Brahms: Choral Music (Alto Rhapsody) (Naxos: 8.572694)
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Brahms's first connection with choral music came in 1857, and his first appointment in Vienna, in 1863, was to conduct the Singakademie. He premiered A German Requiem in the city and wrote widely for choral forces, taking a variety of poetic source material. Begrabnisgesang (Funeral Hymn) evinces a great feeling of solemnity, whilst Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny) is an urgent, volatile work. Nanie was written as a lament for the death of the painter Anselm Feuerbach, and the Alto Rhapsody has remained one of the greatest works for contralto in the repertoire.
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