Saturday, 7 May 2016


German composer Johannes Brahms
Today’s Featured ‘Aria’ comes to us from 19th century Romantic era composer Johannes Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem), in honor of the late composer’s 183rd birthday.

Featured below is the exquisite Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit (You now have sadness) - the fifth movement from Brahms’ seven-movement, non-liturgical sacred piece, scored for orchestra, soprano and chorus.

The absolutely breathtaking Requiem, Brahms’ 45th opus, derives it’s text from the German Luther Bible and was conceived to be performed in the composers mother tongue. This adherence to the texts of the Lutheran bible is in stark contrast to the traditional Latin Requiem commonly employed by composers of western classical music, who draw on the texts used by the Roman Catholic Church.

Singing in German was but just one of many distinctions of the piece: intent on removing from his requiem the dogmatic themes of Christian theology (chiefly of the suffering, sacrifice and rebirth of Christ on the Cross, Brahms employed for his version of the Requiem the sympathetic man (as represented by the Lord), who seeks to comfort the living.

Ein Deutsches Requiem is believed to have been inspired by the death of a close companion to the German composer – either his mother, who had perished in February of 1865, or the composer and best mate to Brahms, Robert Schumann - who had succumbed to complications of syphilis (in all likelihood neurosyphilis) at a mental asylum outside of Bonn in 1856.

Listen below to the beautiful fifth movement, Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit (You now have sadness) from
Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45, as sung by Austrian lyric soprano Gundula Janowitz under the
baton of maestro Herbert von Karajan:


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