Begräbnisgesang (Bural song) op. 13
Ein deutsches Requiem (German Requiem) op. 45
Katalin Szutrély soprano, Christian Immler baritone
Early chilly November is the period of remembrance when we visit the cemetery on All Saints’ Day, cherishing the memory of loved ones who have passed away. Requiems are performed in churches and concert halls. Although we are nearly at the end of the month, the German Requiem by Johannes Brahms is also different from other requiems. Firstly, it is more an oratorio since it does not set the text of the mass to music, and secondly, it is not in Latin but in German. And although the composer compiled the libretto from Luther’s German Bible and apocrypha texts, the atheism of the free-thinking Brahms was almost common knowledge. “Such a great man! Such a great soul! And he believes in nothing!” his good friend Antonín Dvořák once despairingly reported. However, grief and tragedy often make a believer of the unbeliever: the first drafts of the German Requiem were completed in 1856, on the death of Schumann, then after a lengthy hiatus, in 1865, the loss of his mother redirected Brahms towards the composition, which although a long drawn-out process brought, in the end, world fame to the composer. This time, Concerto Budapest together with their own vocal ensemble, Purcell Choir, are conducted by György Vashegyi who has a major influence on early music performance in Hungary, thus it is guaranteed that we will hear this esteemed work of Romantic oratorios from a completely new angle.