Friday, October 19, 2012

Johannes Brahms - Complete Works (Op. 1-122 + WoOs + Appendix) in One Spotify Playlist

Brahms was secretive and a perfectionist. He seldom allowed more than one version of his works to exist, kept no drafts and burned most works that seemed unsatisfactory to him (and all letters from Clara Schumann). To honor his own wishes, I put works without opus number (WoW 1 - 38 and some works labeled as Anh.) after Opus 1 - 122, instead of sorting everything chronologically, like I normally do.

Besides the 46-disk Brahms Edition (DG), there's numerous excellent Brahms recordings available on Spotify. An overview of the playlist:

Piano works: Sviatoslav Richter, Murray Perahia, Emil Gilels, Martha Argerich, Nicholas Angelich, Radu Lupu, Julius Katchen, Yuja Wang, Stephen Kovacevich, Clifford Curzon (Concerto No. 1), Claudio Arrau (Concerto No. 2), Olga Kern (her Variations is beautiful), and more. For the Haydn Variations, you can hear Solti and Perahia on two pianos.

Orchestral and choral works: Otto Klemperer (Walter's recording of Ein deutsches Requiem is also great but it's in mono; Klemperer's recording was made around the same time he recorded the legendary St. Matthew Passion, with the same artists), John Eliot Gardiner (new recordings on SDG), Leonard Bernstein, Simon Rattle, Carlos Kleiber, Bernard Haitink (new recordings with LSO), Claudio Abbado, Adrian Boult, Sir John Barbirolli, and more. It is worth noting that, the conductor of Serenade No.1, Robin Ticciati, was 27-year-old when he made the recording, the same age as when Brahms completed the piece.

Chamber music: too many to mention. The two clarinet sonata recordings from Harmonia Mundi and Delos are celestial. On Spotify's desktop app, you can use Ctrl + F to bring out the filter bar, and type in clarinet to find the recordings quickly.

Vocalists: Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Jessye Norman, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Anne Sofie von Otter, Thomas Quasthoff, Ann Murray, Andreas Schmidt and more.

This playlist is compiled after this list of compositions. Besides all WoOs, I added a few works from the appendix (mostly arrangements of other composers' works; complete arrangements for piano-four hand will be available as another playlist), and
Get this collection in one Spotify playlist: Johannes Brahms - Complete Works (Op. 1-122 + WoOs + Appendix) (1039 tracks, total time: 58 hours). Ctrl (CMD) + G to browse in album viewAllMusic provides useful introductory articles to most works. In the Composers as Pianists playlist, you can hear the 1889 cylinder recording of Brahms performance of a segment of his First Hungarian Dance.

Also check out Naxos Educationa for a 4-disk audiobook on Brahms's Life & Works and 2-disk analysis of his 2nd Piano Concerto.


  1. You've pretty much covered all the major pre-20th century composers at this point. I'm wondering who is left. ;)

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