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It's almost 150 years since Brahms began work on his Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem), and the impact of what was to be his most substantial work still resonates, with its humanistic optimism in the face of mortality. Full of radiant sonorities and uplifting lyricism, Brahms' score endures as one his most popular works, magnificently brought to life on this new release from Antoni Wit and his outstanding Warsaw Philharmonic resources.

Naxos 8.573061
BRAHMS, J.: Deutsches Requiem (Ein)
Libor, T.E. Bauer,
Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, Wit

The longest work in Brahms’s entire oeuvre, A German Requiem was almost certainly triggered by the death of his mother, although it also seems likely that the tragic loss of his friend Robert Schumann, some years earlier, added to its depth and eloquence. Taking inspiration from Bach’s contrapuntal genius but avoiding overt religious tradition, Brahms chose the texts himself, placing an emphasis on an affirmation of life with the suggestion that he would gladly have substituted ‘human’ for ‘German’ in the title. This release joins Antoni Wit’s ‘richly satisfying’ (Gramophone) recording of Brahms Choral Music [8.572694].

Also available on Blu-ray Audio NBD0039

Companion Title on CD:

“...this is one of the more inclusive recordings of Brahms' choral-orchestral works. To that I would add it is also one of the most fantastic. I would recommend this release as an urgent purchase.” (Fanfare)

“...this super-budget collection is marvellously sung and played.” (Gramophone)

“Ewa Wolak, soloist in the Brahms Alto Rhapsody, seems to be that natural wonder, the true contralto, with wine-dark coloring and a cavernous lower range.”  (Opera News)

About the Artists

Antoni Wit
Thomas E.
Antoni Wit, one of Poland's most highly regarded conductors, was the managing and artistic director of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir from 2002 to 2013. He was appointed first guest conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra in Pamplona in 2010 and its artistic director in 2013.

Christiane Libor was a prizewinner at the 1999 International Mozart Competition in Salzburg. In addition to concert performances, her stage rôles have included the Feldmarschallin’ (Der Rosenkavalier), Leonore (Fidelio) Senta (Der fliegende Holländer), Eva (Die Meistersinger) and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni).

In 2011, Thomas E. Bauer received no fewer than five awards for his recordings, including the Gramophone Baroque Vocal Award for Handel’s Apollo e Dafne, and the Echo Klassik Award for Elijah. He is a recipient of the Schneider–Schott Music Award for his outstanding achievements in contemporary music.

Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra

Warsaw Philharmonic Choir

Founded in 1901, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra now has a complement of 110 players. The orchestra's recordings have won many prestigious awards, including a GRAMMY® in 2012 and six other GRAMMY® nominations.

The Warsaw Philharmonic Choir boasts a repertoire that includes more than 150 choral works, ranging from the Middle Ages to contemporary music. The choir's recording of the only complete version of Moniuszko’s Seven Masses won the Polish Fryderyk and French Orphée d’Or awards in 2009.

Antoni Wit conducts Brahms' Piano Concertos

Naxos 8.554088
BRAHMS, J.: Piano Concerto No. 1 / SCHUMANN, R.: Introduction and Concerto-Allegro
Biret, Polish National Radio Symphony, Wit

You'll be hard-pressed to find as profoundly moving a performance of this impossible Idil Biret's on Naxos...When most pianists sound exhausted and drained at the conclusion of the Brahms, Biret finds new energy and splendor. (Listener Magazine)

Naxos 8.554089
BRAHMS, J.: Piano Concerto No. 2 / SCHUMANN, R.: Introduction and Allegro appassionato
Biret, Polish National Radio Symphony, Wit

Biret's virtuosity and mature musicianship are on display in another blockbuster, Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2. Given strong support by the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (Katowice) led by Antoni Wit, Biret plays this magnificent work with a winning mixture of power and lyricism...this appealing work sizzles from start to finish. (The Patriot Ledger)

Polish Ambition – Antoni Wit Talks to Jeremy Siepmann

Between the Lines: Idil Biret talks to Jeremy Siepmann

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