Johannes Brahms

Choral prelude for organ ("Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen"), Op. posth. 122/8

    Description by "Blue" Gene Tyranny

    This lovely, flowing setting of this ancient German Christmas carol was published in 1902 as part of the posthumous Eleven Chorale Preludes, most of which were composed in 1896, although some may have been written before then. Brahms' setting for an organ with at least two manuals (no pedaling is indicated) incorporates the Michael Praetorius harmonization of 1609 in a fascinating way. Both are in the key of F major, and approximately every other note of the original melody is buried in the Brahms version by surrounding it with non-harmonic tones that are sounded on the beat with the subsequent actual melody note sounded on a weak beat. This gives a neo-romantic fluidity to the music, as contrasted with the elegantly pure, mostly block-chord Praetorius setting, and also creates accented complex chords which are resolved almost as an afterthought (Robert Schumann also made many of his dissonances in this way). To keep the original melody apparent, in most editions the words of the carol are written above the appropriate melody note. Brahms also notates the melody in a steady 6/4 tempo, which is also how the Praetorius version appears in many hymnals, although the original is unmetered. The piece ends with a simple plagal ("amen") cadence.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Somm SOMMCD 0161
    2016 Naxos 8573719
    2016 Opus Arte OACD 9022D
    2015 Fidelio FACD 049
    2015 Decca 4788918
    2015 Hänssler Classic 98051
    2014 Stone Records 5060192780444
    2013 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 5099943331628
    2013 MDG
    2012 MDG / Zebralution
    2012 Raven OAR 936
    2011 Dynamic CDS 68714
    2011 CD Baby / Linda Laderach 5637851211
    2011 Decca 4768531
    2010 Sony Music 88697707362
    2010 Regent 330
    2010 X5 Music Group 15414
    2009 Regent REGCD289
    2009 Griffin / Griffin 4052
    2008 Raven 960
    2008 Alto 1051
    2008 Naxos 8572181
    2008 Herald Records 221
    2008 Farao / Farao Classics F 100205
    2007 Priory Records 884
    2007 Fagott Gold 39037
    2007 Argo
    2007 Griffin 4027
    2006 Audite 92565
    2006 Ottavo 98402
    2006 Motette 13171
    2006 Berlin Classics 0013812
    2006 Apace 23
    2006 Priory Records 6002
    2005 Winter & Winter 9101142
    2005 MDG 3201345
    2005 Nosag Records 097
    2005 Decca 4756828
    2002 Stemik Music / Stemik Music picher2
    2002 Stemik Music
    2002 Camerata Records 28CM608
    2001 BIS 1140
    2001 Ambitus 97812
    2000 Dorian DOR93194
    2000 E2 165
    2000 Decca 466742
    1999 The Gift of Music 1004
    1999 Guild 7152
    1999 Lindenberg 67/70
    1999 Bonneville Worldwide Ent. (BWE) 9504
    1999 Lindenberg 71/74
    1998 Ambassador 1021
    1998 Guild 7152
    1998 SOMM 211
    1998 Herald Records 214
    1998 IMP Carlton Classics / Carlton Classics 3036600372
    1998 BMG / RCA 63153
    1997 York Ambisonic 114
    1996 Nimbus 7711
    1995 Raven 260
    1995 Vox Allegretto 8409
    1995 Afka 428
    1995 Decca 444570
    1995 IMP Classics 2002
    1995 Priory Records 477
    1994 Griffin 3052
    1994 Point Classics 67190
    1994 BIS 365
    1994 Koch Schwann 312062
    1994 Kontrapunkt 33007
    1993 Crystal Records Dist. 430
    1993 Reference Recordings 43
    1993 Decca 436 402-2DWO
    1991 Red Seal RD 60736
    1991 RCA Victor Red Seal 60736
    1990 MDG 3343
    1990 Telarc Distribution 80255
    Channel Classics / Channel Crossings CCS 14698
    All Saints Church
    Conifer 15907
    Music for Leisure 002
    Oehms Classics 924
    Daniel Ho Creations DHC 80101
    Skiv Bolaget 510
    MCA 5850
    Ades 20645
    Lothbury Singers
    RPO 7021
    Exultate 106