Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Adoramus te Christe comes from “Drei Geistliche Chöre,” a set of three works written for women’s chorus in 1858/59, among Brahms’s earliest choral compositions.  At the time of its composition, Brahms had recently copied Palestrina’s Pope Marcellus Mass. The use of canon and stepwise melodic motion in Adoramus te, Christe reveals the influence of Palestrina.   However, the conclusion of the motet seems more indebted to the dramatic style of Bach, whose cantatas Brahms had also been studying, specifically BWV 4, Christ lag in Todesbanden, which Brahms conducted in the same year – 1858. 

©Ryan Turner

Back to Other Notes & Translations