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Johannes Brahms:
The Brahms Hungarian Dances


When he was a young pianist, Johannes Brahms accompanied a Hungarian violinist, and fell in love with Hungarian music. His own Hungarian-flavored dances were written to entertain his friends at parties. Those friends convinced Brahms to publish his dances. When the first set was a hit, Brahms wrote and published another set.

Other shows about Johannes Brahms:
About Johannes Brahms
Hungarian Dancing
Classical Music Featuring Dances from European Countries

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About Johannes Brahms
5/7/1833 - 4/3/1897
Born in Germany

Johannes Brahms was born in 1833 in the German city of Hamburg. His father was a musician who played several instruments. Brahms loved music, too. By the time he was six, he'd invented his own system for writing notes down on a page. Of course, he took instrument lessons, learning to play cello, horn, and piano. By the time he was ten, he was such a good pianist that he performed in public, as part of a chamber music concert. Brahms also loved books and read everything he could find including novels, poetry, and folk tales.

When Brahms was older, he toured as an accompanist, playing piano for a Hungarian violinist. That music -- and the gypsy bands Brahms heard later on when he traveled to Hungary -- inspired his Hungarian Dances, which were a hit with the public. He wrote 21 dances in all. The most famous one is the Hungarian Dance No. 5.

Many people considered Brahms to be the successor to Beethoven. For a long time, he didn't want to write a symphony, because he was afraid his work would not be as good as Beethoven's. Brahms ended up writing four symphonies, plus pieces in every musical form except opera. You may know one of his most famous pieces, the Lullaby.

In fact, Brahms became so famous, he is now known as one of the 3 B's -- Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms -- of classical music.

See other composers born in Germany

 

This Week's Quiz:

1. Brahms Hungarian Dances were originally published for

one piano

piano, four hands

symphony orchestra

violin


2.How many Hungarian Dances did Brahms write?

10

15

21

35


3. Many of Brahms Hungarian Dances are based on

folk melodies

church hymns

popular music written by other composers



 

Johannes Brahms
Hungarian Dance No. 5


Composed in 1869
Performed by Budapest Symphony Orchestra
István Bogár, conductor

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