Complete Brahms Symphonies
Johannes Brahms (1833-97) came to the genre of symphony late in it's history, and so had the benefit and burden of knowing the variety of approaches to symphonic discourse already explored by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann. His anxiety about following the paths of such illustrious predecessors, and especially Beethoven, was keen. 'Composing a symphony is no laughing matter,' he wrote. You have no idea how it feels to hear a giant's footsteps behind you.'