Catapulting into Classical

A headlong leap into music, history, and composing

Choral Music by Johannes Brahms

7 Comments

Johannes Brahms

I saw a reference to the choral music of Johannes Brahms, and realized that, other than the German Requiem, I didn’t know much about it.  So I decided to go check it out.

Whoa.  I’ve been missing a lot.

Listen to this Adoramus te, a short piece, reminiscent of Palestrina to my ear.

Brahms was a master of counterpoint, and this is clearly displayed in his motets.  I particularly liked Warum ist das Licht gegeben dem Mühseligen for its emotional impact and the precision required of the choir.  Brahms wrote many of his choral works for an a cappella choir, which for me, as an amateur chorister, is particularly terrifying.

Brahms also wrote secular choral works, including the Fest- und Gedenksprüche, written for the city of Hamburg when he was made an honorary citizen (here’s a sample), and folk song settings.

And to close, a song to make you say ahhhh.  While this folk song setting tells a sad story (lyrics here), Brahms’s setting adds a touch of sweetness.  Here is In Stiller Nacht.

References

  1. http://www.classical.net/music/recs/reviews/h/hmu01591a.php

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Image attribution: Johannes Brahms, photograph By C. Brasch, Berlin [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JohannesBrahms.jpg

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7 thoughts on “Choral Music by Johannes Brahms

  1. Fully agree that there is a lot of quite unknown Brahms to discover. Have you tried Schicksalslied and Altrhapsodie?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I needed to see the German text, Warum is das Licht gegeben dem Mühseligen, and found a side-by-side translation at:

    http://emmanuelmusic.org/notes_translations/translations_motets/t_brahms_warum.htm

    There is always something more. The longer we live the more we are given. Doing something with that. Yes.

    >

    Like

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