"Elegant, thought-provoking, often outrageous but always stimulating, this book will fascinate those who know a lot about Brahms as well as those who know little." — Stephen Hough, pianist and composer. Hailed in his lifetime as Beethoven's successor and a powerful symbol of musical classicism, Johannes Brahms was nonetheless a controversial figure in a world infatuated with the bold new directions taken by Wagner and Liszt. Today Brahms' stature is unassailable, and his works remain staples of the repertoire in each of the many genres in which he composed. This engaging survey of Brahms' music covers his major orchestral, choral, and piano music, culminating in a discussion of the ever-popular German Requiem. Author John Bell Young, a concert pianist and music critic, offers an astute commentary on many facets of the composer's life, including the attitudes of Brahms' contemporaries and his complex romantic relationships. Readers will find this volume an accessible guide to the great composer's compelling music, placed within the context of his era and environment.