Hyperion Records

Academic Festival Overture, Op 80
composer
first performed on 4 January 1881 in Breslau; composed in response to Breslau University making Brahms Doctor of Philosophy in 1879
arranger

Recordings
'Organ Fireworks, Vol. 12' (CDA67612)
Organ Fireworks, Vol. 12
Details
Track 12 on CDA67612 [10'28]

Academic Festival Overture, Op 80
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In 1879, the University of Breslau conferred upon Johannes Brahms (1833–1897) the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, and he responded by writing his Academic Festival Overture, Op 80, which received its first performance on 4 January 1881 at Breslau, in a concert which included Brahms’s only other overture, the Tragic Overture, Op 81. Based on a number of student songs, including in particular the famous Gaudeamus igitur, it is heard here in the arrangement made by Edwin Lemare (1865–1934). Like Dupré, Lemare was a famous recitalist and he composed for the organ, but his many organ arrangements of Wagner have proved a more enduring legacy, especially that of the Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. This remarkably skilful reworking of Brahms’s equally spirited essay in C major shows how even the most exuberant of orchestral textures can be captured by manuals and pedals.

from notes by Relf Clark © 2008

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