Johannes Brahms

1833-1897. German composer. Born in Hamburg, he showed extraordinary musical gifts at a very early age. Like Beethoven* before him, he later settled in Vienna where he was active as a choral conductor as well as being the foremost composer of symphonic and chamber music of the late Romantic era. Although he was not a church musician, he was grounded in the historic traditions of Lutheran church music, much of which he edited. He was one of the first to seek to perform the cantatas of Bach* in an authentic manner. He composed a small number of beautiful sacred motets after the example of Schütz* and Bach. His great choral masterpiece is A German Requiem. Using entirely words from the German Bible, it has no relation to the Requiem Mass of the Roman rite. It might justly be regarded as the greatest major sacred choral work of the nineteenth century.