Johannes Brahms

Author: Jan Swafford

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 9780679745822

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 699

View: 7243


A biography of the nineteenth-century German composer looks at his daily life, his associates--including his relationships with Robert Schumann, Clara Shumann, Richard Wagner, and Eduard Hanslick--and his achievements as a composer

Johannes Brahms

Author: Jan Swafford

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307809897

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 752

View: 2999


An illuminating new biography of one of the most beloved of all composers, published on the hundredth anniversary of his death, brilliantly written by a finalist for the 1996 National Book Critics Circle Award. Johannes Brahms has consistently eluded his biographers. Throughout his life, he attempted to erase traces of himself, wanting his music to be his sole legacy. Now, in this masterful book, Jan Swafford, critically acclaimed as both biographer and composer, takes a fresh look at Brahms, giving us for the first time a fully realized portrait of the man who created the magnificent music. Brahms was a man with many friends and no intimates, who experienced triumphs few artists achieve in their lifetime. Yet he lived with a relentless loneliness and a growing fatalism about the future of music and the world. The Brahms that emerges from these pages is not the bearded eminence of previous biographies but rather a fascinating assemblage of contradictions. Brought up in poverty, he was forced to play the piano in the brothels of Hamburg, where he met with both mental and physical abuse. At the same time, he was the golden boy of his teachers, who found themselves in awe of a stupendous talent: a miraculous young composer and pianist, poised between the emotionalism of the Romantics and the rigors of the composers he worshipped--Bach, Mozart, Beethoven. In 1853, Robert Schumann proclaimed the twenty-year-old Brahms the savior of German music. Brahms spent the rest of his days trying to live up to that prophecy, ever fearful of proving unworthy of his musical inheritance. We find here more of Brahms's words, his daily life and joys and sorrows, than in any other biography. With novelistic grace, Swafford shows us a warm-blooded but guarded genius who hid behind jokes and prickliness, rudeness and intractability with his friends as well as his enemies, but who was also a witty drinking companion and a consummate careerist skillfully courting the powerful. This is a book rich in secondary characters as well, including Robert Schumann, declining into madness as he hailed the advent of a new genius; Clara Schumann, the towering pianist, tormented personality, and great love of Brahms's life; Josef Joachim, the brilliant, self-lacerating violinist; the extraordinary musical amateur Elisabet von Herzogenberg, on whose exacting criticism Brahms relied; Brahms's rival and shadow, the malevolent genius Richard Wagner; and Eduard Hanslick, enemy of Wagner and apostle of Brahms, at once the most powerful and most wrongheaded music critic of his time. Among the characters in the book are two great cities: the stolid North German harbor town of Hamburg where Johannes grew up, which later spurned him; and glittering, fickle, music-mad Vienna, where Brahms the self-proclaimed vagabond finally settled, to find his sweetest triumphs and his most bitter failures. Unique to this book is the way in which musical scholarship and biography are combined: in a style refreshingly free of pretentiousness, Jan Swafford takes us deep into the music--from the grandeur of the First Symphony and the intricacies of the chamber work to the sorrow of the German Requiem--allowing us to hear these familiar works in new and often surprising ways. This is a clear-eyed study of a remarkable man and a vivid portrait of an era in transition. Ultimately, Johannes Brahms is the story of a great, backward-looking artist who inspired musical revolutionaries of the following generations, yet who was no less a prophet of the darkness and violence of our century. A biographical masterpiece at once wholly original and definitive.

The Biography Book

Author: Daniel S. Burt

Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group

ISBN: 9781573562560

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 629

View: 4060


Contains alphabetically arranged entries that identify and assess the biographical materials available on over five hundred notable historical figures, listing autobiography and primary sources, recommended biographies and juvenile biographies, other biographical studies, biographical novels, fictional portraits, and biographical films and theatrical adaptations.

The Life and Times of Johannes Brahms

Author: Jim Whiting

Publisher: Mitchell Lane

ISBN: 1545748934

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 48

View: 594


Johannes Brahms was born in Hamburg, Germany, to a family that lived in extreme poverty. Yet by the time of his death he had become one of the most financially successful classical music composers who ever lived. It wasn t easy. His family had to move several times while Hannes (as he was nicknamed) was still a boy. He had to go to work when he was just 13, playing the piano in rough waterfront taverns in Hamburg. Often he wouldn t come home until dawn. Brahms received his first big break when he was 20. The composer Robert Schumann called him a genius and a young eagle. Even then, it still took him many years to become famous. While he is most noted for his symphonies and concertos, it is likely that more people know him for his Cradle Song, better known as Brahms s Lullaby, which millions of mothers have sung to their young children to lull them to sleep.

The Musical Times

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Music

Page: N.A

View: 9718


Johannes Brahms

Author: Heather Platt

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135847088

Category: Music

Page: 576

View: 9829


First published in 2011. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Johannes Brahms

Author: Johannes Brahms

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 9780199247738

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 858

View: 4663


This book is a comprehensive collection of the letters of Johannes Brahms. Over 550 are included, virtually all uncut, and there are over a dozen published here for the first time in any language. The letters in this volume range from 1848 to just before his death. They include most of Brahm's letters to Robert Schumann, over a hundred letters to Clara Schumann, and the complete Brahms-Wagner correspondence. They are joined by a running commentary to form an absorbing narrative, documented with scholarly care, provided with comprehensive notes, but written for the general music lover. The work is generously illustrated, and contains several detailed appendices and an index. --From publisher's description.

A History of Stringed Keyboard Instruments

Author: Stewart Pollens

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 1108421997

Category: Music

Page: 400

View: 8746


The first comprehensive technical and historical study of stringed keyboard instruments from their fourteenth-century origins to modern times.

Johannes Brahms, Free But Alone

Author: Constantin Floros

Publisher: Peter Lang

ISBN: 9783631612606

Category: Music

Page: 291

View: 5109


Johannes Brahms was until now widely regarded as the archetype of the «absolute musician». Based on new research, the study shows how close autobiographic and poetic elements are in fact linked to his oeuvre. Like Robert Schumann, Brahms subscribed to an aesthetic of «poetic» music. In many of his compositions he got his inspiration from personal experiences, poems or images, as is shown by hitherto unpublished documents, letters, and diary entries, as well as from close analyses of individual works. Brahms's personality, too, is seen in a new way. He adopted Joseph Joachim's motto «Frei, aber einsam», «Free but Alone». The tonal code F - A - E, the musical symbol of this, recurs frequently in his works. Not least, the English version of the book, originally published in German in 1997, includes four additional chapters that investigate novel aspects by dealing in detail with the First Symphony, the German Requiem, Nänie and the Four Serious Songs. The American Brahms Society stressed the importance of the study for all those who want to come to know the unknown Brahms.