Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

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
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

Buy through MusicWeb
for £12 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button

Sound clips and Downloads

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Complete Organ Works:-
Prelude and Fugue in A minor, WoO 9 (1856) [4:46]
Prelude and Fugue in G minor, WoO 10 (1857) [6:15]
Fugue in A flat minor, WoO 8 (1856) [6:56]
Choral Prelude and Fugue in A minor on "O Traurigkeit, o Herzeleid", WoO 7 [7:26]
11 Chorale Preludes, op. posth. 122 (1896) [33:34]
Fugue in A flat minor [<WoO 8] [6:02]
Choral Prelude, "O Traurigkeit, o Herzeleid" [<WoO 7] [2:21]
Kevin Bowyer (organ)
rec. Odense Cathedral, Denmark. No date given. c. 1989? DDD
NIMBUS NI5262 [68:40]

Experience Classicsonline



 
Brahms is hardly known for his organ music, and indeed he wrote very little of it - an hour's worth in total, a mere five works. Yet the Lutheran music he grew up with at St Michael's Church in Hamburg exerted a major influence on him and his compositions. Also he retained a lifelong interest in early music, expressed to a considerable degree in these few organ works.
 
Brahms wrote all but the 11 Chorale Preludes in his early twenties. The disc opens with the very lively Prelude and Fugue in A minor, WoO 9, a short but exhilarating introduction to Brahms's organ music for anyone not familiar with it. The Prelude and Fugue in G minor, WoO 10 is similarly electrifying, and in both parts there is more than a nod towards the D minor Toccata and Fugue BWV 565 attributed to J.S. Bach. The sheer quality of the writing in these two works is overwhelming, yet their ebullience is not typical of his organ works in general.
 
The chromatic Fugue in A flat minor is a much more sober, almost lugubrious affair. There are two versions of this on the disc - the second one is taken from the original 'first draft' manuscript, and included for completeness' sake only, according to Malcolm MacDonald's notes. It is certainly less convincing and altogether less moving than the later rewrite, is not without interest.
 
The chorale Brahms chose for his Prelude and Fugue, "O Traurigkeit, o Herzeleid", WoO 7 was an anonymous one from the Mainz Songbook of 1628, reflecting his interest in early music. The deceptively straightforward Prelude leads into a beautiful, melancholic Fugue, whose subject is only loosely derived from the chorale. An early draft of the Chorale Prelude, this time fugue-less, is also included, again for the sake of completeness. At barely two minutes in length, and more threadbare than the original, it is of purely musicological interest.
 
A particularly compelling reason for buying this disc lies in the fact that the 11 Chorale Preludes, Op. 122 constituted Brahms's very last work, although they were not published until 1902. From the magnificent opening chorale, 'Mein Jesu, der du mich', to the tenderly poignant last, 'O Welt, ich muss dich lassen' ('O World, I must leave thee'), this superb work is a perfect summation of Brahms the composer, with his immaculate ability to make the music of the giants on whose shoulders he knew he stood - in this instance, Johann Sebastian Bach - part of his own time. The Preludes are full of contrapuntal character and variety, and each is a jewel, from the fleeting but glorious 'Herzlich tut mich erfreuen', to the warm glow of 'Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen', even the impossibly long sustained chord at the end of the elegiac 'Herzliebster Jesu'.
 
The work is all the more touching in that, so close to the end of his life, and shortly after his beloved Clara Schumann's demise, Brahms was clearly aware of his own mortality. As if to underscore the fact, he sets 'O Welt, ich muss dich lassen' twice. Yet there is a subtle equivocation in the unquestionable spirituality of this music that matches Brahms's own scepticism. Perhaps these are homages to a god of the musical kind.
 
The organ of the cathedral at Odense, more commonly known as St Canute's (Sct Knuds, in Danish), was built by Marcussen and Søn in 1862, though retaining the magnificent original Baroque façade. Marcussen expanded it twice, in 1934 and in 1965, so that today it has 56 stops, listed helpfully in the booklet - albeit it rather unhelpfully in Danish. It makes an aptly awe-inspiring noise, and is played with great authority and insight by Kevin Bowyer. Even at this early stage in his career - the disc was originally published in 1990 - was already one of the great organists of modern times.
 
Sound quality is excellently balanced and in general very good, although there is a little background hiss noticeable at the beginnings and ends of tracks - like the sound of wind rushing through trees. The CD booklet includes decent notes on the music by Malcolm MacDonald, and the melodies of the 11 Chorale Preludes are all thoughtfully supplied. Curiously, the back page and inlay claim the disc is not only mastered and manufactured in England, but also recorded there! The cover photo ought to be Odense cathedral, but is one of Karl Schinkel's imagined ones.
 
Byzantion
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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.