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  • Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem (German Requiem)
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Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem (German Requiem)

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Audio CD, April 3, 2007
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Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem (German Requiem) + Brahms: The Symphonies
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic
  • Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle
  • Composer: Johannes Brahms
  • Audio CD (April 3, 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,834 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I. Selig Sind, Die Da Leid Tragen
2. II. Denn Alles Fleisch, Es Ist Wie Gras
3. III. Herr, Lehre Doch Mich
4. IV. Wie Lieblich Sind SDeine Wohnungen
5. V. Ihr Habt Nun Traurigkeit
6. VI. Denn Wir Haben Hier Keine Bleibende Stadt
7. VII. Selig Sind Die Toten

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

With this latest release on EMI Classics from Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker the team returns to the 19th-century Germanic repertoire on which the orchestra's heritage has been based since its formation 125 years ago. Following in the historic footsteps of Klemperer, Celibidache, Tennstedt, Fischer-Dieskau, Schwarzkopf and many other distinguished EMI artists, Simon Rattle brings to the label Brahms's most substantial yet intimate large-scale work.

This is a big, monolithic performance of this somewhat monolithic work, but it doesn't sound impenetrable as it occasionally can. The second movement is as gigantic as any might want, but there's great spring in its last few minutes; elsewhere, Sir Simon Rattle leads with a clarity and energy that are decidedly not lament-like. The 4th movement, "Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen," seems to sway under Rattle's baton; it appears as a light interlude. There is great warmth in the "Ich habt nun Traurigkeit" movement and all pomp seems to die away. The fugal moments are crystal clear, even with the large orchestra and chorus (this is clearly not a "period" instrument performance), and both soloists--baritone Thomas Quasthoff and Dorothea Röschmann--sing their music with close attention to the text. The Berlin Philharmonic and Rundfunkchor are superb. This is a beautiful reading of a work that can be forbidding – highly recommended. --Robert Levine

Customer Reviews

This was truly a rare moment in music.
Music Is Everything
I have studied and sung the Brahms Requiem for the past 50 years and this is by far the BEST performance and recording of this beautiful piece that I have ever heard.
coral diane taylor
The choral sound is pure and unstrained and the mighty Berlin Philharmonic is sensitive to Rattle's every nuance.
Grady Harp

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Klingsor Tristan on April 3, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I'm not sure I've ever heard the Deutsches Requiem sound more Brahmsian. That may seem an odd remark, but many recordings make of it a sui generis piece, living in a funerary world of its own. But I hear in this performance from Rattle and the Berliners direct lines into the symphonies and the concertos that I'm seldom so conscious of with other performers. It's there in the melodic and rhythmic phrasing, in the orchestral textures, especially of the woodwind, and in the integration of choir and orchestra.

Like his recent Schubert Great C Major, this is in many ways an old fashioned performance. Tempi are broader than we get from more `authentic' modernists like John Eliot Gardiner, Roger Norrington and the like, textures are richer and warmer, it comes through as an altogether grander work. Brahms determined to write a very untraditional Requiem, not just in his choice of texts but in his focus on the bereaved who are left behind rather than the traditional prayers for the dead themselves. It was, after all, written soon after his mother's death and the central movement, `Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit', is a tender and moving memorial to her. Rattle reflects this humanity in his performance: it is perhaps the most humanist German Requiem since Kempe's wonderful performance with the same orchestra.

I don't want to leave the impression that this is an over-sombre, stodgy performance, though. Far from it. Those moments when the clouds clear and the sun comes out and the music starts to stir with life, movement and liveliness suit Rattle's ability to lift and energise a rhythm well. The fourth movement becomes almost a lilting waltz at times, a heavenly dance if you like.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Santa Fe Listener HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 14, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The previous negative reviewer seems lost in his own personal reactions and hasn't given an accurate description of Simon Rattle's persuasive new German Requiem from Berlin. Far from being slow, traditional, and rich-sounding, this performance is 5 min. faster than Karajan from Vienna and 10 minn. faster than the classic Klemperer from London (both on EMI). What overall timings can't reveal is that Rattle takes slow sections slower than usual and fast ones faster. The chorus is smallish rather than employing large church choirs or a body like the Vienna Singverein. The forces under Rattle sound no fuller than Gardiner's Monteverdi Choir on Philips. Textures are similarly streamlined. So much for the objective facts.

And the performance itself? Rattle avoided Brahms's music for twenty years on records and has turned to it late, no doubt out of a sense that his position in Berlin calls for it. One detects a certain lack of religious intensity in the opening movements, which is strongly at odds with Brahms's fervent Protestant intent. There's no lift, no soaring lyricism when harmonies shift upward. The timpani underlying the second movement should sound like the approach of fate--this is a work about death--but here it sounds merely like a drumbeat.

For many listeners the chief attraction will be the great Thomas Quasthoff, a totally convincing singer of Brhams lieder. The Gramophone reviewer grumbled that Quasthoff was having a bad night, but that would be an outstanding night for any other baritone. In fact his voice lacks a certain stability of tone at loud volume here, but he is never less than a passionate, riveting soloist, for me the best to be heard in the wonderful third and sixth movements since Hans Hotter for Karajan in the early postwar years.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 17, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Everyone who loves Brahms has a favorite recording of his uniquely beautiful and deeply moving Requiem and the competition among the varying performances is keen. For this listener, still committed to the old Klemperer, von Karajan, and Levine recordings (for varying reasons), this now Grammy award winning CD is in a class of its own. Part of the grandeur of the impact of this Requiem is the fact that it is a true capturing of a live performance, something that at times sacrifices perfect acoustics for immediacy. But here Simon Rattle conducts the Berlin Philharmonic and the Berlin Rundfunkchor in a richly detailed, emotionally satisfying and probing reading of this great work.

Rattle's ability to find the nearly inaudible pianissimos in the opening movement are matched only by his explosive bursts of radiant sound in the big moments. The choral sound is pure and unstrained and the mighty Berlin Philharmonic is sensitive to Rattle's every nuance. Thomas Quasthoff is the baritone soloist, producing his expected lush tone coupled with his communication of the text. Dorothea Röschmann may not erase all memories of Gundula Janowitz's exquisitely effortless solo, but hers is a radiantly beautiful voice, blooming on the top while remaining in the communication of the words. The overall effect of this recording is one of warm and eloquent Brahms and the Grammy award for finest choral performance is well deserved. Grady Harp, February 08
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. G. Hales on July 2, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The Berlin Philharmonic as usual sounds amazing. The choir sounds excellent and the internal balance is very good. Simon Rattle does not take slow tempos in this work. He is swift in some movements and the fuges move with great movement and energy. There are a few spots where I felt the tempo was to swift but he phrases and shapes the performance lovingly. In the big sections he allows the Berlin Philharmonic to play with the muscle and wieght that they so often bring to great works such as this.

A minor problem is in the balance of the solo voices. EMI has the solo voices to close in the final mix. This at times can bring a degree of harsness in their singing that might not be there had the voices been mixed more "naturally" as you would hear in a concert hall. The way companies mix soloist such as singers or instrumentalists is a problem as they tend to over mix the soloist rather then balance the sound somewhat more distance in the final mix as you would hear in the concert hall.

Other than how the solos are to closely mixed in the sound picture this is a very fine performance.
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