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Johannes Brahmms German Requiem Essay

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From a young age, Johannes Brahms loved the era of music he was born into in the 1830’s and eventually went on to shape and redefine the music of the Romantic period he was born in with his revolutionary composition the German Requiem. The romantic period was a movement in art and literature that started in the 18th century. This revolution emphasized on inspiration, subjectivity and how the individual felt about the art. Morner, Kathleen and Ralph Rausch “Friedrich Schlegel is given credit for first using the term romantic to describe literature, defined it as "literature depicting emotional matter in an imaginative form." Johannes Brahms took the ideas of Romanticism and shaped and ultimately made Romanticism what it is viewed as today.…show more content…
Even in the late stages of Romanticism it was still being viewed as questionable and still received harsh criticism regularly. From the Requiems first conception it was being criticized because of Brahms choice to use Martin Luther’s translation. Although there were Lutherans in Vienna, where the requiem was first performed in 1867, some still thought of Luther as a radical and Brahms being part of the Romantic movement only got him more criticism. Some critics thought that because of the choice of words it was not suitable to be performed in a church. The work continued to receive criticism until the fifth movement was added in September 1868. After this part was added the Requiem began to be performed in almost every German major city except for Vienna. Like those in Vienna those in the United States rejected the song as true performance quality and labeled it as “difficult” and overly “academic”. Most Catholics of the time rejected it so the piece received more appeal in England and parts of German than anywhere else and was debated by critics for more than forty years if the song could be considered a relevant piece of art. By 1900 the Requiem was given worldwide acclaim for its technical skill as well as appeal in combining older traditions on the Romantic era with new or modern tonal and harmonic
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