In 1859, Brahms gives a series of piano concerts
In the same year he was summoned to Düsseldorf when his older friend tried to commit suicide. The next few years he spent with the Schumann family, providing them with financial assistance. He again gave private piano lessons and performed several concert tours. Two concerts with singer Julia Stockhausen contributed to the formation of Brahms as a songwriter.
In 1859, together with Joachim, he gives in several German cities a piano concerto in D minor, which was written a year earlier. Only in Hamburg he was greeted positively, and then offered Johannes work as a conductor of a female choir for whom he writes Marienlieder. A year later, Brahms heard that most musicians welcomed the experimental theories of Liszt's “new German school”. This infuriated him. He criticized many of Liszt's musicians in the press and, having moved to Hamburg, buried himself in an essay, almost completely ceasing to perform in public.
Vienna becomes the home of Brahms
In 1863, Brahms emerged from his voluntary retreat and gave a concert in Vienna in order to bring his songs to the Austrian public. There he met with Richard Wagner. Although Brahms was critical of Wagner in the press, each of the composers was still able to enjoy the work of the other. Johannes received the position of conductor of the Choral Academy (Singakademie) in Vienna, which became home until the end of the composer's life. Experience with female choirs became the basis for writing a number of new choral works, the best for their time.
Brahms mother died in 1865. In memory of her, Johannes writes the "German Requiem" (Ein Deutsches Requiem). This work, based on biblical texts, was first presented in Bremen on Good Friday 1869. After that, it sounded throughout Germany, swept through Europe and reached Russia. It was Requiem that became the work that put Brahms in the first row of 19th century composers.
Becoming, in the opinion of the public, Beethoven's successor, the composer had to comply with high honor. In the 1870s, he focused on string quartet works and symphonies. In 1973, Brahms wrote Variations on Haydn's Theme. After that, he felt that he was ready to begin the completion of Symphony No. 1 (C minor). The symphony premiered in 1876 and was very successful, but the composer revised it, changing one of the parts before publication.
Rest for the composer was an opportunity to write
After the first symphony, a number of major works followed, and the fame of Brahms' works spread far beyond Germany and Austria. Concert tours in Europe contributed significantly to this. Having enough funds to support his relatives, young musicians and scientists whose work he supported, Brahms leaves the post of conductor of the Society of Friends of Music and almost completely devotes himself to composition. In concert tours, he performed exclusively his works. And he spent the summer traveling in Austria, Italy and Switzerland.
In 1880, the University of Breslau (now the University of Wroclaw in Poland) awarded Brahms an honorary degree. In appreciation, the composer composed a Solemn Overture based on student songs.
Every year the baggage of the composer's works grew. In 1891, as a result of meeting with the prominent clarinet player Richard Mülfeld, Brahms got the idea to write chamber music for clarinet. Implying Mülfeld, he composed The Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, the large Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, and two sonatas for clarinet and piano. These works are ideally suited in structure to the capabilities of the wind instrument, and also elegantly adapted to it.
The last of the published works, “Four Serious Songs” (Vier ernste Gesänge) becomes a point in his career, at the same time being its peak. While working on this work, Brahms was thinking about Clara Schumann, whom he had tender feelings for (at that time, her health was swaying). She died in May 1896. Soon, Brahms was forced to seek medical help.
In March 1897, at a concert in Vienna, the public was last able to see the author, and on April 3, Johannes Brahms died. The composer is buried next to Beethoven and Franz Schubert.