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
Martin Frost Plays Brahms
Release Date: 07/08/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2063   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms: Clarinet Trio, Cello Sonatas / Collins, Watkins
Release Date: 07/29/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10825   Number of Discs: 1
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Schubert: Symphony No 8; Brahms: Symphony No 3 / Davis
Release Date: 04/26/2011   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 8043   Number of Discs: 1
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Brahms Beloved II / John Axelrod
Release Date: 07/22/2014   Label: Telarc  
Catalog: 34659   Number of Discs: 2
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Brahms / Abbado, Berliner Philharmoniker [5-CD Set]
Release Date: 07/08/2014   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002065002   Number of Discs: 5
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Work: Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 83

Browse 1-25 of 191 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 2
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 300350 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Byron Janis,  Gary Graffman,  Vladimir Horowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Krips,  Fritz Reiner,  Pierre Monteux,  Charles Munch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    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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  • 3.
    Brahms: Piano Concerto No 2, Cello Sonata / Ax, Ma, Haitink
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56137 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax,  Jules Eskin,  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Leonard Bernstein Collection Vol 1 [59 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 2027800 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Leonard Bernstein,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Performer:  René Kollo,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Kurt Moll,  Hanna Schwarz  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Concert Choir,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    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  ... 
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  • 6.
    Brahms: Piano Concerto No 2 / Pollini, Thielemann, Staatskapelle Dresden
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002027902 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 7.
    Brahms: Piano Concertos 1 & 2 / Angelich, Jarvi, Frankfurt Radio Symphony
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 632295 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Nicholas Angelich
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Karajan And His Soloists, Vol. 1 (1948-1958)
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633625 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Dinu Lipatti,  Walter Gieseking,  Dennis Brain,  Bernard Walton  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Lucerne Festival Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Stephen Hough - 5 Classic Albums
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 940229 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Benjamin Britten,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Hough,  Ronan O'Hora
    Conductor:  Bryden Thomson,  Sir Andrew Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Brahms: Piano Concertos / Hough, Wigglesworth, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67961 Release Date: 12/10/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Stephen Hough
    Conductor:  Mark Wigglesworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Carlo Maria Giulini: The Concerto Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 31761 Release Date: 12/03/2013   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Alexis Weissenberg,  Manoug Parikian,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Itzhak Perlman  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Brahms: Four Hand Piano Music, Vol. 18 / Matthies, Kohn
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570143 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Joseph Joachim
    Performer:  Silke-Thora Matthies,  Christian Kohn
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  • 13.
    Emil Gilels: Legacy, Vol. 10: Brahms - Piano Concerto No. 2; Mozart - Rondo K. 382; Variations, K. 455
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 8000 Release Date: 11/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Neeme Järvi
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  • 14.
    Walker: Mass; Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 / Walker, Comissiona, Hanson
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1447 Release Date: 11/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Walker,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Norma Hirsch,  Abraham Lind-oquendo,  Claudia Lindsay,  William Brown  ... 
    Conductor:  Sergiu Comissiona,  Dr. Nathan Carter,  Howard Hanson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Morgan State College Choir,  Eastman Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Brahms: Piano Concertos No 1 & 2 / Helene Grimaud
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001904602 Release Date: 09/30/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Hélène Grimaud
    Conductor:  Andris Nelsons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Piano Concertos & Sonatas / Backhaus, Bolet, Koroliov, Buchbinder
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 13033 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus,  Yevgeny Koroliov,  Rudolf Buchbinder,  Jorge Bolet
    Conductor:  Günter Wand
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $34.99
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  • 17.
    Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4810409 Release Date: 08/06/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson
    Conductor:  Tadaaki Otaka
    On sale! $41.98
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  • 18.
    75 Years Ysaye & Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition [cd & Book]
    Label: Muso   Catalog: 5 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Pierre-Alain Volondat,  Wolfgang Manz,  Andrei Nikolsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz André,  Georgea Octors,  Edo De Waart,  Rene Defossez  ... 
    CD: $55.49
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  • 19.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 4259 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Karl Böhm
    On sale! $24.98
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  • 20.
    Leon Fleisher - The Complete Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 545997 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 23
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  César Franck,  Frederick Delius  ... 
    Performer:  Leon Fleisher,  Jules Eskin,  Benita Valente,  Harold Wright  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Seiji Ozawa,  Leon Fleisher,  Szymon Goldberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Juilliard String Quartet,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 21.
    Elly Ney Plays Mozart & Brahms
    Label: Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog: 9817 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Elly Ney
    Conductor:  Willem van Hoogstraten,  Max Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Label: Audiophile Classics   Catalog: 7704145 Release Date: 05/03/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Paul Hindemith
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
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  • 23.
    Ashkenazy - 50 Years on Decca
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001820202 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Boris Belkin,  Daniel Barenboim,  Fou Ts'ong  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Lorin Maazel,  Uri Segal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Wind Soloists  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 24.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto 1; Brahms: Piano Concerto 2 / Anda
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5092 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Géza Anda
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Concerto Collection / Maurizio Pollini [8-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001792602 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm,  Claudio Abbado,  Maurizio Pollini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus  ... 
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