Leicestershire Chorale
Next event: War Requiem, Saturday 10 November

Review of Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem

Saturday 18 June 2011

Leicester Mercury Tuesday 21st 2011..

Any lingering doubts that critics may have held over Schumann's assertion that the 20-year-old Brahms was a genius were laid to rest at the completion of his German Requiem in 1868, writes John Dilleigh.
It is likely that the death of Brahms's mother three years earlier was his main inspirational source.
It is a large-scale work in seven movements, sacred but non-liturgical, in which Brahms uses texts from the Lutheran Bible.
The composer's intention was to write a "requiem for the living", not the souls of the dead.
Leicestershire Chorale gave a deeply emotional rendition of this extraordinary work, and the decision to use Brahms's own arrangement for piano duet rather than full orchestra gave a greater intimacy and meaning to the text.
The choral singing was of the highest standard throughout and director Tom Williams captured the changing moods perfectly, extracting a range of colours alongside well judged tempi and dynamics. His decision to use extended silences between movements allowed for reflection and personal thoughts and enhanced the poignancy of this highly-charged performance.
The two soloists were well chosen too.
Soprano Amy Moore was direct and powerfully sympathetic in the sublime "Ye now have sorrow" and baritone Jonathan Saunders sang with integrity and clarity.
Pianists Margaret and Peter Williams accompanied with accuracy and sensitivity throughout.

Reproduced courtesy of the Leicester Mercury

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