St Peter’s Cathedral, Bremen
April 10, 2018

It was Good Friday, April 10, 1868, when Johannes Brahms first presented his completed German Requiemto the world in Bremen’s St Peter’s Cathedral. Using German texts in what had, up until then, been the Latin Requiem,it was to be his longest work. Among the music nobility present in Bremen for the 1868 premier was Clara Schumann.

Over the last 150 years, Bremen’s St Peter’s Cathedral has endured its share of ordeals. Miraculously, it did not suffer major structural damage in WWII as many nearby buildings did, but it did not escape misguided modernisation in the 1970s, which resulted in removing the platform in front of the organ from where Brahms directed his work for its 1868 premier. Its smaller replacement meant it was no longer capable of accommodating the orchestra and choir required for the work. Thus, for this week’s performance, the orchestra, choir and soloists, were relocated to the main altar, and performers were no longer able to take advantage of the acoustic benefits of performing from a higher location in the Romanesque-Gothic church.

German Requiem Paavo Järvi conducts the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and...