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Showing 26-50 of 51 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 5 Feb 2014, 14:21:38 GMT
...and how would you describe Brahms with a culinary metaphor, Bruce? ;)

Posted on 5 Feb 2014, 14:37:56 GMT
Rasmus: agree with your order of preference and most other comments, though I do like Mozart's Requiem.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Feb 2014, 14:45:28 GMT

The blame is probably on me and not Mozart - more exposure might mend it - listen till you like it...

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Feb 2014, 15:00:51 GMT
Bruce says:
Sauerkraut? ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Feb 2014, 15:16:16 GMT
Last edited by the author on 5 Feb 2014, 15:17:21 GMT
...just across the the sound about 200 miles from where I live is the border to Germany, so I have 80 million people in my backyard who love sauerkraut! :)
Each to his own I guess...

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Feb 2014, 17:25:38 GMT
Malx says:
Bruce - given your much stated aversion to Johannes' music in general do you think that your observation/experience,
" I think actually trying to sing this stuff gives you a whole new perspective",
might even apply to the Brahms Requiem.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Feb 2014, 17:32:51 GMT
Bruce says:
If we sing it - I might find out. But it won't affect my opinion of his symphonies! ;-)

Posted on 5 Feb 2014, 17:39:06 GMT
Lez Lee says:
Zbigniew Preisner - Requiem for My Friend

Preisner's mostly a film music composer for films directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski. The requiem was written for a narrative film but became a memorial for Kieslowski when he died.


In reply to an earlier post on 5 Feb 2014, 17:43:30 GMT
I can see your future in my crystal ball, Bruce - you will be humming Brahms' 4th to the entire World via Britain's got Talent - Swingle Singers style. Can't wait to hear it... You're gonna be a star!

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2014, 07:04:38 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Feb 2014, 07:05:46 GMT
D. M. Ohara says:
The German Requiem by Brahms is not really a requiem, as it does not set liturgical texts. [Delius's 'Mass of Life' is not really a Mass, for the same reasons].
I think the Verdi Requiem quite supreme; and I also enjoy the Berlioz requiem.
There are some wonderful requiems from the 16th and 17th centuries, if one cares to venture back that far. It really was the Golden Age of the requiem.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2014, 08:26:20 GMT
enthusiast says:
I'm not convinced that a work written in or after the 19th Century needs to be liturgical to be called "a requiem". The word has come to legitimately mean something more broad and for many composers an honest response would not involve using liturgical sources which would have had little resonance with them. You have to wonder when composers like Britten use the liturgical form - he did it twice - whether the resonance it has for them is in the musical rather than the religious tradition.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2014, 14:52:36 GMT
Dan and enthusiast

Thank you for your posts!

I didn't realise that the German Requiem wasn't liturgical - but I checked Wiki and it says that it is still a sacred work - actually the word "holy scripture" is included in the full title of the Work - quote:

>>>A German Requiem, To Words of the Holy Scriptures, Op. 45 (German: Ein deutsches Requiem, nach Worten der heiligen Schrift) by Johannes Brahms, is a large-scale work for chorus, orchestra, and a soprano and a baritone soloist, composed between 1865 and 1868. It comprises seven movements, which together last 65 to 80 minutes, making this work Brahms's longest composition. A German Requiem is sacred but non-liturgical, and unlike a long tradition of the Latin Requiem, A German Requiem, as its title states, is a Requiem in the German language.<<<

I should try the Berlioz Requiem - thanks, Dan. - I like his Te Deum even though our long lost friend Edgar Self calls it "Tedium" LOL.

I haven't tried any of those older requiems - I'm not big on vocal music although I try to keep an open mind and sometimes get blown away as when I first heard Solti's German Requiem.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2014, 16:35:00 GMT
enthusiast says:
Well, it is not very religious, Rasmus. As well as avoiding liturgy I think it is clear that Brahms' intentions were not so religious. It is a work that those who don't like Brahms so much tend to condemn as being extremely tedious. But you are right - it can be a powerful work. Which is the Solti account you refer to?

Mozart's requiem is an unusual piece of Mozart but can be very powerful. Harnoncourt's recording may appeal to you?

Posted on 8 Feb 2014, 18:23:37 GMT
enthusiast says:
Does anyone know Penderecki's Requiem? I don't but I am interested in giving it a try.

Posted on 8 Feb 2014, 19:32:32 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Feb 2014, 19:33:03 GMT
I don't agree with a description of Brahms' Requiem as "not very religious", which doesn't seem to me to square with the choice of texts from the Bible. Not conventionally religious, perhaps, but that's a rather different matter.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2014, 19:51:42 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Feb 2014, 20:43:27 GMT
enthusiast says:
You surprise me, Harry. I've never heard it as a Christian piece in essence. We've acknowledged that he used religious texts but are you saying that what interested him in them was essentially religious sentiment? That's not what I hear. I could be wrong, of course, and I'll dig around to see if others also have heard his concerns as more humanist than Christian.

Posted on 8 Feb 2014, 20:40:20 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Feb 2014, 20:42:28 GMT
I respect that view, enthusiast, but I can't agree with it. I would accept that Brahms' intention was not to compose a conventionally Catholic Requiem, but to me that's not the same thing as wanting to compose a "not very religious" work. He was immensely widely read and I'm afraid I don't believe he'd have chosen those texts, or indeed written a Requiem at all, if he didn't want the piece to have significant religious overtones.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2014, 21:01:36 GMT
enthusiast says:
My understanding, Harry, (bolstered by a quick bit of web research) is that he was very familiar with the (German) Protestant Bible and had studied it in some depth as a young man. But there seems to be a dominant view that by the time he came to write the German Requiem he probably valued the Bible more are literature than a source of spiritual guidance. His agnostic and humanistic moral and intellectual stance is well documented but may have been significantly influenced by the Protestant reading of what is important in life. But my quick and dirty research did assure me that I am not alone in not hearing a religious purpose in the work.

I think that quite a number of great religious works have not been especially concerned with religious inspiration (and many others clearly have been). I don't just refer to the political dimension that must always be in big public works. There is also a sense that many composers have seemed more interested in the musical and dramatic potential of the texts than in praising God. One rather extreme case is the War Requiem of Britten where he sets the Latin mass in a way that is rather sterile, strongly ritualised and also heavily influenced by Verdi's Requiem. But he intersperses very moving and human settings of Owen poems within this and this music "leaks" into the Latin settings to further strengthen the work. It is clear that his inspiration was not concerned with making a religious statement.

Posted on 30 Mar 2014, 22:29:26 BST
Malx says:
I have been listening to the Brahms Requiems I have in my collection, Klemperer, Klemperer Live, and Previn on the LSO Live label. I am now looking for a couple of others to consider, so would welcome any recommendations.
Whilst browsing I became aware of Baremboim's recording with the Chicago SO orchestra which appears to be extremely slow (77.05) by comparison to the three I have.
Does anybody know that recording and if so how does the performance sound at such slow tempos?

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Mar 2014, 09:24:29 BST
Malx: I don't know the Barenboim recording, my long time favourite is Sawallisch - Brahms - Ein Deutsches Requiem. Kempe/Berlin PO etc is also excellent but mono only. I also have the Klemperer and Previn, both fine.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Mar 2014, 11:43:01 BST
Last edited by the author on 31 Mar 2014, 12:08:47 BST
RE: German Requiem

I have Klemperer, Solti and Gardiner.
And I much prefer the old fashioned approach by Solti and Klemperer to Gardiner's period approach.
Sawallisch sounds interesting - I love his Schumann and Brahms symphonies.

German Requiem Solti is pretty cheap.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Mar 2014, 11:45:22 BST

There is also a Sawallisch on Decca with different singers:
Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Mar 2014, 11:59:21 BST
Rasmus: I first heard the German Requiem, sung in English, in a live performance. Immediately afterwards I bought the Sawallisch/VSO version on a couple of battered, secondhand LPs. It was originally on the Philips label and coupled with the Alto Rhapsody and The Song of Destiny. Eventually I replaced it with Sawallisch's Bavarian version (also on LP), which has been my favourite ever since though Klemperer and Kempe run it close.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Mar 2014, 12:07:13 BST
Thanks Geoffrey - I will keep that in mind.

Posted on 31 Mar 2014, 15:55:31 BST
Bruce says:
It's this Saturday coming - that I will be singing the Verdi Requiem - great fun - especially for the basses as we get to sing some of the best tunes - like Rex Tremendae... etc.
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