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Cat. No. CHAN 10165 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10165 - Brahms: Choral Works, Vol. 2
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Available From: 12 January 2004
Brahms wrote the gentle Ave Maria for female voices and organ in September 1858. One of the few works he wrote to a Latin text, it demonstrates Brahms’s choral writing at its simplest, sopranos and contraltos sweetly entwined in thirds around a mellifluous tune in the lulling rhythm of a berceuse. When he came to orchestrate it in the following year, he went no further than to add some discreet woodwind detail.

Schicksalslied is a setting of Hyperions Schicksalslied by the German poet Friedrich Hölderlin. Most active in the 1790s and early 1800s, he spent the second half of his life confined in a tower, insane; at the time of Brahms’s acquaintance with his poetry, much of his work had only just begun to be appreciated and published. The ‘Hyperion’ of the title refers not to the Titan of ancient myth, but to the protagonist of Hölderlin’s novel Hyperion, a modern Greek who, Byron-like, attempts to lead a struggle for Greek independence, only to see his dreams come to ruin through the human fallibility of his associates.

Triumphlied, scored for double chorus, baritone and orchestra, was composed in celebration of the victories in the Franco-Prussian war and the achievement of a German Empire. During the nineteenth century this festal song of deliverance and victory, couched in severe biblical terms and dedicated to Kaiser Wilhelm I, was deemed one of Brahms’s most important works. Since World War 1, however, it has been largely neglected – perhaps because of its perceived nationalistic overtones – even though musically it is a work which magnificently transcends mundane associations. It is considered by singers to be the most strenuous of all Brahms’s choral works.
Reviews

…lovely performances, beautifully sung and played and firmly shaped, in a sympathetic ambience
BBC Music Magazine

Albrechts performance with the Danish Choir and Orchestra may be less polished than Sinopolis DG version, but it is markedly warmer and more idiomatic…
The Guardian

These receive lovely performances, beautifully sung and played and firmly shaped, in a sympthetic ambience.
BBC Music Magazine

For Anyone who finds the textual/musical idiom of Ein deutsches Requiem difficult to accommodate, this mixture of sacred and secular pieces could serve as a way into the choral music of a very great composer.
International Record Review

'Albrecht's performance with the Danish Choir and Orchestra may be less polished than Sinopoli's DG version, but it is markedly warmer and more idiomatic''
The Guardian

The Triumphlied is a Brahms you probably have never heard, and the other pieces are excellently done as well.
American Record Guide

 

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