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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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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)


BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Month

29 November 2015

Tenebrae ends 2015 with great success as their latest recording, Bruckner and Brahms Motets is BBC Music Magazine’s Recording of the Month. It celebrates some of the greatest choral motets by Johannes Brahms and Anton Bruckner, whose music boasts a rich brocade of the old, the new, the complex and the intense. Nigel Short entwines… continued


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 of the choir’s new album on Signum Records featuring this repertoire, profits from the sale of which will go… continued


BBC Music Magazine Award nomination

8 January 2016

Further to receiving rave reviews, our recording of Brahms and Bruckner Motets has been nominated in the choral category of the BBC Music Magazine Awards! Vote Here We are delighted to be acknowledged in this way alongside other excellent nominees. It is particularly poignant as the sales from this album will benefit Macmillan Cancer Support to aid… continued


BBC Music Magazine Award Winners!

6 April 2016

We are thrilled to announce that we have won the BBC Music Magazine Choral Award 2016 for our recording of Brahms and Bruckner motets in aid of Macmillan Cancer Research! We are delighted to have won this coveted prize for the second time, having previously received the award for our recording of Victoria Requiem Mass,… continued


Signum is Gramophone Label of the Year 2017!

14 September 2017

Huge congratulations to our friends at Signum Classics for winning Record Label of the Year at the Gramophone Classical Music Awards! We are delighted for the company who celebrate their 20th anniversary this year. We have loved working with them producing some of our most memorable recordings from Tenebrae’s debut release The Dream of Herod back… continued


Tenebrae’s Bruckner motets are BBC Radio 3’s recommended recordings

2 December 2017

In addition to Tenebrae’s Fauré Requiem, the choir’s versions of Bruckner’s motets are the recommended recordings for the BBC Radio 3 ‘Building a Library’. Jonathan Freeman-Attwood (Principal, Royal Academy of Music) said: “Nigel Short and his outstanding singers take more time than anyone to get under the bonnet of each [Bruckner] motet. Their journeys of… continued

Nigel's Blog

Brahms, Bruckner and Russian Treasures galore

12 October 2015

Having had a wonderful break of 4 weeks over the summer with the family down in Devon, which actually ended up being even more exhausting than our usual mad routine at home, things seem to have taken off at the furious pace they left off at back in July! So, we had another glorious trip… continued