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Thread: similarities between Brahms and Beethoven

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    Midshipman, Forte Nima's Avatar
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    similarities between Brahms and Beethoven

    Other than the obvious fact that Brahms sounds similar to Beethoven (in small aspects) in some of his symphonies, what other similarities are in their music? Brahms being from the Romantic era and influenced by figures such Liszt and Schumann and the great composer Bach (from the Baroque era) in terms of his counterpoints and harmonic complexities, what other influences are in Brahms music. There is always the influence folk music in his famous Hungarian Dances. So would you say Brahms and Beethoven sounded too much alike or did Brahms have his own distinguished sound. Discuss.
    Last edited by Nima; Jan-25-2011 at 03:50.

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    Chief assistant to the assistant chief JHC's Avatar
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    Nima, I am astounded that you say Brahms sounds similar to Beethoven to me they are worlds apart
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    Midshipman, Forte Nima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.H.C. View Post
    Nima, I am astounded that you say Brahms sounds similar to Beethoven to me they are worlds apart
    Well, I did not say that Brahms and Beethoven sounded alike. It was a floating question. It is rather undeniable that Brahms had taken influence from Beethoven; but me saying "similarities", was a posing question rather that being an opinion that I possess. He was obviously influenced by Bach in terms he's complex harmonic counterpoints, an innovator in terms being in the Romantic period and took influence from the great composer Robert Schumann and the likes of him. Brahms was a formalist in terms of how the Romantics preferred to stick to creativity. Brahms stands out as a composer who compelled the Classical era to the Romantic era. And that is why he was the leading composer of the Romantic era in this humble opinion. He bridged the Classical era (in terms of formalistic composing) and the Romantic era (in terms of creativity and innovation).

    P.S.: I should have said Brahms, sounds, similar to Beethoven in some small aspects of his music.

    Cheers
    Last edited by Nima; Jan-25-2011 at 03:51.

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    Chief assistant to the assistant chief JHC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nima View Post
    Well, I did not say that Brahms and Beethoven sounded alike.
    so sounding similar is different to sounding alike?? to me they mean the same
    P.S.: I should have said Brahms, sounds, similar to Beethoven in some small aspects of his music.

    Cheers
    OK what are these aspects which are similar? I am not being argumentative just curious cause to me they are so different.
    Last edited by JHC; Jan-25-2011 at 04:54.
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    Midshipman, Forte Nima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.H.C. View Post
    so sounding similar is different to sounding alike?? to me they mean the same
    OK what are these aspects which are similar? I am not being argumentative just curious cause to me they are so different.
    Brahms's First Symphony bears strongly a homage (or influence) from Beethoven's Fifth Symphony as the two works are both in a formidable C Minor, and end in the struggle towards a C Major. The main theme of the finale the First Symphony is also reminiscent of the main theme of the finale of Beethoven's Ninth. It's fairly obvious. Nevertheless, they do bare a lot differences and these cases came to mind as to their similarities on the "influence" of Beethoven on Brahms.

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    Chief assistant to the assistant chief JHC's Avatar
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    Thank you Nima, I will check these out in the next couple of days, you are never too old to learn something new lol
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    Admiral Maestoso marval's Avatar
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    Well I would say they are different, but perhaps not so different as with other composers. This is an extract from a writing about the life of Brahms, if it is true his work was likened to Beethoven.


    As his reputation grew, though, Brahms felt new pressures. In the 1860s, he had made his home Vienna, the musical capital of Europe, where he lived in the shadows of other great Viennese composers, namely Mozart, Schubert, and Beethoven. The urge to compose a symphony grew stronger, but Beethoven had proven himself the master of the genre 50 years earlier.

    Brahms knew he would be compared to Beethoven, and he respected and feared his idol enough to avoid seriously entertaining the idea of writing a symphony for years. “You don’t know,” Brahms observed, “what it means to the likes of us when we hear [Beethoven’s] footsteps behind us.”

    His immeasurable fastidiousness and humility, and a fear of being compared to Beethoven, staved off the release of his first symphony for 14 years, but in 1876 he
    completed his Symphony in C minor. Immediately, his nightmares came true. The critic Eduard Hanslick wasted no time comparing Brahms to Beethoven, saying that Brahms had relied heavily on Beethoven’s serious side, he lacked “heart-warming sunshine,” and that the string melody in the fourth movement was reminiscent of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”

    The influential conductor Hans von Bulow nicknamed the symphony “Beethoven’s Tenth,” which also significantly irked Brahms. The criticism was not all bad, though. Hanslick ultimately called the piece “an inexhaustible fountain of sincere pleasure and fruitful study,” and it was an immediate hit with audiences. Today Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 stands as a monumentally important work on its own merit.


    Margaret

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    Midshipman, Forte Nima's Avatar
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    Margaret, I am convinced the Solo Piano works by Brahms is worthy of buying, but would you consider such a case to be true?

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    Chief assistant to the assistant chief JHC's Avatar
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    Nima.
    I re-listened to Brahms 1st and to these ears while there may be passages that have a very slight drawing from LvB the music is very different and I much prefer LvB.
    His (LvB) symphonies, St Qts, piano concertos, sonatas and Piano trios are superior IMHO.
    Brahms violin con and sonatas on the other hand are excellent works.
    All composers draw from other composers works and I see nothing wrong with that, but I do not profess to be an expert and these are my personal observations,
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    Midshipman, Forte Nima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.H.C. View Post
    Nima.
    I re-listened to Brahms 1st and to these ears while there may be passages that have a very slight drawing from LvB the music is very different and I much prefer LvB.
    His (LvB) symphonies, St Qts, piano concertos, sonatas and Piano trios are superior IMHO.
    Brahms violin con and sonatas on the other hand are excellent works.
    All composers draw from other composers works and I see nothing wrong with that, but I do not profess to be an expert and these are my personal observations,
    Well, Thank you for taking the time to listen to these again. I agree with you that it is only natural for composers to influence each other; Brahms is astonishing composer and his combination of Romanticism and Formalism is very unique and one of a kind.

    Cheers

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    Midshipman, Forte Nima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nima View Post
    Margaret, I am convinced the Solo Piano works by Brahms is worthy of buying, but would you consider such a case to be true?
    After listening some clips on youtube, To answer my own question: is a resounding Yes!

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    Admiral Maestoso marval's Avatar
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    Yes Nima it is always good to have a listen first. I hope you have many hours enjoying his music.


    Margaret

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    Quote Originally Posted by marval View Post
    Yes Nima it is always good to have a listen first. I hope you have many hours enjoying his music.


    Margaret
    Thank you. I will. I have read that the interpretation of Julius Katchen is the best and the most natural interpretation of Brahms's Piano Works, do you know anything about this? or you, J.H.C

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    Admiral Maestoso marval's Avatar
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    I don't personally know anything, but listening to him, it is certainly very good.


    Margaret

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nima View Post
    Thank you. I will. I have read that the interpretation of Julius Katchen is the best and the most natural interpretation of Brahms's Piano Works, do you know anything about this? or you, J.H.C
    Not me, but then I am not a great fan of Brahms that is to say I prefer many other composers over Brahms.
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