Together with the famous Requiem, the Mass in c minor (1782-'83) is the high point of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's religious oeuvre. In this live stream, we combine it with Brahms' beautiful Schicksalslied.
Mozart wrote his Mass in c minor with his wife Constanze in mind: as gratitude for her healing after a lingering illness, on the occasion of their marriage or in honour of the birth of their first child - the occasion is not exactly known. Grand choruses in the vein of Handel's oratorios, arias in an Italian style, impressive fugues in the line of Johann Sebastian Bach and the lighter touch of the 'Galant style' merge into a dramatic and musically extremely varied work. Because the music transcends the pure rite, the work naturally found its way into the concert hall.
Johannes Brahms' Schicksalslied for chorus and orchestra is sometimes called 'the composer's little Requiem': just as in his impressive Ein deutsches Requiem, the unpredictability and transience of earthly existence is central. In the words of Friedrich Hölderlin, whose Hyperion's Schicksalslied is the text source of this poignant work, it says that we, as
They falter, they perish,
Poor suffering mortals
Blindly as moment
Follows to moment,
Like water from mountain
to mountain impelled,
Destined to disappearance below.
Yet Brahms' Schicksalslied conveys great comfort, and that same human existence knows itself surrounded by "the shining air of the gods". The music begins and ends in an atmosphere of serenity. This concert will be a moving end to the strangest season in our history.