Tag Archives: caspar david friedrich

great comopositions/performances: Johannes Brahms, How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place, Caspar David Friedrich


Johannes Brahms, How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place, Caspar David Friedrich

Johannes Brahms (1833- 1897), Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen (How lovely is thy dwelling place), from Ein deutsches Requiem, Op. 45. Robert Shaw, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
With works by Caspar David Friedrich (1774- 1840).

Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen,
Herr Zebaoth!
Meine Seele verlanget und sehnet sich
nach den Vorhöfen des Herrn;
mein Leib und Seele freuen sich
in dem lebendigen Gott.
Wohl denen, die in deinem Hause wohnen,
die loben dich immerdar. Psalm 84:1,2,4

How lovely are thy tabernacles,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yea, even faints
for the courts of the Lord:
my heart and my flesh cries out
for the living God.
Blessed are they that dwell in thy house:
they will always be praising thee. Psalm 84:1,2,4

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J.S. Bach / Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 1 (Harnoncourt)

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Cantata BWV 1: Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (25 March 1725)

1. Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (Chorus)
2. Du wahrer Gottes und Marien Sohn (Recitative: T) 09:36
3. Erfüllet, ihr himmlischen göttlichen Flammen (Aria: S) 10:33
4. Ein irdscher Glanz, ein leiblich Licht (Recitative: B) 15:43
5. Unser Mund und Ton der Saiten (Aria: T) 16:42
6. Wie bin ich doch so herzlich froh (Chorale) 24:04

Boy Soprano: Soloist of the Wiener Sängerknaben 
Tenor: Kurt Equiluz 
Bass: Max van Egmond

Performed by the Wiener Sängerknaben & Chorus Viennensis (Chorus Master: Hans Gillesberger), and Concentus Musicus Wien under the direction of Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Recorded by Teldec in 1970.

“Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (How brightly gleams the morning star) (BWV 1), composed for the Festival of the Annunciation (25th March) 1725, is the last chorale of the Year II cycle, since texts in the customary form follow from Easter onward. Bach’s unknown librettist has retained the outer verses, 1 and 7, of Philipp Nikolai’s well-known hymn (1599) in their original wording, but rewritten the inner verses as recitatives and arias. Nikolai’s hymn is only loosely connected with the Gospel reading for the day, the story of the Annunciation (Luke 1, 26-38). The last verse can most likely be interpreted as referring to the coming of the Saviour, and Bach’s librettist has woven further allusions into the second movement. Yet the profound feeling and ‘bridal’ character of the hymn well suit the subject of the festival. 

“The cantata has an unusual instrumental clothing; whereas the wind, with two horns and two oboes da caccia, emphasize the middle register only, the treble register is supplied by two concertante violins, in whose figurative playing the glittering of the ‘morning star’ is reflected. The opening chorus is a standard example of the form most frequently used in the chorale cantatas: the hymn melody, stated in long notes by the soprano (+ Horn I) with counter-points in the other choral parts, is built line by line into an independent orchestral texture.

“The recitatives, mainly set in syllabic declamation, are contrasted with the concertante, joyful agitation of the two arias, in which again instruments characteristic of the cantata’s orchestration are given prominence: oboe da caccia in the third movement, concertante violins with solo-tutti contrasts in the fifth. The simple setting of the final chorale is enriched by the independent part for the second horn.” – Alfred Dürr

Painting: Easter Morning, Caspar David Friedrich


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Edvard Grieg – Funeral March for Rikard Nordraak

Edvard Grieg (15 June 1843 4 September 1907) was a Norwegian composer and pianist who composed in the Romantic period. Grieg is renowned as a nationalist composer, drawing inspiration from Norwegian folk music.

Rikard Nordraak was a very good friend of his, and he was also a composer. When he died, in 1866, Grieg composed this funeral march in his honor. Continue reading