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Brahms: German Requiem

Stephen Johnson explores the influences behind Brahms's German Requiem, from Bach's cantatas to the tragic death of Brahms's mentor, Robert Schumann.

Brahms' German Requiem is often presumed to be a nationalistic, Teutonic celebration. Yet this couldn't have been further from the truth. "I confess, I should have gladly left out 'German' and substituted 'Human'", the composer once wrote.

Stephen Johnson explores the work's influences - from Bach's cantatas to the tragic death of Brahms' mentor, Robert Schumann - and looks at the universal appeal of this very 'humane' requiem.

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20 minutes

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Role Contributor
Composer Johannes Brahms

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