Four Preludes and Serious Songs

Detlev Glanert

Distant Land (Music with Brahms for Orchestra)


Op. 120 No. 1 (Clarinet Sonata No. 1 for clarinet and orchestra by Luciano Berio)

Michael Nagy, baritone
Kari Kriikku, clarinet
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Olari Elts, conductor



Sleeve notes in English and Finnish

Lyrics in German and English


January 2017

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1263-2


Track listing

CD 59:12
Detlev Glanert (1960)
Brahms-Glanert: Four Preludes and Serious Songs 24:28
1 Präludium zu Nr. 1 2:04
2 I Denn es gehet dem Menschen 4:15
3 Präludium zu Nr. 2 1:49
4 II Ich wandte mich 3:32
5 Präludium zu Nr. 3 1:35
6 III O Tod, wie bitter bist du 3:08
7 Präludium zu Nr. 4 2:03
8 IV Wenn ich mit Menschen- und Engelszungen redete 4:02
9 Postludium 1:55
10 Distand Land, Music with Brahms for Orchestra 11:25
Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Brahms-Berio: Op. 120 No. 1, Sonata No. 1 for clarinet and orchestra 22:45
11 I Allegro appasionato 8:04
12 II Andante un poco adagio 5:47
13 III Allegretto grazioso 3:45
14 IV Vivace 5:09

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Complete description

This Ondine recording includes a fascinating programme: Luciano Berio’s
(1925–2003) iconic adaptation of Johannes Brahms’ (1833–1897) Clarinet
Sonata No. 1 combined with Detlev Glanert’s (b. 1960) recent arrangement of
Brahms’ late vocal masterpiece, Four Serious Songs. Also included is
Glanert’s new orchestral work Weites Land (2013) written in the spirit of
Brahms. This disc includes as its soloists award-winning clarinetist Kari
Kriikku and German baritone Michael Nagy. This is the second Ondine
release of Estonian conductor Olari Elts together with the Helsinki
Philharmonic Orchestra.


Detlev Glanert (b. 1960) was, like Brahms, born in Hamburg. A pupil of
Diether de la Motte and Hans Werner Henze, Glanert has long felt a deep
connection with Brahms’ music through “a specific North German tradition, in
which I believe myself to be connected with Brahms, to do with a melancholy
in his pieces, with a certain severity.” Melancholy and severity dominate the
Four Serious Songs (1896), Brahms’ final set. Glanert’s Four Preludes and
Serious Songs (the orchestrated Songs may be performed separately) were
created in 2004 and they were premiered complete in the Marienkirche in
Prenzlau on June 25th 2005 by the baritone Dietrich Henschel and the
Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin conducted by Kent Nagano. Glanert’s
Weites Land was written in 2013. It is not a transcription but a fully
independent, original work written, as it were, with Brahms’ Fourth
Symphony firmly in view: the thematic and harmonic material originates from
the first eight notes of the symphony and is developed through a single
movement running to nearly twelve minutes.


Luciano Berio (1925–2003) was commissioned by the Los Angeles
Philharmonic Orchestra in 1986 to provide an orchestral version of the first of
the two late sonatas Brahms composed in 1894, two years prior to the Serious
Songs. Berio created a 25-minute concerto, although retaining the designation
‘Sonata’. Berio’s treatment of Brahms’ was highly respectful and
straightforward and the solo part is almost identical with the original sonata.