Musical selection for the 190th birth anniversary of Johannes Brahms

As long as there are people capable of responding to music with all their hearts, and as long as they respond to Brahms' music, that music will live on.

Hans Gál 

Johannes Brahms really accomplished a lot in his life - he is considered to be one of the most prominent composers of the Romantic era. Brahms' work combines the emotional impulsiveness of Romanticism with the structure of Classicism, enriched by the philosophical depth of the Baroque and the ancient polyphony of austere writing -- a synthesis of the musical experience of nearly half a millennium. Brahms' contemporaries and later critics too, saw the composer as both an innovator and a traditionalist. In terms of structure and composition, his music was a continuation of works by Bach and Beethoven. Although contemporaries viewed the German Romantic works as too much academic, his artistry and his contribution to music have delighted many of the greatest composers of subsequent generations. Carefully considered and impeccably structured, the works of Brahms became the starting point and inspiration for the entire generation of composers. Truly romantic nature of the great composer and musician was behind this outward scrupulousness and uncompromising attitude.

In his music Brahms created an honest and complex picture of the human spirit life -- stormy in its sudden impulses, resolute and courageous in the inner overcoming of obstacles, joyful and cheerful, melancholically tender and at times tired, wise and severe, delicate and healthfully responsible. Yearning for a positive resolution of conflicts, leaning on the stable and eternal values of human life, which Brahms saw in nature, in folk songs, in the art of the great artisans of the past, in the cultural traditions of his homeland and in simple human pleasures, is constantly combined in his music with a sensation that harmony cannot be achieved and that tragic contradictions are on the rise.

Brahms did not write a single opera, but he worked in almost every other genre. The composer wrote over eighty pieces of music, including: single and multi-voiced songs, serenade for orchestra, variations on a Haydn theme for orchestra, two sextets for strings, two piano concertos, several sonatas for one piano, for piano with violin, with cello, clarinet and viola, piano trios, Quartets and quintets, variations and pieces for piano, cantata "Rinaldo" for solo tenor, male choir and orchestra, rhapsody (on an extract from Goethe's "Harzreise im Winter") for solo alto, male choir and orchestra, "Deutsches Requiem" for solo, choir and orchestra, "Triumphlied" (about the Franco-Prussian War) for choir and orchestra; "Schicksalslied" for chorus and orchestra; violin concerto, concerto for violin and cello, two overtures: Tragic and Academic, four symphonies.

Musical selection for the 190th birth anniversary of Johannes Brahms is posted in the museum Phonothèque.
A biography of the composer is in the section "Authors".