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Music Encyclopedia

Johannes Brahms ( 1833 - 1897 )

German Composer who was instructed in music by Eduard Marxsen. Marxsen used Beethovens works as a springboard for Brahms development, as his works were considered the best in technique and beauty.

As a youth he played in taverns, this was necessary because his family lived on a very small income and were very poor.

Johannes was a close friend to Robert and Clara Schumann. They each provided him with support and encouragement.
Brahms had very few friends and considered the Schumanns very special in his life.
After Robert Schumanns death, Clara was one of his closests friends.

Although Johannes was born in Hamburg, Germany, he eventually settled in Vienna lived there until his death.

He was considered a very gifted and capable pianist, but his first love was composing music.
Brahms was much likeBeethoven in his moods and it was reflected in his music.
The Classic forms and styles in the Sonatas and Symphonies he wrote eventually displayed a rich, warm and wonderful tonal quality.
His earlier works were more on the serious side and quite lengthy.

During his time in Vienna, Brahms was a conductor and pianist at the court of Detmold.
In 1862 he assumed the position of conductor of the Singakademie, which only lasted for a year.
He also was artistic director of the Society of Friends of Music from 1872 to 1875.
It was his decision to leave this post so he could focus his energies to that of composing.

Brahms wrote about 300 songs and arranged some hungarian Gypsy dance tunes for piano duets.
His most well known compositions are, The Four Serious Songs, Lullaby, Maynight, Eternal Love, Unavailing Serenade, and The Smith.