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Johannes Brahms Essay

  • Submitted by: spottyjazz
  • on October 6, 2012
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 1,202 words

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Below is an essay on "Johannes Brahms" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Johannes Brahms was a prominent composer in the nineteenth century.   Brahms combined the structure of classical music with the new feeling of romantic music.   The music he wrote has stood the test of time and has been a true testament to his extraordinary talent.   Brahms was often very critical of his own work because he felt that he could not stand up to the standards set by great composers before him.   He “wanted the story of his music to be the story of his life.   He did his best to live the same way, struggling relentlessly to escape the consequences of life and love” (Swafford XXI).
Brahms was born into a poor family on May 7th 1833 in Hamburg, Germany.   His father Johann Jakob Brahms was an innkeeper and musician.   Johann Jakob married Johanna Heinriche Christiane Nissen, a simple woman with beautiful blue eyes (Swafford 13).   Brahms had two siblings: Elise and Fritz.   His sister, Elise, “would always be a burden afflicted with chronic migraine headaches that could keep her in bed for weeks” (21).   Although Brahms’ brother Fritz was not ill like his sister, he had the psychological burden of living “in the shadow of the golden child,” Johannes (21).  
As a young child, Brahms’ life was consumed by music.   When he was only six years old, he created his own system of musical notation and was said to have perfect pitch (Swafford 18).   Brahms’ father wanted him to play many instruments, but he was really only interested in the piano.   At seven years old, Brahms began his studies with Otto Friedrich Willibald Cossel, a piano teacher in Hamburg.   From him, Brahms “learned something he would not forget: musical skill, whether of the fingers or the composer’s craft, is inextricably connected to the heart” (20).   He made his piano debut in the public in 1843 when his father set up a recital, at which Brahms was approached by an impresario whom offered to take the whole family to America (23).   Cossel convinced them to decline, knowing that the skills of the prodigy...

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