The Romantic Era

nineteenth century

(Classical Music Map)


I. History of Classical Music  (by John Stanley)
The great composers and their masterworks in MP3 format
Albeniz Borodin Donizetti Hindemith Prokofiev Schutz
Albinoni Brahms Dowland Janacek Puccini Scriabin
Allegri Britten Dvorak Kodaly Purcell Sibelius
Arne Bruckner Falla Leoncavallo Rachmaninov Smetana
Auber Busoni Field Liszt Rameau Strauss J.S.
Bach Byrd Gabrieli Lully Ravel Strauss R.
Barber Carissimi Gershwin Mahler Respighi Stravinsky
Bartok Charpentier Gesualdo Mendelssohn Rimsky-Korsakov Tallis
Beethoven Cherubini Glinka Meyerbeer Rossini Tchaikovsky
Bellini Chopin Gluck Monteverdi Saint-Saens Telemann
Bernstein Clementi Gounod Mozart Scarlatti Verdi
Berwald Corelli Grieg Mussorgsky Schoenberg Victoria
Berlioz Couperin Handel Pachelbel Shostakovich Villa-Lobos
Bizet Debussy Haydn Paganini Schubert Vivaldi
Boccherini Delibes Hildegard Palestrina Schumann Wagner
Orff  "Carmina Burana"
II. History of Jazz

Johannes Brahms



The works of Johannes Brahms are among the most consistent of any composer. His style matured early and then changed little, and his meticulous, self-critical approach never allowed publication of any work less than excellent.

Born in Hamburg, he learned the piano from the age of six, first with his father (a double-bass player), then with Otto Cossel and Eduard Marxsen, who also taught him composition and gave an all-round musical training. In his teens Brahms began to compose and performed regularly, earning money (at the cost of his innocence) in a sailors' bar.

In 1853 he was invited to tour with the violinist Eduard Remenyi. In Hanover he was introduced to the violin virtuoso Joseph loachmi. who was to become a significant figure in Brahms's life. Joachim arranged for him to meet Liszt in Weimar, where Brahms embarrassed himself by falling asleep during the great pianist's performance of his Piano sonata in В minor. Brahms quickly won a deserved reputation for the frank, even rude manner in which he expressed his opinions. He was never very taken with the "New German School ' and later supported the critic Eduard Hanslick in his campaign against Liszt, Wagner, and Bruckner.

On a visit to Robert and Clara Schumann in Dusseldort, he met with great enthusiasm for his piano music. Shortly afterwards, Schumann broke a ten-year critical silence to announce in the New Musical Journal in 1853 that Germany's musical '"Messiah" had arrived: at the age of 20, Brahms became instantly famous. After Schumann's suicide attempt in 1854 and committal to an asylum, Brahms stayed with Clara Schumann. Although he was in love with her, they did not marry after Schumann's death two years later, but became lifelong friends.

During the next few years Brahms often stayed with Joachim, who encouraged his composing; he also travelled frequently with Clara. He had a number of love affairs, but never married.

He was employed as a choral conductor in Hamburg and Vienna, and settled in the Austrian capital m 1869. the year after the triumphant premiere at Bremen of his famous choral work Hill Deutsches Requiem. Vienna remained his home for the rest of his life. Early tame had meant early publication; the proceeds spared him from taking court appointments or undertaking too many hectic concert tours.

The great things that had been forecast for him by Schumann were turning into something of a burden, however, and Brahms deliberated for many years over his first orchestral works. He began work on a symphony as early as 1854. Like many other composers, Brahms was awed by the symphonic masterpieces of Beethoven and uncertain about producing examples of his own. After five years it emerged in a revised form as the First piano concerto. Eventually he completed his First symphony in 1876, 14 years after it was begun. With its broad, abstract Classical form, its emotional progression from tragedy to triumph, and the nobility of its hymn-like finale theme, it was quickly dubbed "Beethoven's Tenth.''

Brahms had by now mastered orchestral writing: the Violin concerto and Second piano concerto in addition to three more outstanding symphonies followed within nine years. Brahms's last orchestral work, the Double concerto of 1887 for violin and cello, was written for Joseph Joachim and marked a reconciliation with him following a seven-year rift, after Brahms had taken the side of Joachim's wife Amalie in their divorce proceedings.

From 1880 Brahms often visited the resort of Bad Ischl, accompanied on two ocassions by Johann Strauss II, whose Blue Danube waltz he declared he wished he had composed. He also had a long association with the Meiningen Court Orchestra, who toured with many of his works. In 1891 their clarinettist Richard Muhlfeld so impressed Brahms that he wrote four works for the instrument. One of these was the Clarinet quintet (for clarinet and string quartet), which ranks among his finest works.

Brahms created Classical musical structures in a Romantic age. His writing is notable for its rich textures resulting from a dense fabric of interwoven melodies. It gives his music an emotional depth quite different from the passionate intensity of Tchaikovsky, for example; in the Clarinet quintet he beautifully conveys a sense of autumnal melancholy.

Clara Schumann died in 1896 and Brahms undertook a 40-hour journey to attend her funeral, which caused his own health, by now precarious, to worsen dramatically. After a short stay at the spa at Karlsbad he struggled back to Vienna to attend Bruckner's funeral, and the following year Brahms himself died, succumbing to cancer of the liver.


Johannes Brahms



Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)



Symphony No. 1

Un poco sostenuto - Allegro
Andante sostenuto
Un poco allegretto e grazioso
Adagio - Piu andante - Allegro non troppo, ma con brio

Jan Czerkow
Violin Concerto in D major Op.77
Allegro ma non troppo
Allegro giocoso

Hungarian Dances Nos. 1-21

Paul Cantrell
Ballade Op 10 No 4

Paul Cantrell
Intermezzo Op 117 No 1
Intermezzo Op 117 No 2
Intermezzo Op 116 No 4 in E major

Paul Cantrell
Waltz Op 39 No 15 in A flat major



Eugene Delacroix





















J.S. Strauss







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