Birmingham Bach Choir: Beautiful Brahms

Concert dedicated to the choral works of 19th century great, Johannes Brahms.
24 June 2023, Bridgnorth and 1 July 2023, Birmingham.

C. Brasch, Berlin (biography), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Having recently devoted concerts to JS Bach and Sergei Rachmaninoff, Birmingham Bach Choir now turn their attention to the work of another great classical composer, Johannes Brahms.

An evening of stirring and powerful music, the appropriately titled Beautiful Brahms visits St Mary Magdalene, in Bridgnorth, Shropshire (24 June 2023) and Birmingham’s CBSO Centre (1 July 2023). Featuring two sets of religious motets alongside several secular pieces, the selected works are regarded as some of the composer’s most hauntingly memorable choral compositions.

Born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1833, Brahms was an accomplished pianist and a leading composer of the Romantic era, penning symphonies, chamber pieces, piano works and more. Among his choral compositions are Fest und Gedenksprüche (Festival and Commemoration Sentences), a cycle of three motets which, though biblical, also relate to the late-19th century unification of Germany; Drei Quartette op.64 (Three Quartets), which continues to touch on the theme of home; and the nostalgic and complex Fünf Gesänge.

One of classical music’s towering ‘Three Bs’ (with those two other great ‘B’ composers, Bach and Beethoven), Brahms died in Vienna, Austria, in April 1897. He left behind a large body of work filled with variety, subtlety and power that ranges from sweeping symphonies to simpler songs.

Birmingham Bach Choir’s Musical Director, Paul Spicer, says: “Brahms is one of the best-loved composers of the 19th century. His wonderfully melodic music draws you in at every point and connects on the deepest levels of our humanity.

“Featuring a wide-ranging programme that demonstrates the breadth of Brahms’ choral output – both sacred and secular, accompanied and unaccompanied – his will be a memorable concert, and a rare opportunity to immerse ourselves in music which enriches the soul and warms the heart.”

Birmingham Back Choir: Beautiful Brahms is at St Mary Magdalene, in Bridgnorth, Shropshire on Saturday 24 June 2023, and CBSO Centre, Birmingham on Saturday 1 July 2023. For tickets and more information, see:


Suggested categories: Classical / Music

Birmingham Bach Choir: Beautiful Brahms

Saturday 24 June 2023
St Mary Magdalene, East Castle Street, Bridgnorth, Shropshire WV16 4AL
7pm. Tickets £20-£12

Saturday 1 July 2023
CBSO Centre, Berkley Street. Birmingham B1 2LF
7pm. Tickets £20-£12

Brahms: motets and part-songs
Fest und Gedenksprüche (3 motets) op.109
Two motets op.74
Drei Quartette op.64
Intermezzi op.117
Fünf Gesänge op.104
Vier Quartette op.92

Birmingham Bach Choir
Paul Spicer – conductor
John Thwaites – pianist



Direct link:—tickets.html


Saturday 18 November 2023: Bach, Scarlatti & Liszt – St Paul’s Church, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham

Sunday 17 December 2023: Service of Nine Lessons and Carols – St Paul’s Church, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham

Saturday 9 March 2024: St Matthew Passion – Lichfield Cathedral, Staffordshire


As one of the UK’s leading large chamber choirs, Birmingham Bach Choir has been contributing to the musical life of the West Midlands since 1919, making it one of the longest established musical groups in the area. Although the main focus is the Baroque period (especially JS Bach), the choir performs music spanning 600 years, including 20th and 21st century works, and has premiered many new choral works.

2019 was the choir’s centenary, a year which saw them make a series of special appearances, including a Gala Concert in Lichfield Cathedral and a performance for Royalty.

The 2022-2023 Season marks Conductor Paul Spicer’s 30th anniversary with the choir. Highlights of the season so far have included the first West Midlands performance of Rachmaninoff’s Liturgy of St John Chrysostom in Liturgical Slavonic in living memory.

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