£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



Some items
to consider


Shostakovich 14 Petrenko


Rachmaninov #3
Prokofiev #2

 


Dunedin Consort

Peter Grimes

Hymn of Jesus: Sea Drift

Complete Mozart Edition
Mozart complete edition

Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 & 8 £11

Weiner, Klepper, Bloch, Schulhoff £12 post free


Available again


 
REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
CDAccord
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
 

Not available in the USA.

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK
Download: Classicsonline


Johannes BRAHMS (1833 - 1897)
Ein deutsches Requiem, Op. 45 (1868)
Selig sind, die da Leid tragen [11:45]
Denn alles Fleisch es ist wir Gras [15:47]
Herr, lehre doch mich [10:49]
Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen [5:19]
Ihr habt nur Traurigkeit [8:12]
Denn wir haben hier keine bleibende Statt [11:46]
Selig sind die Toten [13:14]
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) Elisabeth Grümmer (soprano) Choir of St Hedwig’s Cathedral, Berlin, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Rudolf Kempe
rec. June 1955, Jesus-Kristus-Kirche, Berlin
NAXOS 8.111342 [76:53]

Experience Classicsonline

Johannes Brahms’ mother died early in 1865. A year later he started working on a large-scale choral piece in her memory. His intention from the beginning was to compose a work to German texts, and Brahms had already chosen suitable passages from Luther’s translation of the Bible. Ein deutsches Requiem is not liturgical but it is certainly a sacred work. Every performance of it - Brahms’ longest composition by some margin - should be an hour of devotion. There is nothing spectacular about the music but it is deeply emotional and many pages of the score are extremely beautiful. Ideally it should be heard in a large church with warm acoustics, allowing the music to surround the listener. I prefer to listen with eyes shut - also in my listening room at home.

The first commercial recording of Ein deutsches Requiem was made more than sixty years ago in Vienna, just two years after the end of the war. Walter Legge was the producer, the Vienna Philharmonic and Singverein des Gesellschaft des Musikfreundes were conducted by Herbert von Karajan and the soloists were Hans Hotter and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. When that version was issued on Naxos a couple of years ago both Colin Clarke and I hailed it (see review) and Colin awarded it a ‘Bargain of the Month’. It is definitely one of the great recordings of the Requiem.

Now comes the somewhat later Electrola recording under Rudolf Kempe with sound refurbished by Mark Obert-Thorn. Kempe may not have been the charismatic super-star conductor that Karajan liked to be regarded as, but he was a conscientious and sensitive musician and he was at his best in the central German romantic repertoire. His recordings of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Lohengrin are classics and I learnt Brahms’ First Symphony through his version. There is something of the same natural flow in his reading of Ein deutsches Requiem. Tempos seem unerringly right - and they differ only marginally from Karajan’s - maybe the fourth movement Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen could have been more relaxed and the final movement might have been tauter, but this is more a question of personal taste than criticism.

The Berlin Philharmonic play admirably and the question is if the Choir of St Hedwig’s Cathedral isn’t a notch more homogeneous in tone than Karajan’s Singverein - good as they are. The soloists are also wonderful. When reviewing the Karajan recording I remarked that Hotter at times sounded uncannily like F-D, who here sings with warm tone and with the same sense for the text as Hotter. Elisabeth Grümmer sings her solo with such simplicity and beautiful silvery tone that this must be exactly what Brahms had in mind.

The sound is inevitably dated and dynamics are limited, but it is well balanced and I had no problems enjoying every minute of the music.

For those who want more modern sound - and stereo no doubt brings the listener closer to the ideal situation of being surrounded by the music - there is a plethora of recordings to choose from. Karajan recorded the work several times and his DG version from 1964 with Gundula Janowitz and Eberhard Wächter is possibly the best of them. A third, Otto Klemperer on EMI with Schwarzkopf and Fischer-Dieskau is the most monumental and Solti on Decca is more dramatic and he has Bernd Weikl and Kiri Te Kanawa as soloists - the latter the most radiant soprano soloist on any recording, challenged only by Grümmer on the Kempe set.

Kempe’s is, in spite of the dated sound, in every respect a valuable recording and it is good to have it available at budget price.

Göran Forsling
 

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.