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JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897) • Another well-known composer of art song • German composer, one of the major composers of the 19th century, whose works combine the best of the classical and romantic schools. •Brahms was born in Hamburg on May 7, 1833. •After studying the violin and cello with his father, a double bass player in the city theater, Brahms mastered the piano and began to compose under the guidance of the German music teacher Eduard Marxsen •His first major work to be publicly presented was the Piano Concerto no. 1 in D Minor, which he performed in Leipzig in 1859. The composition was not well received, however, because it lacked the showiness and the virtuoso passages then in vogue. The composer went to Vienna in 1863 and became director of the Singakademie (Choral Academy) but left the post a year later. In 1868 Brahms won fame throughout Europe following the performance of his German Requiem, in which he departed from Catholic tradition by using a German rather than a Latin text. The piece, cast in seven divisions, expresses his sorrow at the death of his mother and of Schumann. Brahms settled in Vienna in 1871, accepting the directorship of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (Society of Friends of Music). . •Until 1873 Brahms had written chiefly for the piano, the instrument he knew best His masterpieces include the grandiloquent Symphony no. 1 in C Minor (1876); the gentler, more mellifluous Symphony no. 2 in D Major (1877); the Academic Festival Overture (1880), incorporating German student songs; the somber Tragic Overture (1881); the poetic Symphony no. 3 in F Major (1883); and the Symphony no. 4 in E Minor (1885), with its brilliant and emotionally overwhelming finale. Unfortunately, little is known of Brahms's methods of work. A merciless self-critic, he burned all that he wrote before the age of 19 as well as some sketches of later masterpieces. It is known that he frequently reworked pieces over a period of 10 to 20 years, and before achieving the final form he often transcribed them for several different combinations of instruments. Brahms wrote in every medium except opera. His numerous other important works include Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny, 1871), a musical setting of a poem by the German poet Friedrich Hölderlin, scored for chorus and orchestra; the Violin Concerto in D Major (1878), a classic in the violin repertoire; 3 string quartets; 5 trios; a clarinet quintet; numerous other chamber works for various combinations of instruments; and more than 150 songs. He was influenced by Schubert in composing songs. In his song, you will hear the simple tunes of German Folk songs. His art song are as intimate as a personal message and very human. Many of his song are in strophic form. Brahms died on April 13, 1897, in Vienna. THE END • HERE IS A VERY FAMILIAR LULLABY BY BRAHMS, the • “ WIEGENLIED”.