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Thread: Johannes Brahms

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Default Johannes Brahms

    Brahms probably published the highest percentage of great music as compared to almost anyone (with the probable exception of Bach and maybe Beethoven). He mastered almost every form of composition available to the previous generation (the exception being opera), and many of his own. He wrote probably at once the most hugely anticipated and greatest first symphony in history and one of the most crushing and despairing last symphonies. Every concerto he ever published, every symphony, every piano piece, many of his over 200 songs - all have left a huge mark on today's repertoire of any kind of classical musician, and about all the other pieces of his that haven't... their day will come as well, I think.

    As for my favorites of Brahms:
    The Symphonies
    The Concerti

    Whatever else I've missed, please correct me!
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Senior Member ChamberNut's Avatar
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    Incredible! The music Brahms' left us, in spite of the huge pressure of living under the shadow of being dubbed "The Next One". His chamber music to me, shows his 'signature stamp', more so than his orchestral works.

    He is second only to LVB in my eyes, and not by far.

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    I think the music Brahms left us is partly if not mostly because of the looming shadow of Beethoven. Brahms destroyed nearly everything he composed before about age 20, so that might give one a clue...
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Senior Member Ephemerid's Avatar
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    I adore Brahms' "Liebeslieder" waltzes which I sang in chorus when I was in university back in the early 90s. Melody, melody, melody! Schmaltzy to the Nth degree (which is something I normally wouldn't care much for) but I have a real soft spot for it.

    His string quartets are quite good too...
    "There is no theory. You have only to listen. Pleasure is the law.” ~ Claude Debussy

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    Senior Member opus67's Avatar
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    I'm just getting to know Brahms' music better. I like his symphonies 3 and 4, piano concerti and the double concerto. Of course, the Hungarian Dances are always fun to listen to.
    Not very familiar with his chamber works, though. ( but I've just a bought a CD with his string quartets) His violin sonata No.2(or was it 3?) is good too.

    Has anyone else noticed that Brahms' orchestration has a tendency to "scream"? The strings section going at it at very high pitches. I think I can hear hints of it in some of Dvorak's works also.
    Regards,
    Navneeth

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Brahms' worst aspect was in his orchestration, but it's excellent anyway. It's just his worst. He wasn't trained as an orchestrator, he was trained as a pianist. I'm wondering if the "screaming violins" isn't partially thanks to Josef Joachim. After all, Joachim was one of Brahms' main helpers when it same to orchestration.
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Senior Member opus67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by World Violist View Post
    I'm wondering if the "screaming violins" isn't partially thanks to Josef Joachim. After all, Joachim was one of Brahms' main helpers when it same to orchestration.
    Could be. I've heard Joachim's second violin concerto only once and I don't remember much of it.

    Another aspect I like about Brahms: he (or his extreme self-criticism) has made life easy for the CD collector. He's not my favourite composer, but somehow or the other I now have "complete sets" of his piano concerti, string quartets and cello sonatas. It won't be long before I get a complete set of symphonies, too.
    Regards,
    Navneeth

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Karajan made great recordings of the symphonies (I think).
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Senior Member opus67's Avatar
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    Last time I was at the store, I saw a two-CD set (at a price a little more than one CD) with symphonies 1-3 and the usual Brahms add-ons - the two overtures and the variations. Jochum and LPO (EMI). Symphony 4 and the Requiem are in another two-fer. Has anyone here heard these performances?
    Regards,
    Navneeth

    Want a piece of classical music identified? Post a link or upload a clip here. Someone might have an answer.


    A quick and gentle introduction to audio formats and compression

    2009: It's the International Year of Astronomy
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    Junior Member Lexophile's Avatar
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    I have the Brahms Clarinet Quintet in B minor on CD, only it is arranged for viola, so, (naturally), it's performed by the Moscow Soloists and Yuri Bashmet. I have so much Brahms in my collection. Definately one of my favourite composers. =]
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    Having had re-runs of the 4th movement of the 4th symphony in my head for about 24 hours, I think it's high time I changed my avatar, to reflect my tastes.

    Regards,
    Navneeth

    Want a piece of classical music identified? Post a link or upload a clip here. Someone might have an answer.


    A quick and gentle introduction to audio formats and compression

    2009: It's the International Year of Astronomy
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    Senior Member ChamberNut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by opus67 View Post
    Having had re-runs of the 4th movement of the 4th symphony in my head for about 24 hours, I think it's high time I changed my avatar, to reflect my tastes.


    Cool! The bearded Brahms finally made his way into your mosaic.

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    Senior Member David C Coleman's Avatar
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    Brahms; probably the most "natural" successor to Beethoven, But not as innovative or as revolutionary.. fav. works are the Symphonies and Concerti. Also the German Requiem..

    But didn't like his dig at Bruckner (especially over the 3rd Symphony)...:angry:

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Oh, I never really liked Bruckner very much. After all, when you get to be as established at your style as was Brahms when Bruckner started his ascent, you get to be stubborn about it. It's a natural thing, and music history hasn't suffered anything for it, anyway. Bruckner still wrote 10-11 symphonies.
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Senior Member opus67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David C Coleman View Post
    But didn't like his dig at Bruckner (especially over the 3rd Symphony)...:angry:
    Could you please elaborate?
    Regards,
    Navneeth

    Want a piece of classical music identified? Post a link or upload a clip here. Someone might have an answer.


    A quick and gentle introduction to audio formats and compression

    2009: It's the International Year of Astronomy
    http://www.astronomy2009.org/

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