Ludwig Van Beethoven: Symphony No.4
Johannes Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem
Brahms's German Requiem is achingly beautiful, dwelling on the hope of the resurrection as well as consoling those who remain on earth.
Brahms first considered writing a Requiem Mass after the death of his close friend Robert Schumann, but was only catapulted into its composition a decade later after the death of his mother caused him inconsolable grief. He completed his tribute to her four years later with a mass unlike any conventional Requiem.
Ein deutsches Requiem sets sections of Luther's translation of the Bible, dwelling far more on the hope of the resurrection than on the fear of Judgement Day. The first movement, 'Blessed are they that mourn', consoles those that remain on Earth with achingly beautiful suspensions from the chorus. The work moves through divinely beautiful music to the dramatic highlight of Brahms's tone-painting of the resurrection of the dead. Yet the work ends back on an earthly level, a reminder that we cannot know what awaits us.
Click here to buy the Philharmonia Orchestra Beethoven Symphony No.4 CD.Performers
Christoph von Dohnányi conductor
Susan Gritton soprano
Thomas Hampson baritone