Requiem for solidarity

Hope and comfort in the pandemic

In a new scenic film project, the »Human Requiem« becomes an examination of the current consequences of Corona. Directed by Jochen Sandig and musically conducted by Gijs Leenaars, the Rundfunkchor Berlin offers hope and comfort in difficult times with Brahms' »Ein deutsches Requiem«. 

[This text has been translated electronically]

When Jochen Sandig transformed Johannes Brahms' »Deutsches Requiem« into a »Human Requiem« in 2012, he created a new musical community experience with his innovative concept. In moving concerts, the musicians of the Rundfunkchor Berlin merged with the audience to form a unity. Brahms' consoling words in the face of death had a stronger effect than ever before. At the time, no one could have imagined that only a few years later a pandemic would make such beautiful performances impossible in the wake of contact restrictions, distance rules and social distancing.

But Brahms' music is especially important and timely now, given the devastating impact of Corona. Devotedly, a cinematic project was developed for the occasion, which was shown for the first time at the Central Corona Commemoration in Berlin on 18 April 2021. The video production with the Rundfunkchor Berlin is now also available on our Digital Stage.

In his production of the first two movements of the »Ein deutsches Requiem«, Jochen Sandig has taken a new look at the existing problems. The choir members, actually a collective of singers, have to walk behind each other at intervals: A strong collective becomes isolated individuals. Nevertheless, hope and encouragement dominate Brahms' music. »Ein deutsches Requiem« attempts to overcome the fears and suffering caused by death. It is not a requiem, not a requiem mass in the conventional sense, but music that gives comfort to the bereaved. Under the direction of Gijs Leenaars, the singers express this courage to face life visually and musically.

The Ludwigsburg Festival mourns with all the people who are currently suffering physical and psychological wounds from the virus. No art in the world can undo this suffering. However, the »Human Requiem« is intended to bring comfort, confidence and solidarity to the world. We firmly believe that the future holds good things in store for people: »Joy and delight will take hold of them, and pain and sighing will have to go.«