For our Easter concert 2022 we performed Brahms' A German Requiem with piano duet played by Ivan Linford and William Thallon, and with Rosie Lomas and Piran Legg as soprano and baritone soloists.
The concert was on 8th April 2022 at 7.30pm in All Saints' Church, Brixworth, Northants.
Ian told us afterwards, "Well done on giving a first rate performance of the Brahms Requiem last Friday. Considering the rather reduced numbers, especially on the back row, it was a committed, expressive, and I think consoling performance, and you achieved a lot of what I was asking for, thank you.
"Of course the evening was so much enhanced by our wonderful two soloists, and the decision to do the piano duet version was definitely justified, as the sound really balanced well.
"Congratulations, again, and look forward to the workshop and beyond!!"
This, Brahms' longest work, contains some of his most beautiful music as well as passages of great excitement. In Village Voices we enjoyed it so much in our 2014 Summer Workshop that we decided on a fully rehearsed concert to give it proper justice. After our abortive attempt in 2020, we now have our fingers crossed for a 2022 performance.
Most "requiems" are settings of the Latin requiem mass for the souls of the dead. Brahms' work is quite different. He selected passages from the bible that speak much more to the living, with messages of sorrow and consolation - summarized in the opening "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." Because he was using Luther's German translation of the bible and not the Latin mass, he titled it "Ein deutsches Requiem" ("A German Requiem"). However, we shall be singing it in English.