Live recording made on 25th May 2008 at de Doelen Concert Hall, Rotterdam, at Valery Gergiev’s final concert as principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Among requiems, the one composed by Johannes Brahms is unusual in more than one way. First of all, it was one of the first works with that title that didn’t employ the standard text, in Latin, of the Roman Catholic Mass for the dead. Brahms instead compiled his own text from the German Bible of Martin Luther, placing the focus on the living rather than on the dead, as demonstrated by the beginning of the work: ‘Blessed are those who bear pain: for they shall be comforted.’ The result is a work suffused with the glow of humanism, notably less concerned with sin and punishment than many other works in the same genre. Indeed, in connection with one of the first performances of the work, Brahms said regarding the title that he ‘would gladly give up the German and simply put human’. It is this work, then, that Valery Gergiev chose to perform at his final concerts as principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. This memorable event – the finale of an era in the life of the conductor as well as in the history of the orchestra – was captured on film, and is now being released on DVD. For the performances, and recording, of this work, in which the choir plays a central role, the orchestra invited the renowned Swedish Radio Choir, as well as the soloists Solveig Kringelborn and Mariusz Kwiecień.
Picture format: NTSC 16:9 – Sound format: Stereo – Region code: 0 (Worldwide)