The German Requiem is not a Mass in the traditional liturgical sense; rather, Brahms sets a very personal and carefully-assembled group of texts from the Lutheran Bible in this seven-movement work for soloists, choir and large orchestra, centring around themes of transience, grief and consolation. As one of the most affecting sacred works of all, the German Requiem has overcome all linguistic barriers and achieved worldwide success, reflecting the composer’s comment that “as concerns the text, I confess that I would happily leave out the “German” and simply substitute “humanity”.
Our study edition adopts the musical text of the New Brahms Complete Edition (Henle edition HN 6029) and thus is of the highest musicological accuracy. The informative preface not only describes the genesis of the German Requiem reflecting the latest research, but also looks critically at the legends, suppositions and preconceptions that have surrounded the work from the outset.