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Brahms: A German Requiem / Katharine Fuge, soprano; Matthew Brook, baritone - Gardiner

Audio Samples

>Schütz, Heinrich : Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnunge (Psalm 84), for double chorus & continuo, SWV 29 (Op. 2/8)
>Schütz, Heinrich : Selig sind die Toten
>Brahms, Johannes : German Requiem, Op. 45

Album Summary

>Schütz, Heinrich : Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnunge (Psalm 84), for double chorus & continuo, SWV 29 (Op. 2/8)
>Schütz, Heinrich : Selig sind die Toten
>Brahms, Johannes : German Requiem, Op. 45
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

SDG is happy to present the final recording issued from the 2008 Brahms: Roots and Memories tour, in which John Eliot Gardiner and his ensembles explored the music of Johannes Brahms. 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. Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem is presented along 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.

"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." -BBC

"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." -The Times

"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 Independent

"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." -The Observer

bbc.co.uk - Graham Rogers
The warmth and clarity of John Eliot Gardiner's Monteverdi Choir makes it a compelling exponent of the two Schntz 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.

International Record Review
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.

Gramophone Magazine
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.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Usher Hall, Edinburgh; Royal Festival Hall, London; Sal.



Reviews

Requiem revisited
It's hard to believe that Gardiner's previous recording of this work was released twenty years ago! This new version caps a concert cycle that has already given us all the symphonies (though Brahms actually wrote those afterwards). Gardiner's top-notch chorus is responsive to every variation in dynamics and tempo, which can change from bar to bar in this highly romantic performance. The music never just sits around being pretty, although it certainly is; it is always going somewhere--perhaps most strikingly (and perhaps a shade too fast) in the opening pages of the last movement, often an anticlimax after the exuberant fugue that precedes it. Preceding the main work on the disc are two motets by Heinrich Schutz, whose counterpoint influenced Brahms, and who set some of the same texts used in the Requiem. The live recording is very clear (if a tad close), the audience is remarkably quiet, and the young-sounding soloists handle their assignments well.
Submitted on 04/29/12 by Jim D. 
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Works Details

>Heinrich Schütz (Composer) (1585 - 1672) : Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnunge (Psalm 84), for double chorus & continuo, SWV 29 (Op. 2/8)
  • Performers: Matthew Vocal] (Baritone); Katharine Fuge (Voice)
  • Conductor: John Gardiner
  • Ensemble: Monteverdi Choir
  • Notes: Royal Festival Hall, London & Salle Pleyel, Paris (10/28/2007/11/18/2007)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Heinrich Schütz (Composer) (1585 - 1672) : Selig sind die Toten
  • Performers: Matthew Vocal] (Baritone); Katharine Fuge (Voice)
  • Conductor: John Gardiner
  • Notes: Royal Festival Hall, London & Salle Pleyel, Paris (10/28/2007/11/18/2007)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Choral
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Brahms, Johannes : German Requiem, Op. 45
  • Performers: Katharine Fuge (Voice); Matthew Vocal] (Baritone)
  • Conductor: John Gardiner
  • Running Time: 63 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1857-1868
  • Studio/Live: Live