Music to commemorate the dead

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The works selected for the Stuttgarter Oratorienchor concerts follow two traditions. They are in harmony with the church year, which is especially true for the Passion and Christmas concerts. At the same time, it is natural to present unabridged original compositions of oratorio literature.

Our first live concert, however, is a special exception after a break of almost two years. On the one hand, it takes place in November, in which the commemoration of the dead has its special place in the overarching seasonal aspect. On the other hand, we juxtapose Mozart’s legendary Requiem fragment (in the interesting addition by Robert D. Levin) with an excerpt from Brahms’ “German Requiem” as both a fitting and unusual contrast.

Death – an everlasting companion

Excerpts from the mild and comforting Brahms Requiem meet the stirring and partly very dramatic fragment of the Mozart Requiem in the new version by Robert D. Levin.

J. Brahms composed a sonata for two pianos with a slow scherzo movement in 1854 – probably also out of shock at the suicide attempt of his friend Robert Schumann. Three years later, he used material from this scherzo for movement II of his Requiem. With our performance of an abridged version of the Brahms Requiem, we follow the composer, who also presented his work in an abridged “incomplete” version with movements I – III to the public on 1 December 1867 at a concert of the “Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde” in the Großer Redoutensaal in Vienna.

What a tragedy: of all things, death “itself” ended the work of the seriously ill musical genius when he was composing a mass for the dead. A third of the text of the mass was left untouched and Mozart only completed the rudimentary orchestral arrangement. Perhaps it is the human element that makes this Requiem so great. It is not music from another world, no otherworldly beauty, no bright, heavenly sound. Mozart does without the high woodwinds, the dark sound of the basset horns and bassoons dominates. It is earth music – for those who have to die and for those who remain and suffer the loss.

Dear concert visitors, let us commemorate together with Mozart’s and Brahms’ solemnly dignified, sometimes dramatic and yet soothing music all the people who lost their lives in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, forces of nature or other causes. Tickets are available in advance from members of the choir and at all known ticket offices. The 2G rule applies to our event.