BRAHMS - A GERMAN REQUIEM
A meditation on life and death
Whereas some Requiem Masses are gripping, dizzying spectacles like Verdi’s; heartfelt yet emotionally contained like Mozart’s; or steamroller-overpowering like Berlioz,’ Brahms gathers his flock to lead it skyward or rather: heavenward, to God. His “German” Requiem reaches out to comfort the living through religious texts not traditionally associated with the Requiem Mass. The result is a work of great intensity that speaks to people of all faiths, believers and non-believers alike.
In this concert recorded at the magnificent Baroque basilica of Saint Florian, Austria – once the home turf of Anton Bruckner – the Cleveland Orchestra and its principal conductor Franz Welser-Möst pare down all traces of bombast wherever emotions could easily run out of control. Now long established as one of the leading conductors of our time, Welser-Möst never gives in to blatant effects; in his meditation on life and death, he chooses discipline and introspection. And he can count on some high-carat partners to help him...
The Cleveland Orchestra, for one, called “the best orchestra in America” by the New York Times, and known to an ever-growing public through tours, residences, radio broadcasts, video recordings, social projects, etc. A coveted venue for choral music lovers all over the world, the Wiener Singverein was founded in 1858 and has become a sought-after partner to the late great masters Pierre Boulez and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. The program’s two soloists – Hanna-Elisabeth Müller and Simon Keenlyside – are already at home on the world’s stages. While the former has carved a career for herself not only as an opera singer but also as a lieder and concert artist, the London-born Keenlyside has been building his impressive career around the prestigious guest appearances he has made during the past ten years.