Kimy Mc Laren, Michèle Losier, Pascal Charbonneau and Alexandre Sylvestre are the vocal soloists on this new recording of two of Brahms’ Romantic song cycles. They are accompanied on piano four-hands by Myriam Farid and Olivier Godin.
Completed in 1869, the first collection of Liebeslieder-Walzer, Op. 52 became a great hit after Brahms and Clara Schumann performed as accompanists at the premiere of his arrangement for singers and four-hand piano. These 18 love songs for mixed vocal quartet and four hands piano pay homage to the city of Vienna. In 1874, Brahms went on to write a sequel, the 15 Neue Liebeslieder-Walzer Op. 65.
Generally simple and concise, at times serious or cheerful, dark or luminous, these songs are all waltzes. Not all are for four voices, however; some call for one or two soloists, or contrast one vocalist to the three others.