperAudio CD: $14.99
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  • 21.
    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
    CD: $29.99
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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    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
    Blu-ray Audio: $19.99
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  • 24.
    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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  • 25.
    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  ... 
    CD: $115.49
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