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 Concerto No. 1 & Ballades, Op. 10 / Lewis
Release Date: 04/15/2016   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902191   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Complete Solo Piano Music, Vol 3 / Plowright
Release Date: 03/11/2016   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2127   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Works for Piano Solo, Vol. 2 / Plowright
Release Date: 11/11/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2117   Number of Discs: 1
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Lutoslawski: Concerto for Orchestra - Brahms: Piano Quartet, Op. 25 / Harth-Bedoya, Fort Worth
Release Date: 04/01/2016   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 807668   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Violin Concerto - Brahms: Violin Sonata, Op. 100 / De Vito
Release Date: 04/29/2016   Label: Audite  
Catalog: 95621   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: German Requiem, Op. 45

Browse 76-95 of 95 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Wiener Philharmoniker - Live Performances / Klemperer
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1365 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Wilma Lipp,  Eberhard Wächter,  Ernst Pamperl,  Walter Weller  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
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  • 77.
    Brahms: Requiem / Toscanini, Janssen, Della Chiesa, Et Al
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2290 Release Date: 04/26/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Herbert Janssen,  Vivian Della Chiesa
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Choir,  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 78.
    Brahms: A German Requiem / Solti, Te Kawana, Et Al
    Label: Universal   Catalog: 000412702 Release Date: 03/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Bernd Weikl
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus
    CD: $7.99
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  • 79.
    Carl Schuricht-collection - Brahms: German Requiem
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93144 Release Date: 08/01/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Maria Stader,  Hermann Prey
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Southwest German Radio Vocal Ensemble,  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 80.
    Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem / Equilbey, Accentus, Et Al
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 4956 Release Date: 04/20/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Stèphane Degout,  Sandrine Piau,  Brigitte Engerer,  Boris Berezovsky
    Conductor:  Laurence Equilbey
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
    CD: $17.99
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  • 81.
    Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem / Lehmann, Stader, Wiener
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 457710 Release Date: 10/11/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Maria Stader,  Otto Wiener,  Wolfgang Meyer
    Conductor:  Fritz Lehmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Motet Choir,  St. Hedwig's Cathedral Choir
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  • 82.
    Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem / Albrecht, Skovhus, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10071 Release Date: 06/24/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Inger Dam-Jensen,  Bo Skovhus
    Conductor:  Gerd Albrecht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Orchestra,  Danish National Chorus
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  • 83.
    Brahms: A German Requiem / Helbich, Thornhill, Et Al
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm) Gold   Catalog: 3341137 Release Date: 02/25/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Siri Thornhill,  Klaus Mertens
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Helbich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen,  Bremen Cathedral Choir
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  • 84.
    Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem / Kubelik, Mathis, Et Al
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95492 Release Date: 06/25/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Wolfgang Brendel,  Edith Mathis
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
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  • 85.
    Brahms: German Requiem / Bernius, Borchert, Volle, Et Al
    Label: Carus   Catalog: 83200 Release Date: 06/18/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Michael Volle,  Julia Borchert
    Conductor:  Frieder Bernius
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Classical Philharmonic Orchestra,  Stuttgart Chamber Choir
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  • 86.
    Brahms: A German Requiem / Rilling, Brown, Cachemaille, Bach Collegium Stuttgart
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 91102 Release Date: 02/29/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Donna [Soprano Vocal] Brown,  Gilles Cachemaille
    Conductor:  Helmuth Rilling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart,  Stuttgart Bach Collegium
    CD: $18.99
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  • 87.
    Brahms: A German Requiem / Jessop, Chandler, Gunn, Et Al
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80501 Release Date: 10/26/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Janice Chandler,  Nathan Gunn
    Conductor:  Craig Jessop
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Utah Symphony Orchestra,  Mormon Tabernacle Choir
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  • 88.
    Brahms: Four Hand Piano Music Vol 5 / Matthies, Köhn
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8554115 Release Date: 10/26/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Silke-Thora Matthies,  Christian Köhn
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  • 89.
    Bruno Walter Edition - Brahms: German Requiem, Alto Rhapsody
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64469 Release Date: 05/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Mildred Miller,  Irmgard Seefried,  George London
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Occidental College Concert Choir,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 90.
    Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem / Sawallisch, Price, Allen
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 39101 Release Date: 04/04/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Margaret Price,  Thomas Allen
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $22.49
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  • 91.
    Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem / Rahbari, Gauci, Tumagian
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550213 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Eduard Tumagian,  Miriam Gauci
    Conductor:  Alexander Rahbari
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak State Philharmonic Chorus,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava
    CD: $12.99
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  • 92.
    Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem / Abbado, Studer, Schmidt
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 437517 Release Date: 09/14/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Cheryl Studer,  Andreas Schmidt
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Swedish Radio Chorus,  Eric Ericson Chamber Choir
    CD: $17.99
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  • 93.
    Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem / Karajan, Hendricks, Van Dam
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 431651 Release Date: 11/08/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Barbara Hendricks,  José Van Dam
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Singverein,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 94.
    Classics - Brahms: German Requiem / Shaw, Augér, Et Al
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80092 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Arleen Augér,  Richard Stilwell
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Atlanta Symphony Chorus
    CD: $10.99
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  • 95.
    Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem / Karajan, Janowitz, Wächter
    Label: Dg Galleria   Catalog: 427252 Release Date: 05/09/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Eberhard Wächter,  Gundula Janowitz
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
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