Brahms’ Ein Deutsches (German) Requiem
Date/TimeSaturday, April 1 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, April 2 at 3:00 pm
LocationFirst Presbyterian Church
Conductor JoAnne Wasserman will lead the singers of the Choral Society, two fine soloists, and the Santa Barbara Choral Society Orchestra in performance of this much-loved choral masterwork. Brahms’ magnum opus, not heard in Santa Barbara for 10 years, is a must see performance! You won’t want to miss this special event!
Sacred, but not liturgical, Brahms composed this, his largest composition, between 1865 and 1868. Though the creative spark for it is uncertain, Brahms’s mother had died in February 1865, a loss that caused him much grief and may well have inspired Ein Deutsches Requiem. Brahms’s lingering feelings over Robert Schumann’s death in July 1856 may also have been a motivation. Brahms assembled the libretto himself. In contrast to the traditional Roman Catholic Requiem Mass, which employs a standardized text in Latin, the text is derived from the German Luther Bible. Although the Requiem Mass in the Roman Catholic liturgy begins with prayers for the dead (“Grant them eternal rest, O Lord”), A German Requiem focuses on the living, beginning with the text “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” from the Beatitudes. This theme—transition from anxiety to comfort—recurs in all the following movements except movements 4 and 7, the central one and the final one. Although the idea of the Lord is the source of the comfort, the sympathetic humanism persists through the work.