Requiem Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Te decet hymnus, Deus in Sion, et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem; exaudi orationem meam, ad te omnis caro veniet. Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine. Requiem Ewige Ruhe gib ihnen, Herr, und ewiges Licht leuchte ihnen. Ewige Ruhe gib ihnen, Herr.

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Artist biographies Donald Runnicles specialises in performances of requiems. At least this impression could arise if you look back on the Philharmoniker concerts the Scottish conductor conducted since he had already conducted the requiems by Benjamin Britten, Hector Berlioz and Johannes Brahms.

By this means he created a vocal composition of suggestive character — archaic, transcendent, consolatory. The Catholic church, the liturgy and piety also strongly shaped his musical oeuvre. The orchestral composition, an early work by Messiaen, has a sacral character and is characterised by a richly coloured, atmospherically dense musical language. Anyone who strived for this highest award of the official French musical scene had to compose a cantata on an assigned, usually dull, text. Many great composers, from Berlioz to Bizet to Dutilleux, undertook this compulsory academic exercise, which had to be completed within three weeks in isolation and, if successful, culminated in a three-year, highly regimented stay at the Villa Medici in Rome.

One cannot really blame the esteemed gentlemen. Surrounded by reunited couples, she soprano soloist longs in vain for her lover, who is still on earth. She weeps and, as she soars in increasingly exquisite tones, her voice fades away and the music returns to more ordinary tonal realms. Only the vocalizing chorus hovers like a Fata Morgana over the final C major chord.

Messiaen, who was born in , also had experience with the Prix de Rome: he competed unsuccessfully for it in and , each time composing a tone poem afterwards — an anti-academic antidote, so to speak — the second of which will be heard during this concert. The era of musical Impressionism was as much a thing of the past as the triumph of the Ballets Russes, and the neoclassicism which prevailed at that time called for a counterweight.

Religious fervour, serenity and human violence are portrayed through musical means which are bold to the point of fierceness. Although Messiaen still appears to be influenced by Igor Stravinsky in this work, his style emerges clearly. In his book Die Musik in Frankreich im Sometimes the musical text has been respected in full, the orchestral part intervening only to support or comment on it; sometimes I was simply inspired by it. But the seemingly certain B major of this ninth movement is not achieved with the open chord at the close — a final uncertainty in the face of eternity?

A weeping damsel in the paradise of lovers? After first engagements at the theatres of Mannheim, Hanover and Freiburg, he became Music Director and Principal Conductor of the San Francisco Opera in , a post he held until Since he works each year at the Vienna State Opera and has also led productions in the opera houses of Munich, Hamburg and Berlin, Milan, Paris and Zurich, and at festivals such as in Salzburg, Bayreuth and Glyndebourne.

His last performance with the orchestra was in December , when he conducted works by Richard Strauss and Edward Elgar. Noel Bouley now makes his debut in concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker. In , Martina Welschenbach joined the International Opera Studio of Zurich Opera where, after only a few weeks, she was engaged as a permanent member of the ensemble. The Rundfunkchor Berlin is a sought-after partner of leading orchestras and conductors all over the world, including long-standing partnerships with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and the Berliner Philharmoniker.

In around 50 concerts per year the chorus displays an exceptional breadth of repertoire and stylistic versatility. Their work together is documented by many recordings and awards, including three Grammy Awards. Watch now.


Maurice Duruflé



Miscellaneous Translations



Donald Runnicles conducts a concert “à la française”



Requiem (Duruflé)


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