Intermezzo, Op. 72, is an opera in two acts by Richard Strauss to his own German libretto, described as a Bürgerliche Komödie mit sinfonischen Zwischenspielen. It premiered at the Dresden Semperoper on 4 November 1924, with sets that reproduced Strauss' home in Garmisch; the first Vienna performance was in January 1927. The story depicts fictionally the personalities of Strauss himself and his wife Pauline and was based on real incidents in their lives. Pauline Strauss was not aware of the opera's subject before the first performance. After Lotte Lehmann had congratulated Pauline on this "marvelous present to you from your husband", Pauline's reply was reported as "I don't give a damn"; the most celebrated music from the opera is the orchestral interludes between scenes. His usual librettist up to that time, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, refused to work on the opera and suggested that Strauss himself write the libretto, which he did after having been refused by other writers; this is why the libretto is not in verse but in prose and mimics the dialect used by the servants in the play, against the more polished German of the principals.
The opera's title is intended to refer to the intermezzi that used to be staged during the intermissions of serious operas during the 18th century, sort of mini-comic-operas, easy to follow with themes about marital confusions and other light comedies. The UK premier was at the Glyndebourne Opera on 20th September 1974,with subsequent productions in 1975 and 1983; the first professional staged US production was at the Santa Fe Opera in 1984, translated into English. Setting: Vienna and Grundlsee during a 1920’s winter The composer Storch is leaving for a conducting tour, his wife Christine helps him pack and nagging along the way. Seeking relief from loneliness she goes tobogganing and collides with a skier, a young Baron who befriends her, they dance together at a ball and she arranges for him to lodge in the house of her notary. The friendship is soured, she opens a letter for her husband, from a lady arranging an assignation. She telegrams Storch demanding they part for ever. In tears, she seeks solace in her son's bedroom but he defends his father.
Storch is playing skat with friends in Vienna when the telegram arrives, is bewildered by the accusations. Stroh, a conductor friend, admits that he knows the lady and surmises that his and Storch's surnames must have been confused. Christine visits the notary to demand a divorce, she sends the Baron to Vienna to gather evidence of infidelity. Packing to leave, she receives a telegram from her husband saying that Stroh will explain the misunderstanding. After Stroh's visit she is reluctant to accept the truth. Storch returns home, an argument ensues; the Baron arrives with evidence that Stroh rather than Storch had indeed known the lady and Christine dismisses him, assured that her husband is blameless. Storch teases her about her dalliance with the Baron. Husband and wife declare a renewed love. Strauss scored Intermezzo for the following orchestra: Woodwinds: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B-flat, 2 bassoons Brass: 3 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones Percussion: timpani, suspended cymbals, crash cymbals, snare drum, bass drum, pair of bells Keyboards: piano, harmonium Strings: harp, violins I, violins II, violoncelli, contrabasses Notes Sources Del Mar, Richard Strauss: A Critical Commentary on His Life and Work, Vol. 2.
Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1986) Kennedy, Michael, in Holden, The New Penguin Opera Guide, New York: Penguin Putnam. ISBN 0-14-029312-4 Intermezzo, Op. 72: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project
Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich was a Russian composer and pianist. He is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century. Shostakovich achieved fame in the Soviet Union under the patronage of Soviet chief of staff Mikhail Tukhachevsky, but had a complex and difficult relationship with the government, he received accolades and state awards and served in the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. A polystylist, Shostakovich developed a hybrid voice, combining a variety of different musical techniques into his works, his music is characterized by sharp contrasts, elements of the grotesque, ambivalent tonality. Shostakovich's orchestral works include six concerti, his chamber output includes 15 string quartets, a piano quintet, two piano trios, two pieces for string octet. His solo piano works include two sonatas, an early set of preludes, a set of 24 preludes and fugues. Other works include three operas, several song cycles, a substantial quantity of film music.
Born at Podolskaya street in Saint Petersburg, Shostakovich was the second of three children of Dmitri Boleslavovich Shostakovich and Sofiya Vasilievna Kokoulina. Shostakovich's paternal grandfather surnamed Szostakowicz, was of Polish Roman Catholic descent, but his immediate forebears came from Siberia. A Polish revolutionary in the January Uprising of 1863–4, Bolesław Szostakowicz would be exiled to Narym in 1866 in the crackdown that followed Dmitri Karakozov's assassination attempt on Tsar Alexander II; when his term of exile ended, Szostakowicz decided to remain in Siberia. He became a successful banker in Irkutsk and raised a large family, his son Dmitri Boleslavovich Shostakovich, the composer's father, was born in exile in Narim in 1875 and studied physics and mathematics in Saint Petersburg University, graduating in 1899. He went to work as an engineer under Dmitri Mendeleev at the Bureau of Weights and Measures in Saint Petersburg. In 1903 he married another Siberian transplant to the capital, Sofiya Vasilievna Kokoulina, one of six children born to a Russian Siberian native.
Their son, Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich, displayed significant musical talent after he began piano lessons with his mother at the age of nine. On several occasions he displayed a remarkable ability to remember what his mother had played at the previous lesson, would get "caught in the act" of playing the previous lesson's music while pretending to read different music placed in front of him. In 1918 he wrote a funeral march in memory of two leaders of the Kadet party, murdered by Bolshevik sailors. In 1919, at the age of 13, he was admitted to the Petrograd Conservatory headed by Alexander Glazunov, who monitored Shostakovich's progress and promoted him. Shostakovich studied piano with Leonid Nikolayev after a year in the class of Elena Rozanova, composition with Maximilian Steinberg, counterpoint and fugue with Nikolay Sokolov, with whom he became friends. Shostakovich attended Alexander Ossovsky's music history classes. Steinberg tried to guide Shostakovich on the path of the great Russian composers, but was disappointed to see him'wasting' his talent and imitating Igor Stravinsky and Sergei Prokofiev.
Shostakovich suffered for his perceived lack of political zeal, failed his exam in Marxist methodology in 1926. His first major musical achievement was the First Symphony, written as his graduation piece at the age of 19; this work brought him to the attention of Mikhail Tukhachevsky, who helped Shostakovich find accommodation and work in Moscow, sent a driver around in "a stylish automobile" to take him to a concert. After graduation, Shostakovich embarked on a dual career as concert pianist and composer, but his dry style of playing was unappreciated, he won an "honorable mention" at the First International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1927. He attributed the disappointment at the competition to suffering from appendicitis and the jury being all-Polish, he had his appendix removed in April 1927. After the competition Shostakovich met the conductor Bruno Walter, so impressed by the composer's First Symphony that he conducted it at its Berlin premiere that year. Leopold Stokowski was impressed and gave the work its U.
S. premiere the following year in Philadelphia and made the work's first recording. Shostakovich concentrated on composition thereafter and soon limited his performances to those of his own works. In 1927 he wrote a patriotic piece with a great pro-Soviet choral finale. Owing to its experimental nature, as with the subsequent Third Symphony, it was not critically acclaimed with the enthusiasm given to the First. 1927 marked the beginning of Shostakovich's relationship with Ivan Sollertinsky, who remained his closest friend until the latter's death in 1944. Sollertinsky introduced the composer to the music of Mahler, which had a strong influence on h
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Edvard Hagerup Grieg was a Norwegian composer and pianist. He is considered one of the leading Romantic era composers, his music is part of the standard classical repertoire worldwide, his use and development of Norwegian folk music in his own compositions brought the music of Norway to international consciousness, as well as helping to develop a national identity, much as Jean Sibelius and Bedřich Smetana did in Finland and Bohemia, respectively. Grieg is the most celebrated person from the city of Bergen, with numerous statues depicting his image, many cultural entities named after him: the city's largest concert building, its most advanced music school and its professional choir; the Edvard Grieg Museum at Grieg's former home, Troldhaugen, is dedicated to his legacy. Edvard Hagerup Grieg was born in Norway, his parents were a merchant and vice-consul in Bergen. The family name spelled Greig, is associated with the Scottish Clann Ghriogair. After the Battle of Culloden in 1746, Grieg's great-grandfather, Alexander Greig, travelled settling in Norway about 1770, establishing business interests in Bergen.
Edvard Grieg was raised in a musical family. His mother taught him to play at the age of six. Grieg studied including Tanks Upper Secondary School. In the summer of 1858, Grieg met the eminent Norwegian violinist Ole Bull, a family friend. Bull recognized the 15-year-old boy's talent and persuaded his parents to send him to the Leipzig Conservatory, the piano department of, directed by Ignaz Moscheles. Grieg enrolled in the conservatory, concentrating on the piano, enjoyed the many concerts and recitals given in Leipzig, he disliked the discipline of the conservatory course of study. An exception was the organ, mandatory for piano students. In the spring of 1860, he survived two life-threatening lung diseases and tuberculosis. Throughout his life, Grieg's health was impaired by a destroyed left lung and considerable deformity of his thoracic spine, he suffered from numerous respiratory infections, developed combined lung and heart failure. Grieg was admitted many times to spas and sanatoria both in Norway and abroad.
Several of his doctors became his personal friends. In 1861, Grieg made his debut as a concert pianist in Sweden. In 1862, he finished his studies in Leipzig and held his first concert in his home town, where his programme included Beethoven's Pathétique sonata. In 1863, Grieg went to Copenhagen and stayed there for three years, he met Niels Gade. He met his fellow Norwegian composer Rikard Nordraak, who became a good friend and source of inspiration. Nordraak died in 1866, Grieg composed a funeral march in his honor. On 11 June 1867, Grieg married Nina Hagerup, a lyric soprano; the next year, their only child, was born. Alexandra died in 1869 from meningitis. In the summer of 1868, Grieg wrote his Piano Concerto in A minor while on holiday in Denmark. Edmund Neupert gave the concerto its premiere performance on 3 April 1869 in the Casino Theatre in Copenhagen. Grieg himself was unable to be there due to conducting commitments in Christiania. In 1868, Franz Liszt, who had not yet met Grieg, wrote a testimonial for him to the Norwegian Ministry of Education, which led to Grieg's obtaining a travel grant.
The two men met in Rome in 1870. On Grieg's first visit, they went over Grieg's Violin Sonata No. 1, which pleased Liszt greatly. On his second visit in April, Grieg brought with him the manuscript of his Piano Concerto, which Liszt proceeded to sightread. Liszt's rendition impressed his audience, although Grieg pointed out to him that he played the first movement too quickly. Liszt gave Grieg some advice on orchestration. In 1874–76, Grieg composed incidental music for the premiere of Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt, at the request of the author. Grieg had close ties with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, became Music Director of the orchestra from 1880 to 1882. In 1888, Grieg met Tchaikovsky in Leipzig. Grieg was struck by the greatness of Tchaikovsky. Tchaikovsky thought highly of Grieg's music, praising its beauty and warmth. Grieg was awarded two honorary doctorates, first by the University of Cambridge in 1894 and the next from the University of Oxford in 1906; the Norwegian government provided Grieg with a pension.
In the spring of 1903, Grieg made nine 78-rpm gramophone recordings of his piano music in Paris. Grieg made live-recording player piano music rolls for the Hupfeld Phonola piano-player system and Welte-Mignon reproducing system, all of which survive today and can be heard, he worked with the Aeolian Company for its'Autograph Metrostyle' piano roll series wherein he indicated the tempo mapping for many of his pieces. In 1899, Grieg cancelled his concerts in France in protest of the Dreyfus Affair, an anti-semitic scandal, roiling French politics. Regarding this scandal, Grieg had written that he hoped that the French might, "Soon return to the spirit of 1789, when the French republic
Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini was an Italian opera composer, called "the greatest composer of Italian opera after Verdi". Puccini's early work was rooted in traditional late-19th-century romantic Italian opera, he developed his work in the realistic verismo style, of which he became one of the leading exponents. Puccini's most renowned works are La bohème, Madama Butterfly, Turandot, all of which are among the important operas played as standards. Puccini was born Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini in Lucca, Italy in 1858, he was one of nine children of Michele Albina Magi. The Puccini family was established in Lucca as a local musical dynasty by Puccini's great-great-grandfather – named Giacomo; this first Giacomo Puccini was maestro di cappella of the Cattedrale di San Martino in Lucca. He was succeeded in this position by his son, Antonio Puccini, by Antonio's son Domenico, Domenico's son Michele; each of these men studied music at Bologna, some took additional musical studies elsewhere.
Domenico Puccini studied for a time under Giovanni Paisiello. Each composed music for the church. In addition, Domenico composed several operas, Michele composed one opera. Puccini's father Michele enjoyed a reputation throughout northern Italy, his funeral was an occasion of public mourning, at which the then-famed composer Giovanni Pacini conducted a Requiem. With the Puccini family having occupied the position of maestro di cappella for 124 years by the time of Michele's death, it was anticipated that Michele's son Giacomo would occupy that position as well when he was old enough. However, when Michele Puccini died in 1864, his son Giacomo was only six years old, thus not capable of taking over his father's job; as a child, he participated in the musical life of the Cattedrale di San Martino, as a member of the boys' choir and as a substitute organist. Puccini was given a general education at the seminary of San Michele in Lucca, at the seminary of the cathedral. One of Puccini's uncles, Fortunato Magi, supervised his musical education.
Puccini got a diploma from the Pacini School of Music in Lucca in 1880, having studied there with his uncle Fortunato, with Carlo Angeloni, who had instructed Alfredo Catalani. A grant from Queen Margherita, assistance from another uncle, Nicholas Cerù, provided the funds necessary for Puccini to continue his studies at the Milan Conservatory, where he studied composition with Stefano Ronchetti-Monteviti, Amilcare Ponchielli, Antonio Bazzini. Puccini studied at the conservatory for three years. In 1880, at the age of 21, Puccini composed his Mass, which marks the culmination of his family's long association with church music in his native Lucca. Puccini wrote an orchestral piece called the Capriccio sinfonico as a thesis composition for the Milan Conservatory. Puccini's teachers Ponchielli and Bazzini were impressed by the work, it was performed at a student concert at the conservatory on 14 July 1883, conducted by Franco Faccio. Puccini's work was favorably reviewed in the Milanese publication Perseveranza, thus Puccini began to build a reputation as a young composer of promise in Milanese music circles.
After the premiere of the Capriccio sinfonico and Puccini discussed the possibility that Puccini's next work might be an opera. Ponchielli invited Puccini to stay at his villa, where Puccini was introduced to another young man named Ferdinando Fontana. Puccini and Fontana agreed to collaborate on an opera; the work, Le Villi, was entered into a competition sponsored by the Sozogno music publishing company in 1883. Although it did not win, Le Villi was staged at the Teatro Dal Verme, premiering on 31 May 1884. G. Ricordi & Co. music publishers assisted with the premier by printing the libretto without charge. Fellow students from the Milan Conservatory formed a large part of the orchestra; the performance was enough of a success. Revised into a two-act version with an intermezzo between the acts, Le Villi was performed at La Scala in Milan, on 24 January 1885. However, Ricordi did not publish the score until 1887. Giulio Ricordi, head of G. Ricordi & Co. music publishers, was sufficiently impressed with Le Villi and its young composer that he commissioned a second opera, which would result in Edgar.
Work was begun in 1884. Puccini finished primary composition in 1887 and orchestration in 1888. Edgar premiered at La Scala on 21 April 1889 to a lukewarm response; the work was withdrawn for revisions after its third performance. In a Milanese newspaper, Giulio Ricordi published a defense of Puccini's skill as a composer, while criticizing Fontana's libretto. A revised version met with success at the Teatro del Giglio in Puccini's native Lucca on 5 September 1891. In 1892, further revisions reduced the length of the opera from four acts to three, in a version, well received in Ferrara and was performed in Turin and in Spain. Puccini made further revisions in 1901 and 1905. Without the personal support of Ricordi, Edgar might have cost Puccini his career. Puccini had eloped with his former piano student, the married Elvira Gemignani, Ricordi's associates were willing to turn a blind eye to his life style as long as he was successful; when Edg
Béla Viktor János Bartók was a Hungarian composer and ethnomusicologist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century. Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of comparative musicology, which became ethnomusicology. Bartók was born in the Banatian town of Nagyszentmiklós in the Kingdom of Hungary on 25 March 1881. Bartók had a diverse ancestry. On his father's side, the Bartók family was a Hungarian lower noble family, originating from Borsodszirák, Borsod. Although his paternal grandmother was a Catholic of Bunjevci origin, but considered herself Hungarian. Bartók's father was named Béla, his mother, Paula had ethnic German roots, spoke Hungarian fluently, she was a native of Turócszentmárton. Paula had Magyar and Slavic ancestors. Béla displayed notable musical talent early in life: according to his mother, he could distinguish between different dance rhythms that she played on the piano before he learned to speak in complete sentences.
By the age of four he was able to play 40 pieces on the piano and his mother began formally teaching him the next year. Béla was a small and sickly child and suffered from severe eczema until the age of five. In 1888, when he was seven, his father died suddenly, his mother took him and his sister, Erzsébet, to live in Nagyszőlős and to Pozsony. He gave his first public recital aged 11 to a warm critical reception. Among the pieces he played was his own first composition, written two years previously: a short piece called "The Course of the Danube". Shortly thereafter László Erkel accepted him as a pupil. From 1899 to 1903, Bartók studied piano under István Thomán, a former student of Franz Liszt, composition under János Koessler at the Royal Academy of Music in Budapest. There he met Zoltán Kodály, who made a strong impression on him and became a lifelong friend and colleague. In 1903, Bartók wrote his first major orchestral work, Kossuth, a symphonic poem which honored Lajos Kossuth, hero of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848.
The music of Richard Strauss, whom he met in 1902 at the Budapest premiere of Also sprach Zarathustra influenced his early work. When visiting a holiday resort in the summer of 1904, Bartók overheard a young nanny, Lidi Dósa from Kibéd in Transylvania, sing folk songs to the children in her care; this sparked his lifelong dedication to folk music. From 1907, he began to be influenced by the French composer Claude Debussy, whose compositions Kodály had brought back from Paris. Bartók's large-scale orchestral works were still in the style of Johannes Brahms and Richard Strauss, but he wrote a number of small piano pieces which showed his growing interest in folk music; the first piece to show clear signs of this new interest is the String Quartet No. 1 in A minor, which contains folk-like elements. In 1907, Bartók began teaching as a piano professor at the Royal Academy; this position enabled him to work in Hungary. Among his notable students were Fritz Reiner, Sir Georg Solti, György Sándor, Ernő Balogh, Lili Kraus.
After Bartók moved to the United States, he taught Violet Archer. In 1908, he and Kodály traveled into the countryside to collect and research old Magyar folk melodies, their growing interest in folk music coincided with a contemporary social interest in traditional national culture. They made some surprising discoveries. Magyar folk music had been categorised as Gypsy music; the classic example is Franz Liszt's famous Hungarian Rhapsodies for piano, which he based on popular art songs performed by Romani bands of the time. In contrast, Bartók and Kodály discovered that the old Magyar folk melodies were based on pentatonic scales, similar to those in Asian folk traditions, such as those of Central Asia and Siberia. Bartók and Kodály set about incorporating elements of such Magyar peasant music into their compositions, they both quoted folk song melodies verbatim and wrote pieces derived from authentic songs. An example is his two volumes entitled For Children for solo piano, containing 80 folk tunes to which he wrote accompaniment.
Bartók's style in his art music compositions was a synthesis of folk music and modernism. His melodic and harmonic sense was profoundly influenced by the folk music of Hungary and other nations, he was fond of the asymmetrical dance rhythms and pungent harmonies found in Bulgarian music. Most of his early compositions offer a blend of late Romanticism elements. In 1909, at the age of 28, Bartók married Márta Ziegler, aged 16, their son, Béla Bartók III, was born on 22 August 1910. After nearly 15 years together, Bartók divorced Márta in June 1923. Two months after his divorce, he married Ditta Pásztory, a piano student, ten days after proposing to her, she was aged 19, he 42. Their son, Péter, was born in 1924. In 1911, Bartók wrote what was to be Bluebeard's Castle, dedicated to Márta, he entered it for a prize by the Hungarian Fine Arts Commission, but they rejected his work as not fit for the st
Johannes Brahms was a German composer and conductor of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria, his reputation and status as a composer are such that he is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the "Three Bs" of music, a comment made by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow. Brahms composed for symphony orchestra, chamber ensembles, piano and voice and chorus. A virtuoso pianist, he premiered many of his own works, he worked with some of the leading performers of his time, including the pianist Clara Schumann and the violinist Joseph Joachim. Many of his works have become staples of the modern concert repertoire. An uncompromising perfectionist, Brahms left others unpublished. Brahms has been considered, by his contemporaries and by writers, as both a traditionalist and an innovator, his music is rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Classical masters.
While many contemporaries found his music too academic, his contribution and craftsmanship have been admired by subsequent figures as diverse as Arnold Schoenberg and Edward Elgar. The diligent constructed nature of Brahms's works was a starting point and an inspiration for a generation of composers. Embedded within his meticulous structures, are romantic motifs. Brahms's father, Johann Jakob Brahms, was from the town of Heide in Holstein; the family name was sometimes spelt'Brahmst' or'Brams', derives from'Bram', the German word for the shrub broom. Against the family's will, Johann Jakob pursued a career in music, arriving in Hamburg in 1826, where he found work as a jobbing musician and a string and wind player. In 1830, he married Johanna Henrika Christiane Nissen. In the same year he was appointed as a horn player in the Hamburg militia, he became a double-bass player in the Hamburg Stadttheater and the Hamburg Philharmonic Society. As Johann Jakob prospered, the family moved over the years to better accommodation in Hamburg.
Johannes Brahms was born in 1833. Fritz became a pianist. Johann Jakob gave his son his first musical training. From 1840 he studied piano with Otto Friedrich Willibald Cossel. Cossel complained in 1842 that Brahms "could be such a good player, but he will not stop his never-ending composing." At the age of 10, Brahms made his debut as a performer in a private concert including Beethoven's quintet for piano and winds Op. 16 and a piano quartet by Mozart. He played as a solo work an étude of Henri Herz. By 1845 he had written a piano sonata in G minor. Brahms's parents disapproved of his early efforts as a composer, feeling that he had better career prospects as a performer. From 1845 to 1848 Brahms studied with Cossel's teacher composer Eduard Marxsen. Marxsen had been a personal acquaintance of Beethoven and Schubert, admired the works of Mozart and Haydn, was a devotee of the music of J. S. Bach. Marxsen conveyed to Brahms the tradition of these composers and ensured that Brahms's own compositions were grounded in that tradition.
In 1847 Brahms made his first public appearance as a solo pianist in Hamburg, playing a Fantasy of Sigismund Thalberg. His first full piano recital, in 1848, included a fugue by Bach as well as works by Marxsen and contemporary virtuosi such as Jacob Rosenhain. A second recital in April 1849 included Beethoven's Waldstein sonata and a waltz fantasia of his own composition, garnered favourable newspaper reviews. Brahms's compositions at this period are known to have included piano music, chamber music and works for male voice choir. Under the pseudonym'G. W. Marks' some piano arrangements and fantasies were published by the Hamburg firm of Cranz in 1849; the earliest of Brahms's works which he acknowledged date from 1851. However Brahms was assiduous in eliminating all his early works. Persistent stories of the impoverished adolescent Brahms playing in bars and brothels have only anecdotal provenance, many modern scholars dismiss them. In 1850 Brahms met with the Hungarian violinist Ede Reményi and accompanied him in a number of recitals over the next few years.
This was Brahms's introduction to "gypsy-style" music such as the czardas, to prove the foundation of his most lucrative and popular compositions, the two sets of Hungarian Dances. 1850 marked Brahms's first contact with Robert Schumann. In 1853 Brahms went on a concert tour with Reményi. In late May the two visited composer Joseph Joachim at Hanover. Brahms had earlier heard Joachim playing the solo part in Beethoven's violin concerto and been impressed. Brahms played some of his own solo piano pieces for Joachim, who remembered fifty years later: "Never in the course of my artist's l