Johannes Brahms (1833 –1897) was a German composer and pianist, popularly classified as the last of the “Three B’s,” with Bach and Beethoven being the first two. He greatly expanded and developed the Baroque and classical forms that he had inherited from Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. He did not begin the study of the piano until he was seven years of age. To relieve his family’s poverty, he played piano for the dance halls, some suspect, of ill repute. Having high expectations of himself, he destroyed many of his first compositions, and he did not attempt to compose symphonies until later in life, feeling that he lay in the shadow of Beethoven.
Schumann befriended Brahms and championed his music. With mental difficulties that Schumann experienced later in life, he played an important role in the management of Schumann’s affairs. He had a close relationship with Robert’s wife, Clara, who was 15 years older than he. He never married, but his music was an avenue for expression of his passion. His choral masterpiece is the German Requiem, based, not upon the Catholic liturgical mass, but rather, Scriptures typically cited by Protestants concerning death and hope.
Ein Deutsches Requiem
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