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
Arthur Rubinstein Plays Brahms
Release Date: 06/12/2012   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 760992   Number of Discs: 9
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Schumann: Symphonische Etüden; Brahms / Thibaudet
Release Date: 01/21/2008   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 444338   Number of Discs: 1
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Leon Fleisher Plays Beethoven & Brahms
Release Date: 08/07/2012   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 1918052   Number of Discs: 5
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Brahms: Symphonies, Concertos / Pollini, Batiashvili, Thielemann
Release Date: 09/16/2014   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002133400   Number of Discs: 4
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Brahms: Complete Piano Trios, Clarinet Trio, Horn Trio
Release Date: 10/14/2014   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 22082   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 83

Browse 26-50 of 196 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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  ... 
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  • 27.
    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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  • 28.
    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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    CD: $61.49
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  • 29.
    Philips Original Jackets Collection  [55-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001767702 Release Date: 12/04/2012   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Elisabeth Unger,  Claudio Arrau,  Thomas Zehetmair  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Bernard Haitink,  Frans Brüggen,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beaux Arts Trio  ... 
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  • 30.
    Emil Gilels Plays Concertos & Sonatas
    Label: Sony (Nax615)   Catalog: 1991362 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Fritz Reiner,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 31.
    Brahms: Piano Concerto No 2; Debussy, Prokofiev / Emil Gilels
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5077 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  Mario Rossi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Clifford Curzon Edition - Complete Recordings [23 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001728400 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon,  Irmgard Seefried,  Horst Günther,  Julius Patzak  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch,  George Szell,  Benjamin Britten,  Eduard Van Beinum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 33.
    Leon Fleisher Plays Beethoven & Brahms
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 1918052 Release Date: 08/07/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Leon Fleisher,  Jules Eskin
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Van Cliburn: Great Piano Concertos
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7742852 Release Date: 08/07/2012   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Van Cliburn
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf,  Eugene Ormandy,  Fritz Reiner,  Walter Hendl  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 35.
    Arturo Toscanini - The Complete RCA Collection [84 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 791631 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 85
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell,  Nan Merriman,  Jan Peerce,  Norman Scott  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Robert Shaw Chorale,  NBC Symphony Chorus  ... 
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  • 36.
    Arthur Rubinstein Plays Brahms
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 760992 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Henryk Szeryng,  Gregor Piatigorsky,  Pierre Fournier  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Josef Krips
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Guarneri String Quartet members
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  • 37.
    Charles Munch Conducts Romantic Masterworks
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 826732 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Gary Graffman,  Artur Rubinstein,  Jascha Heifetz
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 38.
    Sergiu Celibidache / Celibidache, Munchner Philharmoniker
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2059118 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johannes Brahms,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $39.99
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  • 39.
    Great Piano Concertos
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501056 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Jénö Jandó,  Stefan Vladar,  Idil Biret,  Eldar Nebolsin  ... 
    Conductor:  András Ligeti,  Mátyás Antal,  Barry Wordsworth,  Antoni Wit  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concentus Hungaricus,  Capella Istropolitana,  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 40.
    Brahms: Piano Concertos No 1 & 2, Songs / Kovacevich, Murray
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 85183 Release Date: 01/24/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich,  Ann Murray,  Nobuko Imai,  Robert Truman
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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  • 41.
    Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem; Haydn-variations
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0154 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
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  • 42.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0407 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
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  • 43.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0542 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Mario Rossi
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  • 44.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0387 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
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  • 45.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0460 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
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  • 46.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0443 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Paul Kletzki,  Igor Markevitch,  Carl Schuricht
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  • 47.
    Brahms: The Four Symphonies; Piano Concerto No. 2
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 190 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert,  Bedrich Smetana
    CD: $14.99
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  • 48.
    Great Piano Concertos - Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Tchaikovsky / Richter
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5026 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Hermann Abendroth,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Alexander Gauk,  Karel Ancerl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Otto Klemperer: Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner
    Label: Membran International Gmbh   Catalog: 233373 Release Date: 11/21/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Recorded Sound,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Leon Fleisher
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
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  • 50.
    Brahms: Piano Concertos 1 & 2 / Barenboim, Celibidache, Munich PO
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2066688 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
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