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Brahms, Johannes

(1833–97). With Bach and Beethoven, one of the 3 great B.'s of the music world. Lived at close of Romantic Era; did not fall under spell of such Romanticists as von Weber, Chopin, Berlioz, Wagner, Liszt; composed in style of classical masters; studied music of Bach assiduously; enriched classical idiom with new type of lyricism, originality, and rhythm; produced such gigantic works as his 4 symphonies, 2 piano concertos, his violin concerto, 3 string quartets, and other outstanding literature. Was a freethinker. Though his Ein deutsches Requiem is a great masterpiece of concert music, it was not meant to be a Luth. work. When selecting Bible texts for this work, Brahms avoided every passage which mentioned Christ by name (Ger. text); translations have not always reflected the composer's determination to refrain from using the word “Christ.”

A. Einstein, Greatness in Music, tr. César Saerchinger (New York, 1941) and Music in the Romantic Era (New York, 1947); K. Geiringer, Brahms: His Lite and Work, tr. H. B. Weiner and Bernard Miall (New York, 1936); W. Niemann, Brahms, tr. C. Phillips (New York, 1929); H. Gal, Johannes Brahms, tr. J. Stein (New York, 1963).

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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