The Three Bs - Bach, Beethoven and Brahms WEA Sydney

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The lives of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms span more than 200 years and the musical periods of the Baroque, Classical and Romantic. All three were born in Germany. Times changed enormously. For Beethoven and Brahms, the Church and aristocracy, the employers in Bach’s day, had disappeared and composers were dependent on the concert hall and publishers. What did not change was the excellence of the compositions of these three men. They ranged from orchestral to solo instruments, from songs both sacred and profane to large choral works, from chamber to symphonic. Let us sample something of this feast.


  • Face-to-Face


  • Bach – life and times: Brandenburg concertos, The Goldberg Variations, The Well-Tempered Clavier, The Passions, Toccata and Fugue in D minor, Cello Suites, B minor Mass, Violin Partita 2.
  • Beethoven – life and times: Symphonies 3,5,6, 9, Piano Sonata 3, Violin Sonata 9, Emperor concerto, Archduke Trio, Fidelio
  • Brahms – life and times: German Requiem, Hungarian Dances, Violin Concerto, Symphony 3, 4, Quintet, Variations on a theme by Haydn.


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Be aware of the different genres used by each composer and those they had in common.
  2. Understand the different eras in which the composers lived and how that influenced their compositions.
  3. Name at least two works of each composer.