Johannes Brahms’ “Ein deutsches Requiem” for vocal Solists, mixed Choir and 2 pianos after the original score by Brahms
Musical Direction - Phillip Moll - 2Pianists - Phillip Moll and Philip Mayers
Soprano Marlis Petersen
Bariton Konrad Jarnot
with Rundfunkchor Berlin – Conductor Simon Halsey
Artistic assistance for rehersals from - Davide Camplani und Claudia de Serpa Soares
Staging by Brad Hwang
Lights Jörg Bittner and Thomas Herda
Brahms’ Requiem is not a funeral Mass in the traditional sense – it is not a weepy kind of funeral hymn for the dead but rather a solemn, humble and modest elegy to give comfort to and celebrate the living.
Brahms was for the times in which he lived a modern man and not a religious person. Because he was both an intelligent and sensitive man who thought about things, he had no great liking of the at this time dominant Catholic church as an institution and therefore did not write in the formal liturgical text or form.
He also called it a ‘German’ requiem only because the words were in German. He said he was equally happy to have called it a ‘Humanity Requiem’ because he felt the questions of life and death are universal and not geographically or historically specific.
Brahms once said in the later stage of his life when many of his friends and acquaintances were dying that ‘life takes away much more than death ever can’ here referring to the fact that when close friends died a part of him went with them and his own passing would be nothing by comparison.
The theme of Brahm’s Requiem is the realization of mans’ mortality, the meaning of death and subsequent mourning, but also to overcome – to mourn but still to rise above the grief and view life again with strength.
Brahm’s vowed never to write an opera and never did – this may come close to being Brahm’s opera.
It is a very beautifull work and not often performed and therefore RADIALSYSTEM.V and the organizers are to be congratulated to be bringing this great work on a more personal level to an audience.
In this respect it has this in common with the another great ‚Messa da Requiem‘ written exactly the same time -1869 – by Giuseppi Verdi which also is very uplifting and positive work and attempts to conquer and transcend grief and this did not fit in with the classical Catholic mass.
A very good performance is that with perhaps the best soprano of all time- Berlin born singer Gundola Janowitz -recorded with the Vienna Philharmonic and Bernard Haitink in 1980 and is available on PHILIPS -
The organizers at the RADIALSYSTEM V want to turn the event into a community of singing and upon hearing the message to for the audience to experience a large-scale and personal “human requiem.”
We want the people, and I mean all, the choir, the conductor, the visitors to get involved. ”
As part of its series “Broadening the Scope of Choral Music” the Berlin Radio Choir will present Johannes Brahms’ “German Requiem” in what can best be described as ‘ in a new light’.
Whether it is needs a ‘new-light’ is questionable however ……..let them go for it!
Jochen Sandig and an artistic team from ‘ Sasha Waltz & Guests’ intend to develop a “human requiem” choreographed to the text, the sound, in body and space.
The choir will be directed into the large space onto a moving sort of stage wherein also the audience will be moved – both spiritually I hope but also physically!
The intention is to heighten the traditional concert experience and raise it by one level expand it by one dimension. Brahms would probably have approved of that – let’s see what happens.
Opening night is Friday the 10th February with more performances – Saturday, Sunday and lastly on Sunday the 19th all at 2000hrs. http://www.radialsystem.de/rebrush/rs-programme-monatsuebersicht_neu.php?id_event_date=10264841&language=de_DE
This blog reviewed a former concert at RADIALSYSTEM/V -http://www.ota-berlin.de/blog/07/25/live-classical-music-alive-and-well-in-berlin-review-of-bach-un-accompanied-cello-suites-by-berliner-alban-gerhardt-at-radialsystem-v/
Live Johannes Brahms in Berlin “Ein deutsches Requiem” / “German Requiem” at Radial System -with Rundfunkchor Berlin directed by Simon Halsey in original Brahms score for two Pianos, soloists and choir from OTA Berlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany License. If you use this article or parts of it, please refer to http://www.ota-berlin.de.
Tags: Bariton Konrad Jarnot, Brahms German Requiem Op. 45, Davide Camplani und Claudia de Serpa Soares, Gundola Janowitz greatest living soprano, Jochen Sandig, Jörg Bittner and Thomas Herda, Live Johannes Brahms in Berlin “Ein deutsches Requiem”, Phillip Moll and Philip Mayers, Radial System, Rundfunkchor Berlin, Sasha Waltz & Guests’, Simon Halsey, Soprano Marlis Petersen, Staging by Brad Hwang