Johannes Brahms Essay

916 words - 4 pages

Rising out of the ashes of the poor of Germany, Johannes Brahms is one of the most prominent musicians in history. His life was a grand one. He was one of the few of the greats of the classical music world to be widely recognized for, and prosper off of, his talent. Brahms went against the norm and that is what made him great.

Brahms was born into the slums of Hamburg, Germany in 1833. From the womb, however, he was destined for greatness. His father, a double bass player in the civic orchestra, recognized his son’s talent early on and tutored him in everything he knew. By the age of 10 he debuted as a pianist and before long he began to play at local dance halls, taverns, and ...view middle of the document...

”(Smith, pg 137) Following their meeting, Brahms and Schumann became close friends, especially with Robert’s musically talented wife, Clara. After Schumann was placed in an asylum for his psychic actions, Brahms moved in with Schumann's wife, Clara, and helped support her and her children by teaching lessons. He cared for them from 1853 until a year after Schumann’s death in 1857, when he accepted a position in the German court of Lippe Detmold to teach and conduct, trying to escape his feelings for Clara that would have eventually bound them together in matrimony and also would have bound their musical lives.

He held the position for three years until 1860. Another three years of wandering for jobs followed, before Brahms finally made the move that almost every great musician that preceded him had made, and that was to move to Vienna, where he lived the remainder of his life. Travel and enjoyment of nature were a necessity of life for Brahms and he drew almost all of his inspiration from his constant visits to Switzerland and Italy.

Brahms was one of the greatest songwriters of the nineteenth century. Schubert was his main source of inspiration in his song writing, as it took a central position in his art. Brahms began his life as a true Romantic, very expressive. As he matured in his works however, he began to fuse together opposing trends and wrote concise and expressive music structured mainly from the past. He knew the basic understanding that the people of his time had completely rejected, and that if you want to succeed in the present, then you need to build on the past. He...

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