The com­poser

BBC Music Magazine - - Building A Library -

The bearded, avun­cu­lar Brahms fa­mil­iar from pho­tos dates from 1878 on­wards, when he sur­prised friends with a change of look. The last years of his life, dur­ing which he wrote his Clar­inet Quin­tet, saw the Ger­man com­poser en­joy­ing the close friend­ship of Jo­hann Strauss II and spend­ing sum­mers at his res­i­dence in Bad Ischl, Aus­tria, where he wrote much of his later mu­sic. His ini­tial an­nounce­ment that he was to re­tire from com­pos­ing in 1890 (see right) was fol­lowed by an­other one in 1894. In fact his fi­nal works, writ­ten in 1896, were his Eleven Cho­rale Pre­ludes for or­gan.

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