Three B's of the Greatest Composers in Music History : Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms

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The “Three B’s” of the greatest composers in the music history : Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms from Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods.

Germany is rich in culture and historical accounts and so in the music history.  German musician-composers had contributed a large amount of musical theories and works which the present generation had benefited from. Germany had produced numerous composers, but the greatest composers in the music history includes the “Three B’s” known on different musical eras; Johann Sebastian Bach (Baroque period), Ludwig van Beethoven (Classical period-Romantic period ) and Johannes Brahms (Romantic period).

Johann Sebastian Bach (21 March 1685 –  28 July 1750)

A portrait of Bach in 1743  by a German painter Elias Gottlob Haussmann

Bach a native of iEisenach, Saxe-Eisenach was a popular composer during the era of Baroque music period. The word "baroque" came from the Portuguese word barroco, meaning "misshapen pearl", a strikingly fitting characterization of the architecture of this period; later, the name came to be applied also to its music. A Baroque period falls between the late Renaissance and early Classical periods roughly between 1600 and 1750.

Being born from the family of musicians, J.S. Bach was a prolific composer and organist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought to its ultimate maturity. Bach’s musical style was known for his contrapuntal invention and techniques, a control of harmonic and motivic organization from the smallest to the largest scales.

Some of his great works includes The Goldberg Variations, Mass in B Minor, St. Mathew Passion, The Musical offering, The Art of Fugue, Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello.

Ludwig van Beethoven ( 17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827)

He was born on  Bonn, the 19th largest city in Germany and baptized in a Catholic parish of St. Remiguis. In modern days, Classical music had been associated with Beethoven but also regarded as the first composer in the Romantic period.  He moved to Vienna on his early twenties and studied with Joseph Haydn, who was often called the "father of Symphony and String Quartet".  A  great composer who experienced the loss of hearing which started on  1796.  Even when he was a completely deaf, he continued to  write music, conduct and perform.

His musical style was the creation of large, extended architectonic structure characterized by the extensive development of the musical material, themes and motifs, usually by modulation, through a variety of keys or harmonic regions.

His  works includes nine symphonies, thirty-two piano sonatas, sixteen string quartets. Some of them are op. 21, Symphony no.1 in C, op.138. Overture Leonore no., in C, Piano Concerto in E-Flat, Pathetique, Fur Elise, and Moonlight Sonata

Johannes Brahms ( 7 May 1833 - 3 April 1897)

Brahms as a young man at 20 year-old

Brahms was born in Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany. His interest in music runs through his blood as he was a son of a double bass player.  His family belongs to a poor family but this has not been an obstacle in pursuing his interest in music.  He begun performing at an early age but his professional work flourished in Vienna, Austria.  There he met   Robert Schumann, his mentor and later became a close friend.  Schumann also an influential critic, was impressed by Brahms talents calls him the "coming genius" of German Music.  He became well-known not only in Germany, but also throughout Europe where he toured and conducted concerts while he writes all forms of music except opera.

Brahms, a virtuoso pianist and composer, became one of the leading composers of Romantic middle era along with Camille Saint-Saens, Johann Strauss II, Georges Bizet and among others. On this period, music had much more artistic freedom than the periods before it.  An age of virtuoso, passion, and revolutions where Brahms also emerge as one of the greatest symphonist after Bethoveen.

His works are composed for piano, chamber ensembles, symphony orchestra, and for voice and chorus.  Some of his  works are ,  Variations on a Theme by Haydn (an orchestral music),  Academic Festival and Tragic (overtures), German Requiem (choral music), Violin Concerto in D major.  His later popular works includes Hungarian Dance No. 5  and the Lullaby.

Images via Wikimedia Commons


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