When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: Holland Center, 1200 Douglas St.
Tickets: $27 to $80
Info: 402-345-0606, omahasymphony.org
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The voices of 220 chorus members will join the Omaha Symphony this weekend in a performance of Johannes Brahms' “German Requiem,” regarded as the first masterwork of a career often associated with those of Bach and Beethoven (in case you're ever quizzed about “the three B's” of classical music).
Dramatic, powerful, haunting, beautiful and at times sweet, Brahms's Requiem is an emotional experience. While the 1865 death of the composer's mother seems a likely inspiration, many historians suggest another influence was present. Composer and critic Robert Schumann served as a mentor before his suicide attempt in 1854, subsequent hospitalization (diagnosis: psychotic melancholia) and death two years later.
Still, Brahms never indicated who specifically he had in mind when he wrote the piece. He once said he could have titled it “A Human Requiem,” hinting at a universality that rings through the work. Listen to the roughly 75-minute masterpiece and you hear the human condition.
Omaha Symphony Music Director Thomas Wilkins conducts the orchestra this weekend. Judith Clurman, an Emmy and Grammy Award-nominated vocal conductor, will lead the 220-voice gallery, made up of members from the Omaha Symphonic Chorus, Creighton University Chamber Choir and the University of Nebraska at Omaha Concert and Chamber Choirs. Soprano Teresa Wakim and baritone Jorell Williams perform the soloist roles.