Ein Deutsches Requiem
I had the exciting opportunity to perform Brahms' Requiem
with the Dresden Philharmonic under the helm of Meister
Frühbeck at Avery Fisher Hall. I loved the piece
from the first rehearsal. Each movement is a work in itself
- moving, inspiring, deep, etc.
One of my favorite moments in the first movement is when
the chorus enters singing barely audible from the audience.
It's so soft you have to really listen to hear it.
Then they sing the line "Selig sind, die da leid tragen"
as the orchestra drops out. It's great. My favorite movement
of the entire work is the 6th movement - "Denn wir haben
hie keine bleibende stadt".
Brahms Requiem is unique because, unlike previous composers
who used Latin texts, Brahms used texts lifted straight
from the German bible. Also, unlike previous composers,
Brahms' Requiem makes no mention of Christ's return or
judgment day. In fact, it's a more personal approach and
comforting experience to the listener.
Brahms completed the Requiem in 1868. It is believed that
the Requiem was composed in light of the deaths of Robert
Schumann, a very close friend of Brahms, and the death
of his own mother, Christine Brahms, several months later.
With this in mind, you can hear the desperation as well
as the resolve Brahms was going through during the time
of its composition.