A German Requiem

Johannes Brahms c. 1866

The choir has been rehearsing selected movements from A German Requiem (to be sung in English) by Johannes Brahms for our end-of-year concert. So far we have done movements 2 (Behold all flesh is as the grass) and 4 (How lovely are thy dwellings). To quote from the Wikipedia article: “[The Requiem] is a large-scale work for chorus, orchestra, a soprano and a baritone soloist, composed between 1865 and 1868. It comprises seven movements, which together last 65 to 80 minutes, making this work Brahms’ longest composition. A German Requiem is sacred but non-liturgical, and unlike a long tradition of the Latin Requiem, A German Requiem, as its title states, is a Requiem in the German language.” It has been a much-discussed work. If you have a bit of spare time, you might want to read Ein deutsches Requiem: (Mis)conceptions of the Mass by Nancy Thuleen: it won’t take quite as long to read as it takes to perform the whole work!

This being a major classical work, it is well represented on the sites that offer choral training aids. Here is a link to the Choralia page:

http://www.choralia.net/br08mp3/br08mp3en.htm

And here is a link to the corresponding Cyberbass page:

http://www.cyberbass.com/Major_Works/Brahms_J/brahms_requiem.htm

I must say that my enthusiasm for Choralia and Cyberbass is lessening as the number of ads increases. Perhaps it would be better to deal with the raw MIDI files on Singing Practice:

http://www.singingpractice.co.uk/music/wholeworks/brarequ/base.html

And Barbie has now made her own piano-and-voice study recordings and put them in her Google Drive folder, here:

https://drive.google.com/drive/u/2/folders/1XhtmJ9rv2yCFYk0nkXCoawQckG7za2aq

Anyway, after a hard evening learning from the rather pedestrian MIDI files (or Barbie’s rather more expressive recordings) why not settle down to an actual performance? Tom Broadmore found a couple of likely videos on YouTube, both from the same BBC Proms performance in Vienna in 1997. Here is the one I prefer (the music starts at 9:00 minutes):

2 thoughts on “A German Requiem

  1. That’s awesome!! Thanks so much for sharing. Rachel D 😊

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