Saturday 25 March 2023, 7.30pm
Chester Cathedral
An Evening with Brahms:

Tragic Overture
A Song of Destiny
A German Requiem

Linda Richardson soprano
Damian O’Keeffe baritone
Liverpool Sinfonia
Graham Jordan Ellis conductor

A German Requiem, by Johannes Brahms, is a large-scale work for chorus and orchestra, with soprano and baritone soloists. It comprises seven movements, which together last 65 to 80 minutes, making this work Brahms's longest composition. A German Requiem is sacred but non-liturgical, and unlike a long tradition of the Latin Requiem, A German Requiem is, as its title states, sung in German..
The Song of Destiny (Schicksalslied) is an orchestrally accompanied chorale and is one of several major choral works written by Brahms. Schicksalslied is considered to be one of his best choral works, along with Ein deutsches Requiem (also performed this evening). It is one of the shortest of Brahms's major choral works.
This evening's concert begins with his Tragic Overture, a concert overture for orchestra written during the summer of 1880. Brahms chose the title "Tragic" to emphasize the turbulent, tormented character of the piece, in essence a free-standing symphonic movement. Despite its name, the Tragic Overture does not follow any specific dramatic programme. Brahms summed up the effective character of the overture when he declared "it cries."