The College of Arts and Architecture

Brahms Requiem: Penn State Choirs and Philharmonic Orchestra

Brahms requiem logo
Saturday, April 14, 2018 - 7:30pm
Eisenhower Auditorium - University Park, PA

General public $20/students $10

Buy tickets in advance for School of Music concerts in Eisenhower Auditorium and save 40%. There is no limit on the number. Purchases made the the day of the concert are not eligible. Tickets are available at any Arts Ticket Center location, by phone at 814-863-0255 or 1-800-ARTS-TIX, or online at Penn State Arts Ticket Center.

The Penn State Philharmonic Orchestra and a massed choir of Penn State students (Concert Choir, Essence of Joy, Glee Club, Oriana Singers, University Choir) will join forces to perform Johannes Brahms’ A German Requiem, a sublime contemplation of hope and consolation for the living and the dead. The performance is conducted by director of choral activities Christopher Kiver. The conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra is Gerardo Edelstein. Soloists are School of Music faculty members Ted Christopher, baritone and Amy Petrongelli, soprano.

 In terms of both length and musical content, the German Requiem is Brahms’ largest single work. Deeply moving, profound, and powerful, its status as one of the greatest monuments of choral music, especially among its nineteenth-century peers, is unchallenged.  Surprisingly, this magnum opus is a relatively early composition, falling firmly in the second period, the “first maturity” of Brahms’ work as a composer.

It is an oratorio, a choral setting of biblical texts, and has little to do with the Latin Requiem Mass. Brahms, whose religious views were complex and skeptical, nonetheless knew his Bible very well. He assembled the text using the Old and New Testaments and  two verses from the Apocrypha. They are meant primarily as a consolation for mourning survivors, but also contain much hope and blessing for the departed, particularly in the last two movements.

This performance is available on livestream at the Penn State School of Music.


Selig sind, die da Leid tragen (Blessed are they who bear suffering)

Denn alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras (For all flesh, it is as grass)

Herr, lehre doch mich (Lord, teach me)

Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen (How lovely are thy dwellings)

Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit (You now have sadness)

Denn wir haben hie keine bleibende Statt (For here we have no lasting place)

Selig sind die Toten (Blessed are the dead)