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Brahms: Secular Choral Songs / Creed, RIAS Kammerchor


Release Date: 06/08/2010 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 501592   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Alain Planès
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Following up their fine recital of Brahms's sacred choral music (Harmonia Mundi, 5/96), the RIAS Chamber Choir again deploy their forces to ensure the greatest possible beauty of sound. The blend of voices is impeccable and the tone-quality perfectly lovely. They are sensitive to word and phrase, responding all as one to their conductor's shading and shaping. Without comparisons, their performances give pleasure enough for one to ask nothing further.

But other recordings, as listed above, do present themselves as rival choices, the Arnold Schoenberg Choir especially, as their record has everything that is sung here except In stiller Nacht and adds the Lieder und Romanzen, Op. 93a. The Monteverdi Choir offer the Liebeslieder,
Read more Op. 52 as their major item, but also find room for Opp. 17, 42, 92 and 104. With them, the Gardiner touch is likely at any moment to bring a revelation; indeed in the Geseinge, Op. 104 he has the effect of an expert cleaner of old paintings, so that suddenly the lines and colours are clarified and the whole thing enjoys a more vivid life. Erwin Ortner's Schoenberg Choir also have a way of enlivening. They favour quicker speeds and a rather more flexible style, nearer to speech. The Ossian settings in both Opp. 17 and 42 gain, whereas "Vineta" (No. 2 of Op. 42) loses something in delicacy and charm (still more so with Gardiner).

On the whole, I find that one returns to the RIAS performances enlightened somewhat by the others but grateful for the sheer beauty of sound in this new recording, which preserves the gentler, more romantic qualities of the music more faithfully; and there is never any question of dullness, for text and music are both lovingly tendered. The pieces themselves always have more to them than one at first thinks, and the sureness of Brahms's feeling for choral sound impresses immediately. All are unaccompanied save Op. 17, where the harp and horns bring a delightful enrichment. This is quiet late-night listening, of the kind that helps to ease the day into retrospective contentment.

-- Gramophone [1/1997]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Songs (3), Op. 42 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859-1861; Germany 
2.
Songs (4) for Female Voices, 2 Horns and Harp, Op. 17 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1860; Germany 
3.
Songs (7), Op. 62 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1874; Austria 
4.
Songs (5), Op. 104 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Austria 
5.
Zigeunerlieder, Op. 103 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Alain Planès (Piano)
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887-1888; Austria 
6.
Vocal Quartets (3), Op. 64 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Alain Planès (Piano)
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862-1863; Austria 
7.
Vocal Quartets (4), Op. 92 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Alain Planès (Piano)
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877-1884; Austria 
8.
Vocal Quartets (3), Op. 31 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Alain Planès (Piano)
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Germany 
9.
Vocal Quartets (6), Op. 112 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Alain Planès (Piano)
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Austria 

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