Composer of the Week

Sunday, 28 September 2014
The Vocal Music of Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Johannes BrahmsBrahms published over 190 lieder and this is only a portion of his total output in the genre. He has been criticised for often choosing inferior texts but his criterion for a text was whether it left room for enhancement through music, not its merit per se. He said that Goethe’s poems, for example, were “so perfect in themselves that no music can improve them”. Although he wrote many in a lighter mood, most of his songs are serious and deal with themes of love, loss, loneliness and longing. Frances Moore presents a personal testament to her love of Brahms and looks at some of his more intimate vocal settings.

Image: Johannes Brahms, aged 20

Not all audio is available due to copyright restrictions.

Music Details:

Brahms: Immer leise wird mein schlummer Op 105/2 – Jessye Norman (sop), Daniel Barenboim (piano) (DG)
Brahms: Alte Liebe Op 72/1 – Jessye Norman (sop), Daniel Barenboim (piano) (DG)
Brahms: Capriccio in F# minor Op 76/1 – Idil Biret (piano) (Naxos)
Brahms: Alte Liebe Op 72/1 – Jessye Norman (sop), Daniel Barenboim (piano) (DG)
Brahms: Geistliches Wiegenlied Op 91/2 – Jessye Norman (sop), Daniel Barenboim (piano) (DG)
Brahms: Heimweh I Op 63/7 – Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (bar), Daniel Barenboim (piano) (DG)
Brahms: Heimweh II Op 63/8 – Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (bar), Daniel Barenboim (piano) (DG)
Brahms: Heimweh III Op 63/9 – Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (bar), Daniel Barenboim (piano) (DG)
Brahms: German Requiem I – London Symphony Chorus, LSO/Previn (LSO Live)
Brahms: German Requiem VI – London Symphony Chorus, LSO/Previn (LSO Live)
Brahms: Ich wandte mich, from Four Serious Songs, Op 121/2 – Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (bar), Jörg Demus (piano) (DG)
Brahms: Die Mainacht Op 43/2 – Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo), Nils-Erik Sparf (viola), Bengt Forsberg (piano) (DG)
Brahms: Geistliches Wiegenlied Op 91/2 – Jessye Norman (sop), Daniel Barenboim (piano) (DG)