Brahms’s human Requiem

Heartwarming and comforting music for sorrowful people

Johannes Brahms was not yet thirty when, by 1861, he started to collect the texts for Ein deutsches Requiem [A German Requiem] from his Lutheran bible. The sad death of his friend Robert Schumann undoubtedly played a part here. After the death of his mother in 1865, that if anything caused him even more grief, he began to compose. In 1868 the firsts movements of his German requiem, one of his most extensive masterworks, were performed. In fact, it is not a traditional requiem, as it does not follow the traditional parts and it is not a prayer of salvation for the deceased either. Nor is the work German in the ‘nationalist’ sense of the word, but rather because the texts are in the German language. In this way, Brahms took a leaf after Heinrich Schütz who, in 1636, wrote his Musikalische Exequien [Funeral Music], ‘Eine Teutsche Begräbnis-Messe’, to texts from the German Lutheran bible he had collected himself. With hindsight, Brahms had preferred to rename Ein deutsches Requiem as Ein menschliches Requiem [A Human Requiem]. A title that may indeed go better with Brahms’s intentions for this work: comforting music for people mourning their loved ones and the finiteness of one’s own life. A heartwarming work!

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Ein deutsches Requiem op. 45 1865-1868


Cappella Amsterdam

Orkest van de Achttiende Eeuw

Daniel Reuss conductor

Carolyn Sampson soprano

André Morsch baritone



Cappella Brochure 2017 2018

Have a look at our new brochure 2017-2018!

Click here

Receive news about Cappella Amsterdam