Herbert von Karajan also often confronted himself with spiritual music. Especially the Mozart, Verdi and Brahms Requiem were always performed in the utmost quality, whereas before all else Verdi's Messa di Requiem demands excellent opera voices.
For too long a gap in the Brilliant Classics catalogue,we are happy to present a superb recording of Brahms’ sacred masterwork, Ein deutsches Requiem. Brahms’ Requiem, written in German and presenting bible texts selected by Brahms himself, was composed after the death of Brahms’ mother, a shattering experience for him. The dark aspects of Death are relieved by music of great tenderness and intimacy.
Celebrating 80 years of vigorous artistic life with Brahms’ expansive and consoling mass for the dead, Ein deutsches Requiem, the hr-Sinfonieorchester (Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra) under its Chief Conductor Paavo Järvi, is joined by soprano Natalie Dessay, baritone Ludovic Tézier and the Swedish Radio Choir in an interpretation described as “exemplary” by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Everything about this dvd has to be greatly admired. The sound captured on the recording is pristine (with the exception of the audience coughing in between the movements) and well balanced. The video direction and cinematography (if such a word is appropriate) is engaging and gorgeous, never indulging in unnecessary visual elements.
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was a German composer and pianist and is considered a leading composer in the romantic period. His best known pieces include his Academic Festival Overture and German Requiem.
Among the major choral-orchestral works of the 19th century, Sir Roger Norrington and his former Orchestra, the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR, have tackled over the years, now finally comes Brahms' "German Requiem." one of the most beautiful and popular sacred music works in the repertoire. Brahms’ contemporaries, including his close friend Clara Schumann were moved with the score and were enthusiastic about it - and it has been a favorite with the general public ever since. Although Biblical texts are used, the piece is not in the standard church-liturgical tradition. It was Brahms‘personal response to "those who mourn"! The central idea of this masterpiece is the reality of human existence. It is precisely this „earthly character“ that Roger Norrington uses to shape his interpretation emphasizing the grave beautify of the music and not religious awe; in this, Norrington draws us close to the composer’s intentions. He is ably supported by soprano soloist Christina Landshamer, basso Florian Boesch, SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart and the NDR.