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Brahms and Bruckner Motets

Brahms and Bruckner Motets

Tenebrae proudly presents this BBC Music Magazine award-winning release, the profits from the sale of which benefit Macmillan Cancer Support to aid their incredible work.

Of the major nineteenth century composers, who largely refrained from composing in the motet style, Brahms and Bruckner are significant exceptions. Though both Brahms and Bruckner’s motets are inconceivable without the influence of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, they are nonetheless idiomatic to the composers’ styles. Seamlessly entwining old and new, these motets emerge as masterpieces of the sacred style in the nineteenth century.

Nigel Short and Tenebrae have come up with a beautifully balanced and contrasted programme… What superb singing: technically immaculate, somehow lucid and voluptuously beautiful at the same time.

BBC Music Magazine
  • Release Date: 30 October 2015
  • Record Label: Signum Classics
  • Catalogue Number: SIGCD430
  • Location of Recording: Temple Church, London
  • Total Running Time: 01:14:42
  • View/Download Liner Notes

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Track Listing

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Buy # Title Composer Duration Price Listen
1Aequalis No. 1Anton Bruckner01:41£ Listen
2Virga JesseAnton Bruckner03:58£ Listen
3Ecce sacerdosAnton Bruckner06:33£ Listen
4Christus factus estAnton Bruckner05:55£ Listen
5Locus isteAnton Bruckner03:30£ Listen
6Fest- und Gedenksprüche, Op.109: I. Unsere Väter hofften auf dichJohannes Brahms02:07£ Listen
7Fest- und Gedenksprüche, Op.109: II. Wenn ein starker GewappneterJohannes Brahms02:58£ Listen
8Fest- und Gedenksprüche, Op.109: III. Wo ist ein so herrlich VolkJohannes Brahms04:59£ Listen
9Os justiAnton Bruckner05:04£ Listen
10Ave Maria, Op. 12Johannes Brahms04:39£ Listen
11How Lovely are thy Dwellings from Ein deutsches Requiem Op. 45Johannes Brahms06:22£ Listen
12Ave MariaAnton Bruckner04:05£ Listen
13Tota pulchra esAnton Bruckner05:50£ Listen
14Drei motetten, Op. 110: I. Ich aber bin elendJohannes Brahms03:38£ Listen
15Drei motetten, Op. 110: II. Ach, arme WeltJohannes Brahms02:04£ Listen
16Drei motetten, Op. 110: III. Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten seinJohannes Brahms03:30£ Listen
17Geistliches Lied, Op. 30Johannes Brahms05:54£ Listen
18Aequalis No. 2Anton Bruckner01:44£ Listen

Nigel Short and Tenebrae have come up with a beautifully balanced and contrasted programme… What superb singing: technically immaculate, somehow lucid and voluptuously beautiful at the same time.

BBC Music Magazine

Nigel Short and his outstanding singers take more time than anyone to get under the bonnet of each [Bruckner] motet. Their journeys of discovery, intensity and character deliver an incremental power which draws as much on tranquility as any display of sheer vocal panache – which they also happen to have in spades. This is the only group which delve into the recesses of ‘Christus factus est’, bring a spirit of excited anticipation and prophecy to ‘Virga jesse’, and illuminate the sky with those most disarming and radiant sequences reaching towards heaven in the ‘Ave Maria’.

BBC Radio 3 – Jonathan Freeman-Attwood

Tenebrae score on all counts. They submit with impressive stamina and unfailing intonation to Bruckner’s instrumental scoring and phrasing.

Gramophone Magazine

… beautifully performed, seraphic sequence…

The Sunday Times

… richly expressive… The dense harmonies suit this well-established professional choir perfectly.

The Observer

… this recording showcases, at least in part, simply the best ensemble of singers in England… there is no version of these pieces that can match it for the basics of tuning, ensemble, balance and tone. More importantly, there is none…that has quite the same power to make your heart soar with this dazzling music.

Sinfini Music

If you wanted proof that the vocal ensemble Tenebrae is one of the most impressive chamber-sized collectives around at the moment, then it’s just arrived. Anton Bruckner’s motets demand everything from choirs of any size: absolute security of intonation and ensemble, ease of tone production at the outer limits of the vocal ranges, both stratospherically high and earth-shakingly low, unlimited reserves of power, dynamic range and an ability to spin phrases seemingly sometimes of symphonic breadth. Tenebrae can do it all… Stunning singing, fine recorded sound.

Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 CD Review

Tenebrae, one of the finest choirs in Britain, turn their attention to this collection of Brahms and Bruckner, something to which they’re ideally suited… From rich bottom to airy top, Tenebrae find it, suffusing this music with rich beauty and a lovely sense of wholeness… Nigel Short’s direction of the choir is first rate… this is a most distinguished recording – fine music performed with deep sensitivity and flawless technique, all presented in an exemplary recording.

MusicWeb International

…Bruckner’s motets at their best (as they are here)…this selection of seven ideal.

Classical Music Magazine

BBC Radio 3 ‘Building a Library’ chosen recording (November 2017)

Winner: BBC Music Magazine Choral Award (2016)

Winner: BBC Music Magazine Choral Award (2016)

The Independent on Sunday – The Best of 2015

BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Month (November 2015)

MusicWeb International Recording of the Month (December 2015)


Brahms and Bruckner Motets Launch

5 November 2015


Tenebrae will be performing its new programme of Brahms and Bruckner Motets in the exquisite surroundings and acoustic of St. James’s Church, Spanish Place (Marylebone, London) on Thursday 12th November 2015. This concert will mark the launch... continued