Wednesday, December 23, 2009

ASOC in Berlin 2009: Berliner Morgenpost

This short review was a little bit easier for me :) For the original German, click here. For my English translation, read on!
200 singers ennoble the "Deutsche Requiem"

The greatest surprise of the evening with the Philharmoniker under Donald Runnicles, the henceforth music director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, was the guest appearance of the almost 200-head chorus that is otherwise a part of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

The choir revealed itself in Brahms’ “Deutsches Requiem” as an authoritative, intensity-creating massive instrument that rose completely to the powerful rendition that Runnicles consistently demanded of it.

More still: the choir articulated the German text with extraordinary care and empathy. The excellent Berliner Rundfunkchor could definitely learn from their American colleagues in this respect. Johannes Brahms’ “Deutsches Requiem” is no musical stick-in-the-mud. It clearly sings forth the call for good deeds where faith is concerned without centering on liturgical directives. It is a work of freedom of faith, based on the great apparatus which the Liedertafel (part-song singing groups) all over 19th-century Germany had prepared. That cemented the success of the work until the present day.

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