Gesang der Parzen

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Gesang der Parzen
Choral composition by Johannes Brahms
Brahms Johannes 1887.jpg
The composer in 1887
EnglishSong of the Fates
Textfrom Goethe's Iphigenie auf Tauris
Composed1882 (1882)
Performed10 December 1882 (1882-12-10): Basel
Scoringsix-part choir and orchestra

Gesang der Parzen (Song of the Fates), Op. 89, is a piece for mixed choir and orchestra by Johannes Brahms.

The work uses a text from Goethe's Iphigenie auf Tauris (which had earlier been set for four voices by Johann Friedrich Reichardt).[1] Written in one movement, the piece was composed in 1882, premiered in Basel on 10 December of the same year, and published in 1883.[2]

It is written for six-part choir (altos and basses divided into two) and an orchestra comprising two flutes (one doubling piccolo), two oboes, two B clarinets, two bassoons, double bassoon, two French horns in D, two French horns in F, two trumpets, alto, tenor and bass trombones, tuba, timpani and strings.

The piece is not often performed but has been recorded several times, and has had its fans: Anton Webern admired a passage in the coda built on a cycle of major thirds.[2]


  1. ^ "Song of the Fates", The LiederNet Archive. Retrieved 7 March 2010
  2. ^ a b George S. Bozarth and Walter Frisch. "Brahms, Johannes." In Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online, (accessed March 7, 2010)

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