Killed Robert Schumann music

Johannes Brahms - Hamburg's melancholy composer

Status: 25.11.2020 3 p.m.

German Requiem, Hungarian Dances and four symphonies: the works of Johannes Brahms are world-famous. The composer, pianist and conductor was born in Hamburg in 1833.

by Levke Heed

Even today, many children fall asleep happily with his song "Guten Abend, Gute Nacht". The NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, the Radiophiharmonie and the NDR choir play his works regularly. And the motif from the fourth movement of his first symphony sounds every evening at 7.30 p.m. in the Hamburg Journal of NDR television as the theme song. The works of the composer Johannes Brahms are still almost ubiquitous, not only in northern Germany. The German Requiem, the Hungarian Dances or his four symphonies - the compositions by Brahms are part of the standard repertoire of all major symphony orchestras in the world. In February 2008, the Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, received a Grammy, the so-called Music Oscar, with other classical stars for the album "Brahms: A German Requiem".

First appearance at the age of 15

The great German composer was born on May 7, 1833 in Hamburg's poor Gängeviertel. Brahm's father, who came to the Hanseatic city from Heide in Holstein, worked as a professional musician. Johannes Brahms took piano lessons at the age of seven and performed for the first time in front of a Hamburg audience when he was 15.

Schumann paves the music career of Johannes Brahms

Brahms had a close friendship with the musicians Robert and Clara Schumann.

On his first concert tour at the age of 20, he met the Schumann couple in Düsseldorf. The encounter was crucial to his life. In the same year it was Robert Schumann who paved Brahms' way to a professional life as a respected musician. In an article in the "Neue Zeitschrift für Musik" Schumann raved about Brahms and called him someone called. Brahms had a very close relationship with Clara Schumann. When Robert Schumann died, he stood by her and looked after the couple's seven children. Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms always stayed in contact through joint concert tours and an intensive correspondence. Brahms never married.

AUDIO: Johannes Brahms - a life for music (15 min)

Johannes Brahms: Praise as an obligation

The melancholy and solitary Brahms suffered throughout his life from his exaggerated form of self-criticism. He found the early public praise an agonizing obligation to demand something almost superhuman from himself. He often appeared closed, offended friends for no reason, and was sensitive to any criticism of his work. In 1857 Brahms got his first permanent job as a choir conductor and piano teacher at the court of Prince Leopold von Lippe-Detmold. His wish to take over the direction of the Philharmonic Concerts in Hamburg did not come true. In 1862 the Philharmonic Society decided against the inexperienced Brahms and instead opted for Julius Stockhausen. A decision that resulted in a lifelong grief for Johannes Brahms in relation to his hometown. The late recognition that he was to receive with the honorary citizenship of Hamburg in 1889 could not change that.

Creative phase in Vienna

Brahms wrote all of his orchestral works in Vienna - here a photograph from September 1984.

Brahms traveled to Vienna for the first time in 1862 and became director of the Singakademie a year later. In 1864 he gave up the post again. In 1872 he took over the function of artistic director of the Society of Friends of Music and head of the Vienna Singing Association. But the administrative duties of a director did not suit the artist, and so he gave this post back.

Even though Brahms spent the second phase of his life in Vienna, he clung to his hometown Hamburg all his life: "I get longing when I think about Hamburg correctly and always feel in a certain way particularly happy when I am there and walk on the well-known Ramparts and in the streets, "he wrote in one of his numerous letters.

The Viennese period was nevertheless the most creative creative phase for the Romantic composer. All of his orchestral works were created here. With the exception of opera, Johannes Brahms' work encompasses almost all musical genres: symphonies, choral compositions, chamber music works, songs and piano music. Highly respected and admired as a pianist, conductor and composer, Brahms died on April 3, 1897 in the Danube metropolis and was buried in the Vienna Central Cemetery next to the graves of Beethoven and Schubert.

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NDR culture | Classic on the move | 07/13/2020 | 2:40 pm