Sunday, November 3, 2013

A GERMAN REQUIEM

Johannes Brahms

Herbert Blomstedt, conductor

My life closed twice
Before its close.
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil 
A Third Event to me.

So huge –– so hopeless to conceive ––
As these which twice befell.
Parting is all we know of Heaven ––
And all we need of Hell.

~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

1 comment:

  1. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall have comfort.

    Behold! All flesh is as the grass, and all the goodliness of Man is as the flower of grass. For lo the grass withereth, and the flower thereof decayeth.

    Therefore, be patient, O my brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. See how the husbandman waiteth for the perfect fruits of the earth, so be ye patient.

    How lovely is Thy dwelling place, O Lord of Hosts! For my soul longeth, yea fainteth, for the Courts of the Lord.

    Lord, make me to know -- know the measure of my days on earth -- to consider my frailty that I must perish.

    Surely the Lord's Word standeth forever. For the righteous souls are in the hand of God nor pain nor grief shall nigh them come.

    Here on earth have we no continuing place. How could it be that we seek One to come?

    in a moment -- in the twinkling of an eye -- we shall be changed. For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed and death shall be swallowed up in victory.

    Ye that now are sorrowful, I will comfort you.


    These are imperfectly remembered segments of an English translation of the unique German text Brahms used for his most personal expression of the meaning he found in the concept of "Requiem."

    That is why the work is properly called "Ein Deutsches Requiem" -- "A German Requiem." It is considered one of Brahms' finest works, if not the finest.

    IF heard with comprehension it is one of the most joyful, life-affirming statements and positive views of deep faith in God -- and in Life, itself -- ever recorded.

    It will remain here as long as this blog exists, so I hope one day more will avail themselves of the opportunity to experience it for themselves. I first became acquainted with it in 1954 at our very own parish church where our organist and choimaster -- a man of uncommon vision, courage and understanding -- dared to teach it to our small provincial choir. What we learned from the experience, has nurtured my Soul and my love for music at its highest levels all my life.



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