German Requiem, A

(Ein Deutches Requiem)
   Composed by Johannes Brahms and a favorite of choral societies. The work is a non-liturgical German Requiem in seven movements, scored for solo soprano and baritone, four-voiced chorus, and symphony orchestra augmented by bass tuba, contrabassoon, harps, and organ. It requires about 45 minutes to perform.
   An outline for a German Requiem among Robert Schumann’s effects may have inspired Brahms to begin the project in the late 1850s. He assembled texts emphasizing the hope of redemption from the Lutheran Bible, chiefly the psalms, Old Testament prophets, and New Testament letters. The first three movements were performed on 1 December 1867 by the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna, and all seven on 18 February 1869 at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig.
   See also Schubert, Franz.

Historical dictionary of sacred music. . 2006.

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