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Johannes Brahms - View Sheet Music for this Artist
  • German
  • 7nd May 1833 - 3rd April 1897
  • You might know him for: Wiegenlied (Lullaby - featured in the film The Truman Show) Hungarian Dance No. 5 (featured in the film The Cat in the Hat)

Pianist and composer Hans von Bülow once wrote, “I believe in Bach, the Father, Beethoven, the Son, and Brahms, the Holy Ghost of music.” Johannes Brahms was regarded by many as the “successor” of Beethoven, and had his First symphony (1876) named “Beethoven’s 10th” by Bülow. What Brahms lacked in his poverty- stricken childhood, he more than made up for in his musical career, of which spanned more than 6 decades. Brahms’ father, a struggling double-bassist, gave Brahms his first music lesson, and, like many musicians, showed great talent on the piano from a very early age. From age 10, as well as teaching piano, Brahms played in restaurants and theaters, largely due in part to his obligation to support his family with his small income. However, Brahms did not become popular as a pianist.

He began to compose and in 1853, embarked on a tour with Eduard Reményi, later meeting Franz Liszt and Robert Schumann, who never tired of promoting young Brahms’ talents. Schumann and his wife, Clara, and Brahms became close friends until Schumann’s premature death. Clara and Brahms remained very close friends, but he failed to establish any form of relationship or marriage in his lifetime and never left Europe. He remained a very humble man, considering his financial success and was extremely generous with his money to relatives and upcoming young musicians.

When Brahms returned to Vienna, composing became his foremost priority and composed in all forms with the exception of opera. He was considered the most Classical of the romantic composers, being largely influenced by Mozart and Haydn. With the completion of the large choral work German Requiem (1866), Brahms got a taste of fame and worldwide respect and soon finished 4 symphonies, all within 9 years. In 1868, Brahms produced the famous children’s lullaby, Wiegenlied Opus 49, No.4.

Johannes Brahms was a prolific and brilliant Romantic composer who gained much recognition during his lifetime. His music continues to inspire the musical landscape into the 21st Century and simply stated by Yehudi Menuhin, Brahms’ music is “the product of misty landscapes of North Germany…full of dreaminess and introspection. Mist gives a sense of infinity; it may be only two feet deep but equally it may cover the world, there is no knowing.”

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