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Track(s) taken from CDA67612

Academic Festival Overture, Op 80

first performed on 4 January 1881 in Breslau; composed in response to Breslau University making Brahms Doctor of Philosophy in 1879

Christopher Herrick (organ)
Recording details: April 2007
Haderslev Cathedral, Denmark
Produced by Paul Spicer
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: February 2008
Total duration: 10 minutes 28 seconds

Cover artwork: Fireworks at Fontainebleau to celebrate the marriage of Le Duc d'Orléans (1837) by Camille-Joseph-Étienne Roqueplan (1803-1855)
Musée Condé, Chantilly, France / Giraudon / Bridgeman Art Library, London

Other recordings available for download

Robert Quinney (organ)


'Herrick and Hyperion are to be congratulated for this excellent endeavour' (American Record Guide)

'The unfailingly superb Christopher Herrick … this instrument is just right for this music, and the sumptuous Hyperion sound captures it all with great clarity … these are fireworks good and proper, lit with unerring precision and vividly displayed … Herrick has come up with performances of the two great French show-pieces which are so perfectly suited to the instrument that these wonderful performances stand as yardsticks … you have, for my money at least, the most glitteringly splendiferous set of Fireworks so far' (International Record Review)

'Christopher Herrick is an artist of the first rank … superbly characterful performances … and the sounds of this instrument are captured in beautiful, rich color' (Fanfare, USA)

'A magnificently played transcription of the Brahms Academic Festival Overture, registering the bass tunes with a memorable hollowed-out wheeze which suggests these students are nursing a hangover' (Oxford Today)
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

En 1879, l’Université de Breslau conféra le grade de docteur en philosophie à Johannes Brahms (1833– 1897), lequel composa en retour son Ouverture pour une fête académique, op. 80. Cette pièce fut créée à Breslau le 4 janvier 1881, lors d’un concert où figurait aussi la seule autre ouverture de Brahms, l’Ouverture tragique, op. 81. Fondée sur plusieurs chansons estudiantines, notamment la fameuse Gaudeamus igitur, elle est proposée ici dans un arrangement d’Edwin Lemare (1865– 1934). Comme Dupré, ce dernier fut un célèbre récitaliste qui, s’il composa pour l’orgue, nous a plus durablement légué ses multiples arrangements pour orgue d’œuvres wagnériennes, notamment du Prélude de Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Cette refonte remarquablement habile de l’essai tout aussi allègre de Brahms, en ut majeur, montre comment manuels et pédalier peuvent capturer jusqu’aux plus exubérantes textures orchestrales.

extrait des notes rédigées par Relf Clark © 2008
Français: Hypérion

1879 verlieh die Universität Breslau Johannes Brahms (1833–1897) die Ehrendoktorwürde ihrer Philosophischen Fakultät, und er reagierte darauf mit der Komposition seiner Akademischen Festouvertüre op. 80, die am 4. Januar 1881 in Breslau in einem Konzert uraufgeführt wurde, in dem auch Brahms’ einzige andere Ouvertüre, die Tragische Ouvertüre op. 81, aufgeführt wurde. Die Akademische Festouvertüre beruht auf einer Reihe von Studentenliedern, zu denen besonders das berühmte Gaudeamus igitur gehört, und erklingt hier in einer Bearbeitung von Edwin Lemare (1865–1934). Wie Dupré war Lemare ein berühmter Konzertorganist. Doch obwohl auch er für die Orgel komponierte, sicherten eher seine Orgelbearbeitungen von Werken Wagners seinen Ruhm, besonders die Bearbeitung des Vorspiels zu den Meistersingern von Nürnberg. Die hier eingespielte geschickte Bearbeitung von Brahms’ ebenso feurigem Essay in C-Dur zeigt, wie selbst die schillerndsten Orchestertexturen von Manual- und Pedalklaviaturen wiedergegeben werden können.

aus dem Begleittext von Relf Clark © 2008
Deutsch: Elke Hockings

Other albums featuring this work

The Organ of Westminster Cathedral
SIGCD089Download only
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