The Choir of St James’ King Street along with artists from Opera Australia, presents Immortality: Brahms – Ein deutsches Requiem in the continuation of its 2013 Metamorphosis Concert Series. Complementing Brahms’ moving choral masterpiece the choir will perform motets by Schütz and Bach, building on the theme of hope in the face of mortality.
Inspired in part by the death of his mother, Brahms dedicated his German Requiem to her. It earns its title because unusually, it does not use the traditional Latin liturgical text – indeed Brahms said, ‘I will admit that I could happily omit the “German” and simply say “Human”…’ underscoring its universal emotional appeal. Drawing greatly from biblical texts it is a work of great lyricism and Romantic sensibility. Originally scored for orchestra, it will be performed as Brahms’ reduction for four hands on two pianos, a version of which Clara Schumann greatly approved.
The two pieces from Schütz’s Geistliche Chormusik are poignant works contemplating the pain of death and by contrast, the joy of the afterlife. They demonstrate Schütz’s mastery of polyphony and dissonance in his native language, as, having studied with Gabrieli, he wrote prolifically in Italian as well. Both the texts for these were used by Brahms in his Requiem.
Bach’s motet for double choir Komm, Jesu, komm BWV 229 deals with the world-weariness of the Christian approaching death and requesting Jesus to take the soul to the place of peace. It depicts the end of life’s pilgrimage, and its associated contemplation. Along with Beethoven and Robert Schumann, Schütz and Bach had a huge compositional influence on Brahms.
Based at Sydney’s oldest church, The Choir of St James’ is one of Australia’s foremost choirs and has an excellent reputation at home and abroad. Director Warren Trevelyan-Jones has sung with many of Europe’s best vocal ensembles, including The Tallis Scholars and The Sixteen.
The musicians of St James’ will be joined by pianists Anthony Legge, and Anthony Hunt, who are respectively Associate Music Director and Chorus Master, Opera Australia, as well as soprano Natalie Aroyan and bass baritone Pelham Andrews both soloists with Opera Australia
SCHÜTZ Selig sind die Toten; Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen (Psalm 84)
BACH Komm, Jesu, komm
BRAHMS Ein deutsches Requiem
TICKETS: $50/45 – to book call (02) 8256 2222, visit www.cityrecitalhall.com, or buy at the door