I have always thought of Brahms and Chopin as quite disparate composers. However Radio 3 drew my attention to the similar shape of the Brahms A minor intermezzo from Op 76 and the Chopin F minor Nocturne Op 55.
I do think that we should always consider the possibility that a similarity in melodic outline is accidental and I have not looked for any evidence of Brahms knowing Chopin’s music. Yet, no sooner than writing that do I remember Schumann’s comment regarding Chopin ‘Hats off, gentlemen, a genius’ and was Brahms closer to any musician than Schumann. Brahms was also famously learned regarding other composers such as Handel, Schutz, Dvorak and even Johann Strauss. ’nuff said, here are some examples.
and now Chopin’s Scherzo No 2 and Brahms early Op 4