Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical and secular music. While a more precise term is used to refer to the period from 1750 to 1820, this article is about the broad span of time from before the 6th century AD to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods; the central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, known as the common-practice period. The major time divisions of Western art music are as follows: the ancient music period, before 500 AD the early music period, which includes the Medieval including the ars antiqua the ars nova the ars subtilior the Renaissance eras. Baroque the galant music period the common-practice period, which includes Baroque the galant music period Classical Romantic eras the 20th and 21st centuries which includes: the modern that overlaps from the late-19th century, impressionism that overlaps from the late-19th century neoclassicism, predominantly in the inter-war period the high modern the postmodern eras the experimental contemporary European art music is distinguished from many other non-European classical and some popular musical forms by its system of staff notation, in use since about the 11th century.
Catholic monks developed the first forms of modern European musical notation in order to standardize liturgy throughout the worldwide Church. Western staff notation is used by composers to indicate to the performer the pitches, tempo and rhythms for a piece of music; this can leave less room for practices such as improvisation and ad libitum ornamentation, which are heard in non-European art music and in popular-music styles such as jazz and blues. Another difference is that whereas most popular styles adopt the song form or a derivation of this form, classical music has been noted for its development of sophisticated forms of instrumental music such as the symphony, fugue and mixed vocal and instrumental styles such as opera and mass; the term "classical music" did not appear until the early 19th century, in an attempt to distinctly canonize the period from Johann Sebastian Bach to Ludwig van Beethoven as a golden age. The earliest reference to "classical music" recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary is from about 1829.
Given the wide range of styles in European classical music, from Medieval plainchant sung by monks to Classical and Romantic symphonies for orchestra from the 1700s and 1800s to avant-garde atonal compositions for solo piano from the 1900s, it is difficult to list characteristics that can be attributed to all works of that type. However, there are characteristics that classical music contains that few or no other genres of music contain, such as the use of music notation and the performance of complex forms of solo instrumental works. Furthermore, while the symphony did not exist prior to the late 18th century, the symphony ensemble—and the works written for it—have become a defining feature of classical music; the key characteristic of European classical music that distinguishes it from popular music and folk music is that the repertoire tends to be written down in musical notation, creating a musical part or score. This score determines details of rhythm, and, where two or more musicians are involved, how the various parts are coordinated.
The written quality of the music has enabled a high level of complexity within them: fugues, for instance, achieve a remarkable marriage of boldly distinctive melodic lines weaving in counterpoint yet creating a coherent harmonic logic that would be difficult to achieve in the heat of live improvisation. The use of written notation preserves a record of the works and enables Classical musicians to perform music from many centuries ago. Musical notation enables 2000s-era performers to sing a choral work from the 1300s Renaissance era or a 1700s Baroque concerto with many of the features of the music being reproduced; that said, the score does allow the interpreter to make choices on. For example, if the tempo is written with an Italian instruction, it is not known how fast the piece should be played; as well, in the Baroque era, many works that were designed for basso continuo accompaniment do not specify which instruments should play the accompaniment or how the chordal instrument should play the chords, which are not notated in the part.
The performer and the conductor have a range of options for musical expression and interpretation of a scored piece, including the phrasing of melodies, the time taken during fermatas or pauses, the use of effects such as vibrato or glissando. Although Classical music in the 2000s has lost most of its tradition for musical improvisation, from the Baroque era to the Romantic era, there are examples of performers who could improvise in the style of their era. In the Baroque era, organ performers would improvise preludes, keyboard performers playing harpsichord would improvise chords from the figured bass symbols beneath the bass notes of the basso continuo part and b
Chamber music is a form of classical music, composed for a small group of instruments—traditionally a group that could fit in a palace chamber or a large room. Most broadly, it includes any art music, performed by a small number of performers, with one performer to a part. However, by convention, it does not include solo instrument performances; because of its intimate nature, chamber music has been described as "the music of friends". For more than 100 years, chamber music was played by amateur musicians in their homes, today, when chamber music performance has migrated from the home to the concert hall, many musicians and professional, still play chamber music for their own pleasure. Playing chamber music requires special skills, both musical and social, that differ from the skills required for playing solo or symphonic works. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe described chamber music as "four rational people conversing"; this conversational paradigm–which refers to the way one instrument introduces a melody or motif and other instruments subsequently "respond" with a similar motif–has been a thread woven through the history of chamber music composition from the end of the 18th century to the present.
The analogy to conversation recurs in analyses of chamber music compositions. From its earliest beginnings in the Medieval period to the present, chamber music has been a reflection of the changes in the technology and the society that produced it. During the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance, instruments were used as accompaniment for singers. String players would play along with the melody line sung by the singer. There were purely instrumental ensembles of stringed precursors of the violin family, called consorts; some analysts consider the origin of classical instrumental ensembles to be the sonata da camera and the sonata da chiesa. These were compositions for one to five or more instruments; the sonata da camera was a suite of fast movements, interspersed with dance tunes. These forms developed into the trio sonata of the Baroque – two treble instruments and a bass instrument with a keyboard or other chording instrument filling in the harmony. Both the bass instrument and the chordal instrument would play the basso continuo part.
During the Baroque period, chamber music as a genre was not defined. Works could be played on any variety of instruments, in orchestral or chamber ensembles; the Art of Fugue by Johann Sebastian Bach, for example, can be played on a keyboard instrument or by a string quartet or a string orchestra. The instrumentation of trio sonatas was often flexibly specified. Sometimes composers mixed movements for chamber ensembles with orchestral movements. Telemann's'Tafelmusik', for example, has five sets of movements for various combinations of instruments, ending with a full orchestral section. Baroque chamber music was contrapuntal; because each instrument was playing the same melodies, all the instruments were equal. In the trio sonata, there is no ascendent or solo instrument, but all three instruments share equal importance; the harmonic role played by the keyboard or other chording instrument was subsidiary, the keyboard part was not written out. In the second half of the 18th century, tastes began to change: many composers preferred a new, lighter Galant style, with "thinner texture... and defined melody and bass" to the complexities of counterpoint.
Now a new custom arose. Patrons invited street musicians to play evening concerts below the balconies of their homes, their friends and their lovers. Patrons and musicians commissioned composers to write suitable suites of dances and tunes, for groups of two to five or six players; these works were called serenades, divertimenti, or cassations. The young Joseph Haydn was commissioned to write several of these. Joseph Haydn is credited with creating the modern form of chamber music as we know it. In 83 string quartets, 45 piano trios, numerous string trios and wind ensembles, Haydn established the conversational style of composition and the overall form, to dominate the world of chamber music for the next two centuries. An example of the conversational mode of composition is Haydn's string quartet Op. 20, No. 4 in D major. In the first movement, after a statement of the main theme by all the instruments, the first violin breaks into a triplet figure, supported by the second violin and cello; the cello answers with its own triplet figure the viola, while the other instruments play a secondary theme against this movement.
Unlike counterpoint, where each part plays the same melodic role as the others, here each instrument contributes its own character, its own comment on the music as it develops. Haydn settled on an overall form for his chamber music compositions, which would become the standard, with slight varia
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
Franz Adolf Berwald was a Swedish Romantic composer. He made his living as an orthopedic surgeon and as the manager of a saw mill and glass factory, became more appreciated as a composer after his death than he had been in his lifetime. Berwald came from a family with four generations of musicians. In 1809, Karl XIII reinstated the Royal Chapel; the summers were off-season for the orchestra, Berwald travelled around Scandinavia and Russia. Of his works from that time, a septet and a serenade he still considered worthwhile music in his years. In 1818 Berwald started publishing the Musikalisk journal renamed Journal de musique, a periodical with easy piano pieces and songs by various composers as well as some of his own original work. In 1821, his Violin Concerto was premiered by his brother August, it was not well received. His family got into dire economic circumstances after the death of his father in 1825. Berwald tried to get several scholarships, but only got one from the King, which enabled him to study in Berlin, where he worked hard on operas despite not having any chance to put them on the stage.
To make a living, Berwald started an orthopedic and physiotherapy clinic in Berlin in 1835, which turned out to be profitable. Some of the orthopedic devices he invented were still in use decades after his death, he stopped composing during his time in Berlin, resuming only in 1841 with a move to Vienna and marriage to Mathilde Scherer. In 1842 a concert of his tone poems at the Redoutensaal at the Hofburg Imperial Palace received positive reviews, over the course of the next three years Berwald wrote four symphonies; these were not the first symphonies he had written: numerous major works from the 1820s have gone missing, the torso of a Symphony in A's first movement remains, has been finished, recorded. The Symphony No. 1 in G minor, "Sérieuse", was the only one of Berwald's four symphonies, performed in his lifetime. In 1843, it was premiered in Stockholm with his cousin Johan Frederik conducting the Royal Opera House Orchestra. At that same concert, his operetta Jag går i kloster was performed, but its success is credited to one of the roles having been sung by Jenny Lind.
In 1846, Jenny Lind sang in one of Berwald's cantatas. Another operetta, The Modiste, had less success in 1845, his Piano Concerto, finished in 1855, intended for his piano pupil Hilda Aurora Thegerström, who continued her studies with Antoine François Marmontel and Franz Liszt, did not see the light of day until 1904, when Berwald's granddaughter Astrid performed it at a Stockholm student concert. In its brilliant last movement it may be compared favourably to Robert Schumann or Edvard Grieg, its three movements are played without a break. Berwald's music was not recognised favourably in Sweden during his lifetime drawing hostile newspaper reviews, but fared a little better in Germany and Austria; the Mozarteum Salzburg made him an honorary member in 1847. When Berwald returned to Sweden in 1849, he managed a glass works at Sandö in Ångermanland owned by Ludvig Petré, an amateur violinist. During that time Berwald focused his attention on producing chamber music. One of his few operas to be staged in his lifetime, Estrella de Soria, was heartily applauded at its premiere at the Royal Theater in April 1862, was given four more performances in the same month.
Following this success, he wrote Drottningen av Golconda, which would have been premiered in 1864, but was not, due to a change of directors at the Royal Opera. In 1866, Berwald received the Swedish Order of the Polar Star, in recognition of his musical achievements; the following year, the Board of the Royal Musical Academy appointed Berwald professor of musical composition at the Stockholm Conservatory, only to have the Conservatory Board reverse the decision a few days and appoint another. The royal family stepped in, Berwald got the post. At around that time he was given many important commissions, but he did not live to fulfill them all. Berwald died in Stockholm in 1868 of pneumonia and was interred there in the Norra begravningsplatsen; the second movement of the Symphony No. 1 was played at his funeral. Ten years after Berwald's death, his Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major, "Naïve", was premiered in 1878. This gap between composition and first performance was short, compared to what befell the Symphony No. 2 in D major, "Capricieuse" and Symphony No. 3 in C major, "Singulière".
Those two pieces were not premiered until 1905, respectively. The Swedish conductor and composer Ulf Björlin has recorded various works of Berwald under the EMI Classics label. Eduard Hanslick, writing in his 1869 book Geschichte des Concertwesens in Wien, opined of Berwald, "a man stimulating, prone to bizarrerie, as a composer lacked creative power and fantasy". On the other hand, composers Ludvig Norman, Tor Aulin, Wilhelm Stenhammar worked hard to promote Berwald's music. However, despite these musicians' efforts, it took a while before Berwald was recognized as, to quote composer-critic Wilhelm Peterson-Berger, writing in the Stockholm newspaper Dagens Nyheter, Sweden's "most original and mod
Johann Baptist Cramer
Johann Baptist Cramer was an English pianist and composer of German origin. He was the son of Wilhelm Cramer, a famous London violinist and conductor, one of a numerous family who were identified with the progress of music during the 18th and 19th centuries. Cramer was born in Mannheim and was brought to London as a child, where he worked for most of his musical career, lived most of his life, died. From 1782 to 1784, he studied piano under Muzio Clementi and soon became a renowned professional pianist both in London and on the continent, he enjoyed a worldwide reputation, was appreciated by Beethoven when he visited Vienna and competed with him. Both were considered the greatest pianists of their time, Beethoven excelling in interpretative expressiveness, Cramer in pure technical perfection, he was the English publisher of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 and is credited with giving it its nickname, "The Emperor". Cramer was one of the most renowned piano performers of his day, he met Beethoven in Vienna, initiating a mutually rewarding relationship, while renewing his friendship with Haydn.
After 1800, he was based exclusively in England. Following the resoundingly successful example of his former teacher Clementi, he became a successful music publisher in London, his many compositions take second place to his pianistic prowess. His musical instrument manufacturing and music publishing firm, Cramer & Co. was located at 201 Regent Street). His business partners were Robert Addison, he ended his personal involvement in the company at the end of 1833. He wrote a number of sonatas and other pieces for piano, other compositions, of which his Études are best known, having appeared in numerous editions, they are still considered standard didactic works for piano students. His music is less dramatic and elegant than Clementi's, much less adventurous than Dussek's and far less Romantic in sentiment than Chopin forerunner Field's, it is stylistically conservative but replete with the most advanced, idiomatically pianistic passage-work. He wrote some 200 solo piano sonatas, about 50 sonatas for other instruments with piano accompaniment, 9 piano concertos, chamber music.
His brother Franz Cramer was Master of the King's Musick from 1837 until his death in 1848. Sonatas in D major, A major, G major for piano with violin and violoncello ad. Lib, Op. 11 Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 16 Grande sonate pour le piano-forte, Op. 20 Sonata in A-flat major for piano, Op. 23, No. 1 2 Sonatas for piano, Op. 27 Sonata in A-flat major for piano, Op. 46 Piano Concerto No. 5 in C minor, Op. 48 84 Études, Op. 50 Keyboard Sonata in A minor, Op. 53 Piano Concerto No. 7 in E major, Op. 56 Sonata for piano in C major, Op. 57 Keyboard Sonatas in B-flat major, Op. 58 - Allegro spiritoso / Largo sostenuto / Rondo allegretto Keyboard Sonata in E minor, Op. 59 Keyboard Sonata in E major, Op. 62 Keyboard Sonata in D minor, Op. 63 Introduzione ed aria all'inglese for piano, Op. 65 Piano Quintet in E major, Op. 69 - in a piano arrangement Piano Concerto No. 8 in D minor, Op. 70 Keyboard Sonata in F major, Op. 74 Short Studies, Op. 100 Romance et Tarantelle Brilliante, Op. 101 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed..
"Cramer, Johann Baptist". Encyclopædia Britannica. 7. Cambridge University Press. P. 363. History of Johann Baptist Cramer Piano Maker, The Association of Blind Piano Tuners, UK Piano Page The complete Etudes Op. 84 Free scores by Johann Baptist Cramer at the International Music Score Library Project Grande sonate pour le piano-forte, Oeuvre 20 Johann Baptist Cramer on www.nndb.com https://www.britannica.com/biography/Johann-Baptist-Cramer Encyclopædia Britannica
Sergey Ivanovich Taneyev was a Russian composer, teacher of composition, music theorist and author. Taneyev was born in Vladimir, Vladimir Governorate, Russian Empire, to a cultured and literary family of Russian nobility. A distant cousin, Alexander Taneyev, was a composer, whose daughter, Anna Vyrubova, was influential at court. Alexander was drawn to the nationalist school of music exemplified by The Five, while Sergei would gravitate toward a more cosmopolitan outlook, as did Tchaikovsky, he began taking piano lessons at age five with a private teacher. His family moved to Moscow in 1865; the following year, the nine-year-old Taneyev entered the Moscow Conservatory. His first piano teacher at the Conservatory was Edward Langer. After a year's interruption in his studies, Taneyev studied again with Langer, he joined the theory class of Nikolai Hubert and, most the composition class of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. In 1871, Taneyev studied piano with Nikolai Rubinstein. Taneyev graduated in 1875, the first student in the history of the Conservatory to win the gold medal both for composition and for performing.
He was the first person to be awarded the Conservatory's Great Gold Medal. That summer he travelled abroad with Rubinstein; that year he made his debut as a concert pianist in Moscow playing Brahms's First Piano Concerto, would become known for his interpretations of Bach and Beethoven. In March 1876 he toured Russia with violinist Leopold Auer. Taneyev was the soloist in the Moscow première of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto in December 1875, he was chosen after Gustav Kross had given a dreadful performance at the concerto's Russian premiere in St Petersburg three weeks earlier. The conductor on this occasion was none other than Nikolai Rubinstein, who had famously lambasted the work less than a year earlier, but who had by now come to appreciate its merits. Tchaikovsky was much more impressed by Taneyev's performance. After Tchaikovsky's death, Taneyev edited sketches by Tchaikovsky that he completed with an Andante and Finale and premiered as a Tchaikovsky Third Piano Concerto. Taneyev attended Moscow University for a short time and was acquainted with outstanding Russian writers, including Ivan Turgenev and Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin.
During his travels in Western Europe in 1876 and 1877, he met Émile Zola, Gustave Flaubert, César Franck and Camille Saint-Saëns, amongst others. When Tchaikovsky resigned from the Moscow Conservatory in 1878, Taneyev was appointed to teach harmony, he would also teach piano and composition. He served as Director from 1885 to 1889, continued teaching until 1905, he had great influence as a teacher of composition. His pupils included Alexander Scriabin, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Jacob Weinberg, Reinhold Glière, Paul Juon, Julius Conus, Nikolai Medtner; the polyphonic interweaves in the music of Rachmaninoff and Medtner stem directly from Taneyev's teaching. Scriabin, on the other hand, broke away from Taneyev's influence. Taneyev was a scholar of notable erudition. In addition to music, he studied—for relaxation—natural and social science, mathematics, plus the philosophies of Plato and Spinoza. During the summers of 1895 and 1896, Taneyev stayed at Yasnaya Polyana, the home of Leo Tolstoy and his wife Sofia.
She developed an attachment to the composer that embarrassed her children and made Tolstoy jealous, though Taneyev himself remained unaware of it. However, this released her from the distress of the isolation she experienced when Tolstoy grew distant from family concerns and devoted himself to the Christian anarchist-pacifism which shaped his last years. Sofia's infatuation with Taneyev and his music echoes the story of Tolstoy's great and penetrating dissection of marital relations in The Kreutzer Sonata. In 1905, the revolution and its consequent effect on the Moscow Conservatory led Taneyev to resign from the staff there, he resumed his career both as soloist and chamber musician. He was able to pursue composition more intensely, completing chamber works with a piano part which he could play in concerts as well as some choruses and a substantial number of songs, his last completed work was the cantata At the Reading of a Psalm, completed at the beginning of 1915. Taneyev contracted pneumonia after attending the funeral of Scriabin, in Moscow, on 16 April 1915.
While he was recovering, he succumbed to a heart attack near Zvenigorod. A museum dedicated to Taneyev is located in Dyudkovo. There is a section dedicated to Taneyev at the Tchaikovsky Museum in Klin. Taneyev became the most trusted musician among Tchaikovsky's friends; the two developed a friendship. The symphonic poem Francesca da Rimini, Op. 32, one of Tchaikovsky's most famous orchestral works, is dedicated to Taneyev. Taneyev was a diligent craftsman with an unrivaled technique. Tchaikovsky realized that the opinions of such a man, whose own taste and competence were so high, yet whose self-scrutiny was so exacting, were to be respected. Therefore, Tchaikovsky came to appreciate criticism from Taneyev. In fact, Taneyev became the only one of Tchaikovsky's friends encouraged by the composer to be frank about his works. Taneyev's frankness came at a price and that price for Tchaikovsky was bearing with a for
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