Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)
SDG is happy to present last recording issued from the 2008 Brahms: Roots and Memories tour, in which John Eliot Gardiner and his ensembles explored the music of Johannes Brahms.
Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem is presented along with pieces by Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) which might have inspired its composition, giving the listener a new insight into the composer’s mind and music making.
Deeply moving, profound, and powerful, the Requiem is central to our understanding of Brahms’ compositional personality and inner spiritual life. Behind its dramatic gestures and 19th century grandeur, it reveals Brahms’ obsessions with folk-songs and the music of the past. The libretto, assembled by Brahms himself based on the Lutheran Bible, makes it a definitive personal statement of his position in matters of religion.
The booklet includes a note by composer Hugh Wood, explaining how the pieces relate to each other and giving a moving account of Brahms as a composer and as a man.
Heinrich Schutz: Psalmen Davids samt etlichen Moteten und Concerten, Op. 2, SWV 22-47
Psalmen Davids samt etlichen Moteten und Concerten, Op. 2, SWV 22-47: Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen, SWV 29, "Psalm 84"
Heinrich Schutz: Geistliche Chormusik, Op. 11, SWV 369-397
Geistliche Chormusik, Op. 11, SWV 369-397: No. 23. Selig sind die Toten, die in dem Herren sterben, SWV 391
Johannes Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem), Op. 45
I. Selig sind, die da Leid tragen
II. Denn alles Fleisch es ist wie Gras
III. Herr, lehre doch mich
IV. Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen
V. Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit
VI. Denn wir haben hie keine bleibende Statt
VII. Selig sind die Toten
7th March 2012
“The warmth and clarity of John Eliot Gardiner's Monteverdi Choir makes it a compelling exponent of the two Schütz works presented here...the Brahms begins beautifully with an even richer choral sound...[Denn alles Fleisch] can often get bogged down with overbearing morbidity. Not so here, thanks to Gardiner's agile, slow-waltz tempo and choral dexterity.”
26th February 2012
“Schütz’s radiant Psalm 84, gloriously sung by the Monteverdi Choir, almost steals the show here...The big C major fugue [of the Requiem] is particularly rousing and the lovely Wie lieblich exquisite. Gardiner is right that Brahms demands flexibility of tempo, but overdoes it in the final number, missing the grand sweep of the opening melody with too fast a tempo.”
26th February 2012
“The choral ensemble is superb; intonation perfect. Gardiner's instrumentalists' meticulous attention to authentic performance style adds a further dimension to a glorious reading of this beautiful piece. Highly recommended.”
2nd March 2012
“Gardiner's forces are marshalled with care, the Monteverdi Choir as uplifting as on his series of Bach Cantatas, while the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique lives up to its name in its emotional subtlety.”
“The recorded sound has great immediacy, and the chorus produces a beautifully sustained and richly coloured vocal tone. Gardiner's flexibility in tempo, phrasing and dynamics (which Brahms favourted) pays dividends...Matthew Brook's dark-hued baritone is excellent for the role...Katharine Fuge's fresh, youthful voice adds a piercing pathos to 'Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit'”
“Brook might not be the high-cholesterol baritone often favoured in classic recordings...but a hint of reediness in his tone seems appropriate for one yearning to know the measure of his days...The star of the German Requiem, though, it always the choir. You know you're in safe hands with the Monteverdis and the pitch-perfect top A at 2'04''...absolutely confirms it...a minutely considered, dramatic and, in places, aptly disturbing performance.”
“This is a very impressive new recording....Gardiner conducts with warmth and the textures of the work...have a vibrancy and immediacy that is wholly to its advantage...he makes a compelling case for his tempo choices...this new version is uncommonly good, and will surely delight anyone wanting to hear the German Requiem on period instruments.”
7th April 2012
“Gardiner's smooth, lean approach works well in a vividly alive performance”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.