Brahms German Requiem
Conducted by Valery Gergiev
The London Symphony Orchestra present Brahms' German Requiem alongside alongside Szymanowski's Stabat Mater.
Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra present Brahms’ greatest choral work, the German Requiem, featuring soprano Sally Matthews and baritone Christopher Maltman. Intended to be for ‘all humanity’, Brahms’ German Requiem is a powerful work – its central themes of melancholy and comfort are universally applicable.
Non-liturgical, yet sacred and devotional in spirit, it showcases the great romantic melodies for which Brahms was renowned, and has become a popular work with choirs all over the world – admired for its mystical, consolatory and contemplative tone.
For decades Szymanowski’s music was rarely heard outside Poland. Today, he is recognised as one of the country’s greatest musical figures. His desire to embody the music of his native land and his incorporation of the folkloric sounds of the Polish mountains make his orchestral works a must for anyone with an interest in Polish culture and music. The Stabat Mater is derived from poet Józef Jankowski’s translation of the medieval poem about the grieving mother of Christ.
The London Symphony Chorus was wonderfully incisive and articulate in the large-scale movements, especially the second, All Flesh Is Grass, and warmly expressive in the more intimate ones such as the final Blessed Are the Dead.
An undoubted plus was the solo singing – Christopher Maltman giving of his considerable best in the initial recitatives of the third and sixth movements, his sheer ardency finding meaningful contrast with the poise and pathos Matthews brought to the fifth movement in what is one of Brahms’s most affecting inspirations.
Supported by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the Polska Music Programme.
Captured live at the Barbican, London, in March 2013 and presented as part of the London Symphony Orchestra Collection.
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