Episode 254. Holy Week with the Romantics

Episode 254. Holy Week with the Romantics



Once again we have reached the climax of the penitential season of Lent, the most theologically significant week in the Christian calendar, namely Holy Week. Even for those who are not observant Christians, this period, standing as it does on the threshold of spring, the season of rebirth, can be a time of meditation and remembrance. To help support this contemplative moment I have compiled selections from some of the larger oratorios and liturgical works composed during the Romantic era performed by some of the greatest classical vocalists of the last century. Composers include Brahms, Dvořák, Rossini, Schubert, Franck, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and Elgar; singers include sopranos Margaret Marshall, Leontyne Price, Pilar Lorengar, Judith Raskin, and Elizabeth Harwood; mezzo-sopranos Betty Allen, Alfreda Hodgson, and Shirley Verrett; tenors David Rendall, Alejandro Ramírez, and Richard Lewis; and bass-baritones Tom Krause and Franz Crass led by conductors Andrew Davis, Eugene Ormandy, James Conlon, George Szell, Rafael Kubelik, Michel Corboz, and Herbert von Karajan. No matter what your faith or belief system, there is an outpouring of beautiful music and singing contained in this episode that will fully engage your mind and spirit.


Johannes Brahms: from Ein deutsches Requiem , Op. 45:

  • Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit. Leontyne Price, Herbert von Karajan, Berliner Philharmoniker, Singverein der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde Wien [live Carnegie Hall 13.XI.76]
  • Herr, lehre doch mich. Tom Krause, George Szell, Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus [live Cleveland 24.IV.69]
Tom Krause

Betty Allen

Gioacchino Rossini: Quis est homo (Stabat Mater). Pilar Lorengar, Betty Allen, Karl Foster, Berliner Symphoniker [1960]

Pilar Lorengar

Franz Schubert, Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock: Engel freuten sich der Wonne (Stabat Mater, D.383/4). Sheila Armstrong, Alejandro Ramírez, Michel Corboz, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne [1979]

Antonín Dvořák: Fac ut ardeat cor meam (Stabat Mater, Op. 58). Franz Crass, Rafael Kubelik, Symphonie-Orchester und Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks [live München 20.III.64]

Antonín Dvořák: Graduale (Requiem, Op. 89). Pilar Lorengar, István Kertész, London Symphony Orchestra, Ambrosian Singers [1969]

Elizabeth Harwood

Ludwig Van Beethoven, Franz Xaver Huber: from Christus am Ölberge, Op. 85):

  • O Heil duch, ihr Erlösten. Elizabeth Harwood, Bernhard Klee, Wiener Symphoniker [1970]
  • Erschüttert seh’ ich den Erhab’nen… Groß sind die Qual. Judith Raskin, Richard Lewis, Eugene Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra [1966]

Franz Liszt: Tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem (Christus). Tom Krause, James Conlon, Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest [live Rotterdam IX.85]

Tom Krause

Felix Mendelssohn: from Elijah (1969 recording with Eugene Ormandy leading the Philadelphia Orchestra:

  • Draw near, all ye people… Lord God of Abraham. Tom Krause
  • Arise, Elijah… O rest in the Lord. Shirley Verrett, Tom Krause
Shirley Verrett
David Rendall

César Franck, Joséphine Colomb: Bienheureux ceux qui ont faim et soif de la justice (Les Béatitudes, Op. 25/4). David Rendall, Armin Jordan, Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique [1987]

Margaret Marshall

Edward Elgar: And as they spake… The sun goeth down (The Kingdom, Op. 51). Margaret Marshall, Alfreda Hodgson, Andrew Davis, Toronto Symphony Orchestra [live New York 19.V.84]

Alfreda Hodgson

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