BRAHMS, J.: Deutsches Requiem (Ein) (Thielemann)

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- (Disc 1)

Brahms, Johannes - Composer
Ein Deutsches Requiem

Date of Concert: 04-2007
Playing Time: 01:22:48
Television Director: Meth, Agnes
Catalogue Number: A05016413
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Johannes Brahms composed his Requiem in 1865/66, shortly after the death of his mother. A profoundly moving work for soprano and baritone solo, chorus and orchestra, it is the composer's largest single composition. No work did more to win Brahms international recognition and, after the first complete performance of the Requiem in Leipzig in 1869, he was regarded as one of the leading composers of his time. It was not the first requiem in German, but the first in which a composer pieced together his text from Bible passages in Martin Luther's German translation. It is an intensely personal selection which speaks to the living and seeks to offer hope and comfort. Through his subtle, almost surreal, affinity to Brahms's unorthodox, elusive worldview, conductor Christian Thielemann has crafted a performance that places him among the best interpreters of this work, such as Maazel, Furtwängler, Karajan, Klemperer... An acknowledged specialist of Romantic music, Thielemann "put forth a dignified account that offers considerable material for reflection. At the end, one understood all too well why the audience was requested to refrain from applauding at the end. For the seventh and last section is the solemn, meditative chorus "Selig sind die Toten" ... In Thielemann's hands, this ending became the work's delicate, expressive climax" (Joachim Kaiser, Suddeutsche Zeitung). The soloists in this production, which was recorded at Munich's Philharmonie in April 2007 with the Munich Philharmonic, also rank among the best in their voice ranges. Christian Gerhaher has become particularly noted as a Lied singer and won the prestigious Echo Klassik award in 2002 for his recording of Schubert's Winterreise. He has since established himself as a sought-after baritone in many opera roles. Soprano Christine Schäfer has won rave reviews above all for her impassioned interpretations of Mozart roles such as Cherubino and Donna Anna. In the Brahms Requiem, "she transforms the "Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit" into an angelic hymn, clear and wondrously beautiful, removed from all pain and suffering. Flawless" (Joachim Kaiser, Süddeutsche Zeitung).

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