Alto Rhapsody, Op. 53

Brahms: The 4 Symphonies. Musical Heritage Society. Giuseppe Sinopoli. Tribute To Marian Anderson. Pro-Arte Records. Sony Classical Decca Warner Classics Phaedra PH Kurt Sanderling Edition Kurt Sanderling. Deutsche Grammophon Deutsche Grammophon B Newton Classics RCA Red Seal The Symphony Edition Claudio Abbado.

Naxos Essential Brahms Various Artists. From Bach to Wagner Adrian Boult. Regis RRC Tudor Records Guild Goethe-Vertonungen Hans Michael Beuerle. Ars Musici Deutsche Grammophon GH3. Preiser Records Virgin Classics Brahms Complete Edition Various Artists. Soli Deo Gloria Brahms: 4 Symphonien Claudio Abbado. EMI Classics EMI Music Distribution Brilliant Classics BBC Legends Urania Orfeo Philips Urania URN West Alto Rhapsody Records Andromeda Haenssler Penta Tone Edition HERA Chandos APR Appian Historical Recordings: Kathleen Ferrier.

Concerto Royale D Classics Virgin Living Stage Panorama: Johannes Brahms Various Artists. Avid Records Dutton Laboratories CDK Supraphon Biddulph Recordings Forlane Angel Records Golden Melodram Danacord Her First Recordings, Kathleen Ferrier.

Vocal Archives Capriccio Records ZYX Music Reference Recordings Pearl Kathleen Ferrier Edition Kathleen Ferrier. London Deutsche Grammophon GGA. Telarc Distribution RCA Stradivarius As Disc Arkadia Originals EXL Arts Archives Brahms: The 4 Symphonies Claudio Abbado. Musical Heritage Society Z. RCA Victor Legend Pro-Arte Records You may ask me for a manually cleaned version.

Javascript is required for this feature. Plate Orch-Bibl New York: E. Kalmusn. These files are part of the Orchestra Parts Project. Berlin: N. Simrockn. Florence T. Jameson fl. This is when his emotional attachment to Clara blossomed.

Brahms shared with friends the Werther, in three movements in cbut was not satisfied with it and did not publish it. He received additional constructive comments from Joachim and decided to set it aside for further inspiration.

While working on the Alto Rhapsody, he also naturally returned his thoughts to the similarly inspired third piano quartet, which he then planned as the next sequential work, Op. Yet he was still ambivalent about its final form and again shelved it untilwhen it reverted to c to became Op.

Their art could not be further augmented. But he did not seem to exclude that his own music could be augmented by great poems. And for a work as profoundly personal as his bridal song, dedicated to both a marriage and the death of a fantasy, only a great poem would serve.

Life necessarily Alto Rhapsody on for Clara and her family. Julie married a Count fourteen years her senior; Brahms was her best man, perhaps an indication that writing his Rhapsodie had a healthy, healing effect on him. Julie had a happy married life, but for just three years before dying of illness at age Yet their feelings for one another had very deep roots and survived to the end.

Brahms died a few months later. Oftentimes, Brahms named his shorter pieces with fanciful names that had meaning mostly to himself. But here, the name seems literally appropriate. A rhapsody is defined as a portion of an epic poem adapted for recitation; or a highly emotional utterance evoking rapture or ecstasy; or a musical composition of irregular form having an improvisatory character.

Brahms hit on all counts, although the rapture was lost, experienced now only in memory, which must have seemed not too different from its unrequited form in the past.

Brahms is noted for shifting tonalities, and for polyrhythms, typically based on hemiola 3-beat over 2-beat rhythms ; both are found here throughout. His extensive use of a diatonic mix-and-match style augured the chromaticism of the twentieth century.

Cmin is the nominal key of the first two parts, resolving to Cmaj for the third part. The first two parts are particularly harmonically enriched by tonal shape-shifting, reflecting the turbulence that had been set loose in his soul. Other keys are sampled by his wandering tonality, some nebulously, some explicitly e.

The above background sketch of Brahms life in seems to be the subject of the instrumental Prolog. T1 enters with the lower strings and bassoons; its aura Alto Rhapsody a sense of great disturbance.

A heavy weight hangs over all, portending anguish to be revealed. Angst is backed by a starkly harmonizing tremolo figure in the upper strings and horns. By syncopating the rhythm of the tremelo parts, offset by a beat from T1, combined Alto Rhapsody the augmented T1 chords, a ragged feeling of extreme agitation is created.

Angst yields to yearning which yields to Julie and then to sighs. T1 ends at a quiet dominant G-G7 cadence, inviting the soloist to join in with her recitative of the first stanza in Cmin.

The narrative describes a solitary figure walking in a darkened, brooding hinterland. The wildness of the place totally erases his tracks, the trees close behind him, no trace is left that he ever passed that way. It seems instructive to observe how T1, as counterpoint, lines up with the text of the recitative. The Julie figure repeats as accompaniment for the next line, das Grass steht wieder auf. From the standpoint of recitative alone, Alto Rhapsody is just another poetic way of saying the world is no longer taking note of our wanderer.

But the music adds a different emotional flavor.

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