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: 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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Brahms: String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2 / New Zealand String Quartet
Release Date: 07/08/2016   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573433   Number of Discs: 1
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Herzogenberg & Brahms: String Quartets / Minguet Quartet
Release Date: 07/08/2016   Label: Cpo  
Catalog: 777084   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 83

Browse 26-50 of 158 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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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  • 27.
    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  ... 
    CD: $115.49
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  • 28.
    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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  • 29.
    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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  • 30.
    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
    Recommendation
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  • 31.
    Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2; Symphony No. 3
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350103 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
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  • 32.
    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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  • 33.
    Brahms: Piano Concertos / Hough, Wigglesworth
    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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  • 34.
    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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  • 35.
    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
    On sale! $12.99
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  • 36.
    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
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 37.
    Fritz Reiner - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 370198 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 63
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms,  Rolf Liebermann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Jascha Heifetz,  Emil Gilels,  Inge Borkh  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Lyric Theatre Chorus,  Studio Orchestra
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  • 38.
    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:  Hélčne Grimaud
    Conductor:  Andris Nelsons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 39.
    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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  • 40.
    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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  • 41.
    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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  • 42.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 542 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Mario Rossi
    CD: $9.99
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  • 43.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 44.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 45.
    Emil Gilels Plays Concertos & Sonatas
    Label: Sony   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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  • 46.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 47.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 48.
    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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  • 49.
    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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  • 50.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
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