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2012 – J. Brahms German Requiem

2012 – J. Brahms German Requiem

On 9 September 2012, chamber version of German Requiem by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was performed at the Lavra Gallery, as part of the Chamber Music Session International Classical Music Festival.

The artists:
Credo Chamber Choir
Verena Krause (soprano)
Andrew Ashwin (baritone)
Mark Solé-Leris and Frédéric Chauvel (piano duet)
Bogdan Shved (conductor)

About the composition:
German Requiem by Johannes Brahms stands alone in the history of music. It is considered to be one of the iconic works of the German classical music. It is one of the brightest and most lyrical Requiems compared to other works of this kind. Brahms was composing German Requiem for over 12 years and it became his longest composition. Brahms wrote the text of Requiem himself, taking quotes from the Old and New Testaments.

The general sense of the Brahms’ Requiem is quite different from the traditional Catholic requiem mass. There are no prayers, no mention of the name of Christ, no pictures of the Last Judgment (Dies Irae), usually being a very important part of a requiem. Mention of the “last trumpet” does not awake fear of death, but claims “the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?” (First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians). Instead, there are a lot of words of comfort, hope and love: German Requiem is addressed to the living, in order to help them to be resigned to death, to encourage. Brahms does not only address the Germans, Lutherans — he addresses all the people: “I ​​confess I would gladly drop the word German and just put human”.

About the festival:
Chamber Music Session is an international classical music festival which has been held in Kyiv since 2005. The festival gathers the best classical musicians from around the world and creates a unique atmosphere of the triumph of music. The 2012 festival participants include quartets of different types: string quartet, piano quartet, flute quartet, two pianos for eight hands, four grand pianos. Chamber Music Session 2012 is innovative in many ways. The festival space and activities have been supported by innovative interactive technology. In addition to the central musical component, the organizers also aim to draw the attention of people of different ages and interests to classical music, not only of classical music admirers in the usual sense of the word. The Chamber Music Session 2012 offers workshops for the festival participants and guests. Each performance has been recorded and later the organizers are planning to release the audio version of the festival.