Westminster to Perform Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem

By Amanda Weber, Director of Worship and the Arts

As we transition from Lent to Holy Week this year, I invite you to a very special musical offering to hear Ein deutsches Requiem by Johannes Brahms, presented by the Westminster Choir in collaboration with a chamber orchestra. A part of the Westminster Performing Arts Series, this masterwork will be performed in Westminster Hall on Friday, March 22, at 7pm and Saturday, March 23, at 2pm. Tickets are available through Realm for the Friday performance and the Saturday afternoon performance.

Mounting a large work of this nature on Palm Sunday weekend revives a long-ago Westminster tradition, and the Brahms Requiem, more specifically, has been performed at Westminster in the past. Even still, this Romantic work from the mid19th century holds new meaning for us today, ever relevant in a world that is reeling with grief from pandemic losses, death from racialized violence, global turmoil and war, and increasing climate disasters.

While Ein deutsches Requiem translates to ‘A German Requiem,’ Brahms was famously quoted as calling the piece “a human Requiem,” departing from the traditional, Latin Requiem Mass for the Dead to focus, instead, on comforting those who are left behind. Brahms, himself, compiled the libretto—scriptural passages from 11 different biblical and apocryphal books. “Blessed are those who mourn” is the text that opens this 7-movement work, while “Blessed are the dead” does not appear until the very end. Between, Brahms takes us on a journey through every emotion grief might touch, with notable appearances by baritone and soprano soloists, to be performed by Paul Max Tipton and Sarah Brailey.

To learn more about the Brahms Requiem, visit our lecture and open rehearsal on Friday, March 8, from 5-7:30pm. The event will begin in the Meisel Room at 5pm with snacks and the lecture before continuing in the Choir Room for the open rehearsal.

© Westminster Presbyterian Church | 2024