Although Brahms had at one point explored the possibility of a career as an organist, he ultimately wrote little for the instrument, choosing to focus for the most part on vocal, chamber and symphonic music. However, possibly sensing his own imminent death, he did return to the instrument in 1896 for his final work: the Eleven Chorale Preludes, Op. 122, of which five are arranged here.
Several of the preludes appear to represent a farewell of sorts, not least Herzlich tut mich verlangen (I sincerely wish for a happy end) and O Welt, ich muß dich lassen (O world, I must leave you). All of them are contrapuntal throughout, allowing a soloistic style of playing. The first three make extensive use of different mutes (straight and cup), and different combinations of muted and open instruments within the group, in order to reflect the different registrations and simultaneous use of different manuals in the organ. The final two remain unmuted, providing a warmer sound in the penultimate prelude, and the full power of the septet in the triumphant finale.
- Trumpet in E-flat
- Trumpet 1 in B-flat
- Trumpet 2 in B-flat
- Trombone 1
- Trombone 2
- Trombone 3 (Bass)
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