JUNE 20 - 28, 2021
LET MUSIC LIVE
PRAGUE | VIENNA
ANDREW CROW & DOUGLAS DROSTE
ARTISTIC DIRECTORS & CONDUCTORS
A music festival commemorating
those we lost and
amidst the global pandemic
of two thousand twenty
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About Brahms’ Requiem
Completed in the mid-1860s, the Requiem is considered one of the most powerful works for chorus and orchestra.
“Brahms wrote the Requiem in his native German, not Latin, and took text from the Bible using lines of reflection and consolation for those of us left living after someone dear to us has died. “The typical Latin Requiem Mass includes a frightening segment about The Day of Judgment, but Brahms did not approach the work from that standpoint, suggesting, instead, it be ‘A Human Requiem’, one of solace. As we are fraught with different anxieties, a performance of this nobly spiritual work seems helpful, hopeful and timely.”
Seeking to comfort the living in the face of death, he used the text of Martin Luther’s German vernacular translation of the Bible rather than the traditional Catholic liturgical text for the requiem mass, which connotes images of the terror of the Last Judgment. The work’s melodic orchestral and chor al palettes continue to resonate with audiences today, nearly 150 years after Brahms conducted its debut in the Bremen Cathedral on Good Friday 1869.
Based on biblical rather than liturgical texts, the Requiem is a celebration of life instead of a commentary on death. Just 33 years old when he completed the bulk of his magnum opus, Brahms wrote, “As for the title, I must admit I should like to leave out the word ‘German’ and refer instead to ‘Humanity.’ ”