Brahms Lieder.

Johannes Brahms:

  • Lieder (songs for mezzo-soprano and piano)

Before he became an orchestral composer, Johannes Brahms was a choir director, and he concentrated on compositions for the human voice. Keep in mind that this man lived truly in the shadow of Beethoven, and the thought of exploring symphonic composition must have been quite scary, really.

Imagine having to contend with the fussy, super critical Viennese public, who were totally eager to negatively judge any new music.

As such, Brahms emerged into the symphonic scene very slowly. Two of his early compositions were “Serenades”, in which he basically explored how he would go about constructing a post-Beethoven symphony. In the end, he wrote four absolute masterpieces.

On this CD, however, the selections are all about the voice of a woman, singing the following songs:

Johannes Brahms:

Bei dir sind meine Gedanken (No. 2 from Sieben Lieder, Op. 95)

Wie Melodien zieht es mir, Op. 105 No. 1
Sapphische Ode, Op. 94 No. 4
Feldeinsamkeit, Op. 86 No. 2
Nachtigall, Op. 97 No. 1
Verzagen, Op. 72 No. 4
Alte Liebe, Op. 72 No. 1
An die Nachtigall, Op. 46 No. 4 (Text: L.C.H. Hölty)
Das Mädchen spricht, Op. 107 No. 3
Dein blaues Auge, (No. 8 from Acht Lieder und Gesänge, Op. 59)
Geheimnis, Op. 71 No. 3
Ständchen, Op. 106 No. 1
Von ewiger Liebe, Op. 43 No. 1
Der Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht, Op. 96 No. 1
Auf dem Kirchhofe, Op. 105 No. 4
Die Mainacht, Op. 43 No. 2
Anklänge, Op. 7 No. 3
Spanisches Lied, Op. 6 No. 1
Mädchenlied (No. 6 from Sieben Lieder, Op. 95)
Am Sonntag Morgen Op. 49 No. 1
Liebestreu, Op. 3 No. 1
Vergebliches Ständchen, Op. 84 No. 4
Das Mädchen (No. 1 from Sieben Lieder, Op. 95)
Therese, Op. 86 No. 1
Mädchenlied, Op. 107 No. 5
Der Jäger (No. 4 from Sieben Lieder, Op. 95)
Der Schmied Op. 19/4
Der Gang Zum Liebchen, Op. 31 No. 3
Sonntag, Op. 47 No. 3
Mädchenlied, Op. 85 No. 3
Wiegenlied, Op. 49 No. 4 (Lullaby)

All performed by Bernarda Fink  (mezzo-soprano) and Roger Vignoles (piano)

Ms. Fink does a beautiful job with Brahms because her voice is alternatively light, and later can be earnest or frivolous, depending on the nature of the song.

Here is mezzo soprano Bernarda Fink singing “Jasminenstrauch”, by Robert Schumann:



And next, here is Bernarda Fink’s marvelous performance of ‘Esurientes Implevit’ from Bach’s Magnificat:



Finally, here is ‘Pokrajina Pesmi’ with Bernarda Fink, mezzo-soprano, and Janez Gregorič, guitar:



Tags: Bernarda Fink, Brahms, Lieder, Bach

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