Johannes brahms brahms — wiener philharmoniker vienna philharmonic klavierkonzert · piano concerto no




His lasting influence has been as a symphonist and chamber-music master. He remained controversial for a time even after his death, especially the works from the 1870s on. George Bernard Shaw, one of the greatest musical critics of all, came around to Brahms ("my only mistake," he claimed) as late as the Twenties. Schoenberg considered himself a descendant of Brahms and his twelve-tone method of composition a simple extension of Brahmsian procedures. He even wrote an influential essay, "Brahms the Progressive," in the 1940s. Since Brahms himself anticipated them, it's surprising that many neo-classical composers seemed "allergic" to his music. However, Brahms now sits safely ensconced in the pantheon of western music, beyond the cavil of turf wars. It's still possible to dislike his music but not to discount its importance. ~ Steve Schwartz

In 1853 Brahms went on a concert tour with Reményi. In late May the two visited the violinist and composer Joseph Joachim at Hanover . Brahms had earlier heard Joachim playing the solo part in Beethoven's violin concerto and been deeply impressed. [15] Brahms played some of his own solo piano pieces for Joachim, who remembered fifty years later: "Never in the course of my artist's life have I been more completely overwhelmed". [16] This was the beginning of a friendship which was lifelong, albeit temporarily derailed when Brahms took the side of Joachim's wife in their divorce proceedings of 1883. [17] Brahms also admired Joachim as a composer, and in 1856 they were to embark on a mutual training exercise to improve their skills in (in Brahms's words) "double counterpoint , canons , fugues , preludes or whatever". [18] Bozarth notes that "products of Brahms's study of counterpoint and early music over the next few years included "dance pieces, preludes and fugues for organ, and neo- Renaissance and neo- Baroque choral works." [19]

Brahms's father died in 1872. After a short holiday, Brahms accepted the post of artistic director of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (Friends of Music) in Vienna. Masterpieces continued to pour from his pen. He composed, went on concert tours chiefly to improve his own music, and took long holidays. He now had plenty of money and could do as he pleased. He resigned as conductor of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in 1875, for even those duties had become a burden to him. That summer he worked on his Symphony No. 1 and sketched the Symphony No. 2.

Robert Schumann called his Symphony No. 3 the Rhenish . In other words, it's about the Rhine, which for German Romantics was a kind of mythical river. Wagner set his whole Ring of the Nibelung around it. It was in the Rhine that the high-Romantic Robert Schumann chose to jump in his suicide attempt. So for Brahms the river and the memory of those years were joined. Likely that association of person and place is why the river and his memories around it came out in the symphony that begins with Robert's theme, and so with Robert himself. To some degree, this is a work in which, hidden in notes, Brahms looked back over his life.   

In the early 1860s Brahms made his first visit to Vienna, and in 1863 he was named director of the Singakademie, a choral group, where he concentrated on historical and modern a cappella works.


Johannes Brahms Brahms — Wiener Philharmoniker Vienna Philharmonic Klavierkonzert · Piano Concerto No.2Johannes Brahms Brahms — Wiener Philharmoniker Vienna Philharmonic Klavierkonzert · Piano Concerto No.2Johannes Brahms Brahms — Wiener Philharmoniker Vienna Philharmonic Klavierkonzert · Piano Concerto No.2Johannes Brahms Brahms — Wiener Philharmoniker Vienna Philharmonic Klavierkonzert · Piano Concerto No.2

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