Johannes Brahms

Quartets (3) for mixed voices & piano, Op. 64

    Description by Steven Coburn

    These quartets were published between the two sets of Liebeslieder Waltzes, but the first was composed earlier and has more in common with the Vocal Quartets, Op. 31. Unlike those Quartets, though, these three have a more choral-like quality in their setting, and indeed, in a letter to his publisher, Brahms suggested their use for that medium.

    "An die Heimat" (To the Homeland). This was written during Brahms' first extended stay in Vienna, and may reflect a certain longing for Hamburg, as inspired by the text. The contrapuntal and ensemble writing for the voices is similar to Brahms' a cappella style.

    "Der Abend" (Evening) is quite different than the first quartet. Its fast tempo dramatizes the dialog between Apollo and Thetis. Apollo's horses are depicted in the piano accompaniment in this lively quartet that utilizes imaginative pairings of the four voices.

    "Fragen" (Questions). This quartet pits the solo tenor as the lover being questioned by the other three voices. It is clearly meant as an ironic setting of the text.

    Parts/Movements

    1. An die Heimat
    2. Der Abend
    3. Fragen

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 Ondine ODE 12952
    2016 Harmonia Mundi HMG 508470/71
    2015 MDG MDGSC 9471867
    2013 Berlin Classics 0300536BC
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon 4778619
    2010 Harmonia Mundi 501592/3
    2009 Deutsche Grammophon 477 818-3
    2009 Hyperion 67775
    2008 Brilliant Classics 93554
    2007 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler 6021
    2007 Archipel 350
    2006 Brilliant 93055
    2006 Pearl 229
    2004 Brilliant 92179
    2004 Brilliant 92392
    2000 Arabesque 6725
    1999 Arion 68392
    1998 Harmonia Mundi 2901591/93
    1998 Harmonia Mundi 901593
    1996 Deutsche Grammophon 449 641-2GJB4
    1996 Christophorus 0080
    1996 Delos 3193
    1988 Deutsche Grammophon 423133
    Brilliant Classics 93554/38
    Brilliant 92392/20
    Brilliant 92179/2
    Harmonia Mundi HMC901945
    Art of Classics 885917
    Victoria 19024
    Partridge 1133