Brahms' German Requiem is a rarely performed masterpiece of music, lauded by music lovers the world over. We checked out what respected BBC music critic Charlotte Gardner thinks about this special work.
"Brahms was in his forties before he completed his first symphony, and goodness knows what other symphonic achievements he might have had, had he not been cowered into silence by the ghost of Beethoven for so many years. Lucky for us, though, that he wasn't similarly scared off writing large choral works.
"It is extraordinary to think that this Requiem was his first major composition, written when he was only in his thirties, such is its physical and emotional magnitude.
"Brahms claimed he could have named this his Human Requiem, with its focus on comforting the living, and this is particularly apt for the first movement. The music comforts, calms, suggests hope, whilst still acknowledging the tragedy of death ... the fact that Brahms was prompted to write the Requiem upon the death of his mother adds especial importance to this fifth movement, as it is only here that a mother's comfort is explicitly referred to ... The sense of connection between musicians and music continues for the remainder of the Requiem."
Full review of the Requiem performed by the Berlin Philharmoniker