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: The Violin Sonatas / Tetzlaff, Vogt
Release Date: 08/12/2016   Label: Ondine  
Catalog: ODE 1284-2   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms / Gabriele Carcano
Release Date: 08/12/2016   Label: Oehms  
Catalog: OC 1850   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms, Ravel & Poulenc: Piano Works / Trpceski
Release Date: 08/05/2016   Label: Wigmore Hall Live  
Catalog: 81   Number of Discs: 1
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Weber, Schumann, Brahms & Berg: Chamber Music / Kamyshev, Gavrilov, Monighetti
Release Date: 08/12/2016   Label: Melodiya  
Catalog: MELCD1002242   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 83

Browse 1-25 of 161 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 / Buchbinder, Mehta, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 733508 Release Date: 09/30/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Rudolf Buchbinder
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 2.
    Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 / Buchbinder, Mehta, Vienna Philharmonic [Blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 733604 Release Date: 09/30/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Rudolf Buchbinder
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $34.99
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  • 3.
    Emil Gilels: The Complete RCA & Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875177312 Release Date: 09/30/2016   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Eugene Ormandy,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
    CD: $36.99
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  • 4.
    Julius Katchen: The Complete Decca Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: B002543002 Release Date: 09/02/2016   Number of Discs: 36
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Julius Katchen,  Thea King
    CD: $106.49
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  • 5.
    Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 / Pollini, Thielemann, Staatskapelle Dresden
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B002520602 Release Date: 07/15/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
    On sale! $23.98
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  • 6.
    Andre Watts: The Complete Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 511979 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  André Watts
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Thomas Schippers,  Seiji Ozawa,  Erich Leinsdorf
    CD: $34.99
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  • 7.
    Eugene Istomin: The Concerto & Solo Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875026172 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Eugene Istomin
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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    Pollini & Abbado: The Complete Deutsche Grammophon Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002462202 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann,  Arnold Schoenberg  ... 
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini,  Andreas Esders,  Gabriele Lechner,  Gretchen Eder  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 10.
    Alfred Brendel: Complete Philips Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002434302 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 114
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Brendel,  Imogen Cooper,  Sylvia McNair,  Eduard Brunner  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Bernard Haitink,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $308.99
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  • 11.
    Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 / Giulini, Arrau, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 553997 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Emil Gilels - The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002436502 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Edvard Grieg,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Emil Gilels,  Norbert Brainin,  Peter Schidlof,  Martin Lovett  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum,  Karl Böhm,  Dmitri Kabalevsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus String Quartet members,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $78.99
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  • 13.
    Johannes Brahms Cycle / Franz Welser-most, Cleveland Orchestra
    Label: Belvedere (Dvd)   Catalog: 8005 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Julia Fischer,  Yefim Bronfman
    Conductor:  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Johannes Brahms Cycle / Franz Welser-most, Cleveland Orchestra [blu-ray]
    Label: Belvedere   Catalog: 8009 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Julia Fischer,  Yefim Bronfman
    Conductor:  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Brahms: Recaptured by Pupils & Colleagues
    Label: Arbiter   Catalog: 163 Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Carl Friedberg,  Johannes Brahms,  Lona Eibenschutz,  Edith Heymann  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  String Trio Of New York
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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.
    Stephen Kovacevich: The Complete Philips Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002369302 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Béla Bartók,  Igor Stravinsky,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich,  Jack Brymer,  Patrick Ireland,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  John Lanchbery
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Octet members  ... 
    CD: $98.99
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  • 18.
    Brahms: Piano Concertos / Barenboim, Dudamel
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002353102 Release Date: 08/07/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
    Conductor:  Gustavo Dudamel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
    CD: $15.99
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  • 19.
    Sviatoslav Richter: The Complete Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301470 Release Date: 04/14/2015   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Robert La Marchina,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf,  Christoph Eschenbach
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  • 20.
    The Great Live Concerts
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 121270 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    CD: $29.99
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  • 21.
    Leonard Bernstein Edition - Concertos & Orchestral Works
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301330 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 80
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Gomberg,  William Heim  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Seiji Ozawa,  Maurice Peress
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New York Philharmonic members,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 22.
    The Originals - Legendary Recordings from DG
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002171502 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Pierre Fournier,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  David Oistrakh,  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Franz Konwitschny,  Carlos Kleiber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 23.
    Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4810409 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson
    Conductor:  Tadaaki Otaka
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  • 24.
    Brahms: The Piano Concertos
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 5210 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Tzimon Barto
    Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach
    CD: $17.99
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  • 25.
    Brahms: Symphonies, Concertos / Pollini, Batiashvili, Thielemann [3-CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002133400 Release Date: 09/16/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini,  Lisa Batiashvili
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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