Brahms's deeply moving Alto Rhapsody is one of the glories of the choral repertoire. Though it was written as a wedding song for the daughter of his friend Clara Schumann, the work clearly seems a deeply personal one for Brahms. Perhaps, as some have suggested, a melancholy reflection on his own solitary life. This great concert favorite is based on portions of the text of Goethe's "Harzreise im Winter" ("Winter Journey in the Harz Mountains"), and set for alto solo, men's chorus, and orchestra.
In addition to the Alto Rhapsody, this volume contains three other major Brahms choral works: the Song of Destiny, a setting of a poem by Hölderlin; Nänie, a dirge for Brahms's friend Anselm Feuerbach, set to a text by Schiller; and Song of the Fates, set to passages from Act IV of Goethe's Iphigenie auf Tauris. All four works have been reprinted from the authoritative edition published by Breitkopf & Härtel, Leipzig.
About the Author
German composer Johannes Brahms (1833–97) was a leading musician of the Romantic period and a virtuoso pianist who premiered many of his own works. He wrote for piano, chamber ensembles, symphony orchestra, solo voice, and chorus.