Boosey & Hawkes / Bote & Bock
Verizon Hall, Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Orchestra / Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Nationaltheater-Orchester Mannheim / Alexander Soddy
As Brahms’s last musical sign of life, the collection of eleven Chorale Preludes for Organ, op. 12, was published only after his death and premiered in 1902. With the concentrated realization of these Luther chorales, Brahms returned to the sphere of Protestantism in succession to Bach. Detlev Glanert, who already sensitively orchestrated Brahms’s Four Serious Songs and commented upon them with his own preludes and postludes, again delved into Brahms’s language and created an orchestration at the suggestion of Yannick Nézet-Séguin and on commission from the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Musical Academy of the Orchestra of the Mannheim National Theater. In doing so, Glanert remained as close as possible to the sound of the typical Brahms orchestra.
"These organ pieces," says Detlev Glanert, "are unfortunately hardly played in the liturgical context or in concert – an orchestral version can perhaps contribute to their propagation. For compositionally, they are very complex, entirely unadorned, but very touching masterpieces. The orchestral timbres allow the structures to come to the fore more vividly." Glanert selected four chorales from the posthumous collection, including "O Welt, ich muss dich lassen," op. 122, no. 3, with its especially advanced harmony.