Book Tickets

Brahms: Requiem

Presented by Guildford Symphony Orchestra & Guildford Choral Society

G Live, Guildford

Sat 20 November 2021

Guildford Symphony Orchestra / Guildford Choral Society

Almost two years to the day after celebrating the GSOs centenary with a barnstorming sold out performance of Beethoven’s Choral Symphony, two titans of Guildford music join forces once more in a triumphant return to the concert stage.

Fittingly then, that the programme should open with a work dubbed “Beethoven’s Tenth”, a nickname partly borne of Brahms’ reverence for his predecessors, so much so that the work was twenty years in its gestation before he deemed it worthy. Brahms’ Symphony No 1 is no pale imitation, however, but a mature, original work on a grand scale, from its majestic, restless opening, through the tender, almost Wagnerian slow movement, and its graceful scherzo. Brahms’ masterful orchestration is to the fore, with the woodwind, and particularly the clarinets, prominent throughout. The uplifting finale further underlines the connection to Beethoven’s 9th, with one of its themes closely connected to the famous Ode to Joy melody. “Any ass could see that!” was Brahms’ disdainful riposte when it was pointed out to him. The deliberate but highly individual homage to Beethoven’s masterpiece culminates in the work ending with an emphatic, life-affirming restatement of those enlightenment values of universal brotherhood.

If his first symphony was a continuation of the symphonic tradition, Ein Deutsches Requiem tore up the rule-book. Grief-stricken by the death of his mother, and of his close friend the composer Schumann, Brahms eschewed the Old Testament grandeur of Verdi, Berlioz and even Mozart in favour of a contemplative, almost humanistic work. Unusually, he used none of the normal Latin Mass for the Dead, and chose instead psalms and gospel passages from the German Lutheran Bible. While words such as ‘the Trumpet Shall Sound’ are met with the full power of choir and orchestra combined, overall the message is of peace, hope, renewal, and comfort for the bereaved, themes that resonate all the more strongly in these troubled times.


Tickets: £25, £20, £15

Under 25s: Half Price
Under 16s: Free
Wheelchair companion: Free

Where applicable fees and charges are included in the stated ticket prices. Fee-free booking for Friends of G Live.

Pre-Show Dining

Make your visit extra special with one of our food and drink packages. Enjoy a tasty sharing platter and a drink and soak up the pre-show atmosphere of our café. During the interval, return to your table for a delicious dessert and second drink.