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SACD Review

Johannes Brahms

Choral Works

  • Nänie, Op. 82
  • Gesang der Parzen, Op. 89
  • Alto Rhapsody, Op. 53
  • Song of Destiny, Op. 54
Alice Coote, soprano
Bavarian Radio Choir
Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Robin Ticciati
Tudor 7167 48m Hybrid Multichannel SACD
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This sparsely-filled disc, recorded in stunning SACD sound, contains some of the finest choral works composed by Brahms, and under the outstandingly gifted conductor Robin Ticciati the music really is haunted by the autumnal sounds of nature that permeate these pieces.

"Nänie" comes across quite magically making one remember the equally ravishing recording with the Czech Philharmonic and the late lamented Giuseppe Sinopoli on DG which still remains a benchmark. Ticciati is also a dab hand in "Gesang der Parzen" which literally leaps out of the speakers in thrilling multichannel sound – one of the highlights of this disc.

The Alto Rhapsody is perhaps the only disappointment as there have been much better versions especially the two which spring to mind: Kathleen Ferrier with Eduard van Beinum (Decca/Dutton) and Maureen Forrester with Ansermet (Decca/Eloquence) although Coote is well nigh note perfect. Finally the "Song of Destiny" rounds off everything with a superb close.

Tudor's usually artistic presentation is superb with detailed notes, photographs and a fine painting on the front cover. Recommended to those who wish to hear a good selection of the Brahms choral works in superb SACD sound.

Copyright © 2010, Gerald Fenech.