Johannes Brahms (7 May 1833 – 3 April 1897) was a German composer and pianist,
and one of the leading musicians of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna,
Austria, where he was a leader of the musical scene. In his lifetime, Brahms' popularity and influence were considerable;
following a comment by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow, 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 also 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 many
of his works and left some of them unpublished.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 method of composition for which Bach is famous, and also
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 the progressive Arnold Schoenberg
and the conservative Edward Elgar. The diligent, highly constructed nature of Brahms's works was a starting point and an inspiration
for a generation of composers.
About Johannes Brahms and His Music
About Classical Music...
Other classical music composers you may enjoy.
From left to right: first row - Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig
van Beethoven; second row - Gioachino Rossini, Felix Mendelssohn, Frédéric Chopin, Richard Wagner, Giuseppe
Verdi; third row - Johann Strauss II, Johannes Brahms, Georges Bizet, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Antonín Dvořák;
fourth row - Edvard Grieg, Edward Elgar, Sergei Rachmaninoff, George Gershwin, Aram Khachaturian.