Brahms is Not Just a Lullaby…
"Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind." - Johannes Brahms
One hundred and Eighty Five years ago on this day Johannes Brahms was born. His contributions to classical music are undeniable, and still beloved today. He inspired many composers, from Arnold Schoenberg to Edward Elgar. The famous nineteenth century conductor Hans von Bülow included him as one of the "Three B's" in music with J.S. Bach and Ludwig von Beethoven.
Brahms was a perfectionist, and a devotee of the music of the Romantic period. When he was unsure of his work, he would publish it under an assumed name. He was known to even have copies of his music compositions destroyed when he did not feel they were worthy enough to publish. His strive for perfection has been historically attributed to his need to live up to Schumann expressing his enthusiasm for and expectation of great works to come from Brahms.
It was his introduction to Robert Schumann in 1853 that propelled Brahms career forward, from a talented performing pianist to famous composer. He would go on to eventual fame with his First Symphony, Op.68, which appeared in 1876, which even he remarked was modeled on Beethoven's Fifth. He went on to have success with his Second Symphony Op.73 (1877), a Violin concerto, Op.77 (1978) dedicated to his friend Joseph Joachim, Tragic Overture of 1880. But the works that were most endearing to people at that time were some of his lighter works, the Hungarian Dances, the Waltzes for piano duet (Op. 39) and the Liebeslieder Walzer, Op. 52.
Let's all remember Brahms on this day, and listen to some of his lovely music! Classical music is eternal, for its beauty which transcends generations, and Brahms ranks up there as one of the finest and most relatable of the Romantic Era…he is so much more than a lullaby!
I would like to suggest some outstanding performances of his work that you can review for all lovers of classical music to appreciate.
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