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The Organ Music of Johannes Brahms$

Barbara Owen

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195311075

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195311075.001.0001

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(p.151) APPENDIX C Organ Transcriptions of Works by Brahms

(p.151) APPENDIX C Organ Transcriptions of Works by Brahms

The Organ Music of Johannes Brahms
Oxford University Press

Although some of Brahms's organ works have been transcribed for piano and various instrumental ensembles, his piano, chamber, and orchestral works were not as popular as transcriptions for the organ as were those of certain other composers (notably Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven, and Wagner). Wallace Goodrich transcribed all four movements of the Second Symphony (op. 73) for Aeolian organ player rolls, but this transcription is not believed to have been published. Edwin H. Lemare approached this feat with his transcriptions of opp. 80 (somewhat abridged) and 81, as, more recently, did Klaus Uwe Ludwig, with a more complete transcription of op. 80, and Lionel Rogg, who transcribed Opus 56 and the last movement of Opus 98. Most other organ transcriptions from Brahms are of shorter and lighter works.

As early as 1895, Horatio Parker published two short organ transcriptions, and two years later, Brahms's publisher, Simrock, began to publish (and may even have commissioned) a series of transcriptions for organ from Brahms's orchestral, chamber, piano, and vocal compositions by the British recitalist Edwin H. Lemare. A decade later, three more transcriptions by Alfred J. Silver, another by Lemare, one by Reginald Goss-Custard, and one by Healey Willan had been added to Simrock's catalog. Interestingly, all of the transcriptions in the Simrock catalog were done by Britons. At some time during the first decade of the twentieth century, Rieter-Biedermann published organ transcriptions of three choral works, but despite the general popularity of transcriptions as recital pieces in the early twentieth century, the incidence of subsequent Brahms transcriptions has been slight.

  • By Horatio Parker [in A Collection of Organ Arrangements (G. Schirmer, 1895)]

    • Op. 45. In modo di marcia (2nd movement of Deutsches Requiem)

    • Op. 49, No. 4. Cradle Song (Wiegenlied)

  • By Edwin H. Lemare [Simrock]

    • Op. 11. Scherzo (from Serenade), 1898

    • Op. 80. Akademische Festouvertüre, 1898

    • Op. 81. Tragische Ouvertüre, 1913

    • Op. 96, No. 2. Wir wandelten, wir zwei zusammen, 1898 (?)

    • Op. 101. Andante Grazioso from Piano Trio in C Minor, 1897

    • Op. 108. Adagio from Sonata in D Minor for violin, 1897

    • Op. 116. Intermezzo No. 4, 1897

    • Op. 116. Intermezzo No. 6, 1897

    • Op. 117. Intermezzo No. 1, 1897

    • (p.152)
    • WoO Hungarian Dance No. 1, 1897

    • WoO Hungarian Dance No. 5, 1897

  • By Ebenezer Prout [Augener & Co., ca. 1900]

    • Op. 12. Ave Maria

  • By Rudolf Bibl [Breitkopf & Härtel, ca. 1900; “Harmonium or Organ”]

    • Op. 31, No. 1. Wechsellied zum Tanze

    • Op. 31, No. 3. Der Gang zum Liebchen

  • By Healey Willan (listed as “H. Willau” in early catalogs) [Simrock, 1906]

    • Op. 67. Andante from String Quartet in B-flat Major

  • By John E. West [Novello, 1906–1907]

    • Op. 1. Andante from Sonata in C major for piano

    • Op. 5. Andante from Sonata in F minor for piano

    • Op. 45. Deutsches Requiem, Movements 1, 2, and 4

  • By Alfred J. Silver [Simrock, 1908]

    • Op. 90. Andante from Symphony in F Major

    • Op. 73. Allegretto grazioso from Symphony in D Major

    • Op. 117. Intermezzo No. 3

  • By Reginald Goss-Custard [Simrock, 1908]

    • Op. 49, No. 4. Wiegenlied

  • By Theodor Kirchner [Rieter-Biedermann, pre-1910]

    • Op. 12. Ave Maria

  • By Rob. Schaab [Rieter-Biedermann, pre-1910]

    • Op. 45. Two movements [4 & 5] from Deutsches Requiem

  • By Phillips [Rieter-Biedermann, pre-1910]

    • Op. 45. Movement 1 from Deutsches Requiem

  • By James H. Rogers [in Thirty Offertories for the Organ (Oliver Ditson, 1914)]

    • Op. 94, No. 4. Sapphische Ode

  • By Gordon Balch Nevin [Theodore Presser, 1917]

    • Op. 94, No. 4. Sapphic Ode

  • By Fr. E. Thiele [Simrock, 1921, for violin and organ]

    • Op. 108. Adagio from Sonata in D Minor for violin

  • By J. Stuart Archer [Paxton, 1929]

    • Op. 71, No. 5. Minnelied

  • By Albert E. Weir [in Symphonic Pieces for Organ (Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1935)]

    • Op. 11. Serenade

    • Op. 73. Allegretto Grazioso from Symphony in D Major

  • By Albert C. Tysoe [Oxford University Press, 1940]

    • Op. 98. Andante moderato from Symphony in E. Minor

  • By Clarence Kohlmann [in Album of Duets for Piano and Organ (Theodore Presser, 1943)]

    • Op. 68. Andante from First Symphony

  • By N. Lindsay Norden [Associated Music Publishers, ca. 1950]

    • Op. 68. Andante sostenuto from Symphony in C Minor

  • Transcriber unknown (possibly a pirated version of the Kirchner or Prout transcription) [Carl Fischer, 1958]

    • Op. 12. Ave Maria

  • By Stainton deB. Taylor [Hinrichsen Edition, 1961]

    • Op. 56. Chorale and Three Variations from Variations on a Theme by Haydn

  • By Homer Whitford [Lorenz Publishing Co., 1971]

    • Op. 56. “St. Anthony's Chorale” from Variations on a Theme of Haydn

  • (p.153)
  • By Lionel Rogg

    • Op. 56. Variations on a Theme of Haydn [United Music Publishers, 1994]

    • Op. 98. Finale (Chaconne) from Symphony in E Minor [Éditions Delatour, 2004]

  • By Klaus Uwe Ludwig [Breitkopf & Härtel, 2003]

    • Op. 80. Academic Festival Overture

The foregoing list, chronologically arranged by publication date, makes no pretense of being complete, particularly with regard to abbreviated excerpts or virtual note-for-note transcriptions of short piano pieces or songs occasionally appearing in “service music” collections. Compared with the plethora of pieces transcribed from Wagner (who, ironically, never wrote any actual organ music himself), it is rather slight—and indeed a bit surprising, considering the “organlike” sonorities that Brahms often incorporated into his symphonic works.