Brahms’ Violin Concerto

Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria. His reputation and status as a composer are such that he is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the “Three Bs” of music, a comment originally made by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow.

The Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77, was composed by Johannes Brahms in 1878 and dedicated to his friend, the violinist Joseph Joachim. It is Brahms’s only violin concerto. The concerto follows the standard concerto form, with three movements in the pattern quick–slow–quick. Originally, the work was planned in four movements like the second piano concerto.

Interesting fact: The violin entrance in the first movement is sampled extensively in Alicia Keys’s 2004 song, Karma.