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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Brahms: Works for Solo Piano, Vol. 6 / Douglas
Release Date: 07/29/2016   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: CHAN 10903   Number of Discs: 1
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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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Work: Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 83

Browse 126-140 of 140 Available Recordings
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  • 126.
    Brahms: Piano Concertos / Sgouros, Tabakov
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 51000 Release Date: 01/09/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Dimitris Sgouros
    Conductor:  Emil Tabakov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 127.
    Karajan Edition - Brahms: Piano Concerto No 2, Variations
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 66093 Release Date: 10/17/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Hans Richter-Haaser
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 128.
    Furtwängler Conducts Brahms - Complete Symphonies, Etc
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 4941 Release Date: 11/16/1999   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Edwin Fischer
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 129.
    Brahms, Mozart: Piano Concertos / Backhaus, Böhm
    Label: London/Decca Legends   Catalog: 466380 Release Date: 07/01/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 130.
    Favourite Piano Concertos Vol 2
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 462182 Release Date: 06/09/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Edvard Grieg,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Addinsell  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich,  Martha Argerich,  Misha Dichter
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 131.
    Brahms: Piano Concertos No 1 & 2, Etc / Fleisher, Szell, Cleveland Orchestra
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 63225 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Leon Fleisher,  Jules Eskin
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 132.
    Brahms: The Piano Concertos, Etc / Pollini, Böhm, Abbado
    Label: Dg Double   Catalog: 453067 Release Date: 07/15/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm,  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 133.
    Brahms: Die Klavierkonzerte, Fantasien / Gilels, Jochum
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 447446 Release Date: 09/17/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Emil Gilels,  Ottomar Borwitzky
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 134.
    Art Of Classics - Brahms: Masterpieces Vol 1
    Label: Intercord Klassische Diskothek   Catalog: 25924 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Mark Kaplan,  David Geringas,  Dieter Goldmann
    Conductor:  Michael Gielen,  Hans Swarowsky,  Alfred Scholz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  South German Philharmonic Orchestra,  Munich Symphony Orchestra
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  • 135.
    Brahms: Klavierkonzert 2, Funf Lieder Op. 105 / Kovacevich
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 55218 Release Date: 02/14/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Robert Truman,  Stephen Kovacevich,  Ann Murray
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 136.
    Brahms: Piano Concerto No 2;  Strauss: Burleske / Serkin
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 53262 Release Date: 10/19/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Rudolf Serkin
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 137.
    Brahms: Piano Concerto No 2;  Beethoven / Anda, Kubelik
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 271921 Release Date: 04/03/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Géza Anda
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 138.
    Brahms: Piano Concerto no 2 / Zimerman, Bernstein, VPO
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 415359 Release Date: 10/01/1985   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Krystian Zimerman
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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