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Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Johannes Brahms’s career as one of the great German composers was launched after Robert Schumann praised him as a sort of musical Messiah in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (1835). He earned a living in Vienna as a moderately successful composer, incorporating the romantic impulse with classical spirit. His conservative style sparked controversy between his supporters (among them Robert and Clara Schumann) a nd those of the dramatic “New German School” of Franz Listz and Richard Wagner. Brahms continued to write in the traditional forms of “absolute” music (as opposed to “program” music, which strived to convey non-musical images). He saw himself as an heir to the classical tradition of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludqig wan Beethoven, alghough he felt the latter’s long shadow looming over his shoulder so much that it took him two decades to finally compose his first symphony. His four symphonies are considered among the greatest in symphonic music. Other well-known works are the Violin Concerto in D (1878), and the Piano Concerto in B Flat (1878-81). He composed in almost every genre except opera, devoting special attention to chamber music and song. His lieder and other choral works such as the Ein Deutsches Requiem (“A German Requiem,” 1866) and the Alto Rhapsody (1869) are worldwide favorites.


For more information about the life and music of Johannes Brahms, check out these other websites:

Johannes Brahms WebSource
Lists each of Brahms’ works by opus number, and contains an extensive "webography", or list of web sites with Brahms information.
The Lied and Song Texts Page: Brahms
This site, maintained by the REC Music foundation, contains the texts of Kunstlieder and art songs representing over 200 composers and 800 poets. Our link takes you directly to the section for Brahms’ lieder.
Classical Music Pages: Johannes Brahms
A listing of Brahms’ complete works, with opus numbers and some texts.
Classical Net Composer features: Johannes Brahms
Features, information, pictures, reviews and CD listings from a British company. Includes a fun list of quotes from and about Brahms.

Vocal Works Performed by SFBC

Instrumental Works Performed by SFBC

  • Variations on a theme by Joseph Haydn, ("St. Anthony Variations"), Op. 56b

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