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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from APR5579
Recording details: October 1949
Studio of Morsk Rikskringkasting, Olso, Norway
Release date: June 2003
Total duration: 13 minutes 10 seconds

Rhapsody, Op 53
for contralto, male chorus and orchestra
author of text

Adagio  Aber abseits, wer ist's?  [3'55]  recorded 14 October 1949
Poco Andante  Ach, wer heilet die Schmerzen  [3'37]  recorded 14 October 1949
Adagio  Ist auf deinem Psalter  [5'38]  recorded 14 October 1949

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Brahms wrote the Alto Rhapsody in 1869. It is a setting of three stanzas from Goethe’s Winter Journey in the Harz Mountains in which a young and unhappy man seeks solace in the wilderness. A darkly scored recitative introduction in C minor [1] tells of the wandering in the wilderness. The man’s anguish – he speaks of ‘hatred of men’ (‘Menschenhass’) – is projected in the cross-rhythms of the subsequent aria [2]. Finally, the wanderer finds emotional stability in the serene C major melody shared between soloist and men’s chorus [3].

from notes by Michael Kennedy © 2003

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