Twenty-two years after his first, Brahms himself played his second pianoconcerto at its premiere. This time it was an enormous success. It led to a tour through Europe. Even though this concert is more like a symphony, it is considered an important example of the genre.
Brahms is a fascinating figure in classical music. He forms the middle of the nineteenth century’s romantic movement. He was an admirer of Beethoven, and certainly in his early compositions almost copied him. His first symphony was called Beethoven’s tenth.
Later in life he was influenced by Schubert (in his first two string quartets). He also admired Mozart and got a lot of inspiration from the oldies. Brahms was a traditionalist, but with modern influence as well. He admired Wagner, even though the opera composer was a fierce critic of Brahms.
And he practically knew everyone of them. Wherever you look in romantic classical music, you find the big bearded man. Somehow his music is also very recognisable. I’m not a musicologist, so I cannot explain why, but I do recognise a piece by Brahms rather easily. Typical Brahmsian.