This edition of Brahms's greatest, most ambitious vocal work is reprinted from the definitive edition of the composer's works prepared by Breitkopf & Hartel of Leipzig. Inexpensive, yet sturdily constructed to provide years of pleasurable use, this full score combines all the musical parts in a clear, readable format, with wide margins and large noteheads.
Brahms conducted the first major performance of the "German Requiem" in Bremen Cathedral in April 1888. The occasion, attended by many distinguished musicians, among them Clara Schumann, provided the 34-year-old composer with his first great public success.
Scored for mixed chorus, solo voices, and full orchestra, the "Requiem" reflects Brahms's virtuoso grasp of nineteenth-century vocal technique as well as the polyphonic vocal traditions of the previous three centuries. Above all, it radiates Brahms's stalwart individuality, technical mastery, and stirring emotional appeal, which were soon to secure his unique position in the musical world.
The "German Requiem" is in seven sections (the fifth was added shortly after the Bremen performance), which distinguishes it from the five-part Roman Catholic requiem. Brahms chose its nondenominational format to express faith in the resurrection rather than the fear of the day judgment. Now, over a century later, this masterpiece of choral music is one of the most performed and recorded works in the repertoire of religious music."