Index of Artists
Browse by Artist: BRAHMS, JOHANNES
Ein deutsches Requiem
2008 release. This version of the "Requiem" is a kind of time travel -- we return to the very roots of the work. Brahms not only made a piano reduction of the orchestral score, but an arrangement for four hands, too. And the piano remains the musical point of departure as well as the compositional cell of the work. The sounds reproduced here represent a reconstruction of the original form that "Ein deutsches Requiem" (A German Requiem) by Johannes Brahms took before its triumphal march through the symphonic choral literature. The score was reworked by the composer Heinrich Poos (born in 1928), who is mainly known for his vocal music and who was Professor of Music Theory in Berlin for many years. By distributing the orchestral music between two pianos and adding timpani that function as a kind of orchestral pulse, Poos allows us a glimpse into the compositional workshop of Johannes Brahms and helps us understand the working processes that led to the "German Requiem." The workshop nature of this arrangement is an authentic one, both historically and in terms of instrumentation: the pianos used are original instruments from the considerable collection belonging to the West German Radio (WDR). The Erard grand was built in 1839 in Paris; the Collard grand dates from 1849 and has a London provenance. The kettle drums are historical instruments, too, manufactured and played during Brahms' own lifetime. Performed by the WDR Rundfunkchor Köln, Simone Nold (soprano), Kay Stiefermann (baritone), Ian Pace and Mark Knoop (piano), Peter Stracke (kettle drums), Rupert Huber (conductor).
Liebeslieder & Walzer
Featured works: "Liebeslieder," 18 waltzes for chorus and piano four hands, Op. 52 (1868/69); "Walzer," 16 waltzes for piano four hands, Op. 39 (1865); "Neue Liebeslieder," 15 waltzes for chorus and piano four hands, Op. 65 (1874/75). Performed by GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, WDR Rundfunkchor Köln/Rupert Huber. "The present interpretation fulfills in a special way Brahms' desire to produce a work that unites music not far removed from folk origins with formal ingenuity. The conductor, the singers and the pianists lend this recording a remarkable authenticity, their music-making pointed up by the declamatory phrasing and articulation of the waltz: its melodic gesture is underlined by the traditional acceleration and holding back of tempo, something that lends the internal structure meaningful form and which helps the piece divest itself of any tub-thumping amateurism. A most apposite sound world is conjured up too by the generous but transparent colors of the historic Erard grand, built in 1839 and one of the many still playable keyboard instruments belonging to the piano collection of the WDR. It is these components that most convincingly demonstrates the claim by Brahms on music that 'is eternal,' the present performance confirming these waltzes -- pieces which are cast of course in a small form -- as character pieces, elevating them on occasion to the status of works which hold up a mirror to the soul." Stereo/multichannel hybrid SACD that can be played on any CD player.
Index of Artists