Don’t miss hearing one of Brahms’ most grand and profound works in a collaboration between two of the community’s top ensembles tomorrow afternoon at St. Boniface Catholic Church!
While the purpose of most requiem masses is an intense focus on the dead, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem offers a grand prayer for the living. It is in this vein that the work holds universal appeal. Opening by quoting the Beatitudes with “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted,” the work continually builds on a theme of transition from anxiety to comfort. For Brahms, this comfort, though ultimately supplied by the Lord, is also achieved through a persistently sympathetic humanism.
And Brahms knew of this transition from anxiety to comfort, firsthand. Requiem was conceived during a tumultuous period in the composer’s life that witnessed the death of his mother in 1865 as well as the mental breakdown, attempted suicide and death of close friend, Robert Schumann. Both are considered possible inspirations for Brahms.
Assembling the libretto himself from the German Luther Bible, Brahms strayed from the traditional use of Latin for his Requiem which is the standard language of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass. And while the word “German” here refers to the language of the Requiem and not necessarily the audience for which it was intended, Brahms is reported to have once declared that he would have gladly called the work Ein menschliches Requiem or A Human Requiem.
The Louisville Philharmonia and the Louisville Chorus will perform this masterpiece Sunday, May 18th at 4 pm at St. Boniface Catholic Church. Tickets start at $20 ($15 for seniors and $5 for students) and can be purchased at the door.
(Photo courtesy of www.louisvillechorus.org.)
Follow Michael on Twitter: @rackoflambert.
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