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Recording locations: Recorded live at the Salle Pleyel, Paris and Royal Festival Hall, London.
Soli Deo Gloria is proud to release the third instalment in the successful Brahms Symphony series which sees John Eliot Gardiner and his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique explore the music of Johannes Brahms.
The choral pieces on this release demonstrate beautifully the extent to which choral thinking permeates Brahms’ orchestral writing. Gardiner states that ‘just as there is choral thinking evident in his symphonies, surely there are also signs of orchestral thinking embedded within his choral writing.’ Both Nänie and Gesang der Parzen show fascinating links with Brahms’ last two symphonies Parzen sharing with the Third not just an adjacent opus number but an immensely powerful orchestral opening, with passing references to ‘early music’ styles next to passages of the most advanced harmony.
Einförmig ist der Liebe Gram, an irresistible little piece written for women’s voices, sees Brahms take the final song from Schubert’s Winterreise and turn it into a haunting six-part canon. Another example of Brahms forging links with a revered predecessor.
Written nearly six years after Brahms completed his Second Symphony, his third symphony was described by Hans Richter on its premiere as Brahms’ ‘Erioica’. A friend of Brahms and music critic at the time, Eduard Hanslick, wrote: “Many music lovers will prefer the titanic force of the First Symphony; others, the untroubled charm of the Second, but the Third strikes me as being artistically the most nearly perfect”
Johannes Brahms: 5 Lieder, Op. 41
5 Lieder, Op. 41: No. 1. Ich schwing mein Horn ins Jammertal
Johannes Brahms: 4 Gesange, Op. 17 (text by F. Ruperti)
4 Gesange, Op. 17: No. 1. Es tont ein voller Harfenklang
Johannes Brahms: 5 Gesange, Op. 104 (Ruckert settings only)
5 Gesange, Op. 104: No. 1. Nachtwache I
Johannes Brahms: 13 Canons, Op. 113 (Ruckert settings only)
13 Canons, Op. 113: No. 13. Einformig ist der Liebe Gram
Johannes Brahms: Gesang der Parzen, Op. 89
Gesang der Parzen, Op. 89
Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90
I. Allegro con brio - Un poco sostenuto
III. Poco allegretto
IV. Allegro - Un poco sostenuto
Johannes Brahms: Nanie, Op. 82
Nanie, Op. 82
“…urgent, magnificently angry… This is Gardiner at his penetrating, combative best, making contact with the music's heartbeat in a way that sounds both radical and natural…”
9th September 2009
“Throughout, there’s the satisfying phrasing that Gardiner excels in, with melodic lines and their accompaniments shifting and undulating to a satisfying degree...Riveting, enlightening and enjoyable in equal measure.”
“This period instrument interpretation for Brahms 3 will be a surprise to many. Once you’ve adjusted though, the enjoyment to be gained from this superbly performed disc (…) is enormous”
“It’s hard to under-emphasise the lift Gardiner’s historically informed performance has given to Brahms’s Third Symphony”
“Taking up more than half the disc, the choral items are its obvious glory… Gardiner sets his face against anything that could be construed as false consolation. In his element in Song of the Fates, he gives the sublime Nänie an unusually taut, sharp-edged feel.”
“A must-have disc for Brahmsians”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.