The First Electronic Church of America

S A I N T S   &   B I R T H D A Y   P A G E

May 7, 1997

Today is year 102 of the Electronic Era!

       Saint Of The Day:

         Johannes Brahms

ohannes Brahms, who was born this day in 1833, was one of the major composers of the 19th century. His works combine the best of the classical and romantic schools. Even so, Brahms's early work was not appreciated, and life was not easy for him. Then, at the age of 35, Brahms won fame throughout Europe following the performance of his German Requiem, in which he departed from Catholic tradition by using a German rather than a Latin text. The piece, cast in seven divisions, expresses his sorrow at the death of his mother and of his friend, the composer Robert Schumann. In 1874 he ended his career as a conductor (which paid the rent, if nothing else) to devote himself to composing. Until 1873 Brahms had written chiefly for the piano, the instrument he knew best, and for chorus and orchestra. In that year, however, he produced the Variations on a Theme by Haydn, scored for full orchestra, and that led to Brahms's increasing mastery of large orchestral form. His major works for orchestra are among the finest expressions in all of musical literature. His masterpieces include the grandiloquent Symphony no. 1 in C Minor (1876); the gentler, more mellifluous Symphony no. 2 in D Major (1877); the Academic Festival Overture (1880), incorporating German student songs; the somber Tragic Overture (1881); the poetic Symphony no. 3 in F Major (1883); and the Symphony no. 4 in E Minor (1885), with its brilliant and emotionally overwhelming finale. Unlike his contemporaries, Brahms shunned exploitation of new harmonic effects and new tone colors for their own sake. He concerned himself rather with creating music of inherent unity, utilizing new or unusual effects only to enhance internal structural nuances. His best works contain no extraneous passages; each theme, each figure, each modulation is implicit in all that has preceded it. The classicism of Brahms was a unique phenomenon in its day, entirely at odds with the trends in contemporary music as represented especially by the German composer Richard Wagner. Brahms was a merciless self-critic. He burned all that he wrote before the age of 19 as well as some sketches of later masterpieces. It is known that he frequently reworked pieces over a period of 10 to 20 years, and before achieving the final form he often transcribed them for several different combinations of instruments. Brahms wrote in every medium except opera. He died on April 13, 1897, in Vienna.
MODEL: His no-nonsense approach to his music. He shunned the sensational even though he had more virtuosity than any of his contemporaries. In his music, he never showed off. Or, if he did, he managed to burn it before anyone could see it, or copy it.

Your Birthday Today:

May 7
Day of the Dearly Devoted Taurus

Solemn Faithful Tasteful

Frustrated, Impractical, Distressed

For the cause. If you were born on May 7, you are super devoted, whether it's to a spiritual, artistic, or social cause. Although you don't strive for riches, you like your creature comforts and things that bring you pleasure. You may attract gifts or rewards for your selfless pursuits. More mature May 7 people will move beyond these material things toward spiritual development. Ruled by the number 7 and the planet Neptune, you can be overly romantic and impressionable.

Hide your feelings. May 7 men who suppress their desires and drives usually manage to fulfill their needs, but through force not evolving as people. Women born on this day can also suppress their true desires to the point that neurosis and anxiety result. If they are aware of this condition, however, they can improve themselves to become calm, poised people.

Beauty in all things. Your venusian influence gives you a love for beauty and other things of a sensual nature. Music, art, interior design, topiary, speech, whatever you are into is imbued with a sensual quality. You move with nobility and grace, causing others to look up to you.

Home alone. You are very direct and to the point, never wanting to chew the fat. A loner, you prefer the comfort and security of your home to the company of others. As a parent, you take the job seriously and will do anything to provide for your children.

Some advice: You are who you are. Learn to live with yourself. Don't dwell on the past, look ahead. Don't let your beliefs rule you unconditionally. Give yourself a break every now and then.

Also born on this day: Jimmy Ruffin (soul singer) Gabby Hayes (western actor) Pete Domenici (senator, New Mexico) Susan Atkins (Manson follower) Carolyn Rhoem (fashion designer) Anne Baxter (actress) Eva Peron (actress, dictator's wife) Tony Gwynn (baseball outfielder) Johannes Brahms 19th c. composer) Tchaikovsky (Russian 19th c. composer) Robert Browning (British romantic poet)