Music Mondays - Brahms Requiem

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone enjoyed the weekend!

This past Saturday, the Tulsa Symphony performed the Brahms Requiem with the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus, Maestro James Bagwell and soloists, soprano, Amy Cofield and baritone, Steven Labrie. It was beautiful, and I am still humming some of the melodies a few days later.

This was my first experience performing this work, and it was truly rewarding. I studied this piece many years ago in music school but had forgotten about some of the gorgeous melodies and textures, and counterpoint (and fugues). 

This week #musicmondays is a celebration of the Requiem and more specifically the first movement - the only movement that does not include the violins. It was such an unusual experience, as a violinist, to sit on stage and just enjoy the music without focusing on playing your own part. After reading the lyrics, the lack of violin melodies and sonorities adds weight to the text, which is not exactly uplifting.

Stanford University published the following translation of the text, available on their website -

The German text below was selected by Brahms from the Lutheran Bible. The English is from the King James Bible.

Matthew 5:4

Selig sind, die da Leid tragen, denn sie sollen getröstet werden.

Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.

Psalm 126:5,6

Die mit Tränen säen, werden mit Freuden ernten. 
Sie gehen hin und weinen und tragen edlen Samen, und kommen mit Freuden und bringen ihre Garben.

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.


I hope you enjoy this beautiful piece, which is truthfully more of an emotional journey than a concert experience. The following performance is beautiful and is the entirety of the Requiem.

A Human Requiem, as Brahms said.

I hope you enjoy!