For a long time now I have hoped to have the opportunity one day to record the sacred choral works of Johannes Brahms. In recent years these pieces have occupied me intensively and I have performed them frequently with a number of ensembles. The richness of their content has surprised me time and time again. In these works Brahms’s great examples were Schultz, Gabrieli and Bach, and it is wonderful to discover how he employs the compositional techniques of these masters to his own ends. In the patriotic Fest-und Gedenkspru?che op. 109, for example, inspired by the accession of Emperor Wilhelm II in 1888, the composer uses predominantly block-like, homophonic techniques (probably with an eye to open-air performance by large choirs). The choral groups alternate in broad movements, but occasionally the structure suddenly changes when prompted by the text: a reference to the disintegration of the kingdom in the second movement, for example, is illustrated by apparently random entries of the parts without taking the beat into account, as though the entire structure falls apart. In his harmonic language, Brahms goes much further than his Renaissance and Baroque examples, often adding notes beyond the key, for example in sequences of falling fifths, taking the music to keys hardly within reach of composers of the seventeenth century. Doing justice to this work requires a choir capable of developing a large, grandiose sound.
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 00:58:08
van den Hul
Grimm AD DSD64
B&W 803 Diamond series
Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Rens Heijnis custom made
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|Release Date||November 14, 2014|
Classic Voice (IT)
(…) si snoda con perfetta sensibiltà stilistica e denuncia il mirabile “luteranesimo” di questo Brahms ignota ai più.
American Record Guide
“The Swedish Radio Choir, sings with wonderful intonation and blend. Under Dijkstra their ensemble is fine, and their soft singing is impressive.”
(…) een schitterende opname (…)
(…) simply marvelous in conception and execution (…) the Dijkstra recording gives us a radiant performance of the early Missa Cononica (…) The singing of the famous Swedish Radio Choir is radiant (…) caught in magnificent multichannel SACD.
Brahms’ werken zijn zeer delicaat en worden door dit top-koor en dito dirigent ook als zodanig uitgevoerd. (…) Brahms ‘zingt‘!
Choir & Organ
Peter Dijkstra is a perfect match for the Swedish Radio Choir (…) a vivid recording (…) the Sanctus is a model for choirs everywhere.
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