The Music of Johannes Brahms
Born on May 7th in 1833, the famed composer Johannes Brahms was born in a later century than both Bach and Beethoven but today is often considered of the same caliber of both of those monumental musicians.
While not directly putting ourselves alongside of Brahms, he is remembered as both an important upholder of traditional classical music while also inserting a bit of his own innovative methods and sounds. Not as boldly progressive as the New German School, his popular small compositions serve to show his less formal sound. That element of modern interpretation infused in the classical sound is something our musicians support and understand here at Classical Oasis. It is incredible to think that while some of Brahms’ work was considered very progressive during his time, today it is lumped into the canon of classical work and tradition.
Compared during his lifetime to Beethoven, Brahms was very aware of the pressures and expectations of him. His style of music is known as “absolute music” as it is not inspired by anything but music. For those of the school of thought that art inspires other art this is a difficult concept to understand, an artist focusing merely on one type of artistic expression instead of drawing from a variety of mediums for inspiration.
While Brahms’ birthday was in May, his music should be celebrated throughout the year. For a lighter, more relaxed style we recommend the Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80 which is a fun collection of various student drinking songs, which Brahms formed in the orchestral style of his more serious works to add a bit of satire to this work. For more of his small works, listen to the Hungarian Dances. For a contrast and to understand the complexity of Brahms as a composer, listen to his Brahms Symphony 1, Op. 68. It is this work,which firmly secured his musical reputation alongside that of Beethoven. Wiegenlied Op. 49, No. 4 is best known as Brahms’ Lullaby, and may be his most far-reaching work in terms of modern recognition and familiarity.
Let us know what your favorite Brahms’ piece is in the comments section below.