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London Concert Choir: Brahms Requiem at the Barbican

4 March 2019 Book tickets

On Monday 4 March in the Barbican Hall, Mark Forkgen will conduct London Concert Choir with Canticum chamber choir and Southbank Sinfonia in a concert of works by two young composers confronting the universal themes of life and death. Despite the subject the music is ultimately full of hope.

Brahms wrote the German Requiem, one of the truly great choral masterpieces, not as a Mass for the Dead, but to console the living. His chosen texts from Luther’s translation of the Bible contrast the transience of human life with the everlasting nature of God and the joy of the world to come. Partly inspired by the death of his mother, the Requiem was completed in 1868, when Brahms was 36.

Richard Strauss was only 25 when he composed his dramatic orchestral tone poem Death and Transfiguration (Tod und Verklärung) in 1889. It depicts an artist whose journey through life and struggle with death end in peace as his soul finally attains perfection. On his own deathbed 60 years later, Strauss remarked, ‘Dying is just as I composed it.’

The soloists in the Requiem are the renowned soprano Claire Seaton and the prize-winning baritone Thomas Humphreys.
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