Lionel Sow / fot. Łukasz Rajchert
Lionel Sow / fot. Łukasz Rajchert
Choral concerts
Ein Deutsches Requiem
11.06
Sun.
5:00 PM
NFM, Red Hall
Programme:

J. Brahms Warum ist das Licht gegeben dem Mühseligen? – motet op. 74 no. 1; Ein Deutsches Requiem op. 45

Performers:

Lionel Sow – conductor 
Katarzyna Neugebauer-Jastrzębska – piano
Michał Rot – piano
NFM Choir

Venue:
NFM, Red Hall
plac Wolności 1, 50-071 Wrocław
Tickets:
from 20 to 55 zł

Ein Deutsches Requiem by Johannes Brahms differs from the traditional form of a funeral mass. This timeless piece of universal character will be performed by pianists with the NFM Choir conducted by Lionel Sow. It will be preceded by a motet considered a masterpiece of a cappella choral music, sometimes referred to as “a little German requiem”.

While Johannes Brahms was giving the finishing touches to his Symphony No. 2, his greatest and most powerful choral composition without accompaniment was released. Warum ist das Licht gegeben dem Mühseligen? is a four-movement a cappella work based on biblical texts. The artist adopted the pattern of the great master of the motet genre – Johann Sebastian Bach. The motet deals with the issues of life and death – based on the misfortunes of the biblical Job, with whom the composer identified himself. The piece begins with a moving scream: Warum? (Why?). Brahms, mentioning his work, lamented: “In the Book of Job you will find this ‘Warum’ – but no answer.”

Ein Deutsches Requiem is a choral composition that marks a turning point in Brahms’s career. It is considered by many to be his greatest achievement. From the time of its first performance, it was met with enthusiasm and sealed the artist’s position as one of the leading composers of his generation. The final version consists of seven movements arranged symmetrically around the fourth, central one. Contrary to the title, this is not a funeral mass, but a lyrical reflection on death, addressed not to the dead, but to the living. Brahms skillfully selected texts from the Old and New Testaments translated by Martin Luther, avoiding unambiguously Christian messages, thus giving the work a universal dimension. The composer himself preferred it to be referred to as a “human requiem”.

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