Just Discovered: Two Pieces for Male Choir by the Young Brahms
The musicologist Helmut Lauterwasser, staff member of the „Répertoire International des Sources Musicales“ (RISM) in the work group located at the Bavarian State Library in Munich, recently discovered two choral pieces for men’s voices by the young Johannes Brahms: „Des Postillons Morgenlied“ (text by Wilhelm Müller) and „Goldne Brücken“ (text by Emanuel Geibel). Brahms presumably wrote „Des Postillons Morgenlied“ as early as 1847 at the age of 14.
The piece is thus the earliest of all of Brahms’ transmitted works. „Goldne Brücken“ was perhaps written for a concert given in Celle in early May 1853. Brahms dedicated the two works to the men’s choral society of that town. When he later tried to collect the non-published early works in order to destroy them, he apparently forgot the Celle pieces. The previously unknown copies had been preserved in the estate of the „Alte Celler Liedertafel.“ Their authenticity has since been confirmed by the Brahms Complete Edition in Kiel. The Chorus of the Bayerischer Rundfunk gave the first performance and the world- premiere broadcast of the pieces in its BR-KLASSIKprogram on 5 March.
The first edition of the „Two Pieces for Male Choir“ by Johannes Brahms, ed. by Helmut Lauterwasser, is scheduled for publication by Breitkopf & Härtel in the coming weeks (Order-No. 5321).