The world of music is rich with classical influences, with famous composers such as Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin among the most recognised. A wide array of musical genres have found inspiration in the brilliant talents of the past, with the works of Johannes Brahms highly regarded as some of the most beautiful in existence. Fans of classical music, like Tunde Folawiyo and millions of others, may be fascinated by the legacy of Johannes Brahms and his impact on music today.
Born in Hamburg on 7 May 1833, Johannes Brahms, a musician’s son, was taught piano, horn, cello, harmony and composition from a young age, making his first public appearances as a 10-year-old pianist. He played an etude by the musician Herz and participated in chamber works by Beethoven and Mozart. During the 1850s, Johannes Brahms transitioned from chamber to orchestral music. During this time, he composed his Piano Concerto #1 and the first and second Serenades, though he would later experience a creative block during the midpoint of the decade.
The creative works of Brahms gained recognition throughout Europe, reaching countries such as Russia and Britain, and therefore furthering his career. As his reputation spread, he was thrust to the forefront of 19th century music composers.
The 1870s were a difficult time in Brahms’ career, when he struggled with mastering both a string quartet and symphony. Upon his return to orchestral music, Brahms showcased great talent with his magnificent renditions of Haydn’s Variations on a Theme in 1873. Begun in 1862, Brahms’ first symphony debuted to a highly successful premiere in 1876, though the composer was later compelled to alter it before publication. Immensely critical of his own work, Brahms made major revisions to many of his pieces, and a significant number of the musician’s earliest drafts were destroyed.
Brahms accomplished a great deal throughout his career. His catalogue includes four spectacular symphonies as well as a variety of concertos and a large number of chamber pieces. One of his most popular works, Ein Deutsches Requiem, was arranged for choir and piano, prompting more performances. It is said that he lived well with his success, supporting family, friends and aspiring scholars and musicians.
As classical music remains a major source of inspiration for today’s musicians, fans of the genre, like Tunde Folawiyo and millions of others, may regard the creative works of Brahms as some of the most outstanding in the history of music.