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Johannes Brahms: Pianist, Conductor, Composer Geoff Myers “Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind.” Introduction Born May 7, 1833 (Hamburg, Germany) Lived in Vienna, Austria Died April 3, 1897 from cancer (Vienna, Austria) Composer during Romantic period

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johannes brahms pianist conductor composer
Johannes Brahms:Pianist, Conductor, Composer
  • Geoff Myers

“Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind.”

introduction
Introduction
  • Born May 7, 1833 (Hamburg, Germany)
  • Lived in Vienna, Austria
  • Died April 3, 1897 from cancer (Vienna, Austria)
  • Composer during Romantic period
  • Father: Johann Jakob Brahms, musician
  • Mother: Christiane Nissen, seamstress

Images from: http://www.naxos.com/composer_image.asp?composerid=139

brief biography
Brief Biography
  • 1840: begins studying piano
  • 1846: begins studying theory & composition
  • 1848: first public performance as piano soloist
  • 1853: tours with Reményi (Hungarian violinist)
  • 1853: meets Robert & Clara Schumann
  • Becomes good friend of Robert, has romantic affair with Clara
  • 1863-4: director of the Vienna Singakademie
  • Tours in northern & central Europe, teaches piano
  • 1868: settles in Vienna permanently
brief biography cont
Brief Biography(cont.)
  • 1869: performance of the German Requiem
  • 1872-3: becomes conductor of Vienna Gesellschaftskonzerte
  • 1873: performance Variations on the St. Antony Chorale
  • 1876-1878: composes First & Second Symphonies, Violin Concerto, Op. 69-72, and C Major Trio
  • 1881:Hans von Bülow shows support, allows Brahms to conduct the Meiningen Court Orchestra
  • 1890: retired from composing
  • 1897: dies of liver cancer
orchestral music
Orchestral Music

Variations on a Theme by Haydn & Hungarian Dances

  • First, Second, Third, Fourth Symphonies
  • 2 Piano Concertos
  • Violin Concerto
  • Double Concerto(violin & cello)
  • Academic Festival Overture
  • Tragic Overture
chamber music
Chamber Music
  • 3 string quartets
  • 2 string quintets
  • 2 string sextets
  • Clarinet Quintet
  • Clarinet Trio
  • Horn Trio
  • Piano Quintet
  • 3 piano Quartets
  • 3 piano trios
  • 3 piano & violin sonatas
  • 2 piano & cello sonatas
  • 2 piano & clarinet sonatas
  • Several piano solos
  • ~200 songs
  • Chorale preludes for organ
piano music
Piano Music

Variations on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24 (piano solo)

  • 3 Piano Sonatas,Op. 1, 2 & 5
  • Four Ballads, Op. 10
  • Paganini Variations(piano solo), Op. 35
  • Fantasias, Op. 116
  • Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn(piano duet and for orchestra)
vocal choral music
Vocal & Choral Music

A German Requiem(Ein deutsches Requiem), Op. 45

  • Cradle Song (Wiegenlied, “Brahm’s Lullaby”)
  • The Liebeslieder Waltzes, Op. 52
  • Alto Rhapsody, Op. 53
  • Song of Destiny (Schicksalslied), Op. 54
  • Four Serious Songs,Op.121
  • Vain Serenade(Vergebliches Ständchen)
brahms style
Brahms’ Style
  • Seriousness
  • Later: sadness
  • Different from Wagner & Liszt, etc.
  • Mixed classicism with romanticism
  • Inspired by earlier composers (inc. Renaissance, esp. Beethoven)
  • Older forms of expression (e.g. variation)
  • Perfection
  • Concision & strict
  • Personal
significance
Significance
  • Brought “absolute” music back
  • Used old techniques in new, refreshing ways
  • Technically brilliant
brahms today
Brahms Today
  • Examples
    • Hungarian Dances in Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator
    • Brahms' Lullaby in cartoons, etc.
    • Church music (choral & organ)
    • Star Trek, Peanuts cartoon, Merrie Melodies cartoon, Fawlty Towers TV show, Leonard and Larry comic strip, etc.