May 7, 1833 – April 3, 1897

C. Brasch, Berlin (biography), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

German composer and pianist Johannes Brahms, one of the most famous representatives of late romanticism, was born in Hamburg on this day. He developed his career the most in Vienna, and during his life and artistic maturation his popularity and influence became more and more significant. That is why musicologists often classify him together with the names of Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven. He composed piano, chamber, vocal and symphonic works. As a highly respected pianist, he premiered many of his compositions, collaborating with leading musical names of his time, including pianist Clara Schumann and violinist Joseph Joachim, who were his close friends. Given that his role models were greats such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Josef Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, it is not surprising that his works have a traditional, clean and refined structure, designed on the basis of Baroque and Classicism. He was a master of polyphony, a complex and demanding melodic structure, which he created in a romantic style. He was a master of polyphony, a complex and demanding melodic structure, which he created in a romantic style. He managed to transfer his spiritual, diligent, disciplined and dedicated nature into his compositional works, which became a great inspiration and object of admiration for many later artists such as Arnold Schoenberg and Edward Elgar. He showed his great talent when he was less than twenty years old, publishing his first works: three sonatas for piano, Scherzo and songs. Later, in 1853 in Düsseldorf, these works caused the admiration of Robert Schumann, followed by their long-standing friendship, which significantly affected Brahms’ entire life. Schumann’s music and its influence were reflected in Brahms’ Sonata No. 2, Op. 2, 2, Variations on a Theme by Schumann and Ballade, Op. 4. 4. His rich opus encompasses many musical genres. In addition to vocal compositions, where the German Requiem stands out, he wrote a large number of smaller pieces for choir and orchestra, and a cappella motets, quartets and duets. He especially presented his talent through four symphonies, piano concertos, Violin Concerto in D major, Haydn’s Variations, Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra, opus 102, Sonata for cello in E minor, Op. 38. 38. He had a special fondness for chamber ensembles, so he included 24 chamber works in his oeuvre, several of which were for organ.

Johannes Brahms: Tragische Ouvertüre

hr-Sinfonieorchester, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Author: Katarina Georgijević

Translation: Jelena Čolović