Johannes Brahms



Latvian Radio Choir
Sigvards Klava, conductor
Dace Klava, piano
Aldis Liepins, piano



Sleeve notes in English


June 2017

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1295-2


Track listing

CD 49:58
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Drei Quartette, Op. 64, Nos 1-2
1 1 No. 1 An die Heimat (To my homeland) 4:33
2 No. 2 Der Abend (The evening) 3:49
Vier Quartette, Op. 92
3 No. 1 O schöne Nacht! (O charming night!) 2:59
4 No. 2 Spätherbst (Late autumn) 1:28
5 No. 3 Abendlied (Evening song) 2:45
6 4 Warum? (Why?) 2:22
Liebeslieder-Walzer, Op. 52
7 No. 1 Rede, Mädchen, allzu liebes (Tell me, maiden) 1:12
8 No. 2 Am Gesteine rauscht die Flut (O’er the rocks the tide roars on) 0:43
9 No. 3 O die Frauen (O the ladies) 1:20
10 No. 4 Wie des Abends schöne Röte (As the evening’s radiant sunset) 0:50
11 No. 5 Die grüne Hopfenranke (The green and trailing hopvine) 1:39
12 No. 6 Ein kleiner, hübscher Vogel nahm (A little, pretty bird) 2:20
13 No. 8 Wenn so lind dein Augen mir (When your eyes so softly gaze) 1:40
14 No. 9 Am Donaustrande (By Danube’s waters) 1:27
15 No. 10 O wie sanft die Quelle (See, how clear the ripples) 0:53
16 No. 11 Nein, est ist nicht auszukommen (No, there is no putting up) 0:58
17 No. 13 Vögelein durchrauscht die Luft (Little bird wings through air) 0:39
18 No. 14 Sieh, wie ist die Welle klar (See, how clear the ripples) 1:39
19 No. 15 Nachtigall, sie singt so schön (Nightingale, she sings so fine) 0:58
20 No. 16 Ein dunkeler Schacht ist Liebe (A well dark and deep is love) 1:16
21 No. 18 Es bebet das Gesträuche (A trembling stirs the bushes) 1:09
Neue Liebeslieder, Op. 65
22 No. 1 Verzicht, o Herz, auf Rettung (Think not, o heart, of rescue) 0:47
23 No. 2 Finstere Schatten der Nacht (Threatening shadows of night) 1:40
24 No. 7 Vom Gebirge Well auf Well (From the mountains, wave on wave) 0:51
25 No. 8 Weiche Gräser im Revier (Tender, secret meadows) 1:44
26 No. 12 Schwarzer Wald, dein Schatten (Forest dark, your shadows) 1:27
27 No. 13 Nein, Geliebter, setze dich (No, beloved, do not sit) 1:42
28 No. 14 Flammenauge, dunkles Haar (Flaming eyes and raven hair) 1:46
29 No. 15 Zum Schluß: Nun, ihr Musen, genug (Now, you Muses enough!) 2:21

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Complete description

Best known for his gigantic orchestral masterpieces Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) took equal pleasure in writing smaller miniatures. In fact, Brahms wrote a substantial number of pieces for vocal quartet and piano; this ensemble was for him a vehicle for expressing warmth and positive emotions, and as such this genre remains one of the most beloved in his output. This new recording by the prestigious Latvian Radio Choir under Sigvards Klava features a selection from his Opp. 52, 64, 65 and 92, including some of his famous Liebeslieder-Walzer.

Brahms wrote his earliest waltzes for piano duet and published them as op. 39 in 1865. Some years later, in 1868–1869, he went on to write the Liebeslieder-Walzer for vocal quartet and piano four hands op. 52. These, in turn, prompted a ‘sequel’ in Neue Liebeslieder op. 65 five years later. These warm and vivacious songs are a happy marriage of Viennese waltzes and the love poetry of Georg Friedrich Daumer, and biographers point to a romantic impulse stemming from Brahms’s amorous enchantment with the daughter of his close friend Clara Schumann, Julia. Brahms’s vocal quartets with piano accompaniment represent an interesting chamber-music approach to vocal music. They give the impression of being created for the purpose of intimate music-making at home, among friends. The Liebeslieder-Walzer quickly became one of Brahms’s most popular works.


Brahms’s op. 64, a set of three partsongs for quartet, was published in 1874. Op. 92 belongs essentially to Brahms’s late output. Its first partsong dates from 1877 and the other three from 1884. Despite the time gap, the partsongs in the set form a coherent and consistent whole. Three of the songs explore moods of evening and night, and the autumnal meditation of the second partsong fits in well.


Award-winning Latvian Radio Choir is among the most prestigious chamber choirs in Europe. The choir’s previous releases on Ondine have been highly successful. The recording of Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil (ODE 1206-5) was chosen as the Record of the Month, Editor’s Choice and received a nomination in the Gramophone Awards in 2013. Similarly, their recent release of choral works by Valentin Silvestrov (ODE 1266-5) received Gramophone Editor’s Choice.