Topic: 196) Rinaldo, Milan 1983
Live performence in Milan, 18 February 1983, broadcasted on March 10.
Orchestra and chorus of RAI Milan
Conductor Wolfgang Scheidt
Rinaldo, a cantata for tenor solo, four- part: male chorus and orchestra was begun by Johannes Brahms in 1863 as an entry for a choral competition announced in Aachen. He chose as his text the dramatic poem of the same name by Goethe, which presents an episode from the epic Gerusalemme Liberata by Torquato Tasso in the form of a series of dialogues between the knight Rinaldo, who has been enchanted by the witch Armida, and his fellows knights, who are calling him back to the path of duty.
The part of Armida is not sung as she makes only a silent appearance. Although the work was four-fifth completed in 1863, Brahms laid it aside and only finished it in 1868, after the cuccess of his Ein deutsches Requiem..
The premiere took place in Vienna on 28 February 1869 at a concert of the Akademischer Gesangverein. The composer conducted, with the tenor Gustav Walter, a student chorus numbering 300, and the Court Opera orchestra. Rinaldo was subsequently published as Brahms Op. 50. It has never been popular, but is interesting on a number of counts, not least because it may give the closest idea of what a Brahms opera would have sounded like.