Johannes Brahms: Werke für Chor und Orchester

Johannes Brahms: Werke für Chor und Orchester

by Philippe Herreweghe
     
 
Brahms' works for chorus account for a significant part of his output, far greater than would be guessed by the frequency of their performances in modern times, apart from "Ein deutsches Requiem." His music for mixed choirs and women's voices, either a cappella or accompanied by piano, are the works that were the most often performed during his lifetime because of

Overview

Brahms' works for chorus account for a significant part of his output, far greater than would be guessed by the frequency of their performances in modern times, apart from "Ein deutsches Requiem." His music for mixed choirs and women's voices, either a cappella or accompanied by piano, are the works that were the most often performed during his lifetime because of their dissemination through the proliferation of amateur community choirs of the era. He wrote relatively few works for chorus and orchestra, most of them in the later part of his career, and this CD brings together an attractive selection of five of them. The most familiar are the "Rhapsodie for alto, men's voices, and orchestra, Op. 53," and "Schicksalslied for choir and orchestra, Op. 54." Brahms wrote them not long after completing his "Requiem," and it's easy to hear echoes of its depths of feeling and musical language in these shorter, but still profound pieces. "Gesang der Parzen, Op. 89," his last choral-orchestral work, a setting of Goethe, also deserves broader exposure. It's perhaps the most eccentric musically, filled with unpredictable shifts in direction, but it makes a strong mystical impression particularly in its haunting final moments. The remaining works, the early "Begräbnisgesang, Op. 13," and the motet, "Warum ist das Licht gegeben, Op. 74/1," may be less likely to find wide audiences, but they are nonetheless satisfying and richly lyrical and are bound to interest the composer's fans and anyone who loves sumptuous Romantic choral music. Phillipe Herreweghe leads Collegium Vocale Gent, a group he founded in 1970, and it's evident from the easy give and take of the performance that there is fluid communication between them. The group sings with seamless phrasing and remarkable subtlety of dynamic inflections. Ann Hallenberg, usually known as a Baroque specialist, brings a light, pure, warmly focused mezzo to the "Alto Rhapsody." The sound is clean and ambient, with a good sense of presence.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/10/2011
Label:
Phi
UPC:
5400439000032
catalogNumber:
3

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Gesang der Parzen ("Es fürchte die Götter"), for chorus & orchestra ("Song of the fates"), Op. 89
  2. Begräbnisgesang ("Nun lasst uns den Leib"), for 5-voice chorus, winds & timpani ("Funeral Hymn"), Op. 13
  3. Warum ist das Licht gegeben den Mühseligen?, motet for chorus, Op. 74/1
  4. Alto Rhapsody, for alto, male chorus & orchestra, Op. 53
  5. Hyperions Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny) for chorus and orchestra, Op. 54

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