Ein deutsches Requiem

NEOS 30803CD NEOS 30803CD

2008 release. This version of the "Requiem" is a kind of time travel -- we return to the very roots of the work. Brahms not only made a piano reduction of the orchestral score, but an arrangement for four hands, too. And the piano remains the musical point of departure as well as the compositional cell of the work. The sounds reproduced here represent a reconstruction of the original form that "Ein deutsches Requiem" (A German Requiem) by Johannes Brahms took before its triumphal march through the symphonic choral literature. The score was reworked by the composer Heinrich Poos (born in 1928), who is mainly known for his vocal music and who was Professor of Music Theory in Berlin for many years. By distributing the orchestral music between two pianos and adding timpani that function as a kind of orchestral pulse, Poos allows us a glimpse into the compositional workshop of Johannes Brahms and helps us understand the working processes that led to the "German Requiem." The workshop nature of this arrangement is an authentic one, both historically and in terms of instrumentation: the pianos used are original instruments from the considerable collection belonging to the West German Radio (WDR). The Erard grand was built in 1839 in Paris; the Collard grand dates from 1849 and has a London provenance. The kettle drums are historical instruments, too, manufactured and played during Brahms' own lifetime. Performed by the WDR Rundfunkchor Köln, Simone Nold (soprano), Kay Stiefermann (baritone), Ian Pace and Mark Knoop (piano), Peter Stracke (kettle drums), Rupert Huber (conductor).