This Amabilis Singers performance features the distinguished Canadian pianist, Jane Coop and Ingrid Verseveldt, piano; Jennifer Driscoll-Holmes, soprano; George Roberts, baritone; Dr.Ramona Luengen, Artistic Director.
Johannes Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem is one of the great choral masterpieces of all time - a work of great depth, intensity and spirituality. Brahms' own reworking of the score for piano four-hands is not merely an arrangement of the orchestral parts, but a transformation which allows for an unsurpassed degree of intimacy, precision and contrapuntal clarity.
The composition occupied Brahms for many years, and was influenced by the death of his mother and the tragic fate of his friend Robert Schumann.
Brahms did not use the customary text of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass, but rather turned to scripture, in particular the German bible of Martin Luther. His remarkably original approach is evident directly at the beginning of the piece: Brahms eschews the traditional liturgical opening verse of "Grant them eternal rest, O Lord" and replaces it with "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted", taken from what is known as The Beatitudes from the gospel of Matthew. What an extraordinary change of perspective, for now the living are being addressed, and their anxiety has been replaced by comfort. Brahms once said that he would have been content to call his composition "Ein menschliches Requiem" (a human Requiem), and we can certainly understand why. Ein deutsches Requiem is a bold and moving testament to humanism as well as to faith.
Amabilis is privileged and honoured to have one of Canada's most prominent and distinguished artists Jane Coop join us for this special performance.
Please note: The seven movements of this 70 minute work will be sung without intermission.