The German Requiem

G. Janowitz, E. Wächter, W. Singverein
Berliner Philharmoniker directed by Herbert von Karajan
Johannes BrahmsDeutsche Grammophon 2005

The Biblical comparisons contained in Brahms’ requiem are so fine to read again: Man is like the grass of the field that is there in the morning and in the evening is has withered and died. Just as we are in the great garden of the world.
What are we before God? Not even the whole of man’s genius can answer this question, not even Brahms’ music can answer it, it rather intensifies it and makes the contradiction even more dramatic.
It is every man’s problem. I still remember the philosophy teacher at the Berchet High School, at the end of the funeral of a Greek teacher, who had died in the classroom, in the course of a lesson. He shook his head and, atheist as he was, called out very tensely, Eh, yes, death is the origin of all philosophies! “Death is the origin of all philosophies!” meaning that this problem is the origin of every true thought, of every true concern, every human feeling. It is what qualifies all humanity There is no humanity that is not qualified by this dramatic wound.

(Excerpt from the introduction by Luigi Giussani to the booklet enclosed in the CD)