Recording: Wolfgang Brendel, baritone (3rd Mvt.); Prague Philharmonic Chorus (Chorus master: Lubomir Matl); Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Giuseppe Sinopoli [DG 449 651-2]

Composed 1870-71, Published 1872.  Dedicated with reverence to His Majesty the German Emperor (Kaiser) Wilhelm I.

The Triumphlied represents one of the most curious situations in the reception of Brahms’s music.  His most complex, contrapuntal, and grandiose choral work, it is also his least known, and it is virtually never heard in live performance.  In the composer’s own time, it was a highly regarded and popular composition, and its publication was particularly lavish.  It was composed in a patriotic fervor as a celebratory cantata for the unification of Germany under Otto von Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhelm I and the victory over the French in the Franco-Prussian War.  The dedication to the Kaiser is the most overtly symbolic and prominent such recognition Brahms ever made.  The first edition brings the dedication almost to the level of a consecration.  For obvious reasons, such fervent German nationalism was taboo in the later part of the 20th Century, and thus, this brilliant cantata, whose choral and instrumental resources surpass any other of his vocal compositions, even the German Requiem, became a bit of an embarrassment for Brahms enthusiasts.  To be sure, there is political symbolism in the music, such as the “unset” text in the first movement, as detailed at that point in the guide.   But considered on its own terms, the music is simply a three-movement choral cantata in a quasi-Handelian style.  The connection to Handel is obvious in the prominent use of “Halleluja!” throughout, as well as the use of text from the Revelation of St. John, which was also the source of Handel’s “Hallelujah” Chorus.  In fact, two passages from Chapter 19 are used in both works.  One of them, verse 6, has a particular nuance in Luther’s German version that is totally lost in the English King James Version and which has symbolic significance for Kaiser Wilhelm.  In the publication, Brahms gave unusual emphasis to the source of the text.  The piece is even in the key of trumpets, drums, and Hallelujahs, D major.  Brahms’s use of eight-voice double choir contributes greatly to the complexity, and it was the only time he used a double choir with orchestra (he would use an a cappella eight-voice choir in the motets of Op. 109 and Op. 110).  Often, Brahms moves effortlessly between an eight-voice and a four-voice texture, unifying and dividing the four parts of each choir at will.  Of the three movements, only the first is in a form with departure and return.  The other two are sectional.  The second movement in G major ends in a surprisingly quiet way.  A baritone soloist is used briefly in the third movement, but his role is quite small.  Although often grouped with the two one-movement vocal works that precede it in opus numbering, it really has nothing in common with either of them.  Being a sacred cantata, it has a certain kinship to the secular cantata Rinaldo for men’s voices, Op. 50.  Its scriptural text connects it to the German Requiem.  But it is really a Brahms work like no other, almost an anomaly.  Its utterly brilliant choral writing deserves to be heard more often.

The recording used for this guide was for many years the only one available.  It was given a harsh verdict by Brahms biographer Malcolm MacDonald, but it is not nearly as bad as its reputation.  The balance is a bit distant, but the choir sings with enthusiasm.  Without it, we would not have had a recording of this great work for all those years, and out of respect for that, I use it as a basis for this guide.

Note: The text below is from the German Luther Bible text used by Brahms.  The King James Version is used as a comparable Reformation-era English text.  Lines are matched as closely as possible.  Scriptural references are listed in both German and English.  For the most part, the translations are line-by-line, except where the difference between German and English syntax requires slight alterations to the contents of certain lines.  The explanatory note for Verse 6 is included because the nuanced meaning of the Luther version is important for the understanding of this passage within the context of the work and its dedication to Kaiser Wilhelm.

ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (First Edition from Brahms-Institut Lübeck.  Note that soprano, alto, and tenor clefs are used.)
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (From Breitkopf & Härtel Sämtliche Werke)

Movement: “Halleluja!  Heil und Preis” (“Alleluia!  Salvation and Glory”).  Lebhaft, feierlich (Lively, celebratory)--Animato.  Ternary form (ABA’).  D MAJOR, 4/4 time.

German Text:
--Halleluja!  Heil und Preis,
Ehre und Kraft sei Gott, unserm Herrn!
--Denn wahrhaftig und gerecht sind seine Gerichte.
                                --Aus Offenbarung Johannes 19:1-2   
English Text:
--Alleluia; Salvation, and glory,
and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:
--For true and righteous are his judgments.
                                --From Revelation 19:1-2

A Section
0:00 [m. 1]--Orchestral introduction.  The strings begin with a leaping unison figure that jumps up two octaves, then back down.  It begins on an upbeat with an added sixteenth-note (1-¼ beats).  After the upbeat, the winds join in with supporting chords.  They then follow the leaping figure with a jaunty fanfare-like tune, largely harmonized in thirds, that anticipates the main choral melody.  The strings join against them, still in unison, with a syncopated figure that also leads to the fanfare and anticipates the choral lines.  Trumpets and timpani are prominent.  The fanfare figures begin again, but the unison strings, after their leaping syncopation, break away from the fanfares into a rushing scale motion that is diverted at the last moment from the keynote D to D-sharp.
0:13 [m. 6]--The orchestra comes together  on a broad, march-like gesture with heavy syncopation on weak beats.  The gesture is given three times, each higher than the last, the third extended two beats with another syncopation.  The harmony is active, but remains close to D major.  The descent of the last gesture leads to more fanfares, this time punctuated by sharp interjections from trumpets and timpani.  These fanfares dissolve into three-note short-short-long figures in unison.  After two such figures, the “long” notes are shortened from dotted quarter notes to eighth notes.  The figures steadily descend, the top notes becoming stuck on the note A, before an upward unison sweep in the strings leads into the choral entry.
0:42 [m. 19]--Both choirs enter with “Halleluja!” in full harmony, beginning with an upbeat punctuated with a trumpet blast.  The strings interject two rising octaves under the first syllable, then begin another sweeping unison run under the last syllable.  “Halleluja!” is sung again in the same way, but harmonically diverted to B major.  The unison run under the last syllable leads back to D major.
0:56 [m. 25]--The choirs continue with statements of “Halleluja!”  They begin together, but Choir 2 is more active than choir 1 at first.  Repeated imitative statements of the word move up from Choir 2 to Choir 1, more motion being added in all the voices and the orchestral winds doubling them.  The strings begin with more octave leaps, then the upper strings drop out.  They join again at the climax.  After this high point, the female voices of both choirs drop out, and the men’s voices and lower strings trail with a last “Halleluja!”
1:23 [m. 36]--There is a noticeable “caesura” (break”), and the strings once again lead with their almost ubiquitous unison leaping octaves.  The basses of choir 1 begin two beats before the rest of the voices on “Heil und Preis.”  The remaining voices follow, and they all finish the line, coming to a strong cadence on “unserm Herrn.”  This is followed by a trumpet fanfare interjection, as are the statements of “Halleluja!” that come thereafter.  The voices sing the first of these in block harmony, then another statement is more free, with the sopranos and basses of both choirs singing the word twice.
1:37 [m. 42]--The music now has a distinctly Handelian bent.  As the last “Halleluja!” comes to a cadence, the altos of Choir 1 begin “Heil und Preis” at a slightly softer dynamic level.  They are joined by the Choir 1 tenors and the Choir 2 altos.  The strings accompany, the cellos adding a counterpoint in the familiar fast running motion.  Trumpet and timpani interjections lead to a similar pair of “Halleluja!” statements as were heard before, the first in block harmony and a freer second statement, with all voices repeating the word.  The tenors of both choirs trail.
1:51 [m. 48]--As the tenors finish, the basses of both choirs, in unison, state the full “Heil und Preis Ehre und Kraft sei Gott” while the altos of both choirs, also in unison, sing “Halleluja!” on the running motion familiar from the strings.  The upper strings double them.  The remaining voices, except the Choir 2 tenors, join on “Ehre und Kraft sei Gott.”  Flutes and oboes also enter.  Choir 1, including the altos following their “Halleluja!” run, complete the statement with “unserm Herrn” as the running motion is passed to lower strings.  Two statements of “Halleluja!” are then passed between the two choirs in block harmony, Choir 2 followed by Choir 1.  The former are supported by horns and woodwinds, the latter by trumpets and strings.
2:02 [m. 53]--A long passage of elaborate counterpoint begins on more repeated statements of “Halleluja!”  This time, they have a very distinctive up-and-down leaping motion between each note.  Choir 1 passes to Choir 2, then Choir 1 enters again, and both groups continue, with all eight voices moving independently, sometimes inserting strong syncopation on the second syllable.  The strings double various voices, and the low strings provide a constant, steadily moving bass.  The sopranos of both choirs reach a climactic high A.
2:21 [m. 61]--The tenors and basses all come in together now on three repeated statements of “Heil und Preis” as the sopranos and altos continue their elaborate counterpoint on “Halleluja!”  Upper winds and trombones enter at this point.  The lower strings continue their constantly moving bass patterns.  All voices then join together on “Heil und Preis, Ehre und Kraft,” the altos and Choir 2 tenors omitting “Preis” and “Ehre.”  They are joined by the full orchestra except horns and trumpets.  This incomplete cadence brings the A section to a close, and the B section follows immediately.
B Section
2:33 [m. 66]--The sentence from verse 2, “Denn wahrhaftig und gerecht sind seine Gerichte,” begins halfway through the bar with a sudden turn to minor.  The voices forcefully sing in block harmony, and the sopranos and basses of both choirs are largely doubled with each other.  They are supported by strings and lower winds.  As the sentence is completed, the upper winds enter in unison with a three-note rising upbeat and two half-notes, all of which would fit the next portion of the verse, “daß er die große Hure verurteilt hat” (“for he hath judged the great whore”).  The continuing wind line, in harmonies, which fits the words “Hure verurteilt” (“whore” and “judged”), is “covered” by the forceful entry of the voices and the rushing uinson upper strings on “wahrhaftig” with a dissonant “diminished seventh” chord.  This word is repeated on another “diminished seventh,” followed by “und gerecht.”  The voices cut off, and the winds repeat the distinctive three-note upbeat, moving to A major and supported by a repeated-note fanfare in trumpets and horns.  This enigmatic passage, with the implications of the notes that fit the unset text (France as the “whore”), is an extremely intriguing moment in this unjustly neglected work.
2:52 [m. 75]--The choirs now divide completely.  Choir 1 begins a passage of imitation on “wahrhaftig und gerecht sind seine Gerichte” to a repetitive stepwise pattern.  The basses begin in A major, directly imitated two beats later by the altos.  As the basses finish, the tenors begin, moving back to D major and imitated two beats later by the sopranos.  In both cases of imitation, the following voice does not end in the same way the leading voice does.  As the sopranos finish their line, they stretch it out, repeating “sind seine” and adding syncopation on “Gerichte” as the altos and tenors join them on “sind seine Gerichte” and “seine Gerichte.”  Meanwhile, under all of this, choir 2 sings seven statements of “Halleluja!”  On the third of these, the sopranos include a syncopated line.  On the sixth, the parts diverge somewhat, and the altos stretch out the statement rather than state the word a seventh time.  The tenors enter a bit later on this seventh statement, and the choir 1 basses also join at the very end as the rest of that choir finishes “Gerichte.”  Throughout the passage, the strings follow various vocal parts while the winds include independent interjections in a dotted rhythm.
3:08 [m. 82]--Again halfway before the bar, the verse 2 sentence is given.  Choir 1 begins in unison on E before splitting into harmony, and choir 2 follows a bar later in block harmony.  Choir 1 begins the sentence again, but now choir 2 does not follow, but rather joins in on “gerecht.”  The united choirs then sing a massive “sind seine, sind seine Gerichte.”  The instruments add support.  Once the choirs join, the low strings add plunging arpeggios.  The passage is harmonically unstable, beginning with a strong motion to E minor, then, as the choirs unite, moving down to D and C before a strong half-close in G minor.  This is followed by the “symbolic” unison three-note upbeat and half-note descent in strings and horns, then a second one a fifth higher with the upper winds joining and adding harmony before the next choral entry.
3:31 [m. 93]--The mass choirs and instruments enter in syncopation with the verse 2 sentence.  On the second syllable of “wahrhaftig,” they sing another forcefully dissonant “diminished seventh” chord.  The upper strings begin a rushing scale motion.  The word “wahrhaftig” is repeated twice, the first time with another “diminished” seventh, and the second with a sudden mass vocal unison confirming D minor.  The upper strings continue to rush in scales.  The unison continues on two hammered statements of “gerecht.”  Then the voices split into harmony, but with the corresponding parts of both choirs mostly identical, for another statement of the sentence (without “denn”).  All except the sopranos move in a solid downward line, joined by the strings as the winds support the static sopranos.  The basses only enter on “gerecht.”  The voices complete the sentence with a strong half-close as the upper winds become active and follow the half-close with yet another three-note upbeat.
3:48 [m. 101]--A play on the three-note upbeat begins in the voices using the word “Halleluja!”  The sopranos ascend, implying A minor, followed by the other voices descending in harmony and implying G minor, then C minor.  This exchange happens twice, followed by a third soprano figure.  The instruments also pass the figure among themselves.  Then the choirs come together for yet another full statement of the verse 2 sentence.  The strings leap around under them.  The tenors add two extra leaping statements of “gerecht” as the upper strings again begin to rush in scales.  The voices reach another powerful half-close, this time followed by a dotted rhythm passed among winds, timpani, and low strings, then a descending violin line.  The symbolic three-note upbeat is finally banished.
4:07 [m. 110]--The B section comes to a close with one last split of the two choirs.  First, choir 2 sings “wahrhaftig und gerecht” on a strong descending line while choir 1 (without tenors) sings two “Hallelujas.”  The choirs then exchange roles, the choir 1 tenors joining in.  Above them all, the winds and timpani blast out dotted rhythms while the low strings add forceful octaves.  After the exchange, choir 1 completes the line with various repetitions of “seine.”  The basses, with a more active line, repeat all of “sind seine Gerichte.”  After their two “Hallelujas,” the choir 2 voices join the conclusion on “gerecht sind seine Gerichte,” Their basses enter a couple of beats later with a more active descent.  All voices and instruments reach an incomplete D-major cadence on “Gerichte.”
A’ Section
4:22 [m. 117]--Immediately after the cadence, choir 1 suddenly sings “Heil und Preis” in a hushed, syncopated entry supported only by a cello line.  They are directly imitated by choir 2, but choir 2 is loud and supported by the full orchestra.  The same exchange happens on “Ehre und Kraft,” now with a simple upbeat rather than syncopation.  The musical lines are the familiar ones from the A section.  A third exchange, again with choir 1 hushed and supported only by cellos and choir 2 loud with full orchestra, follows on “sei Gott unserm Herrn.”  Only the respective sopranos sing “unserm Herrn,” the other voices stretching out “Gott.”  This passage and the next one have a transitional character.
4:35 [m. 123]--Choir 1 breaks off the exchanges, striving upward with “sei Gott” and incorporating the choir 2 tenors.  Only flutes, oboes, violas, and cellos accompany them.  Choir 2 then unites with “Ehre sei Gott” as trumpets and horns enter.  Choir 1 follows them, completing “Ehre sei Gott unserm Herrn.”  The choir 1 sopranos reach a top note, singing “Heil” rather than the “Ehre” sung by the other voices and descending on a syncopated line.  As choir 1 comes to a cadence, the choir 2 basses anticipate the next passage with a strong “Heil und Preis.”  The familiar trumpet fanfare follows.
4:45 [m. 127]--Choir 2 follows its basses with “Heil und Preis sei Gott unserm Herrn.”  The basses are out of synch with the rest of the choir, singing “Heil und Preis” against “sei Gott unserm Herrn” und vice versa.  After the first statement, punctuated by trumpet fanfares, choir 1 interjects “Halleluja!” cries with trumpets and then upper winds.  These continue as choir 2 presents another statement of the “Heil und Preis” music that briefly diverts to B minor and F-sharp minor.  The two choirs then briefly exchange texts, choir 2 taking one “Halleluja!” after choir 1 dovetails the “Heil und Preis” music.  The choirs continue to dovetail statements of this music in an upward sequence, making a strong motion to G major.  The strings support the vocal parts.
5:01 [m. 135]--In G major, the choirs exchange interjections of “Halleluja!” similar to those before 2:02 [m. 53].  Choir 1 is followed by choir 2 in two such exchanges, with a brass fanfare underlying the first choir 2 statement.  Winds, brass, and strings, similarly to the choirs, exchange supporting roles.  There then follow two more alternations of the repeated “Halleluja!” statements with the distinctive up-and-down leaping motion heard at 2:02 [m. 53], but the elaborate counterpoint that followed there does not ensue.  Here, strings support choir 1 and winds support choir 2.  The choir 1 sopranos and choir 2 basses have the distinctive leaping motion.  In the second of these alternations, the key moves back home to D major.  The choir 2 statements are punctuated by trumpets and timpani.
5:13 [m. 141]--The choir 1 sopranos and altos begin another very elaborate passage of counterpoint using the fast, running sixteenth-note motion heard from the altos at 1:51 [m. 48].  “Heil und Preis sei Gott” and “Halleluja!” are combined.  All of choir 2 takes over from the choir 1 women, and then all of choir 1 has a “Halleluja!” shout.  After a series of “Hallelujas” climbs from choir 2 to choir 1, both choirs join in a complex interchange of running figures on “Heil und Preis” and “Halleluja!”  Strings are the primary accompaniment, but winds support the short, leaping “Hallelujas.”  As the climax is approached, altos and basses anticipate a leaping, syncopated “Halleluja!” that follows in all voices as the upper strings continue to run.  Then all voices join in a straight, forceful chromatic statement of “Halleluja!” as the strings suddenly stop.  The voices briefly pause as a brass blast and wind flourish lead to the grand proclamation that now follows.
5:41 [m. 154]--All voices join in a grand, unified statement of the full “Heil und Preis” line.  “Ehre und Kraft” is stated twice.  The respective voices of the two choirs begin identically, but then diverge.  Under this tremendous statement, the strings continue their running motion.  The cellos and basses take it over from the violins under “Ehre und Kraft.”  Winds and trumpets also support the voices.
5:48 [m. 158]--After the grand conclusion of the preceding statement, the music suddenly becomes hushed and choir 2 drops out.  Choir 1 passes subdued, static statements of “Halleluja!” on repeated notes between the female and male voices.  There are four such exchanges, the last slightly longer and with more overlap.  There are brief diversions to A major and minor.  The violins play shimmering syncopated repeated notes that only occasionally change.  Upper winds and lower strings play harmonized fragments of the “Ehre und Kraft” melody against these static “Halleluja!” exchanges.  After the last one, the choir drops out.  The violins continue to recede with their syncopated repeated notes, which move lower, and the lower strings, later joined by upper strings and clarinets, trail with the “Ehre und Kraft” melody over a timpani roll.
6:16 [m. 171]--The next passage, which steadily builds from the quietest point of the brief instrumental interlude, is harmonically unstable.  It begins with a full series of contrapuntal entries of all eight voices on the “Heil und Preis” and “Ehre und Kraft” music.  The voices enter in this order: choir 1 tenors, altos, basses, and sopranos, then choir 2 altos, tenors, sopranos, and basses.  The choir 2 entries are more syncopated.  The voices repeat some text, usually “Ehre und Kraft.”  As the voices enter, the intensity builds.  The instruments mainly play the “Ehre und Kraft” figure along with the vocal entries, but the trumpets and timpani have marked interjections on octaves.
6:30 [m. 178]--The voices finally come together on “Ehre und Kraft.”  Continuing after this, they do not sing lines in counterpoint, but some sing “Heil und Preis” with a syncopated “Heil” while others sing “Ehre und Kraft.”  The music is still harmonically unstable and continues to build.  The timpani begin to thump on a dotted rhythm, with regular interjections by trumpets and horns.  With a minor-key coloration, all voices, woodwinds and strings, under the thumping timpani and brass, come together before a sudden tempo shift to “Animato.”
6:41 [m. 183]--In the suddenly faster tempo, all voices except the sopranos ecstatically utter syncopated “Heil und Preis” statements.  The lines are chromatic, adding to the excitement.  Lower strings and upper winds have the dotted rhythm leaps known from the instrumental introduction.  Violins play a steady tremolo.  The timpani and trumpets continue to thump, joined by the other brass instruments in supporting the voices.  After three statements, the sopranos enter for a new sequence, building to a tremendous climax on repeated shouts of “Heil,” the choir 1 sopranos reaching a top A above an F-major chord before sliding to D minor and then the “dominant” A-major chord.
7:00 [m. 193]--The strings again begin the rushing scale motion.  The united sopranos and tenors shout out “Heil, Heil sei Gott” in syncopation, followed immediately by the united altos and basses.  After all come together on a couple more reptitions of “sei Gott,” they complete a powerful syncopated cadence on “unserm Herrn.”
7:09 [m. 197]--The brass fanfares return in the “Halleluja!” rhythm.  They alternate three times with the full choirs on “Halleluja!”  The upper strings again rush in scales, then arpeggios.  The choirs then sing one more extended, leaping “Halleluja!” before splitting.  Choir 1 leads choir 2 in two more dovetailed shouts of the word before all come together on the final one, choir 2 coming in against a long chord in choir 1.  Brass and timpani thunder forth until the end, which is punctuated by forceful chords.
7:36--END OF MOVEMENT [206 mm.]

Movement: “Lobet unsern Gott, alle seine Knechte” (“Praise our God, all ye his servants”).  Mäßig belebt (Moderately animated)--Lebhaft (Lively)--Ziemlich langsam, doch nicht schleppend (Quite slow, but not dragging).  Three-part through-composed form.  G MAJOR, 3/4 and 4/4 time (Choir 2 only, 12/8 in last section).

German Text:
--Lobet unsern Gott, alle seine Knechte,   
und die ihn fürchten, beide Kleine und Große.
Denn der allmächtige Gott hat das Reich eingenommen.
--Lasset uns freuen und fröhlich sein
und ihm die Ehre geben.
                                --Aus Offenbarung Johannes 19:5-7
English Text:
--Praise our God, all ye his servants,
and ye that fear him, both small and great.
For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.*
--Let us be glad and rejoice,
and give honour to him.
                                --From Revelation 19:5-7
*The Luther German text more accurately reads “has taken the kingdom” rather than
“reigneth.”  This reading has symbolic significance for Brahms.

First Section (From Verse 5)--G major, 3/4.  Mäßig belebt
0:00 [m. 1]--In a brief orchestral introduction, the violins and violas, in harmony, establish a noble, angular dotted rhythm beginning with a two-beat partial measure.  The lower strings are set against them rhythmically, placing their short notes against the long notes of the upper strings and adding syncopation.  The upper strings then also diverge in their rhythms.  The violins reach high, to a top G, with the winds entering to provide harmonic support, then the violins plunge downward, joined by violas and low strings.
0:17 [m. 8]--The choirs unite for the first word, “Lobet.”  The women follow the men by a beat, both in harmony as the orchestra continues the dotted rhythm.  Choir 1 then intones “lobet unsern Gott,” with the altos leading.  Choir 2 enters as they conclude, with the same distribution of parts.  The voices and instruments roughly come together here.
0:25 [m. 12]--A series of exchanges between choirs on “alle seine Knechte” begins.  Underneath these exchanges, the strings begin a series of forceful, but smooth downward arpeggios.  Choir 1 begins, repeating the word “alle.”  Choir 2 enters as the choir 1 finishes its phrase, beginning identically, then diverging.  Choir 1 then enters a second time, a third higher than before.  Choir 2 answers with more chromatic harmony and without the repeated “alle.”  Finally, choir 1 has a fifth and last statement without the repeated “alle.”  Against its “Knechte,” choir 2 returns to “lobet unsern Gott” and the wind instruments enter.  Choir 1 then moves directly to these words.  Through repetition and lengthening, the choirs end together on a G-major cadence except for the choir 2 tenors and basses, who end three beats earlier.
0:43 [m. 22]--The second phrase of the verse, beginning with “und die ihn fürchten,” is presented by choir 2 in a subdued manner, accompanied by strings.  The basses begin, followed by tenors, who are quickly followed by sopranos and altos.  The sopranos sing in the opposite direction (inversion) of the bass line.  Tenors and altos end with “fürchten.”  As the phrase concludes, choir 1 then takes it up, again beginning with the basses.  This time, altos and sopranos follow, sopranos inverting the alto line.  The tenors enter only at the end.  The tenors and basses of choir 1 do not sing “beide Kleine und Große,” and the basses continue to repeat “die ihn fürchten.”
0:59 [m. 30]--Choir 2 again enters.  All eight voices are in counterpoint, although the choir 2 basses join those of choir 1.  The sopranos and altos of both choirs pass around the falling phrase on “beide Kleine und Große.”  Tenors and basses continue to sing repetitions of “die ihn fürchten.”  The accompaniment moves to the winds.  Choir 1 (except the basses) briefly drops out before its tenors again introduce “lobet unsern Gott” on another falling phrase.  The rest of choir 1 quickly follows, as does choir 2 immediately after it finishes its phrase on “Kleine und Große.”  All the voices come together on two powerful statements of “unsern Gott.”  Winds and strings both forcefully begin the angular dotted rhythm as the choirs join for their cadence and motion to D major.  A “wordless” statement in the orchestra trails and moves to B minor.
1:19 [m. 40]--Choir 1 alone presents the entire phrase beginning with “und die ihn fürchten” in B minor  Basses begin, followed by tenors and altos, all singing similar lines.  Prominent wind instruments double the voice lines, while the strings have scale figures.  “Und die ihn fürchten” is repeated by the three lower voices before the sopranos even enter.  They come in with “beide Kleine und Große” above the other voices on a descending line.  First violins and flutes play a faster, sequentially descending line as the phrase comes to a close with a cadence in F-sharp minor.  The entire phrase is subdued and quiet.
1:40 [m. 50]--Choir 2 begins a sudden contrapuntal outburst of “Lobet unsern Gott” with the dotted rhythm in the orchestra.  Choir 1 briefly joins at the high point.  Choir 2 reaches a forceful cadence on B minor.
1:48 [m. 54]--A long passage of alternation on the second phrase, beginning with “und die ihn fürchten,” begins.  The entire passage remains in B minor.  Choir 1 begins, with a similar phrase to the one at 1:19 [m. 40].  Scale fragments are passed between string and wind instruments, with prominent flutes and clarinets.  Choir 2 overlaps with choir 1, singing only “die ihn fürchten” without its tenors.  Then choir 1 enters again on the same words without its altos.  Finally, choir 2 makes a last statement with only altos and basses.  Forcefully overlapping, choir 1 sings “beide Kleine und Große,” quickly diminishing.  Choir 2 follows, with its basses singing “und die ihn fürchten.” The choir 1 basses join them on “Kleine und Große.”  This last choir 2 phrase is weaker than the one in choir 1 that precedes it.
2:26 [m. 72]--In a sudden return to the music of the beginning and the home key of G major, the choirs shout “lobet” three times, choir 2 following just behind choir 1 on each shout.  The orchestra returns to the music of the introduction with the angular dotted rhythm.  The choirs come together on “unsern Gott.”
2:36 [m. 77]--The voices turn to the music of their original statements at 0:17 [m. 8], but in a much grander fashion.  The united “lobet,” tenors and basses following sopranos and altos, leads into a very powerful passage in which the choir 1 sopranos and altos, choir 1 tenors and basses, choir 2 sopranos and altos, and choir 2 tenors and basses follow in quick succession.  Repetitions of “lobet unsern Gott” lead to a huge cadence in G major.
2:51 [m. 85]--The first section ends with an extremely agitated and unstable series of alternations on “und die ihn fürchten” without “beide Kleine und Große.”  Choir 1 and choir 2 alternate and overlap twice, first moving to G minor and then toward D major.  The strings begin to play agitated and syncopated repeated notes.  Winds and brass have powerful accentuated notes.  After the second alternation, all parts diverge into counterpoint, with the basses of both choirs coming together on a strong and active syncopated line.  String syncopation continues, and as the music reaches its most unstable point, it suddenly launches into the “Halleluja!” music that begins the second section.
Second Section (From Verse 6)--D major, 4/4.  Lebhaft
3:11 [m. 95]--The meter and tempo suddenly shift, and there is a brilliant orchestral flourish with trumpet fanfares and rushing strings.  The choirs then join in “Halleluja!” music reminiscent of the first movement as a transition to the text from the end of verse 6.  Choir 1 is given six interjections of the word, which dovetail with choir 2’s more smooth, connected statements of it.  The choir 2 basses only enter on their third statement.  Under the choral interjections, the strings move to sharp chords, the winds largely double choir 2, and the trumpet-timpani fanfares drop out.  The music turns to minor before veering back to major, and merges directly into the imitative treatment of the rest of the verse.
3:41 [m. 110]--This text is central to the work’s inspiration and dedication.  The German words in Luther, which state that God has “taken his kingdom” (“Reich”) instead of simply “reigning,” as in English, provide a clear reference to the newly-formed German Empire and its Kaiser.  Brahms sets it as a double fugue with forceful dotted rhythms.  All eight voices enter in succession, bass to soprano, with the choir 2 voices immediately following their choir 1 counterparts (choir 1 basses, choir 2 basses, choir 1 tenors, choir 2 tenors, etc.).  There is a full two-bar distance between tenors and altos.  The corresponding parts of each choir enter on the same pitches, but their lines diverge.  Choir 2 has longer notes on “allmächtige” (except for the sopranos, who follow choir 1’s shorter lines).  The basses begin on D, the tenors and altos each raise the line a fifth, and then the sopranos return to D.  The orchestra provides a driving accompaniment.
3:53 [m. 116]--Before the sopranos and the choir 2 altos finish their lines, choir 2 begins another series of entries in imitation, from basses to sopranos, each a fifth higher.  The choir 1 basses double their choir 2 counterparts for three bars.  The upper three parts of choir 1 add brief extensions before dropping out as choir 2 continues its imitations.  The choir 2 voices come together on “hat das Reich eingenommen” in B minor.  Overlapping, the choir 1 tenors and basses state “Denn der allmächtige Gott,” followed by a unified choir 2 on the remainder of the verse, moving from B minor to F-sharp minor.  Under this entire passage, the strings begin to introduce strong syncopation.
4:07 [m. 123]--The choir 1 tenors enter just as choir 2 finishes its cadence in F-sharp minor.  The other voices of choir 1 quickly follow.  As the strings introduce scale passages, the counterpoint becomes more free and the harmony more active.  Words of the verse overlap in the voices.  Choir 1 moves to bright C-sharp major in four bars, after which the upper voices of choir 2 join in a bridge passage with more unstable harmony and shouts of “eingenommen” in the dotted rhythms of choir 1.  The strings move from rising scales to sharp chords.  Choir 1 arrives at G minor.  Then choir 2 takes over immediately as the scales return in the strings.  The tenors lead, as they had in choir 1.  Choir 2 follows a pattern like that of choir 1 in the first four bars of this passage.  Choir 2 arrives at D major, the home key of the fugue.
4:30 [m. 135]--In the final passage of the fugue, the voices introduce a descending scale with more text overlap.  Choir 1 leads and choir 2 follows in a brief diversion to E minor.  Then choir 1 starts again, coming together and moving emphatically to D major.  Choir 2 enters, quickly merging with choir 1 to form a large four-voice texture.  All voices begin to converge on “hat das Reich eingenommen,” although the sopranos are still slightly behind after holding a long note on “Gott.”  The strings again introduce syncopation while the winds have the dotted rhythm.  Finally, all voices arrive at the penultimate syllable of “eingenommen” on a long note.  The awaited cadence merges into the last section of the movement.
Third Section (From Verse 7)--G major, 4/4 (Choir 2 in 12/8).  Ziemlich langsam, doch nicht schleppend
4:47 [m. 143]--At the cadence, the music suddenly slows down.  The winds begin to pulsate on a steady D that is used to pivot back to G major, the key of the movement.  The strings enter on an oscillating triplet rhythm.  For much of the last section, although notated in 4/4, the strings follow the 12/8 triplet motion of choir 2.  The volume rapidly builds for the entrance of choir 1.
5:02 [m. 147]--Choir 1 enters strongly on a half-measure upbeat.  They intone a joyous “Laßt uns freuen.”  Throughout the last section, choir 1 remains in the “straight” 4/4 meter, which moves against the “triplet” 12/8 of the strings.  The winds also remain in straight 4/4 with their pulsations. 
5:08 [m. 148]--As choir 1 finishes the intonation, choir 2 follows in a quieter volume and in the flowing 12/8 of the strings.  They sing the entire first phrase from the verse, “Laßt uns freuen und fröhlich sein,” on a gently rocking melody.  The strings abruptly stop the oscillating motion and move to discreetly accompany choir 2.  Trumpets join the wind pulsations.  With the flutes, they gently intone the first phrase of the chorale 
Nun danket alle Gott (Now thank we all our God) against the first statementOboes, clarinets, and bassoons immediately follow with the chorale line over the second statement.  In the first statement of the phrase, sopranos are absent.  They then join for two more full statements, which move again to D major.  There are some variants, such as the repetition of the word “fröhlich” in the top voices and extensions of the words “fröhlich” and “freuen” in the basses that cause them to leave out some words in the repetitions.  Under the last statement, violins and violas move to pizzicato, the sopranos add mild syncopation, and volume builds.
5:32 [m. 153]--As choir 2 reaches its last cadence, choir 1 makes another powerful entry, this time on the downbeat and in D major, and the strings move back to their oscillating motion, still in triplet rhythm.  Choir 1 now brings the phrase to a conclusion with a strong cadence in D major.
5:48 [m. 156]--Choir 2 introduces the second phrase from the verse, “und ihm die Ehre geben,” on a chromatic phrase that moves artfully to B major.  Second violins and violas continue the oscillating triplet motion.  The long notes in the vocal parts are not subdivided, so there is no distinction between “straight” and “triplet” motion.  This allows choir 1 to answer choir 2 in a statement of this text with similar music while both choirs retain their notation in 4/4 (choir 1) and 12/8 (choir 2).  This answer of choir 1 finally moves back to G, first minor, then major.
6:24 [m. 164]--In a sudden outburst, choir 2, resuming its 12/8 (triplet) motion, exultantly belts out the phrase, with joyous repetitions of “und ihm.”  With wind support, the strings accompany in exuberant pizzicato, now in a straight rhythm that goes against the 12/8 of choir 2, reversing the pattern of the intonations of “Laßt uns freuen” in choir 1.  There are two full statements, the second briefly moving to D again before returning to G.
6:48 [m. 170]--In a grand return, choir 1 returns to its intonation of “Laßt uns freuen” and the strings take their bows, returning to the triplet oscillations, the winds moving back to their pulsations.  As in the first intonation at 5:02 [m. 147], it begins on a half-measure upbeat in G major.  As in the second one at 5:32 [m. 153], it completes the full phrase.
7:01 [m. 172]--Choir 2, without sopranos, makes a single gentle statement of its rocking melody on the first phrase (“Laßt uns freuen”) against the
Nun danket alle Gott” melody in trumpets and flutes.  There is a wistful oboe echo of the last notes on “fröhlich sein,” which hint at C major.   Choir 1 immediately answers with a statement of “und ihm die Ehre geben,” the violins moving to the straight-rhythm pizzicato, which briefly trails after the voices.  This version of “und ihm die Ehre geben is set to the melody of the second phrase of the Nun danket alle Gott” chorale.
7:28 [m. 178]--In another statement of the rocking melody, now with sopranos but without basses, choir 2 makes an unexpected diversion toward the remote key of F major, a colorful move this close to the end of the movement.  This time, the last notes on “fröhlich sein” are echoed by cellos instead of the oboe.  Choir 1 immediately sets things right with a final answer of “und ihm die Ehre geben.”  Sopranos and tenors begin with “die Ehre” on long repeated notes, then basses and altos gently sing the whole phrase, again on the melody of the second line from the chorale, moving to an incomplete G-major cadence.  The violins again move to the straight-rhythm pizzicato under this, and it is left to them, along with bowed lower strings, to trail after the voices and reach an extremely subdued conclusion.  The upper winds follow the violins with a slow upward arpeggio toward the last chord.  The strings, all bowed, join on this sustained final chord.
8:26—END OF MOVEMENT [185 mm.]

3rd Movement: “Und ich sahe den Himmel aufgetan” (“And I saw heaven opened”).  Lebhaft (Lively)--Etwas lebhafter (Somewhat more lively)--Feierlich (Solemn, celebratory).  Three-part through-composed form.  D MINOR-MAJOR, 4/4 and 3/4 time (with three bars of 4/2 alla breve).

German Text:
--Und ich sahe den Himmel aufgetan, und siehe,
ein weißes Pferd, und der darauf saß,
hieß Treu und Wahraftig,
und richtet und streitet mit Gerechtigkeit.
--Und er tritt die Kelter des Weins
des grimmigen Zorns des allmächtigen Gottes.
--Und hat einen Namen geschrieben
auf seinem Kleide und auf seiner Hüfte, also:
Ein König aller Könige, und ein Herr aller Herren.
(Halleluja! Amen!)
                                --Aus Offenbarung Johannes 19:11, 15-16
English Text:
--And I saw heaven opened, and behold
a white horse; and he that sat upon him
was called Faithful and True,
and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
--And he treadeth the winepress
of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
--And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh
a name written,
(Alleluia!  Amen!)
                                --From Revelation 19:11, 15-16

First Section (Verse 11)--D minor-major, 4/4 and 3/4.  Lebhaft
0:00 [m. 1]--The introduction begins with an upbeat and an added sixteenth note.  This is syncopated in the winds.  The strings play a vigorous dotted rhythm.  The minor-key music is solemn, setting the stage for the grand scene that will follow.  The dotted rhythm gives way to powerful chords, where trumpets, then low brass and timpani join the other instruments in preparation for the entry of the baritone soloist.
0:15 [m. 7]--The baritone soloist sings the first phrase, initially only accompanied by low brass.  On “Himmel,” D minor yields to its related major key of F, and the low strings play ascending arpeggios in triplets, joined by clarinets.  Following the word “aufgetan,” the soloist pauses, and the violins play two broad descending arpeggios.
0:29 [m. 13]--The soloist intones “und siehe,” overlapped on the last syllable by choir 1 in unison, who are in turn overlapped by choir 2 in unison.  The choirs are much quieter than the soloist.  Violas and cellos begin to play quiet triplets in alternation.  The same pattern is followed for “ein weißes Pferd,” which the soloist begins as choir 2 finishes “und siehe.”  The soloist moves up on the last word, choir 1 remains in unison, and choir 2 splits into harmony.  This happens as the soloist sings his last line, an enthusiastic leaping pattern on “und der darauf saß.”  Choir 1 follows him in harmony, becoming stronger.  The full strings join the violas on ascending triplets.  Winds play downward arpeggios in harmony.  Finally, choir 2 states the words on a unison E, also building.  Then, at full strength, choir 1 joins for another unison statement.  The orchestra plays a huge, arching arpeggio in triplets as the voices move to the “dominant” harmony on “saß,” in preparation for the following D-major outburst, punctuated by a blast from the brass.
0:49 [m. 22]--The meter shifts to 3/4, but the strings keep playing their triplet rhythms.  The men of both choirs sing jubilantly together on “hieß Treu und Wahrhaftig.”  The words are repeated by the women as the men continue with “und richtet und streitet.”  The voices are punctuated by two rapid, militaristic trumpet fanfares.  The voices of both choirs come grandly together on “und richtet und streitet,” continuing to finish the verse with syncopation on “mit Gerechtigkeit.”  The corresponding parts of the choirs are often doubled, but not always.  Their conclusion is rounded off by a flourish on brass and timpani.
1:03 [m. 31]--Choir 2 takes up “und richtet und streitet mit Gerechtigkeit.”  Choir 1 and choir 2 then pass “mit Gerechtigkeit” once between them (the basses including “streitet” and bridging the choirs).  Then both choirs come together for a climactic statement of the words, the choir 1 sopranos reaching their highest note yet.  After this arrival, the strings move from their triplets to faster six-note groups in a rapid flourish, supported by horns.
1:18 [m. 41]--The choirs again blast out “hieß Treu und Wahrhaftig” with unified voice parts.  The string flourish in six-note groups, again with horns, leads to a repetition of “Treu und Wahrhaftig.”  The strings return to their triplet rhythm and the trumpets play a very bright fanfare as the last word is lengthened.  Choir 1 begins a sequence of exchanges between the groups that becomes more harmonically adventurous.  First “und richtet und streitet” is passed from choir 1 to choir 2.  The latter continues with “mit Gerechtigkeit,” moving toward F major as the winds begin descending patterns.  These last words are taken up by choir 1 and again passed to choir 2.  The choirs then come together for a massive statement of “mit Gerechtigkeit” that hints at F-sharp minor.  Winds slide upward, leading back toward the home key.
1:45 [m. 57]--The choirs remain united.  The men sing “hieß” on a long note, and are then joined by the women.  The shouts of “hieß Treu und Wahrhaftig” are heard one last time with the “military” trumpet fanfares and the string flourishes.  The voices now shout “und richtet und streitet” together, beginning in unison on “und richtet.”  The string flourishes lead to two more syncopated, unified statements of “mit Gerechtigkeit.”  These now definitively arrive at F-sharp minor, where the following section is set.  As the last word is completed, the meter shifts back to 4/4.
Second Section (From Verses 15-16)--F-sharp minor, 4/4 and 4/2.  Etwas lebhafter
2:06 [m. 71]--Except for the very end, the entire setting of the text from verse 15 is in four parts, with unified choirs.  It is a very archaic, strict fugato with canonic entries.  The counterpoint and harmony are rather stringent.  The accompaniment is austere, mostly consisting of block string chords and some doubling of the voices.  The basses enter first on F-sharp minor.  This main “subject” features a rising line and then a series of repeated leaps up and down a (minor) third.  After they finish the entire sentence, which utilizes the word “des” (“of the”) three times, the tenors come in a fourth higher, on B minor.  They are followed by the altos, also a fourth higher on E minor, then the sopranos follow the same pattern on A minor.  As each voice concludes, it begins a counterpoint that starts with an off-beat statement of “er tritt.”  This continuing counterpoint is a very similar and nearly exact canonic imitation, but it does break, since each voice only states the opening “subject” phrase once and the basses have the longest continuation.
2:34 [m. 85]--All voices having finished the “subject,” the sopranos begin their continuation.  The voices gradually come together.  The violins now have an upward-shooting line that  repeats six times as the key moves back to F-sharp minor.  It begins on G minor, then with each violin “rocket,” the harmony changes either by a simple major-minor shift or a shift up a step: G minor, G major, A minor, A major, B major, C-sharp major.  This last harmony serves as a leading “dominant” to the opening key of the fugue, F-sharp minor.  At this point, the voices powerfully come together on “allmächtigen.”
2:45 [m. 91]--The climax comes on the second syllable of “allmächtigen,” which is prolonged.  The meter broadens at this point to 4/2, or alla breve, which remains in effect for three cadential measures.  The voices arrive at this syllable on a strident, dissonant “diminished seventh” chord, punctuated by a timpani roll and the entry of the woodwinds.  Here also the top three voices split, first the sopranos and altos.  The harsh diminished seventh harmony prolongs the “dominant” C-sharp, creating a great sense of anticipation.  The tenors have the most active line.  They remain together until the second long 4/2 bar on the word “Gottes,” where the choir 2 tenors lag behind those of choir 1.  Each tenor voice leads toward the cadence on F-sharp minor, which finally arrives at the moment of greatest intensity.
2:58 [m. 94]--After the tremendous arrival, the baritone soloist takes the first part of verse 16, introducing the name, whose treatment will take up the remainder of the piece.  Back in 4/4, he sings it in a declamatory style, with a wide downward leap of a tenth on “geschrieben.”  He then has two rising phrases.  Another wide leap of a tenth on “Kleide” comes before the second phrase, which extends “Hüfte” on his highest note, F-sharp.  He is accompanied by strings alone, the violins and violas playing chords on the offbeats while the cellos and basses provide a moving bass line.  A simple transition through the circle of fifths leads from F-sharp minor to the “dominant” anticipation of the movement’s home key, D major.  This anticipation occurs, appropriately, on the introductory word “also.”
Third Section (From Verse 16)--D major, 4/4.  Feierlich
3:27 [m. 104]--The united basses sing the proud, noble, angular theme for “Ein König aller Könige,” characterized by a long held note on “König.”  The strings accompany with a jubilant dotted rhythm.  Choir 1 then follows with the response on “und ein Herr aller Herren.”  The sopranos begin with the long held note against the dotted rhythm.  The altos, tenors, and basses join in quick succession on “aller Herren,” creating a full harmony.  Their conclusion dovetails with the following entry of Choir 2.
3:43 [m. 111]--Choir 2 comes in, echoing Choir 1 on “aller Herren.”  Choir 2 sings in full harmony, with active altos and basses.  The full orchestra accompanies, with a steadily walking bass line that includes octave leaps.  As choir 2 begins a second statement of “aller Herren,” they are joined by choir 1.  The word “aller” is repeated at various times in all choir 2 voices, such that all of them sing the word three times, the basses four times.  All choir 1 voices except the sopranos sing the word twice.  “Herren” is sung twice by all choir 2 voices, once by all choir 1 voices.
3:53 [m. 116]--The choirs remain united.  The basses, doubled by horns, strongly intone the initial theme for “Ein König aller Könige.”  Against them, beginning on their long note, the sopranos present a new counterpoint (countersubject) on the words.  It is very active, with jubilant long-short-short rhythms, reaching a high note (A) on “aller.”  The violins double the soprano counterpoint while the winds add short descending figures harmonized in thirds.  The basses are then joined by the tenors for the original theme on “und ein Herr aller Herren.”  The sopranos continue their active counterpoint with the long-short-short rhythms, now on these words.  The violins and other strings drop out after the long tenor/bass note, but the winds continue their distinctive figures.
4:11 [m. 124]--The text moves for the first time to the closing “Halleluja! Amen!”  The choir 1 basses introduce a new “Halleluja!” theme.  It begins with an octave leap and features heavy syncopation followed by rapid turns.  As the basses sing the new tune, the upper voices of choir 1 add the typical “Halleluja!” interjections.  The orchestra moves to a doubling role.  After the presentation of the new melody, choir 2 takes up the “Halleluja!” interjections while the choir 1 sopranos and altos sing “Amen” to running lines reminiscent of those in the first movement.  As choir 2 continues, the choir 1 basses again present the new syncopated “Halleluja!” tune.  They and the choir 2 altos and sopranos add a running “Amen” in succession.
4:21 [m. 129]--The choir 1 sopranos now take the new syncopated “Halleluja!” theme, supported by interjections in the lower parts.  After a couple of “Amen” statements, choir 2 joins choir 1.  The sopranos and basses of both choirs are united.  The basses closely imitate the sopranos on the new syncopated theme.  The inner parts of the two choirs remain independent at first.  Against the soprano/bass imitation, the inner parts of each choir alternate on “Halleluja!” interjections.  Finally, the inner parts of the two choirs unite to form a powerful four-part texture as the key moves to F-sharp minor.  Two forceful, unified, syncopated statements of “Halleluja!” are followed by an “Amen” that makes a strong cadence on F-sharp minor.
4:36 [m. 136]--The text returns to “Ein König aller Könige” and its associated D-major music.  The choir 1 sopranos are isolated against all of choir 2.  Supported by winds, they call out the leaping opening, stretching out the word “König” and skipping the words “aller Könige” before moving to “und ein Herr aller Herren.”  Against this long soprano line, choir 2, in block harmony with string support, shouts out the entire phrase, lagging behind the choir 1 sopranos on “aller Herren” and moving to a half-close.
4:47 [m. 141]--For the next passage, the choirs unite, but the tenors are absent.  The basses begin with the opening figure of the theme on “ein König.”  As they hold the higher note, the strings play an anticipation of the active, jubilant long-short-short counterpoint and the winds play their descending figures.  After this anticipation, the sopranos and altos present a full intonation of the main theme in unison while the basses take the active countersubject, supported by the strings.  At “ein Herr aller Herren,” the altos briefly drop out, thinning the sound of the long soprano note.  As the basses slow down and anticipate the cadence, the altos join again with an added harmony.
5:08 [m. 151]--Overlapping with the strong cadence, the choir 1 tenors, along with a violin flourish, introduce a passage of syncopated counterpoint on “aller Herren.” in choir 1.  The lower strings take up the violin flourish.  It is passed back to violins and again to lower strings.  The voices of choir 1 come together and abandon the syncopation in a strong motion to B minor.  Choir 2 then overlaps with them, led by its sopranos, and then takes its turn at the syncopated passage.  The distinctive flourish is again passed from violins to low strings and back.  The version of choir 2 builds to a moment of anticipation, then abruptly cuts off before reaching a cadence.  All instruments and voices very briefly cut off for a so-called “caesura” to gather strength for the following onslaught.
5:25 [m. 159]--A rush of strings in fast groupings of six notes to a beat, accompanied by trumpets and timpani, leads to a grand statement from the unified choir.  On block chords, there is still expanded harmony beyond four parts, but the parts that move alone are always unified.  After a full statement of “ein König,” the basses continue with the theme on “aller Könige” as the upper strings continue to rush in their six-note groups and the bass instruments begin to play forceful descending arpeggios.  Before the basses finish, there is another full statement on unstable B-major harmony and implied E major, followed by a similar continuation from the altos.  Finally, there are two powerful statements of “ein Herr” on unstable harmonies of C major and E-flat major, respectively.  The rushing upper strings and descending bass arpeggios are suddenly arrested on another brief cut-off, or “caesura.”
5:41 [m. 166]--Jolted back into D major, the choirs, in full harmony with only the basses unified and with full orchestral support, shout out “aller Herren” three times in grand syncopation, the first time with an additional anticipatory “aller.”  The upper voices of choir 1 and the choir 2 tenors then move to “Halleluja” while the basses and the choir 2 sopranos and altos sing a descending line on an additional statement of “aller, aller Herren.”  The volume suddenly diminishes and the key shifts to G major.  These latter parts trail with a fading “Halleluja” as the strings echo the preceding downward line.
5:52 [m. 171]--The strings begin to pulsate on a unison G. Choir 1, without sopranos, and altos slightly anticipating the tenors and basses, sings a subdued version of “Halleluja, Amen” in G major.  This overlaps with a similar statement a fifth higher by choir 2 without basses, the sopranos anticipating the altos and tenors.  The vocal parts are supported by winds.  One last overlapping statement, again a fifth higher, now from choir 1 without altos, the sopranos anticipating the tenors and basses, begins to build and shifts to F major, and the strings move from their pulsations to a steady upward moving line.
6:03 [m. 177]--All parts of choir 2 echo the “Amens” in F major.  The strings move away from their steady line to an undulation.  The music continues to build.  Choir 1 then sings “Halleluja!” without the “Amen,” shifting to C minor.  The strings move to a fanfare-like rhythm.  Choir 2 then sings “Halleluja!” (with the altos adding one “Amen”), the harmony moving toward D minor.  The music is now almost at full strength.  The last three exchanges of “Halleluja!” (choir 1, choir 2, then choir 1) become increasingly unstable, touching on E-flat major and F minor before culminating on a strident “augmented” chord, a sort of “super-dominant” leading to D major, where the choirs unify at the climax in a descending “Halleluja!” that comes to a half-close.
6:23 [m. 186]--The syncopated “Halleluja!” theme is introduced in a passage sung over a huge sustained bass (pedal point) on the “dominant” note, A, given in octave leaps.  The choirs begin to unite.  For the first three bars, the alto and bass parts remain divided, but then they also join together.  The syncopated theme is passed from the choir 1 basses (and cellos) to tenors (and violas), then altos (and first violins), and finally to sopranos (and second violins) with additional wind support.  Ecstatic cries of “Halleluja, Amen” are heard against the syncopated theme.
6:31 [m. 190]--The sustained pedal bass on A continues as the choirs momentarily abandon the syncopated theme for more forceful shouts of “Halleluja!”  The tenor line is particularly joyous.  The parts of each respective choir occasionally drift apart.  The second violins take up a tremolo with a steady bottom note (the pedal note A) and a moving top note, while the first violins play the octave leaps on A in alternation with those in the bass instruments.
6:40 [m. 194]--The bass finally moves away from the pedal point A, and the active syncopated theme is taken up once more by the again-unified choirs.  The theme is passed back and forth between tenors and sopranos while the altos and basses shout out the familiar brief “Halleluja!” interjections, which rise and intensify.  The sopranos and tenors do have some interjections, and the basses once take up the more active line.  The typical string doubling occurs, along with a piercing flute, which joins the sopranos and the first violins when they first take the theme.  The music continues to build in tension and jubilation.
6:55 [m. 201]--The voice parts artfully split into two choirs again with a seamless transition.  Choir 1 continues with the “Halleluja!” shouts.  Choir 2 moves to syncopated repetitions of “Amen.”  The choir 1 basses are offset from the rest of the “Halleluja!” shouts in the upper parts, and their “Halleluja!” occurs at the same time as the syncopated “Amen” repetitions in choir 2.  All parts are doubled somewhere in the orchestra.  The “Halleluja!” shouts are in the strings, and the choir 2 “Amens” doubled in the upper winds.  The bass line in both the voices and instruments has a chromatic (half-step) upward motion.
7:03 [m. 205]--The choirs again come together, with the sopranos arriving on the syncopated “Halleluja!” theme.  More “Halleluja!” shouts continue in the lower voices.  Then the unified choir intensifies, the sopranos striving upward with “Amen.”  In a very artful transition, the basses, then altos, then tenors, and finally sopranos converge together on the familiar upward leap used for “Ein König,” returning to that text to put a seal on the movement and the work.  Brahms indicates that the music should become broad (“sostenuto”) at this point.
7:13 [m. 209]--While all other parts break, the altos bridge with “ein König” to a tremendous and climactic dissonant “diminished seventh” chord.  The choirs then repeat “ein König” twice more before completing the phrase (“aller Könige”) in a very joyous cadence.  The orchestra punctuates this magnificent moment with forceful chords.  Only the sopranos split here, but at the cadence, the other parts diverge as well.
7:29 [m. 214]--In a concluding gesture, the choirs shout “Halleluja!” five more times, the last one lengthened.  The full eight-part texture is utilized, with the choir 2 basses providing a more solid foundation of three (instead of five) more steady “Halleluja!” statements below the interjections of the other parts.  The violins and violas add swirling six-note figures, with the last three notes of each a repetition in a lower octave of the first three.  Finally, after the last, lengthened “Halleluja!” a final sustained “Amen!” brings the movement and the entire “Triumphlied” to a tremendous conclusion.
7:53-END OF MOVEMENT [218 mm.]