Johannes Brahms

Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria, where he was a leader of the musical scene. In his lifetime, Brahms's popularity and influence were considerable; following a comment by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bulow, he is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the "Three Bs".

Brahms composed for piano, chamber ensembles, symphony orchestra, and for voice and chorus. A virtuoso pianist, he premiered many of his own works; he worked with some of the leading performers of his time, including the pianist Clara Schumann and the violinist Joseph Joachim. Many of his works have become staples of the modern concert repertoire. Brahms, an uncompromising perfectionist, destroyed some of his works and left others unpublished.

Brahms is often considered both a traditionalist and an innovator. His music is firmly rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Baroque and Classical masters. He was a master of counterpoint, the complex and highly disciplined art for which Johann Sebastian Bach is famous, and of development, a compositional ethos pioneered by Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven. Brahms aimed to honour the "purity" of these venerable "German" structures and advance them into a Romantic idiom, in the process creating bold new approaches to harmony and melody. While many contemporaries found his music too academic, his contribution and craftsmanship have been admired by subsequent figures as diverse as Arnold Schoenberg and Edward Elgar. The diligent, highly constructed nature of Brahms's works was a starting point and an inspiration for a generation of composers.

BBC

Artwork/Date Title Rating Medium
1864 Sonata in F minor for 2 pianos 4.00 stars 6 CD
Comments:
Martha Argerich - Piano
Lilya Zilberstein - Piano
1865 Horn Trio 4.00 stars LP
Comments:
Gerd Seifert, horn
Eduard Drolc, violin
Christoph Eschenbach, piano
Georg Donderer, cello
1873 Haydn Variations for Two Pianos 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Georg Solti, - Piano
Murray Perahia - Piano
1873 Haydn Variations for Two Pianos 4.00 stars 6 CD
Comments:
Martha Argerich - Piano
Lilya Zilberstein - Piano
1855-1876 Symphony No 1 4.00 stars LP
Comments:
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande cond. Ernest Ansermet
1855-1876 Symphony No 1 4.00 stars 4 CD
Comments:
Berliner Philharmoniker cond. Simon Rattle
1877 Symphony No 2 4.00 stars 4 CD
Comments:
Berliner Philharmoniker cond. Simon Rattle
1878-1879 Sonata for Violin and Piano No 1 4.00 stars LP
Comments:
Wolfgang Schneiderhan - Violin
Carl Seeman - Piano
1883 Symphony No 3 4.00 stars 4 CD
Comments:
Berliner Philharmoniker cond. Simon Rattle
1884 Symphony No 4 4.00 stars 4 CD
Comments:
Berliner Philharmoniker cond. Simon Rattle
1886 Klaviertrio Opus 101 4.00 stars LP
Comments:
Beaux Arts Trio
1886 Sonata for Violin and Piano No 2 "Thun" 4.00 stars LP
Comments:
Theo Olof - Violin
Daniet Wayenberg - Piano
1886-1887 Sonata for Violin and Piano No 3 4.00 stars LP
Comments:
Wolfgang Schneiderhan - Violin
Carl Seeman - Piano
1887 Double Concerto 4.50 stars LP
Leonard Bernstein - Prelude, Fugue and Riffs Comments:
David Oistrakh - Violin
Mstislaw Rostropowitsch - Cello
Cleveland Orchestra cond. George Szell
1891 Clarinet Trio 4.00 stars LP
Comments:
Karl Leister - Clarinet
Eduard Drolc, violin
Christoph Eschenbach, piano
Georg Donderer, cello
1891 Klaviertrio Opus Posth. 4.00 stars LP
Comments:
Beaux Arts Trio