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Johannes Brahms Edition – Complete Works (2008) 60 CD [16-44]

Johannes Brahms (May 7, 1833 – April 3,1897) was a German composer and pianist, and one of the leading musicians of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria, where he was a leader of the musical scene. In his lifetime, Brahms’ popularity and influence were considerable; following a comment by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow, he is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the Three Bs.

Brahms was both a traditionalist and an innovator. His music is firmly rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Baroque and Classical masters. He was a master of counterpoint, the complex and highly disciplined method of composition for which Bach is famous, and also of development, a compositional ethos pioneered by Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Beethoven. Brahms aimed to honour the “purity” of these venerable “German” structures and advance them into a Romantic idiom, in the process creating bold new approaches to harmony and melody. While many contemporaries found his music too academic, his contribution and craftsmanship have been admired by subsequent figures as diverse as the progressive Arnold Schoenberg and the conservative Edward Elgar. The diligent, highly constructed nature of Brahms’s works was a starting point and an inspiration for a generation of composers.

Now the amazingly varied output by Brahms is here to be enjoyed to its full extent, in excellent recordings on 60 CDs.

Johannes Brahms’ present fame is mainly based on his orchestral music with the four symphonies – taking up only 3 of the CDs – at the core. There is some awareness of vocal works and chamber music being there too, but few know that almost half of Brahms’ oeuvre was written for voice.

This Brahms Edition is the opportunity to get stuck into Brahms’ less-known works. Sample from the hundreds of songs on 13 CDs; or find unknown gems among the a cappella choral works (12 CDs). The piano music is performed by Alan Weiss, Kamerhan Turan, Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy, Håkon Austbø and Louis Demetrius Alvanis. And even the arrangement for piano 4-hands of the Academic Festival Overture is there. And so is a CD with organ works.

Another large section of the recordings – a cappella choral works – was made by the excellent Chamber Choir of Europe in 2003.

Orchestras to be heard include the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Berliner Symphoniker, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra (symphonies) and Ulster Orchestra. Among the chamber music ensembles you will find the Brandis Quartett, the Tokyo Quartet, Alberni Quartet and the Nash Ensemble.

Conductor: Jaap van Zweden, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Vernon Handley
Composer: Johannes Brahms

Label: Brilliant Classics
Release Date: March 27, 2008


  1. Symphony No. 1
  2. Symphony No. 2
  3. Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4
  4. Overtures Op. 80/81; Haydn Variations Op. 56a; Serenade No. 2
  5. Serenade No. 1
  6. Hungarian Dances (Orchestral)
  7. Piano Concerto No. 1
  8. Piano Concerto No. 2
  9. Violin Concerto; Double Concerto


  1. Piano Quartets Nos. 1 & 3
  2. Piano Quartet No. 2
  3. String Quintets
  4. Clarinet Sonatas
  5. Clarinet Quintet; String Quartet No. 2
  6. String Quartets Nos. 1 & 3
  7. Horn Trio & Piano Quintet
  8. Violin Sonatas
  9. Cello Sonatas
  10. String Sextets
  11. Piano Trios Nos. 1 & 3
  12. Piano Trio No. 2; Clarinet Trio
  13. Viola Sonatas; Piano Trio Op. Posth.
  14. Sonata For Two Pianos
  15. Haydn Variations; Schumann Variations; Waltzes; Piano 4-Hands
  16. Hungarian Dances, For Piano 4-Hands


  1. Piano Sonata No. 1, Scherzo Op. 4
  2. Piano Sonatas Nos. 2 & 3
  3. Paganini Variations; Handel Variations
  4. Variations Op. 9 & 21
  5. Ballades, Rhapsodies, Klavierstücke Op. 76
  6. Klavierstücke Op. 116-119
  7. Miscellaneous Piano Pieces I
  8. Miscellaneous Piano Pieces II


  1. Ein Deutsches Requiem
  2. Triumphlied, Ave Maria, Schicksalslied, Nänie, Begräbnisgesang
  3. Gesang Der Parzen, Alto Rhapsody, Rinaldo
  4. Works For Choir A Cappella Vol. 1
  5. Works For Choir A Cappella Vol. 2
  6. Works For Choir A Cappella Vol. 3
  7. Works For Choir A Cappella Vol. 4
  8. Works For Choir A Cappella Vol. 5
  9. Works For Choir A Cappella Vol. 6
  10. Works For Choir A Cappella Vol. 7
  11. Works For Choir A Cappella Vol. 8
  12. Songs Vol. 1
  13. Songs & Duets Vol. 2
  14. Songs Vol. 3
  15. Songs Vol. 4
  16. Songs Vol. 5
  17. Songs & Duets Vol. 6
  18. Songs & Duets Vol. 7
  19. Songs Vol. 8
  20. Songs Vol. 9
  21. Songs Vol. 10
  22. Songs Vol. 11
  23. Songs Vol. 12
  24. Songs Vol. 13
  25. Female Choruses I
  26. Female Choruses II


  1. Organ Works


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