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Johannes Brahms ~ Ein deutsches Requiem

Composed between 1865 and 1868. Ein deutsches Requiem (Op 45)comprises seven movements; Brahms's longest composition. The idea of a requiem seems to have occurred to the young artist in 1854, after a suicide attempt by his newfound compositional father figure, Robert Schumann, who died in 1856. According to an early biographer, Max Kalbeck, Brahms discovered the title “Ein Deutsches Requiem” among manuscripts left by Schumann.This is sacred but non-liturgical work, and unlike a long tradition of the Latin Requiem, A German Requiem, as its title states, is a Requiem in the German language. Rather than dwelling on the judgment of the deceased, Brahms seems intent on consoling those left behind. It was Brahms who originated the term “human requiem,” in a letter to Clara Schumann, Robert’s widow. 

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) himself made a piano transcription of the orchestral parts of his magnificent Requiem. The arrangement for two players allows a degree of intimacy, precision and contrapuntal clarity that cannot be achieved in the orchestral version; this is the version we will perform for you with Calum Robertson and Morley Whitehead at the piano. Our soprano soloist will be Gillian Robertson with the baritone soloist Sean Webster.  

Saturday, 23 June 2018, 7:30pm, Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh.

Tickets available from the Usher Hall Box Office

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And please remember to put our Edinburgh Fringe concert dates in your diary..

We return to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with our atmospheric late-night candlelit performances of Gabriel Faure's much-loved Requiem and Cantique de Jean Racine, with orchestra, in the lush acoustics of St Patrick’s (an 18th-century gem). These shows have proved incredibly popular over the years; book early to avoid disappointment! Our soprano soloist will be Gillian Robertson with the baritone soloist Sean Webster.  

What the audience said of our Faure concert (19 August 2017)
"I just wanted to tell you what a breathtakingly beautiful performance it was and in such a perfect setting. We really enjoyed the Requiem along with your sublime reading of the Cantique de Jean Racine."

Audience praise for our 2015 Faure concerts

Last Saturday we were treated to a wonderful concert by local choir, the St. Andrew Camerata, conducted by Vincent Wallace. In the beautiful Old St. Paul's Church, candlelit and with a calming hint of ecclesiastical incense, a perfect atmosphere was created for Faure's Requiem. Vincent took us on a moving journey from death to paradise, lead by the exquisite voices of his choir and the two soloists, accompanied by orchestra and organ. It was a spellbinding evening, culminating in hope and joy "In Paradisum". Highly recommended.

An outstanding performance of some beautiful music. The surroundings and ambience were perfect and the voices divine. A real highlight of the fringe for me and I will be back to hear it again next year. 5* in my opinion.
Audience praise for our June 2015 concert

What thrilling performances we were treated to on Saturday! The works were mainly new to me and so I received a musical education of the highest level. To hear... the depth of the bass amid the five-voiced chorus of the elaborate Bach Motet was very special. Then came the effortless, superb soprano of Gillian Robertson in the exuberant "Exultate, Jubilate" by Mozart. The audience recognised this wonderful performance with a long ovation. Then we settled down to enjoy the Mass in B Flat by Hummel, which was full of harmony and melody and feeling. I particularly enjoyed the truly joyful "Gloria". These performances were enjoyed in the low light of Old St. Paul's Church which creates the perfect atmosphere for such music, which soars up to the roof without distortion. Don't miss the next performance from Vincent Wallace's The St Andrew Camerata.

5* Review :  Fauré Requiem Saturday 9 August 2014

"Faure's Requiem, composed in the late 1880s, is a short piece lasting 35 minutes, performed in Latin, and created for orchestra, organ, male and female chorus and two soloists, soprano and baritone. Tonight’s concert is one of the mainstays of the Fringe and has been captivating audiences for years - this year followed by Cantique de Jean Racine, one of Fauré’s earlier works.

Impressively, the many singers and instruments (including a harp and the church's own organ) all came through clearly, with nothing swamping anything else.

Having been leading his St Andrew Camerata through performances of Fauré's Requiem - intermittently - since 2006, it comes as no great surprise to see how confidently Vincent Wallace helms this performance. It is also good to see that time and repetition has not diminished his enthusiasm for the piece, nor for performing it: he leads con brio, expressing the music's ebbs and flows in his facial expressions and very mobile body language. This in turn galvanises the many singers and the small ensemble of nine musicians, all of whom served to make this a delightful evening.

The church's acoustics also help this, gelling the voices and instruments so that they sound appropriately divine. Special mention should go to the soprano, whose rendition of the aria Pie Jesu was goose-pimply good. The church's interior is charming, set off - on this night - by a host of candles, of varying sizes, all flickering gently along to the music. While the "stage" lights somewhat diminished this effect, it was certainly an evocative (and non-gimmicky) addition to the music's own charms.

Impressively, the many singers and instruments (including a harp and the church's own organ) all came through clearly, with nothing swamping anything else. I'd guess this to be - again - a consideration of Wallace's; if so, kudos to him for managing to ensure such a harmonious and dynamically satisfying performance and, of course, to the singers and musicians, for aiding in this endeavour.

It's a pleasure to hear instruments and voices totally acoustically, especially in such acoustically satisfying surroundings. Add to this the choice of music and the "by candlelight" staging and you can easily see why this has been such a consistently successful concert, both in terms of content and size of audience."