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Brahms: Choral Works / Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir


Release Date: 09/12/2006 
Label:  Philips   Catalog #: 000666902   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Teresa ShawRobert LevinJohn PerryPhilip Salmon,   ... 
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Liebeslieder Waltzes have long been a favourite of amateur choral societies. I suspect one reason for this is that, accompanied only by piano duet, they are relatively inexpensive to put on. But there is, of course, much more to it than that and from the delightful lift John Eliot Gardiner gives to the opening "Rede, Mhdchen, allzu liebes", it's clear that here is choral music in an unusually light and captivating vein; Brahms's fondness for the waltz in his piano writing transfers easily to the chorus. Gardiner captures the quintessentially Viennese flavour with delicate touches of rubato and a keen sense for the shape of each line (excelling himself with a charming account of "Wenn so litid dein Auge mir") to which Read more the Monteverdi Choir seem particularly responsive. He is working the choir as a pianist might work the keys, and the whole thing possesses a quite compelling intimacy. Of the soloists Philip Salmon gives a warmly sympathetic account of "Nicht wandle, mein Licht, dort aussen" and clearly has developed a keen rapport with the pianists allowing this to flow naturally, but for me Teresa Shaw's account of" Vohl schOn bewandt war es vorehe" sounds uncomfortable and her relationship with the pianists seems rather awkward. Otherwise Robert Levin and John Perry offer sensitive and intuitive support; but support it is, with the recording keeping them well in the background.

The contrapuntal Op. 42 songs for six-part unaccompanied chorus could hardly be more different in mood or style from the evocative, essentially romantic Op. 17 songs for female voices, accompanied by the strange but highly effective combination of harp and a pair of horns. In these, and the two remaining works, the choir produces some direct and richly expressive singing, with every individual phrase shaped with immense care and sensitivity. If the overall result is perhaps sometimes a shade over-precious, the fault can hardly be said to lie with these carefully moulded performances; Brahms was not always at his best in writing short choral songs.

-- Gramophone [8/1992], reviewing the original release
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Works on This Recording

1.
Liebeslieder Waltzes (18), Op. 52 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Teresa Shaw (Soprano), Robert Levin (Piano), John Perry (Piano),
Philip Salmon (Tenor)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868-1869; Austria 
2.
Vocal Quartets (4), Op. 92 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Robert Levin (Piano)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877-1884; Austria 
Language: German 
3.
Songs (4) for Female Voices, 2 Horns and Harp, Op. 17 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Philip Salmon (Tenor), Delyth Wynne (Harp), Anthony Halstead (French Horn),
Christian Rutherford (French Horn)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1860; Germany 
4.
Songs (3), Op. 42 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859-1861; Germany 
5.
Songs (5), Op. 104 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Austria 

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