# Posted 3:03 PM by Patrick Belton
A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Brahms
. Mentored by Schumann, on settling in Vienna he was greeted by many as the successor to Beethoven, and in contrast to the more heady romanticism of Wagner and Liszt, his romantic harmonic idiom was always blended with classicism, resulting in fresh and novel uses of the technical forms of counterpoints and variations on a theme. He moved away from the programmatic music of the romantics, toward reviving "absolute" music, existing on its own terms as interplays of sound rather than depiction of a scene or narrative; and wrote brilliantly across genres, from folk lieder inspired by Teutonic pasts with their beautiful marriage of voice and piano, to the finest ecclestical choral music that had been produced since Bach, and to excruciatingly challenging piano work and orchestral concerti and ensemble pieces for most instruments in the repertory.
Humm yourself off to sleep tonight (or this afternoon, for the more slothfully-inclined) with Valse No. 15 (i.e., Lullaby
). Not sleeping? That's all right - try the Hungarian Dances
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