Johannes Brahms (1833-97) Herzlich tut mich erfreuen, from Op 122
One of the late chorale preludes by Brahms, almost his swan songs, gently expressing the joys of nature and the coming Spring.
Ethyl Smyth (1859-1944) Prelude and Fugue on ‘O Traurigkeit, O Herzeleid’ (O sadness, O heart’s ache)
Fervent admirer of Brahms, Dame Ethyl Smyth carved a unique niche in Edwardian Britain’s musical scene, though only now begins to receive her deserved recognition.
Lorenzo Ghielmi (b. 1959) O Traurigkeit, O Herzeleid
A piece composed for the Orgelbüchlein Project (www.orgelbuechlein.com). Ghielmi writes as if he were Bach, completing the single bar of this chorale prelude that Bach left, unfinished.
J S Bach (1685-1750) O Mensch bewein dein’ Sünde gross, BWV 622
The best-beloved of Bach’s Orgelbüchlein. A meditation upon the Cross, intended for Good Friday.
Christian von Blohn (b. 1963) O Gott, erhör mein Seufzen und Wehklagen
Another piece drawn from the Orgelbüchlein Project, this time written in homage to Brahms, and what a brilliant recreation of this composer’s style it is! The sighing of the title is made manifest in music.
J S Bach O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig, BWV 618
Another chorale from Orgelbüchlein. The gently sighing figurations weave around a canon between left hand and pedals.
Maurice Duruflé (1902-86) Scherzo, Op. 2
As a sorbet, a scherzo by one of the Twentieth Century’s superlative musical craftsmen.