Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem, Op. 45 (Live) (CD)

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Carolyn Sampson, Andre Morsch, Cappella Amsterdam, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Daniel Reuss

Johannes Brahms’ consolatory Ein deutsches Requiem receives a fresh and considered interpretation fromDaniel Reuss and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century. This renowned orchestra took the decision – following the death, some years back, of Frans Brüggen – to retain its founder’s dynamic process of alternating concert tours with recordings. And dispensing with the need for having a principal conductor, the orchestra now works with a range of musicians according to the repertoire being performed.

Such a conductor is Daniel Reuss, who is also the artistic director of the Cappella Amsterdam, the choir which has frequently been appearing alongside the orchestra in recent times. A well-received reading of the Beethoven Missa Solemnis involving Reuss and the orchestra was issued by Glossa in 2017 and these musical forces have now turned their attention to Johannes Brahms’ pillar of religious music.

Taped in the Rotterdam De Doelen concert hall this new recording involves Carolyn Sampson (soprano) andAndré Morsch (baritone) as its two soloists, in a version which attempts, as far as it is possible, to get close – in terms of tonal colours, interpretation and tempi – to Brahms’ original intentions.

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  1. Selig sind, die da Leid tragen 
  2. Denn alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras 
  3. Herr, lehre doch mich
  4. Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen 
  5. Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit 
  6. Denn wir haben hie keine bleibende Statt 
  7. Selig sind die Toten

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The Classical Music Collector

Brahms’ German Requiem to Words of the Holy Scriptures (“Ein deutsches Requiem, nach Worten der heiligen Schrift”) is not, despite the emphatic title, a liturgical work, but a thoughtful, resigned meditation on death. He wrote it in the late 1860s, very likely in response to the death of his mother, and as a belated memorial to Schumann, and it is his largest single musical statement. In this new live recording of the work, the performers have attempted to recapture Brahms’ original intentions, both by using instruments of the time and adopting the appropriate performance practise and choral style. Even more importantly, this performance uses tempi, and tempo relationships, that were noted at the time by Brahms’ assistant conductor. Hearing Glossa’s new recording takes us perhaps as close as is currently possible to experiencing this consolatory and numinous work as Brahms conceived it.

- Chris Dench