Author Topic: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)  (Read 174591 times)

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Online Jo498

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #1040 on: September 16, 2019, 02:19:34 AM »
The German Requiem is a piece many seem to love to hate. I love it but agree that it is somewhat long and maybe does not have sufficient contrasts. Blurry sound seems a general feature of many Karajan recordings to the extent that he might have done it on purpose occasionally.

I mostly like the Klemperer recording a lot, except for Schwarzkopf who is about as comforting as an evil governess. Unfortunately, I am not sure I ever heard a soprano solo I really liked. My other recordings of the piece are Herreweghe and Kegel but I don't remember the soprano solos well enough. Actually, I don't remember enough about the Herreweghe to comment. Kegel/Leipzig has a great choir, very clear and articulated, good orchestral work, a good baritone and not so good soprano.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline j winter

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #1041 on: September 16, 2019, 10:01:21 AM »
The German Requiem is definitely a favorite of mine.  Looking over the shelves, I have 10 versions:  Abbado, Blomstedt, Furtwangler, Gardiner, Giulini, Karajan, Klemperer, Lehmann, Sinopoli, and Walter.  Plus the piano-4-hands from Naxos.

That said, if I had to pick one it would be Klemperer, without hesitation.  If I had to let the others go, I could be content with this.  He really captures the power of the piece; his "Denn Alles Fleisch, Es Ist Wie Gras" is truly epic -- an urgent, driven performance, broad in pace without losing energy, beautifully recorded.  Follow the classic instructions from Ziggy Stardust:  To Be Played At Maximum Volume :)

For a second choice, I would probably go with Sinopoli.  If you're collecting versions, Lehmann makes for an interesting contrast, and used to be available extremely cheaply... it's verrrrrrry slow, makes Klemperer sound positively HIP in comparison. 

While Walter's Brahms symphonies are superb, his Requiem has really murky sound, at least on the versions I've heard.  It should be included in the upcoming Bruno Walter Columbia Recordings box, so I'm hoping they can do something with it remastering-wise -- otherwise I can't say I'd really recommend it as a top choice.

Just my two cents :)
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Online Jo498

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #1042 on: September 16, 2019, 10:27:47 AM »
I think that many listeners had some problems with a sequence of 7 mostly slow movements; especially the first and last don't have much of contrasts. My favorites used to be and probably still are the second (Denn alles Fleisch...) and third (with the baritone solo Herr, lehre doch mich...) because they seem the most varied with some "turns" sending shives down my spine (e.g. Aber des Herrn Wort bleibet in Ewigkeit in #2). I like them better than the "apocalyptic" 6th movement.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline San Antone

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #1043 on: September 16, 2019, 12:38:12 PM »
I just discovered this new Glossa recording of the Requiem.  So far, I am enjoying it a lot.



JOHANNES BRAHMS
Ein deutsches Requiem

Carolyn Sampson, soprano
André Morsch, baritone

Cappella Amsterdam
Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century
Daniel Reuss, conductor

Johannes Brahms’ consolatory Ein deutsches Requiem receives a fresh and considered interpretation from Daniel Reuss and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century. This renowned orchestra took the decision – following the death, some years back, of Frans Brüggen – to retain its founder’s dynamic process of alternating concert tours with recordings. And dispensing with the need for having a principal conductor, the orchestra now works with a range of musicians according to the repertoire being performed.

Such a conductor is Daniel Reuss, who is also the artistic director of the Cappella Amsterdam, the choir which has frequently been appearing alongside the orchestra in recent times. A well-received reading of the Beethoven Missa Solemnis involving Reuss and the orchestra was issued by Glossa in 2017 and these musical forces have now turned their attention to Johannes Brahms’ pillar of religious music.

Taped in the Rotterdam De Doelen concert hall this new recording involves Carolyn Sampson (soprano) and André Morsch (baritone) as its two soloists, in a version which attempts, as far as it is possible, to get close – in terms of tonal colours, interpretation and tempi – to Brahms’ original intentions. This extraordinary work, here maintaining a sweeping and moving spirit for some 70 minutes, contains texts from Martin Luther’s German translation of the Bible and, it is thought, was inspired by the loss of both the composer’s mother and also that of Robert Schumann.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #1044 on: September 17, 2019, 12:56:31 PM »
Are there any fans of the German Requiem...?
So how do we feel about this work?

It seems to sag in the second half for quite a long time and then perks up again.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2019, 01:01:55 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #1045 on: October 02, 2019, 01:48:28 AM »
It's getting to be that time of year again... someone recommend me your most autumnal Brahms recordings, for melancholic seasonal listening  ;D Chamber music, symphonies, Lieder, the Requiem, anything. I'm looking for as autumnal as possible. I want to really hear the leaves falling from the trees of life.

Offline Biffo

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #1046 on: October 02, 2019, 02:40:40 AM »
It's getting to be that time of year again... someone recommend me your most autumnal Brahms recordings, for melancholic seasonal listening  ;D Chamber music, symphonies, Lieder, the Requiem, anything. I'm looking for as autumnal as possible. I want to really hear the leaves falling from the trees of life.

Try the Clarinet Quintet.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #1047 on: October 02, 2019, 03:01:57 AM »
Try the Clarinet Quintet.
I’ve actually never heard that work, famous as it is. Is there a recording that you really like?

Offline Biffo

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #1048 on: October 02, 2019, 03:46:15 AM »
I’ve actually never heard that work, famous as it is. Is there a recording that you really like?

My favourite is quite an old recording - the Melos Ensemble. Actually, the other two recordings I have - Amadeus Qt & Karl Leister and the Gabrielli Qt & Thea King - are approaching vintage status, if not there already - the latter is the most modern dating from 1983. I am sure more modern recordings are available, it's just that I have never felt areal need for them.

Offline Madiel

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #1049 on: October 02, 2019, 03:50:12 AM »
If you want autumnal, the Clarinet Trio is perhaps even more the go than the Clarinet Quintet, though they are both excellent works.
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #1050 on: October 02, 2019, 03:59:18 AM »
Martin Frost has given us two excellent, fairly recent, recordings of the Brahms clarinet chamber works:


Offline Mandryka

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #1051 on: October 02, 2019, 04:12:11 AM »
It's getting to be that time of year again... someone recommend me your most autumnal Brahms recordings, for melancholic seasonal listening  ;D Chamber music, symphonies, Lieder, the Requiem, anything. I'm looking for as autumnal as possible. I want to really hear the leaves falling from the trees of life.

The four serious songs, if you don’t want voice try the cello transcription by Daniel Shafran. As long as you don’t mind vibrato so wide you could drive a bus through it.
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Online Jo498

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Re: Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
« Reply #1052 on: October 02, 2019, 05:30:51 AM »
Most of the late piano music probably also counts as "autumnal".

There is also Alto Rhapsody (Ludwig or Fassbaender), maybe the other lesser known choral works like Schicksalslied, Gesang der Parzen and Nänie. (all rather melancholy).  Then there are plenty of melancholy lieder and a cappella (or with piano) choral music. E.g. "Dartulas Grabgesang" or the motet "Warum ist das Licht gegeben".
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)