In his emotionally charged death mass, Brahms expresses his belief that death can be defeated. New principal guest conductor Christoph Eschenbach leads the orchestra and Göteborgs Symfoniska Kör, and the soloist singers are none other than Sofie Asplund and Peter Mattei.
Brahms carried the great death mass with German lyrics – Ein deutsches Requiem – with him for a long time before he finally completed it in 1866. It also became his true breakthrough as a significant composer. The idea for a requiem had started to grow in him as early as in the mid-1850s, but it wasn’t until his own mother died ten years later that he returned to the theme.
He wanted to compose a death mass aimed at man, not God. Brahms himself said that he’d happily call it a ‘human requiem’. In his emotionally charged and broad death mass, Brahms expresses his conviction that death can be defeated, and that all survivors should therefore feel hope and confidence.
This is magnificently conveyed by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Göteborgs Symfoniska Kör, fronted by soloists Sofie Asplund and Peter Mattei. The leader is principal guest conductor, Christoph Eschenbach.
Free introduction with musicians from the orchestra in the Stora Salen Hall one hour before the start of the concert
Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem
1 h 10 min
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, called "one of the world's most formidable orchestras" by the Guardian, has toured the USA, Europe, Japan and the Far East and performed at major music centres and festivals throughout the world. Chief conductor is Santtu-Matias Rouvali who started his tenure in 2017. Kent Nagano has been principal guest conductor since 2013. Already at the orchestra's very first years, the great Swedish composer Wilhelm Stenhammar was appointed principal conductor, contributing strongly to the Nordic profile of the orchestra by inviting his colleagues Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius to conduct their own works.
Subsequent holders of the post include Sergiu Comissiona, Sixten Ehrling and Charles Dutoit. During Neeme Järvi's tenure (1982-2004), the orchestra became a major international force. In 1997 it was appointed the National Orchestra of Sweden. The list of prominent guest conductors has included Wilhelm Furtwängler, Pierre Monteux, Herbert von Karajan, Myung-Whun Chung, Herbert Blomstedt and Sir Simon Rattle. The orchestra also runs extensive concert projects for children, and regularly releases digital live concerts free on www.gsoplay.se.
The orchestra has issued over 100 recordings on BIS, Deutsche Grammophon, Chandos, Farao Classics and several other labels, including the complete orchestral music by Grieg and the complete symphonies of Sibelius, Nielsen, Stenhammar and Atterberg, and most recently orchestral music by Richard Strauss. The Gothenburg Symphony is owned by the Region Västra Götaland.
Christoph Eschenbach Conductor