Hungarian Dances No.1—Johann Brahms
Johann Brahms is a 19th century German conductor, pianist, and composer. Stylistically, his compositions combine Romantic and Classical attributes. Brahms spent his teenage years traveling close to home, performing and giving music lessons to support his family. In 1853, Brahms met Schumann, who was instrumental in establishing Brahms as a serious composer. In 1863 Brahms traveled to Vienna, Austria to give a concert. He ended up staying in Vienna for the remainder of his life. His popularity in Austria grew, and soon Brahms was able to make a living from composition, something he had dreamed of since he was young. Some of Brahms’s greatest masterpieces were written near the end of his life, including Vier ernste Gesänge (Four Serious Songs), Symphony No. 1, and Symphony No. 2.
Brahms composed the Hungarian Dances in 1869. It is a collection tunes based on Hungarian folk melodies. Three of the dances are purely original compositions. The rest are arrangements of traditional folk songs or songs based on an existing motif. The Hungarian Dances were adored by the public in Brahms’s day and remain a popular piece for performers and audiences.