As an influential and well-connected composer, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) had encountered, befriended, and collaborated with hundreds of people over his significant career. In Brahms and His World: A Biographical Dictionary, author Peter Clive provides extensive and up-to-date information on the composer's personal and professional association with some 430 persons. These persons include relatives, friends, acquaintances, and physicians; fellow musicians and composers whom Brahms particularly admired and in the ...
As an influential and well-connected composer, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) had encountered, befriended, and collaborated with hundreds of people over his significant career. In Brahms and His World: A Biographical Dictionary, author Peter Clive provides extensive and up-to-date information on the composer's personal and professional association with some 430 persons. These persons include relatives, friends, acquaintances, and physicians; fellow musicians and composers whom Brahms particularly admired and in the editions of whose works he was involved; conductors, instrumentalists, and singers who took part in notable or first performances of his works; poets whose texts he set to music; publishers and artists; and even the rulers of certain German states with whom he had significant contact. Offering information not usually available in Brahms biographies, this volume combines findings from both primary and secondary sources, giving insights into Brahms' character, his life, and his career, and shedding light on the educated middle and upper class culture of the nineteenth century. A comprehensive chronology of Brahms' life, a bibliography, and two indexes round out this important reference guide.
As one of the most significant European composers of the 19th century, Johannes Brahms has generated an enormous literature. Clive has carved a niche for himself within this oeuvre with this unique, encyclopedia-like reference work detailing Brahms's interaction with some 430 of his contemporaries. Clive's similar books on Beethoven (Beethoven and His World), Mozart (Mozart and His Circle), and Schubert (Schubert and His World) were highly successful, and Brahms continues his brilliant series of examinations of "composers in context." While not presenting a unified life of Brahms, as Malcolm MacDonald did in his fine 1990 biography, Clive is able to examine an entire artistic world in more detail by using Brahms as a hub around which the biographical entries are gathered, bringing to view a slice of 19th-century life. Besides the main dictionary biographical listings, the book contains a chronology (really a mini-biography of 20 pages), an extensive bibliography (of 50-plus pages), and two indexes-one of names and one of Brahms's works. Most entries are referenced. Clive displays a profound knowledge of the entire range of Brahms's associates. He is especially good at teasing out the often ambivalent relationships Brahms had with fellow artists such as Wagner and Tchaikovsky; he is also thorough and searching in his examination of Brahms's relationship with the women to whom he was emotionally attached. One of the best features of the book, however, is the full portraits of less-well-known individuals in Brahms's milieu. Bottom Line Classical music lovers will delight in perusing the book at random, and serious students will find it an excellent source on Brahms's milieu and, indeed, on the classical music scene of the mid- and late 19th century. Recommended for all libraries, especially academic ones.-Bruce R. Schueneman, Texas A&M Univ. Lib., Kingsville Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Reference and Research Book News
This biographical dictionary covers approximately 430 people associated with composer Johannes Brahms, including relatives and friends, physicians, conductors, artists, poets, rulers, and fellow composers and musicians, such as the Schumanns, Schubert, Rubinstein, Nietzsche, Ibsen, Liszt, Bizet, and the publishers Breitkopf and Härtel. Presented alphabetically, the entries contain dates and places of birth and death, biographical information, and a discussion of how each person was linked to the composer. A chronology of Brahms' life and indexes of names and works are provided.
Clive continues his triumphal march through the personalia of central European music....The entries are models of research...Highly recommended.
vol. 38 (2007) American Reference Books Annual
...a fascinating book....It should be part of reference divisions of schools of music, and university and college libraries. Brahms and His World will be of interest to all musicians and historians, as well as to lovers of the music of Brahms.