Brahms’s ‘A German Requiem’ Next Up for Choral Society

“One of the greatest choral masterpieces.”
The Choral Society of the Hamptons at their winter concert Durell Godfrey

Johannes Brahms’s “Requiem,” the work that brought fame to the composer after its first performance in 1869, will be the next presentation of the Choral Society of the Hamptons on Saturday.

Joining the group in the performance at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church’s parish hall in East Hampton will be the Greenwich Village Chamber Singers, the South Fork Chamber Orchestra, and two professional soloists: Ileana Santamaria and Jason Eck. Mark Mangini, the music director of both choral ensembles, will conduct. In a release, he called it “one of the greatest choral masterpieces.”

Ms. Santamaria, a soprano, shifted from Latin music to opera and oratorio four years ago. In 2015, her performance of arias by Verdi and Puccini in the Vermont Philharmonic’s annual opera gala was well received by critics. Mr. Eck, a bass baritone, has sung with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis and the Atlanta Opera, and studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Indiana University.

Called “Ein Deutsches Requiem” or “A German Requiem,” Brahms’s piece was meant for the masses and was revolutionary in its emphasis on comforting the living, omitting such works’ traditional references to Christ and Judgment Day for the departed. Writing in The New York Times, James R. Oestreich said it appeared that the piece “has become something of an anthem for our time, with grand social and political reverberations.”

Brahms himself called it a “human requiem” in a letter to Clara Schumann, the widow of Robert Schumann, whose death Brahms was honoring with the piece. “Rather than dwelling on the judgment of the deceased, he seemed intent on consoling those left behind,” Mr. Oestreich noted.

The groups previously performed the work on June 24 in Manhattan. The Choral Society of the Hamptons is an auditioned chorus with professional conductors, soloists, orchestras, and accompanists. It was founded in 1946. The South Fork Chamber Orchestra, which often performs with the chorus, is a group of professional musicians from Long Island and New York City. The Greenwich Village Chamber Singers perform secular and sacred music from all periods.

The concert will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door, with student tickets available for $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Preferred-seating tickets can be had for $75. Tickets and information are at the choral society’s website and at the Romany Kramoris Gallery in Sag Harbor.

(It was incorrectly stated in a photo caption last week that Elizabeth Zung was the new executive director of the choral society. David Brandenburg, who was in that post for four years, has stepped down, and the society is now searching for his replacement.)