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By Johannes Brahms

SSAA choir, piano (SSAA choir)
Composed by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897). Arranged by Z. Randall Stroope. Octavo. Alliance Music Publications #AMP 0610. Published by Alliance Music Publications (AN.AMP-0610).

Item Number: AN.AMP-0610


(May Night)

Text by Ludwig Heinrich Christoph Holty
Music by Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms was born in 1833 in Hamburg, Germany, the son of a double bass player. Brahms showed early promise on the piano and helped supplement the rather meager family income by playing the piano in bordellos and theaters, as well as by teaching.

Brahms was famously brusque and prickly on the surface, although friends knew he was really very sensitive and vulnerable. He remained a bachelor thoughout his life, although he had a lasting love and friendship with Clara Schumann. It was often Clara to whom the tremendously self-critical Brahms first sent his works.

In 1862, he settled in Vienna and began to concentrate fully on composing. With works such as the German Requiem, Brahms eventually established a strong reputation and came to be regarded in his own lifetime as a great composer. He ruthlessly destroyed any manuscripts he considered unworthy and left behind very few sketches. His music shows great warmth and is full of the romantic spirit, always wrapped in rigorous intellect. While completing the Four Serious Songs (Vier ernste Gesange), Brahms developed cancer and died on April 3, 1897.

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  • 5

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  • October 17, 2010 wonderful

    I am practicing this one for Alabama Allstate choir festival, and I think it is absolutely amazing. Such a beautiful use of the harsh german language. It really captivates the audience.

    14 of 26 people found this review helpful.
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