Johannes Brahms Essay, Research Paper
email: Laura2412@aol.comtitle: Johannes Brahms1833-1897Johannes Brahms was a German composer, pianist and conductor of the 19th century or the romantic period. He was one of the 3 B’s or the Big Three: Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. Johannes was a very self-critical man he burned many of his pieces before he could get anyone’s opinion on them and he burned all of his compositions that he wrote before the age of 19. Brahms was not well recognized during his youth and early man-hood. His most popular compositions include 4 symphonies and 2 piano concertos, the Concerto for the Violin and Orchestra, and the Hungarian Dances. He also wrote Wienfield (Brahms’ Lullaby or Lullaby and Goodnight) a famous children’s song. Johannes Brahms was born in Hamburg, Germany on May 7, 1833, the second of three children to Jacob and Christina Brahms. His father, an innkeeper and a musician, earned a borderline living for his family of five. Johannes’ father first taught him music. At the age of 7 Johannes began to study piano and was taught by Edward Marxsex. When he was 10 he played his first concert to earn money for his education. He also began to improvise compositions at the piano. To help support his family he played piano at sailors’ hangouts, restaurants, and local dance salons. In 1850 Brahms became friends with the Hungarian violinist Edward Remenyo, who introduced him to gypsy dance tunes. In the next few years Brahms composed many dancing and singing pieces that are still performed today: the Scherzo in E-flat Minor (1851), the Sonata in F-sharp Minor (1852), and the Sonata in C Major (1853). Remenyo and Brahms had many successful concert tours in 1853. At Hanover they met Joseph Joachim who arranged for them to play for the King of Hanover. In 1853 Brahms was introduced to Robert Schumann and his wife Clara Schumann by Joseph Joachim and formed a lifelong friendship with them. Schumann arranged for Brahms’ first composition to be published and wrote an article for a musical magazine praising Brahms. During 1854 Brahms wrote Piano Trio No. 1, and the Variations on a Theme of Schumann for piano. Brahms was called to Dusseldorf in 1854 when Schumann had a mental breakdown and attempted suicide. For the next few years he stayed close to the Schumanns, assisting Clara in whatever way he could and staying with her even after Robert Schumanns death in 1856. During this time he did not write any compositions however to earn a living and support Clara, he taught piano privately and also spent some time on concert tours. Two concerts given with the singer Julius Stockhausen established Brahms as an important song composer. In 1857 Brahms went to the court of Lippe-Detmold where he taught piano for Princess Friderike and conducted the choral society. Many of his folk song arrangements were made for this choir. During the summer he went to Gottingen to be near Clara Schumann and he arranged several folk songs for her children. During that time he fell in love with Clara Schumann and she fell in love with him. But because the friendship that had developed between Robert and Johannes’ the love between Clara and Brahms love was replaced with a warm friendship that lasted until Clara’s death in 1896. Brahms’ first major work to be performed, Piano Concerto in D Minor (1858), was performed the next year with Joachim conducting Hanover, Leipzig, and Hamburg. It was not well received.In 1860 Brahms moved to Hamburg and composed, and performed. During that time he wrote the sextant for strings in B-flat Major and the Variations on an Original Theme for Piano, performed by Clara Schumann. The next year Brahms wrote the Piano Quartet in G Minor and A Major and the well-known Variations on a Theme of Handel for piano. In 1863 Brahms gave a concert in Vienna to introduce his songs to the Austrian people. Everyone liked them especially the critic, Edward Hanslick, with whom Brahms became great friends. Brahms also met Wagner during this time.
That year Brahms became conductor of the Singakademie in Vienna. A year later he quit, but spent the rest of his life in Vienna. There he relaxed, settled into an apartment, where he lived for 26 years, and ate daily at the Red Hedgehog Restaurant. He began doing what he had always wished, to make composing his main source of income, and as his fame and popularity grew he composed more and more with only some occasional performing and teaching. In Baden-Baden in 1864 on a visit to Clara Schumann, he wrote Piano Quintet in F Minor, and a year later the Horn Trio in E-flat Major. In 1865 Brahms’s mother ,long separated from her husband, died. During the next year he worked on German Requiem in her memory. Brahms’s father died in 1872. After a short holiday in Baden-Baden, Brahms accepted the job of artistic director of the Gesellschaft der Musikfrende (Friends of Music) in Vienna. In 1873, he wrote the Variations on a Theme of Hyden in two versions (one for the orchestra and other for two pianos), the string Quartets Nos. 1 and 2, and the Songs (Opera 59). The next year he produced the Piano Quartet No. 3, the Songs (Opera 63), and the Neue Liesbeslieder Waltzes.During his earlier years Brahms had helped to support his mother and father now that commitment gone and money coming in from all sides, Brahms was doing very well financially and could do as he pleased. He quit working for Gesellschaft der Musikfrende and spent the summer composing. That summer he worked on Symphony Nos. 1 and 2. In 1880 the University of Bteslau a doctorate (degree in music), and in appreciation he wrote the Academic Festival Overture and Tragic Overture. During the next years he discovered Italy, and for the rest of his life vacationed there often. When Brahms went on vacation he usually composed and on his vacations he wrote: the Violin Concerto in D Major (1878), the Violin Sonata in G Major (1879), two Rhaposodies for piano (1880), the Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major (1881), the Symphony No. 3 (1883), and the Symphony No. 4 (1884). These are the highlights of years filled with innumerable other compositions and publications. His native Hamburg gave Brahms the keys to the city in 1889. As a thank-you, Brahms composed the Deutsche Fest-und Genkspruche for eight part chorus. He also became acquainted with the great clarinetist Richard Muhlfeld, for whom he wrote his clarinet work. They performed these compositions all over Germany. When he was about 60 years old, Brahms began to age quickly and stopped composing as much. He said that he “arrived at the end of his creative activity.” However, his compositions of the last period are some of the best of his works, they were also the last of his published pieces, Vier erste Gesange (Four Serious Songs), which he wrote in memory of Clara Schumann, are among the high points of his creativity. Brahms already delicate health was damaged even further when he learned of the death of Clara Schumann in 1886. On April 3, 1897, at the age of 64, he died, from cancer of the liver. He was buried next to Beethoven and Schubert, honored by all Vienna and by the entire musical world. Bibliography”Brahms, Johannes” Book of Knowledge Encyclopedia 1995″Brahms, Johannes” Compon’s Interactive Encyclopedia 1992″Brahms, Johannes” Compton’s Encyclopedia 1994″Brahms, Johannes” Microsoft Encarta 1994″Brahms, Johannes” World Book Encyclopedia 1996Buxton, David and Sue Lyon. The Great Composers, Their Lives and Times. New York,New York: Marshal Cavendish Limited, 1987Krull, Kathleen. Lives of the Musicians. New York, New York: Harcot Brace Jovanovich, 1993Macy, Sheryl Two Romantic Trios. Portland, Oregon: Allegro Publishing, 1991MacDonald, Mary E. “Johannes Brahms” Composers Monthly March 1990May, Florence. The Life of Johannes Brahms. St. Clair Shores, Michigan: Somerset Publishers, 1977