Joseph Joachim's Influence on the Life and String Works of Johannes Brahms

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As one of the leading musicians and composers of the Romantic period, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) advanced composition to a whole new level of creativity and purity. While founded on the back of Baroque and Classical forms and compositional techniques, Brahms used methods of composers Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven as a means to enhance the Romantic language. Brahms used music as a “communicative medium” to reach the audience, creating “a new landscape of musical imagination and expression” to keep the listeners wound in his purely formed web of melodic development. While Brahms was inspired by older traditions, he also looked forward towards modernism. In order for musicians today to appreciate the significance of Brahms’s music, it is important that they gain historical perspective on “the acoustic, cultural, and temporal habits of life of the late-nineteenth century,” particularly in terms of his string compositions. The stylistic, compositional, and mechanical properties of Brahms’s string works are largely thanks to the relationship Brahms had with the violinist Joseph Joachim.

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