The famous German Requiem should not be allowed to overshadow the wide variety of choral music Brahms wrote throughout his career. On this recording, Daniel Reuss and Cappella Amsterdam are our expert guides in a programme that takes in sacred a cappella motets by turns austere and resplendent, secular quartets with piano and songs for 6-part unaccompanied chorus.
The crowning glory is a dramatic masterpiece for chorus and four-hand piano, the 'Song of Destiny' after Hölderlin.
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Warum ist das Licht gegeben? Op. 74 No. 1
Intermezzo in B minor, Op. 119 No. 1
Gesänge (5) for mixed choir, Op. 104
Schicksalslied, Op. 54
Motets (3), Op. 110
Fest- und Gedenksprüche, Op. 109
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“Reuss is a conductor who leads highly expressive performances that are free of mannerism. The collective tone of the choir, topped and tailed by pure sopranos and warm basses, is extremely attractive...The standard of the singing is wonderfully high throughout this disc, not only because of the technical excellence of these performers but also the sense of the lyrical lines and the expressive nuance brought to individual phrases…”
“The reading as a whole is beautifuly shaped and articulated by conductor Daniel Reuss...[his] vibrato-lite sopranos make a significant mark, soaring rapturously in the idyllic first half of the setting of [Schicksalslied]...All told, this is an excellent collection of choral Brahms by a choir collectively tuned in to the idiom.”