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Brahms / Martin Schmeding "Complete Works for Organ" SACD

Johannes Brahms(1833-1897): Gesamtwerk fьr Orgel


Genre: Classical – Organ
Гибридный SACD 5.1

Martin Schmeding, Orgel
  1. Prдludium und 01’47
  2. Fuge a-Moll WoO 9 03’37

  3. Choralvorspiel und 01’52
  4. Fuge ьber "O Traurigkeit, o Herzeleid" WoO 7 04’51

  5. Fuge as-Moll WoO 8 06’54

  6. Prдludium und 03’46
  7. Fuge g-Moll WoO 10 04’02

    Elf Choralvorspiele Op. posth. 122
  8. Nr. 1 Mein Jesu, der du mich 04’29
  9. Nr. 2 Herzliebster Jesu 03’06
  10. Nr. 3 O Welt, ich muss dich lassen 02’15
  11. Nr. 4 Herzlich tut mich erfreuen 02’26
  12. Nr. 5 Schmьcke dich, o liebe Seele 02’20
  13. Nr. 6 O wie selig seid ihr doch, ihr Frommen 01’32
  14. Nr. 7 O Gott, du frommer Gott 05’32
  15. Nr. 8 Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen 03’18
  16. Nr. 9 Herzlich tut mich verlangen 01’45
  17. Nr. 10 Herzlich tut mich verlangen 03’14
  18. Nr. 11 O Welt, ich muss dich lassen 03’41
Gesamtspielzeit 61'13

Produzent, Layout: Annette Schumacher
Tonmeister: Manfred Schumacher, VDT
Toningenieur: Holger Siedler, VDT
Aufnahme 13.-16.9.2006 • Walcker-Orgel der St. Annenkirchen zu Annaberg-Buchholz

Ars Produktion (ARS 38 023, 4 260052 380239), 2007
Цитата( буклет )
Johannes Brahms and the Organ

As civic musical life was blossoming and the church was losing much of its significance in the period of enlightenment and secularisation in 19th century Germany, organ playing and organ music was no-longer part of the mainstream of musical culture. Few interpreters and composers became seriously involved with the instrument, the way it was played (the pedals), the way it was built and its special features.

Among the composers who wrote for the organ all their lives and whose religious works took up a large part of their output were Felix Mendelssohn and Josef Gabriel Rheinberger. But there were also other well-known musical personalities who repeatedly turned to playing and writing for the organ at special times during the course of their creative lives. These included Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms.

A look at the various biographies reveals two main reasons for such people to occupy themselves with the organ:
firstly, to improve polyphonic composition skills through a close examination of contrapuntal writing and the works of baroque composers (such as Buxtehude, Handel and Bach) and,
secondly, to help cope with personal crises in life by working with themes of a religious nature. Both of these reasons apply to the works of Johannes Brahms:
His organ compositions appeared in two phases of his life, characterised especially by close contact to Robert and Clara Schumann.

In 1855 and 1856, when Brahms was often staying at the Schumann's house in Dьsseldorf, the early works appeared (the Prelude and Fugue in a minor WoO 9, the Fugue in a flat minor WoO 8, the Choral Prelude and Fugue on "O Traurigkeit, o Herzeleid" WoO 7 and the Prelude and Fugue in g minor WoO 10). On the one hand, Brahms was intensively occupied in his contra¬puntal studies at the time, which the extensive correspondence with his friend, the famous violinist Joseph Joachim, bears witness to; on the other hand, there was a special friendship developing with Clara Schumann, who was preoccupied with the severe illness and death of her husband, Robert Schumann at that time.

It was only towards the end of his life, during a period of increasing illness and depression -particularly in Bad Ischl, where he was seeking peace and regeneration - that he turned to writing for the organ again. Altogether eleven choral preludes came from this period - and perhaps these were the beginning of an incomplete cycle. They were first published after Brahms's death as op. posth. 122 and, particularly with the last four choral preludes, it is difficult to know whether, and in what order they were intended for publication. The last two years of his life were also coloured by Brahms's relationship to Clara Schumann, this time, however in a tragic way. An ever greater estrangement, followed finally by Clara's death in 1896, plunged Brahms into a deep personal crisis that - according to an entry in his diary - led to the com¬position of the "Vier ernsten Gesдnge" (the Four Serious Songs) and the choral preludes. Johannes Brahms has always shown an especial fondness for contrapuntal writing in his works, and also as a performer and interpreter he exceeds "as a contrapuntal player... everything we know, as he, like no-one else, knows how to handle the voices clearly" (Friedrich Chrysander, 1881). Brahms's first biographer, Max Kalbeck, attributes the source of these skills to the extensive studies in counterpoint that he carried out with his friend, Joseph Joachim. "It was all about studies in double counterpoint, canons, fugues, preludes, chorales, variations and similar devices. These strict exercises were carried forward quite regularly over many years -and they are what made Brahms achieve a mastery of composition which none of his contemporaries did. Directly carrying forward the traditions of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven -and even, in some categories of music, able to compete with Bach." In this way, alongside some exercises and studies, versions of Bach canons also appeared by which Brahms and Joachim tried to outperform one another in a kind of competition.

Two letters from early 1856 bear confirm that Brahms began playing the organ at this time. "I have in fact been practising the organ recently", he wrote to Joachim, and "I won't yet be attaching any of my fugues again as I'm practising them at the moment, and it's all strangely better on the organ! By the time you come back, but also no earlier, I will have worked in it further enough for you. Has it also been so difficult for you to play the organ? Probably not." (to Clara Schumann).

In his passionate attraction to Clara Schumann it seemed as if the young Brahms was sometimes developing romantic delusions with his organ playing. "I have already thought that I could become a passable organ virtuoso, then we could travel off together, I could give up playing the piano, so I could always travel with you. [...] The organs in the concert halls will perhaps be very convenient for us in the next year, but lovely anyway" (to Clara Schumann). "Dear Cathedral organist to be" was what his friend Joachim wrote ironically to Brahms, commenting on his new passion.

As his estrangement with Clara Schumann increased and he took on new tasks, the organ slipped ever further into the background of Brahms's creative work. Nevertheless in Vienna, where he lived from 1862 to his death, he kept up contact to this instrument, particularly as the leader of the Singverein der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde (the Choral Society of the Friends of Music) - and at numerous performances, also of older music, he had plenty to do with the newly-built Ladegast organ there.

There is a story that the organ builder, Ladegast - perhaps out of ignorance - did not allow Brahms to view the instrument while it was being built, but there is no evidence to back the story up.

Even if, in the case of Johannes Brahms - as opposed to Mendelssohn or Liszt - no precise demands on the features of organs have come down to us, it can surely be based on the example of the large, German romantic organ of the second half of the 19th century with its mechanical action (perhaps with slider chests and "Barker levers") with its powerful plenum, but above all with its variety of characteristic basic voices on dynamically-designed terrace-shaped manuals located on top of one another.

Brahms's biographer, Kalbeck, had the following to say about his preoccupation with chorale preludes towards the end of his life: "This is ars moriendi, the likes of which has not been written since the time of Bach" and "written with thoughts about, and to the memory of, Clara Schumann." Also Brahms's friend, Eusebius Mandyczewski, archivist for the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna, extended the sense of these thoughts by noting "that he was practising repentance and remorse in other little things."

Both of these assessments stress the extremely personal nature of the effort he put into these last works. Brahms drew attention to this in a letter to Heinrich Herzogenberg, where he wrote "other thoughts, that where not such a cause for concern, yet not intended for print, I would have been happy to communicate through the piano."

From the date indications given at the end of some of the choral preludes it can be concluded that they appeared close to the day of Clara's death, 19th May 1896, probably written in two groups. Numbers 1 to 7 before Clara's death and numbers 8 to 11 on Brahms's return from her funeral. The roots of some of these choral preludes can, however, be found in sketches made in Dьsseldorf in the 1850s.

The choral preludes, along with the "Vier ernsten Gesдnge" and also in his lifelong preoccupation with religious subjects (such as in the "German Requiem") bear final witness to a deeply distressed, searching personality, whose great hopes and yearnings at the end of a life of illness and disappointment were threatened to be crushed.

About the works

Prelude and Fugue in a minor WoO 9

In a letter to Clara Schumann written on 7th May 1856, Brahms wrote the following dedication: "So, dear Clara, with this you can while away the time on my birthday."

Before that date, some intensive correspondence had taken place with Joseph Joachim, who noted the following about this composition: "Full of Bach and Handel it must be heard on the organ". Brahms was satisfied with the progress of his studies: "I am very pleased that you are so fond of the fugues and, particularly in those areas that you point out, you are absolutely right. When you see them next, everything will be changed."

This prelude, along with the Prelude and Fugue in g minor, was in fact first published in 1927, in the first complete Brahms edition, by Breitkopf und Hдrtel in Leipzig.

A lot of it really does remind us of Johann Sebastian Bach, with its single-voice beginning that goes over into sextuplet figures and the reprisal of the free beginning at the end of the fugue. We find the same characteristics in JS Bach's Prelude and Fugue in a minor BWV 543 for organ, a piece that was very popular in Brahms's time (among others there is a transcription of the work by Franz Liszt for solo piano).

Anticipating the fugue theme as a bass motif in the middle of the prelude is a device used by Bach in, among other places, his Prelude and Fugue in g minor BWV 535. There is also the motivic unity of the prelude, which is so characteristic of many of Bach's earlier preludes. It is only in Bach's later preludes and fugues that the preludes acquire such a distinctive independence.

As well as all this, a lot reminds us of the organ music that precedes Bach, particularly of the preludes of Dietrich Buxtehude. It seems as if Brahms was particularly influenced by the fantasy, freely-composed style that appears in many of Buxtehude's preludes, when he was working on his Prelude in a minor: in its free beginning, its playfully virtuoso passage work and its deployment of musical rhetoric - all of these characteristics can be found just as much in the music of Brahms as in that of Buxtehude.

In the fugue, Brahms creates a completely personal world, with more in common with the romantic character piece, particularly in the dynamic contrasts and the alternation between duplets and triplets. Following the opening exposition there is an interlude that is built on and extends the exposition themes, after which the counter exposition is introduced at the piano level, on the second manual, along with some additionally retained chromatic counterpoint. On returning to the forte manual at the beginning of the third exposition the themes, as they come together at the same time in their original and inverted forms, begin a typically romantic fugal climax (i.e. one that gets louder and louder). This leads to a reprisal of the interlude theme from the first exposition of the movement to its free ending, thus reconfirming its links to the prelude.

Prelude and Fugue in g minor WoO 10

This work was first rediscovered as part of the estate of Clara Schumann. Unusually there is no correspondence about this in Brahms's letters to Joseph Joachim and others. There were, however, numerous similarities to the already mentioned Prelude and Fugue in the same key, BWV 535 by J.S. Bach. The broken chords at the beginning (but in the other direction this time), the extensive demisemiquaver figures (particularly as they are later sequenced in the appendix), the numerous rhetorical baroque figures (including chromatic melodic development "passus duriusculus"), the recitative-like conclusion and the focus on the third as the principal interval, particularly with respect to the intervals between the melodic subjects. As Jacques van Oortmerssen noted, the rising third in baroque compositions of a religious stamp is often connected with the Gregorian "Kyrie eleison" due to its motivic similarity.

Nevertheless Brahms succeeds in putting together a completely individual structure - by, for example, introducing a central theme (made up of quaver triplets) within a free configuration from the elements described above, that reminds us in its musical conception (with its chord configuration in the tonic, its central theme in the dominant, its sequentially modulating passages, a reprise of the central theme (in the tonic) and the recitative-like coda) of the sonata form.

With its alternating duplets and triplets and dynamic contrast, the fugue reminds us strongly once more of the a minor fugue.

A brief connecting passage, created around developments of the theme in the bass, follows an opening exposition of the theme which is heard many times in the tenor voice. The main theme features less in the piano exposition, which is often only broken into episodes treated in a contrapuntally imitative way, instead its place is taken by a second diatonically treated second theme that contrasts chromatically with the first theme. Just as in the a minor fugue, following the return to the forte manual, a progression and gradual release from the contrapuntal structure is introduced where, this time, the conclusion does not lead to a return of the prelude figures, but rather to a combination of the main theme and the chromatic theme at the end of the fugue.

Fugue in a flat minor WoO 8

Written in Dьsseldorf in April 1856, the Fugue in a flat minor was the first of Brahms's works for organ to appear in print, and this was as a supplement to the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung (published by Breitkopf und Hдrtel), that appeared on 20th July 1864. Convinced as they were of the extraordinary quality of composition the work, the publisher intended to publish this fugue individually in October 1880.

From among the enormous breadth of his compositions, this must be one of Johannes Brahms's most personal works, dedicated "quite intentionally to my Clara." First the fugue appears to have been introduced by a prelude as can be understood in his correspondence with Joseph Joachim. Either it has got lost, or, far more likely, Brahms considered that such a prelude was superfluous against a fugue of this density and withdrew it himself. The piece was written at a time when Clara Schumann was deeply upset by her husband Robert's continuously worsening illness. In her diary she wrote about the "wonderfully beautiful, heartfelt Fugue in a flat minor."

Brahms wrote to Joachim about the inspiration of the fugue subject, "What do you think about the opening to the a flat minor Fugue?" he wrote, "It is gnawing at my conscience." Perhaps Brahms was referring to a striking similarity to two themes by Robert Schumann, the theme of his fourth fugue on BACH Op. 80 and one of the themes from his Manfred Overture Op. 115. So the fugue could also be considered as homage to the art and artistry of Robert Schumann. At least there is a German resonance with the BACH theme, which certainly has its roots in the contrapuntal studies carried out by Brahms and Joachim.

Joachim, as Brahms's friend, has provided a particularly apposite description of the work. "From beginning to end it is wonderfully deep. I know of very few pieces that can make such a deep impression on me, of unity, beauty and peace to the soul, as the music in this fugue. It cannot possibly be described as "gloomy", dear friend, as its sadness and depression dissolve gently into the comfort and hope that is awakened in the music. Precisely the way it sinks and swells, just like breathing, gives the piece a noble, fresh spirit that is completely foreign to gloominess; this is where life is - in gloom there is only stagnation and marshland."

Choral prelude and Fugue on "O Traurigkeit, o Herzeleid" WoO 7

Brahms wrote to his publisher in Leipzig in July 1881, saying that "One often has things that remain unprinted because they don't fit in anywhere. As an example I would like to offer you a prelude and fugue based on a choral - which really aren't bad." In fact the work was published as a "supplement to the Musikalische Wochenblatt" in its 13th year in July 1882 by E.W. Fritzsch of Leipzig.

Brahms had in fact composed the work at least twenty-four years earlier, as he had given a copy to his pupil, Friedrich Wagner, in 1858. Later Elisabeth von Herzogenberg and Philipp Spitta also received copies of this composition.

The brief prelude is kept in the style of a romantic organ chorale. The melody is given to the soprano voice, with the bass voice taking over the continuous bass function, mainly in evenly paced crochets, from time to time intensified in a chromatic development. The two central voices, often in triplet motion in parallel thirds or sixths, get to work on the rising or falling three-note motif of the piece. Brahms also uses harmonic means to raise the tension here, particularly by means of the so-called "durezze e ligature" style, by holding over notes that have a dissonant effect on one another.

The three-part fugue is set above a largely unadorned cantus firmus in the bass. Unlike in the first Chorale Prelude from Op. posth. 122, it does not dynamically separate each section of the chorale as it also does not divide up the Fugue imitatively line by line. The theme is answered directly with own inversion, which is deployed until the tenor presents the theme in its original form again in the accompanying voice. Interestingly, Brahms implies a fourth voice to the fugue by means of a fourth entry of the theme (again in the alto voice, with its inversion in the leading line), which is in fact not realised (later we hear the cantus firmus as a fourth voice). Brahms achieves additional density in the music by means of two countersubjects that contrast with the main theme, the first one with its leaps and the second one with its semiquaver figures.

The individual lines of the Chorale are set against this material, where one motif that features two "falling sighs" achieves special significance following the two countersubjects.

Eleven Chorale Preludes Op. posth. 122

We have already addressed the most important information concerning the timing and sequencing of the choral preludes at the beginning of this essay. What is interesting, however, is the choice of chorale melodies. Brahms has chosen chorales that deal with the passion or eternity to reflect a closeness to sickness and death for seven of these chorale preludes. These are "Mein Jesu, der du mich," "Herzliebster Jesu," "O Welt, ich muss dich lassen" (2x), "O wie selig seid ihr doch, ihr Frommen," "Herzlich tut mich verlangen" (2x).

But a conscious choice has also been made for the other melodies; "Herzlich tut mich erfreuen" is, at first sight, a seasonal song - yet as the text progresses, the connection to a "perpetual summer" reveals itself. "Herzlich tut mich erfreuen die liebe Sommerzeit, wenn Gott wird schцn verneuen alles zur Ewigkeit" (the dear summertime will give me heartfelt joy when God renews everything beautifully and forever). The setting of the song about the last supper "Schmьcke dich, o liebe Seele" (adorn yourself, o dear soul) works in the same way, as it is a reflection on the transformation of the Christian soul from a state of sin to perpetual life through the healing powers of the Last Supper.

The Chorale "O Gott, du frommer Gott" (O God, you pious God) is about faith, love and hope, as it first provides a description of Christian life and work, which transforms into a final plea for aging with dignity, dying in blessed state and the awakening of the dead and the transfiguration of the body in the last verses. In the first of the songs in "Vier ernsten Gesдngen" Op.121 Brahms had already given a special musical significance to the work of humanity by deploying a text from Ecclesiastes.

The Christmas carol "Es ist ein Ros entsprungen" (known in English as Lo, how a rose e'er blooming) does not at first sight appear to fit into the context. It is placed at the beginning of the second phase of the chorale preludes, which were begun after Clara Schumann's funeral. Precisely which connections and associations (the rose, little flower, winter, night) led Brahms to set this chorale can only be guessed at. The chorale combines the historical prophecy ("wie uns die Alten sungen" what the elders sang us) and its realisation in the birth of Christ, finally to be fulfilled in the return of Christ at the end of Time. This also provides a connection to the content of the other chorales.

From a compositional point of view, these eleven chorale preludes constitute one of the most important contributions to romantic German organ music of their type. Often the chorale had served as a basis for a larger form (such as chorale fantasias and sonatas), yet chorale preludes had been classified more or less as functional occasional pieces. It was only in the collection of chorale preludes by Max Reger (1873-1916) that another extensive contribution was made in this genre. This means that the Brahms cycle, in an extremely personal, expressive involvement in the organ chorale form, constitutes a lonely peak of its kind at the end of the 19th century. Formally in these works he alludes to such masters as Johann Pachelbel, Dietrich Buxtehude or Johann Sebastian Bach (particularly from his "Orgelbьchlein", his Little organ book), by giving a complete presentation of the chorale theme, as cantus firmus, often decorated or provided with brief interludes, or set in counterpoint in an artistically polyphonic texture of accompanying voices.

No. 1. "Mein Jesu, der du mich": Each line is anticipated here in some three-part fugato writing before the cantus firmus appears (at half the chorale tempo) in an unadorned form in the bass. The piece acquires a "romantic character" through differentiated dynamic levels and expressive chromatic writing as well as through some pianistic accompanying figures towards the end of the chorale fugue. Before the final lines of the chorale, in an especially artistic turn, Brahms has the original and the inversion of the imitation motif playing closely over each other.

No. 2. "Herzliebster Jesu": In its choice of motifs this prelude reminds us strongly of the chorale preludes from Bach's "Orgelbьchlein". The pedal manual brings an upbeat "Saltus duriusculus" figure (a tritone leap) to the cantus firmus appearing in the soprano voice without interludes. Brahms chooses a three-note figure that moves in steps upwards or downwards as his main accompanying motif to provide a romantic variation of the baroque "Suspirato" sighing figure. This is supplemented with some chromatically written passages that further increase the harmonic tension.

No. 3. "O Welt, ich muss dich lassen": The basis of this prelude is in the two-note sighing figure (both rising and falling), a device well-known from many baroque works. Brahms combines this motif in many layers - as a fugal introduction, but also as counterpoint or a decorative element - with the cantus firmus (this time in the soprano voice). He also draws on "after-imitation" an idea that appears in many north German baroque chorale preludes, where the accompanying voices take up the principal motif imitatively, sometimes as a diminution thereof.

No. 4. "Herzlich tut mich erfreuen": In this piece, Brahms has written one of the few chorale preludes in this cycle that exudes an optimistic, albeit restrained, atmosphere. This sense is provided by the pianistic broken chord figures that Brahms uses to accompany the cantus firmus. At the same time each four-part statement of each line is preceded by a brief introductory passage where the cantus firmus is contained within the top notes of the broken chords (in one or two voices) and can be heard as several notes held over one another. The penultimate line, "Den Himmel und die Erden wird Gott neu schaffen gar" (God will create heaven and earth anew) is worthy of special note - as this is where Brahms changes not only the dynamics but also the (syncopated) accompaniment and the key to reflect the character of the text.

No. 5. "Schmьcke dich, o liebe Seele": Here Brahms writes a simple three-part setting with the cantus firmus appearing unadorned in the soprano voice, in the style of the corresponding movements from Bach's choral partitas or in the setting for organ without pedal manual of "Wer nur den lieben Gott lдsst walten" (those who only dear God has to care). The two supporting voices imitate one another for some of the time, with the bass voice often changing over to a basso continuo function.

No. 6. "O wie selig seid ihr doch, ihr Frommen": This is a setting for organ without pedals just like No. 5, yet in the style here of the four-part choral partitas and the Orgelbьchlein (with the cantus firmus in the soprano voice). The accompanying figures remind us of the "O Traurigkeit, o Herzeleid" prelude. Brahms transfers the tonal language of the 19th century to the baroque model by means of chromatic intensification and a romantically dynamic final climax.
No. 7. "O Gott, du frommer Gott": This disturbing chorale setting is at the end of the section of those chorale preludes that were written before Clara Schumann's funeral. From a formal point of view, each line of the chorale, which at the beginning is heard in the upper voice and later in the lower voice, is introduced with a two part introductory passage. Here an imitative three-voice phrase made up of short calling motifs on the forte manual is answered on the piano manual with its own inversion, during which the chorale melody is accompanied by both motif forms. The music appears to be in idiosyncratic contrast to the chorale statement. This is where a Brahms with a deeply sceptical attitude towards any form of religion reveals himself. A Brahms who, having lived through many personal setbacks to his health - particularly in the loneliness of his own ageing process - is deeply upset by Clara Schumann's death and the state of his own health. It seems as if he wanted to comment on the pious statement "O Gott, du frommer Gott, du Brunnquell aller Gabe - gesunden Leib gib uns..." (O God, you pious God, you fountain of all gifts - give us a healthy body ...) by means of his accompanying motifs and their constant musical inversions and sighing figures, to say "Look here! The reality is not as simple as that described in the chorale" or, in the words of the "Vier ernsten Gesдnge", "Then life is for humans as it is for cattle". Differently from all the other chorale preludes, the music breaks off ever more strongly after the words "ein unverletzte Seel" (an undamaged soul), and finally comes to a stop - before Brahms brings the prelude to its conclusion on the forte manual in the words "und rein Gewissen bleib" (and pure conscience remains) to the accompaniment of chromatic lines and jumps on the pedal manual.

No. 8. "Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen": Here Brahms introduces the heavily ornamented cantus firmus with great artistry. For the first two lines, the chorale melody in given in a colourful rendering in the upper voice, before changing places with the middle voice for the third line and the second line is presented as a repetition at the conclusion of the chorale section. This phrase is extended in the final section of the piece, where first the three lines of the second half of the chorale are rendered in the soprano part, before the cantus firmus yields up its place to the first line in the tenor in the repetition of the second half, when finally the prelude closes with a repetition of the last two lines of the chorale.

Nos. 9+10 "Herzlich tut mich verlangen": The final three chorale preludes are once more full of thoughts about the end of life. Both of the settings of "Herzlich tut mich verlangen" (to the melody of "O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden") present a contrasting pair. The first prelude presents the chorale in the form of a heavily ornamented organ chorale (with the cantus firmus in the soprano voice) over complementary rhythms and ornaments in the accompanying voices. The chromatic writing is a particularly notable feature of the accompanying voices -probably because Brahms had to work through the thoughts of suffering before death here. Compared with that, the second prelude has been kept virtually modal in style. The cantus firmus is given in the tenor voice, played on the pedals with 8' registers. The accompaniment is made up of a repetitive, constantly pulsing base line in quavers, and upper voices that interact with one another harmonically. We find a similar treatment in the "Vater unser im Himmelreich" setting by Georg Bцhm (1661-1733). In both settings of this chorale, Brahms changes the mood and phrasing for the line "Ich hab Lust abzuscheiden von dieser argen Welt" (I wish to depart from this hard world) - giving us a "window to eternity" within the anguish of this mortally ill composer at the end of his life.

No. 11 "O Welt, ich muss dich lassen": This is the last work that Brahms wrote in his life. On all levels (in terms of harmony, rhythm and part writing) this piece has an effect that is so clear-headed which we recognise form many final compositions, such as J.S. Bach's "Vor deinen Thron tret ich hiermit" (with this I come before your throne). The individual lines are heard with a double echo, as a symbol of fading life, where Brahms gives us a shortened version of the chorale line in the first echo and we hear the accom-panying voice in the soprano in the second echo. Whether this collection was ever meant to be a cycle, whether it remains unfinished or was ever intended to be published together - or even whether the chorale preludes should appear in any particular order - will remain one of those riddles that can never be solved.

Martin Schmeding

Брамс обращается к органу на границах своего творчества. В обоих случаях это связано с семейством Шуманов, в первую очередь Кларой. Хотя это хорошо описано выше. Как и сами работы, которые в нашей литературе упоминаются редко. Просто работы выпадают из простой схемы классицизм-романтизм. Брамс сводит здесь Баха – барокко с романтикой. Бах в романтизме, причем в поздних, посмертно изданных прелюдиях, этот романтизм в развитии. Удачный выбор инструмента, да и исполнение отличное. Звуки органа в зависимости от регистров звучат как спереди, так сверху и даже сзади. И суббасы скользящие понизу, и раскачивающие до дрожи воздух вокруг (саб ниже 40 работает регулярно), и тишайшее пиано, оно убегает вперед вдаль, а на седьмой прелюдии обыгрывается как эхо из этого далека. И это не ручками тумблеры или программой, а только инструмент, зал и органист.

Музыка – 10
Запись – 10
Многоканальность - 10
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