Johannes Brahms ~ Classical Traditionalist

Day 331 of Colourisation Project – April 3

Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication.

Born in 1833, in Hamburg, Germany, Johannes Brahms is widely considered one the 19th century’s greatest composers and one of the last bastions of the Romantic Period.  

A master of symphonic and sonata style, he formed part of the ‘Three Bs’ triumvirate (Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms).  A prolific composer, Brahms wrote symphonies, concerti, chamber music, piano works and choral compositions –pieces in every musical form except opera.

Johannes Brahms

Photographer: Fritz Luckhardt ~ Johannes Brahms – Coloured by Loredana Crupi

A traditionalist in the same vein as Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, his popularity and influence in his lifetime were considerable. However a War of the Romantics emerged between Brahms, a protagonist of Classical traditional forms; and the so-called, New German School led by Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, and Hector Berlioz who embraced a new modern form with innovative techniques. This ‘war’ became a huge rivalry which separated the whole of Europe’s musical society right down the middle.

The New School felt that Brahms’s music was old-fashioned, whilst Brahms believed that their music was opulent and excessive. Fortunately for us, it doesn’t really matter which side you lean towards; we are all beneficiaries of their collective talents.

Johannes Brahms died on this day, April 3, 1897 from liver cancer, at the age of 63 and was buried in Vienna alongside two other musical greats, Beethoven and Franz Schubert, two composers he greatly admired.

Today I leave you with a beautiful waltz for violin written by Brahms in 1865, Waltz, Op.39, No.15 performed by London Festival Orchestra.

Enjoy!

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“Composers in the old days used to keep strictly to the base of the theme, as their real subject. Beethoven varies the melody, harmony and rhythms so beautifully.”    –   Johannes Brahms

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