Johannes Brahms

Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem), for soprano, baritone, chorus & orchestra, Op. 45

    Description by Rovi Staff

    Johannes Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem (1863-1867) is not a setting of the German translation of the standard Requiem text. Rather, Brahms set a selection of Bible verses in German, treating death and its repercussions, and emphasizing consolation over religious observance. He avoided explicitly Christian references, at one time even suggesting that the work be called the "Human Requiem." The German Requiem took shape gradually, undergoing a number of revisions and additions in the course of its creation. First performed in a six-movement version in 1868, the work had its emotional roots in the death of the composer's mother three years earlier. The maternal spirit of much of the text, with its words of consolation that speak more of memory of the dead than return of the dead is a direct allusion his mother's death in 1865, and a reflection of Brahms' disillusionment with dogmatic religion. As a counter to this, there is a more paternal element in the second, third, and sixth movements, which invoke the inevitability of death and its eventual defeat. In spite of its evolving over a period of 11 years, there is a unity of style, mood, and form that is surprising in a work not planned as a unit from the beginning. There are some disparities in balance and scoring, however, the breadth, power, and sheer beauty of the work surely rank it among the great masterpieces of choral-orchestral music.

    The first person to see the "finished" score was the other important woman in Brahms' life, Clara Schuman, who wrote to him, "I am completely filled with your Requiem, it...takes hold of a person's whole being like very little else." In 1869, Brahms inserted a new movement as the fifth of the work's seven, and in this, its present form, the Requiem was presented at the inaugural concert at Leipzig's Gewandhaus concert hall. Over the next decade the work was performed more than one hundred times in German-speaking countries alone. The Requiem, which predated all of the composer's symphonies, was the first large-scale orchestral piece for which Brahms gained universal acclaim; its radiant warmth has made it a perennial audience favorite.

    Recent intepretations of the German Requiem seem to be evolving from a tradition of automatic application of the formula "slow = reverent" into a newer approach that observes Brahms' often faster, more flowing tempos. Choirs with the desire to perform the Requiem but lack the resource of an orchestra may wish to investigate Brahms' own arrangement of the accompaniment for piano, four hands.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Selig sind die da Leid tragen
    2. Denn alles Fleisch es ist wie Gras
    3. Herr, lehre doch mich
    4. Der gerechten Seelen sind in Gottes Hand
    5. Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen
    6. Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit
    7. Denn wir haben hier keine bleibende statt
    8. Herr, du bist würdig
    9. Selig sind die Toten

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 Centaur Records 3647
    2018 Hyperion CDA 68242
    2018 Warner Classics 0190295633837
    2017 Challenge Classics CC 72738
    2017 Datum 12323
    2017 Delphian / Delphian Records DCD 34195
    2017 Capriccio Records C 8014
    2017 Deutsche Grammophon 4797060
    2017 LPO LPO 1010
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 002894795516
    2016 Sony Classical / Sony Music Distribution 88875173752
    2016 EPR-Classic EPR 19
    2016 Decca / Philips 4788977
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon 4795448
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon 4794220
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon
    2015 RCO Live RCO 15003
    2015 Haenssler / Hänssler Classic 933270000000
    2015 Sony Classical 88843072592
    2015 Melodiya MELCD 1002320
    2014 Hänssler Classic 980380000000
    2014 Warner Classics 0825646278176
    2014 Naxos NBD 0039
    2014 Naxos 8573061
    2014 Gramola 99014
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon B002046202
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon
    2014 Warner Classics 2564633628
    2014 Berlin Classics 0300569BC
    2014 LSO Live LSO 0748
    2014 Warner Classics 2564633629
    2014 Urania / Urania Records WS 121232
    2014 RCA Red Seal 88843006072
    2013 Naxos 8572996
    2013 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler PH 13023
    2013 Ars Musici 233483
    2013 Erato
    2013 Harmonia Mundi HMX 290840108
    2013 EMI Classics
    2013 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099940433820
    2013 Warner Classics 82129
    2013 Naïve NC 40028
    2013 IDIS 6674
    2013 United Classics T 2CD2013007
    2012 Erato 2564663202
    2012 ABC Classics ABC 4764811
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099967833
    2012 Soli Deo Gloria SDG 706
    2012 Apex 2564659414
    2012 Naïve V 5301
    2012 Brilliant Classics 94353
    2012 K&K Verlagsanstalt 105
    2012 Deutsche Grammophon 002894770055
    2011 Erato / Virgin Classics 5099962861007
    2011 Erato
    2011 Seraphic Fire Media 09
    2011 Helicon Records 9629
    2011 Apex 256467717-6
    2011 RCA Red Seal 88697720662
    2011 ICA Classics 5002
    2011 RCA Red Seal 8869768604
    2011 Membran 233054
    2011 Oehms Classics 787
    2011 Archipel ARPCD 0535
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 London Philharmonic Orchestra / LPO 0045
    2010 Decca 478 2119
    2010 Decca 4782119
    2010 GLOR Classics 9191
    2010 EMI Classics 965925
    2010 PentaTone Classics 5186361
    2010 Decca
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Tahra 678-679
    2010 Coviello Classics 41006
    2010 IDIS 6596
    2009 Deutsche Grammophon 477 818-3
    2009 Boston Pops Recordings / BSO Classics 901
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Myto Records 196
    2009 Document / Membran 231754
    2009 Orfeo 725085
    2008 Landscape Classics
    2008 EMI Classics 5628112
    2008 Farao / Farao Classics 108006
    2008 Harmonia Mundi 501608
    2008 BBC Legends / BBC Music 42462
    2008 Telarc Distribution 60701
    2008 Telarc Distribution 80701
    2008 BBC Legends / BBC Music 42342
    2008 Orfeo 773084
    2008 Brilliant Classics 93554
    2008 Arte Nova Classics 496960
    2008 Music & Arts 289
    2008 Brilliant 93165
    2008 EMI Classics 11973
    2007 Coro 16050
    2007 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 0946365393
    2007 EMI Classics DVB38846093
    2007 Archipel 356
    2007 ORF 302
    2007 Archipel 0297
    2006 Berlin Classics 0185842
    2006 EMI Music Distribution 66948
    2006 Elatus
    2006 Teldec 3893012
    2006 Archipel 289
    2006 EMI Classics
    2006 Warner Classics / Warner Music 4627682
    2006 Haenssler 93140
    2006 Brilliant 99452
    2005 Decca 000412702
    2005 Angel Records 69229
    2005 EMI Classics
    2005 EMI Classics
    2005 Archipel 0154
    2005 EMI Classics
    2005 EMI Classics
    2005 Virgin Veritas
    2005 Guild Historical 2290
    2005 Audiophile Classics 101521
    2005 EMI Classics
    2005 Warner Fonit 4677110
    2005 EMI Music Distribution 69518
    2004 EMI Classics 62812
    2004 Harmonia Mundi 801608
    2004 Virgin Classics 62331
    2004 Deutsche Grammophon
    2004 Haenssler 98966
    2004 Rca Red Seal 60861
    2004 Sony Classical 92752
    2004 Haenssler 93144
    2004 Naïve V 4956
    2004 Artone 222330-354
    2003 EMI Classics 85054
    2003 Chandos CHAN10071
    2003 Haenssler 98460
    2002 LSO Live 0005
    2002 Audite 95492
    2002 Decca / Deutsche Grammophon
    2002 Concerto Royale 206215
    2002 Apex 89081
    2002 Carus 83200
    2002 Golden Melodram 40056
    2002 Classica d'Oro 1068
    2002 History 205180
    2002 Classica d'Oro 9007
    2001 Music & Arts CD1085
    2001 Classica d'Oro 1004
    2000 D Classics 70587
    2000 EMI Music Distribution 66879
    2000 Teldec 82129
    1999 Naxos Historical 8110839
    1999 Telarc Distribution CD80501
    1999 EMI Music Distribution 66955
    1999 Naxos 8 554115
    1999 Grammofono 2000 78870
    1999 Virgin Veritas 61605
    1999 EMI Music Distribution 56843
    1998 Haenssler 91102
    1998 Deutsche Grammophon 457 710-2GOR
    1998 Arkadia 78545
    1998 Grammofono 2000 78803/04
    1997 Opus 111 30140
    1997 Arte Nova 74321 49696-2
    1997 Harmonia Mundi 41512
    1996 Harmonia Mundi 901608
    1996 Myto Records 962147
    1996 Deutsche Grammophon 449 651-2GJB3
    1996 'Cane 1003
    1995 Orfeo 39101
    1995 Deutsche Grammophon 445 546-2GMA
    1995 London 443771
    1995 Teldec 98413
    1995 Sony Classical 64469
    1994 Naxos 550213
    1994 Philips 438760
    1994 Capriccio Records 10095
    1993 Deutsche Grammophon 437517
    1993 Erato 92856
    1992 Archiphon 22
    1992 Chandos 8942
    1992 RCA 61349
    1991 Philips 432140
    1991 Decca
    1991 Deutsche Grammophon 431651
    1991 Decca / Deutsche Grammophon
    1991 Sony Music Distribution 45853
    1991 EMI Classics 767819
    1989 Deutsche Grammophon 427252
    1984 Telarc Digital 80092
    1980 Tahra 278
    Exultate 71
    London 414627
    MDG 3341137
    Brilliant 92392/33
    Brilliant Classics 93554/34
    Brilliant 93165/9
    Brilliant 99463
    Deutsche Grammophon 4636612
    Harmonia Mundi 2981608
    Teldec
    Seraphic Fire Media
    Guild 7302
    EMI Music Distribution 56218
    Melodram 17503
    EMI Music Distribution 47238
    RCA 60868
    Ars Musici 1057
    Fonit-Cetra Italia 2029
    Memories 4493
    Hunt Productions 716
    Deutsche Grammophon 0734398
    Philips 411436
    EMI Music Distribution 575722
    NLCA 082
    Cetra 2029
    History 205183
    Testament 1365
    Arlecchino 92
    Grammofono 2000 78755