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Soprano Soloist in Brahms Requiem
March 17, 2022 @ 7:30 pm
Bertrand de Billy
Emily Pogorelc, soprano
Jóhann Kristinsson, baritone
Mótettukórinn choir and Söngsveitin Fílharmónía choir
Olivier Messiaen Les Offrandes oubliées
Johannes Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem
On February 2, 1865, Johannes Brahms received an urgent telegram from his brother Fritz: “If you want to see our mother once again, come immediately.” At age 76 Brahms’ mother died of a stroke. The loss affected the composer profoundly, and almost immediately he began work on A German Requiem. The requiem mass was a venerable musical genre by the time Brahms began to compose his, but Brahms’ requiem would be unlike any other. Instead of setting the traditional Catholic, Latin text used by Mozart Berlioz, and countless others, Brahms created his own highly personal version from excerpts of the Lutheran Bible and apocrypha. Musically, the requiem was a major milestone in Brahms’ career. Indeed, it would be the longest and most grandly scored piece he would ever write. Few of Brahms’ works display their influences as openly as the German Requiem does; numerous passages clearly evoke the music of Schumann, Beethoven and Bach. At the same time, every measure is unmistakably Brahms. Observe the masterwork in concert with the Iceland Philharmonic in the stunning Harpa Concert Hall.