Romantic Period - post 1848#
Johannes Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem#
Johannes Brahms (1833 Hamburg/Germany
- 1897 Vienna) was a sceptic when it came to religious matters. He
chose a text for his Deutsche Requiem (A German Requiem)(1869)
without any references to Christ. In keeping with this attitude, he
ends the work not with the glorification of Christ's death as redeemer
but rather chooses the unusual phrase Selig sind die Toten, die in
dem Herrn sterben, von nun an (Blessed are they who die in the Lord,
forevermore). This creates a certain relationship with the Kyrie but
one which emphasizes the Sermon on the Mount. Both the text and the
musical expression of these movements create a parallel: the circle
between the Living and the Dead is complete.
The musical example
presents the Kyrie. You should especially notice the first three notes
in the Soprano part because they return in various forms throughout the
work and thus give it a unifying thematic element to create cohesion.
© Decca Record London, CD-Nr. 414 627-2: Brahms, Ein Deutsches Requiem. Chicago Symphony Orchestra & Chorus unter Sir Georg Solti.