Brahms, Requiem: For piano four hands
Many many thanks to all who responded to my question concerning editions of
Brahms Requiem for four-hand piano. As always, the members of this list
were extremeley helpful and generous. I've boiled down the info here. I've
included opinions (anonymously) about the various editions where they were
There seem to be four editions, Leonard Van Camp's, published by G
Schirmer, Carus's edition, Brietkopf's, and a Japanese one that I've
not been able to find out any more about. There is mentioned below
also one for two pianos (see CARUS below).
The liner notes to the National Lutheran Choir CD (see below), based
on Van Camp's notes, state:
"The setting heard here, rarely performed, was premiered in London on
July 18, 1871. Not merely a piano reduction, it was meticulously
fashioned by the composer. Sung in English, it soon spread to vast
international audiences. The most notable aspect of this version is
its transparency which throws into sharp relief the choral writing of
I had the privilege of viewing the actual handwritten script of Brahms
himself. It's housed in the archives of the Library of Congress right here
in the USA.
[Unknown which edition] Dennis Keene at Church of the ascension in
NYC did it with Robert Levon at the piano. It was fabulous.
VAN CAMP EDITION, G. SCHIRMER
G. Schirmer publishes a version for piano, four hands or two pianos #2736.
The distributor, Hal Leonard # is HL50331320. It is arranged by the
composer and edited by Leonard Van Camp.
$24.95 no vocal parts distributed by Hal Leonard (piano parts only,
with some choral cues, including the unaccompanied choral sections for
when the piece is performed ONY with pianos. Primo and secundo
above/below each other on the same page. English text included to
help pianists know where they are when performed with chorus.)
There is only one that is adequate. Leonard Van Camp made a wonderful
4-hand version for the 100th anniversary of the Brahms' Requiem. Roger
Wagner even used it on a national tour.
The pianist's score has only the Schirmer traditional translation, no
German, and thus it's best used with the chorus singing in English out
of the Schirmer vocal score. It's based on the Library of Congress'
original Brahms manuscript and seems quite usable if you wish to do it
in that translation. It would be tough to try to rehearse the chorus
from this score, since there are no choral parts, just the two piano
parts with some English cues written in, for the benefit of the
pianists. Some editing and interpreting of the piano phrasing is left
to the performers, and this is explained in the Preface.
Brahms edition itself has some odd changes to which the editor (van Camp)
proposes alterations, and these show nicely in the piano reduciton of the
Hoggard (c/o Hinshaw). Having a full score on hand is vital for study,
however, as many questions can be answered only there. Also, the van Camp
edition has a very helpful list of cautions and suggestions in the preface.
Although "original," Van Camp is very good about proposing
alternatives, based upon the full score, and for use when one does
this with two pianos (it will work on one, of course, and that is how
Brahms wrote it). I prefer two pianos, because each player has more
freedom, and one can ponder additional voices, doublings, etc. The
Hoggard (Hinshaw, in his own reworking of the English) and Van Camp
use the same rehearsal letters, so that makes life easier.
The Carus edition is available for $42.00. [This price from Elkin Music]
> It is published by Carus-Verlag, Stuttgart (Germany) as a reprint of the
original edition. Ordering number is CV 50.999, price DEM 42,00. They have
also a version for two pianos, arranged by A. Grüters. Ordering number is
CV 23.006/03, price DEM 29,80.
Also, there is one from Carus (in Germany), a reprint of an old
version. Either this or the Van Camp works fine. They each are
basically the same thing, though the Carus is laid out Primo on right
page and Secondo on left page, the Van Camp with both parts above and
below one another.
It has *only* the piano parts, and also includes *all* the a cappella
portions; so, for choral accompaniment usage, a bit of judicious
editing is required.
My experience with this is that, after a while, you forget it's only piano
accompaniment--it's that masterfully written.
Carus Verlag just has the piano part---no vocals at all and it is fine to
use. It's much better than the Schirmer.
We used a Breitkopf edition for the pianists and we all used Peters,
I guess. 2 pianos and timpani > email: sales(a)breitkopf.com
It was fun -- you hear lines you'd never heard before.
The piano edition of the Brahms Requiem is arranged by Poos. It is for
two pianos, timpani and chorus.
Breitkopf & Haertel Vertrieb /
Johannes Brahms Op.45
Ein Deutsches Requiem
Chor und Klavier zu vier Haenden
Herausgaben von Tatsuya Muratani
It was published in Japan by Geijutsu Gendaisha Verlag with the following
It is a beautifully done edition in large dimension, although with 4 staves
each for choir and for piano four-hands, the general size of the print is
the study-score side.
There is also a CD recording of this [Van Camp] version (two pianos and
chorus, apparently, not four-hands) by the National Lutheran Choir. NLCA-82.
Their address is National Lutheran Choir Recordings P.O. Box 6450
Minneapolis, MN 55406-6450 Phone: (612)722-2301.
If you interested in this piece I know about two available CDs:
-by the Chorus Musicus Köln (Christoph Spering, conductor; Soile Isokoski,
soprano; Andreas Scmidt, baritone; piano: Andreas Grau and Götz
Schumacher) - Opus 111, catalogue number OPS30-140. Opus 111, Paris,
France -fax +33(1) 45 67 33 88
-by GCC- Grupo de Canto Coral (Néstor Andrenacci, conductor; Mónica Capra,
soprano; Víctor Torres, baritone; Silvia Lester and Fernando Pérez,
piano)Voces, catalogue number 1002.
GCC- Grupo de Canto Coral, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tel / Fax:+ 54(11) 45 42
50 18 www.gcc.org.ar email ggcna(a)datamarkets.com.ar
For our recording of German Requiem we used the edition by Klaviere zu vier
Händen, published by Carus- Verlag, (catalogue number 50.999/01),
228 Placid Drive
Schenectady, NY 12303-5118
518/356-9155 (h); 442-4167 (w)
Albany Pro Musica
PO Box 3850
Albany, NY 12203-0850
Ph/Fax: (518) 273-6510
Univ. at Albany Music Department
Music Department fax: 518/442-4182