Performance Sunday, March 1, 2015 | 2 PM

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Serene and deeply moving, Brahms’s A German Requiem is a sublime fusion of the composer’s mastery of vocal and symphonic music. Set to texts from the Lutheran Bible, A German Requiem offers a message of consolation to the living rather than judgment of the dead. Soprano Diana Damrau and baritone Christian Gerhaher have won critical acclaim for their opera and song performances, making them ideally suited to Brahms’s highly expressive vocal writing.


  • Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    Daniele Gatti, Conductor
  • Diana Damrau, Soprano
  • Christian Gerhaher, Baritone
  • Westminster Symphonic Choir
    Joe Miller, Conductor


  • BRAHMS A German Requiem


Pre-concert talk starts at 1:00 PM in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage with Walter Frisch, Professor of Music, Columbia University.


Brahms's A German Requiem "Denn wir haben hie keine bleibende Statt"
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra | Bernard Haitink, Conductor

At a Glance

Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem is an early masterpiece that established the composer as an internationally renowned artist. It is an ambitious, deeply personal work, but no one knows for sure whether Brahms meant it as a memorial to his mother, to Robert Schumann, or to both. Like many of the great requiems, it is the work of a non-religious composer. In fact, Brahms’s text, taken from the Lutheran Bible, does not explicitly mention Christ. Brahms meant the piece to be a universal statement—a work of healing and consolation for the living, not the dead. Though dating from early in his career, it has many of the composer’s mature signatures, including intricate symmetry, dark colors, and radiant lyricism.
This concert is made possible, in part, by the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation and an endowment fund for choral music established by S. Donald Sussman in memory of Judith Arron and Robert Shaw.
This performance is part of International Festival of Orchestras I.