Tuesday, April 12, 2016

J is for Johannes Brahms

 
              I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, and my theme this year is classical music. Check out the list of other participants by clicking here! J is for Johannes Brahms. He was a German composer who lived from 1833 to 1897. In today’s featured video we have two of Brahms’ waltzes in A Major, Op.39, No.15 & Op.52, No.6. with Andreas Ottensamer playing the clarinet.
 

  
 


   ·   Brahms was a perfectionist. He began composing at age 11, but later considered his early compositions embarrassing and he destroyed most of them. He also took 22 years to polish his first symphony; he put it through rigorous editing before he was pleased with it.
 
   ·   After meeting and working with the Hungarian violinist, Eduard Reményi, Brahms’ style was largely influenced by folk and gypsy music.
 
   ·   He preferred writing absolute music, which is music that does not refer to any specific scene or narrative. He did not write any operas or symphonic poems.
 
Robert and Clara Schumann
   ·   Brahms was friends with and mentored by composers Robert Schumann and his wife, Clara Schumann. Brahms grew very fond of Clara, and they even performed together a few times. In one of his letters to Clara, Brahms wrote, "I wish I could write to you as tenderly as I love you, and do as many good things for you, as you would like. You are so infinitely dear to me that I can hardly express it. I should like to call you darling and lots of other names, without ever getting enough of adoring you."
 
   ·   Brahms was also friends with Johann Strauss II, and he complimented Strauss’ Blue Danube waltz, by saying he would have given anything to have come up with it himself.
 
 
Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Brahms

 
            Yesterday’s Trivia: Does anyone know what happened during the premiere of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring in 1913? Answer: During the performance, rival factions began shouting and making noises at each other and the audience broke out into a riot. Some accounts of what actually happened may be exaggerated, but this was not the only time audience members were disruptive during a classical music concert. There’s a list here.
For this challenge, I’m keeping a playlist of the videos I’m using plus some extras for anyone who wants to hear more. I will update with the latest letter each day. The extra video I added today is Johannes Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5 performed by the Hungarian Symphony Orchestra.
 

 
Are you a perfectionist about anything? Johannes Brahms was considered one of the "Three Bs," who were the other two?

18 comments:

  1. It's nice to hear about the musicians...

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  2. What Bach another of the three B's? That was interesting about him destroying his earlier work because it wasn't "good enough." It would have been nice to hear it now and make our own judgment about it.

    I can be a perfectionist with my work sometimes. I'll sometimes take longer than I should to find a word or a term dictated and being paid on production, that's not a good thing sometimes :)

    betty

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    1. Betty, I think I take longer than I should on just about everything I work on or write :) I do wonder what Brahms other work was like. Great guess on the trivia!

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  3. I am a perfectionist and it can be exhausting. Sadly, I had to give up on perfectionist housekeeping. My family has defeated me.

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    1. Tamara, yes! Being a perfectionist is very exhausting! Sometimes I have to tell myself: "Just let it go!"

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  4. I'm not a perfectionist, but I'm an improvenist - I just made that word up. What I mean is that I could improve every piece of work forever and it wouldn't be perfect. It might look perfect one day, but I would grow as a writer or the market would change, or some other thing would happen and that piece would no longer be perfect. Since I know nothing will ever be perfect, I've come to realize that it just has to be submittable. :)

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    1. Jen, that's a great way to look at it, I should try that more often instead fussing over little imperfections.

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  5. It always amazes me how young these composers get started. I guess that's why they become great!

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    1. Stephanie, I know what you mean, it makes me feel like I was a lazy child, lol.

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  6. Beethoven and Bach are the other 2. I do like Brahms as he was such a romantic. There is another film about the love of Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck called Song of Love. It stars Katherine Hepburn as Clara, Paul Henreid as Schumann and Robert Walker as Brahms. I always liked that film

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    1. Birgit, that would be an interesting story to see played out in film. Great guess on the trivia!

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  7. Do you think Brahms' note to Clara could've been considered scandalous back in the day if made public?

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    1. Cynthia, I think it would have been.

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