Jou Week In Groote Kerk, 15 Maart 2020

Jou Week In Groote Kerk, 15 Maart 2020

Nuusbrief, Sondag 15 Maart 2020...

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Sunday, 01 November 2015, 15h00

Groote Kerk, Cape Town, 43 Adderley Street

Johannes Brahms

A German Requiem

-Version for two pianos and timpani-

Lauren Dasappa, Soprano

Luxolo Jule, Baritone

Elna van der Merwe & Zorada Temmingh, Piano

Suzette Brits, Timpani

Schola Cantorum

Martin Berger

Brahm’s Requiem was composed between 1865 and 1868 and comprises seven movements 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.

Brahms’s mother died in February 1865, a loss that caused him much grief and may well have inspired Ein deutsches Requiem. Brahms’s lingering feelings over Robert Schumann’s death in July 1856 may also have been a motivation, though his reticence about such matters makes this uncertain. Brahms said later that he would have gladly called the work “Ein menschliches Requiem” (A human Requiem).

The version for two pianos and timpani is an arrangement that stands as an authentic alternative to the orchestral version, and not just a functional accommodation for choral groups that don’t have the luxury of an orchestral accompaniment. It’s most notable for its lean textures, which highlight the clarity and discipline of Brahms’ counterpoint, and allow the listener to hear the piece in a new light. It is judicious in its use of the timpani, and the version wisely avoids any bombast, even in the big moments where it would be tempting to cut loose with all the crashing vehemence two pianos are capable of.

Especially when performed with a group the size of Schola Cantorum, this version of the Requiem comes across as a remarkable piece of choral chamber music.

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