WALTER BRAUNFELS (1882-1954): Te Deum for Soprano, Tenor, Mixed Choir, Organ and Orchestra, Op. 32.
Catalogue Number: 01J004
Reference: C 679 071 A
Description: Written in 1921 and premiered the next year by Hermann Abendroth, this 55-minute setting of the celebratory Catholic text was Braunfels' personal "token of gratitude" for his conversion to Catholicism. Contemporary journalists thought it the "greatest success ever enjoyed by a world premiere in Cologne". The monumental, granitic opening has massive blocks of sound reminiscent of Bruckner and the second movement Judex crederis presents a terrifying picture of the Last Judgement "whose demonism only Berlioz had previously succeeded in expressing in music", according to another contemporary critic. A mystical Aeterna fac follows and the final part (from Dignare Domine) begins with a funeral march for Braunfels' father-in-law (the sculptor Adolf von Hildebrand) and gradually brightens into a powerful assertion of redemption. Gitta-Maria Sjöberg (soprano), Lars-Erik Jonsson (tenor), Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, Swedish Radio Choir, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Manfred Honeck.