Brahms’ sublime Requiem rose into the rafters high above as late-afternoon light filtered into yesterday’s gathering of hundreds at St. Michael’s College Chapel. Members of the Green Mountain Mahler Festival Orchestra and Chorus came together with volunteer musicians from all over the community and artists from the Bread and Puppet troupe to share in the special experience.
Musicians, puppeteers, and audience members congregated to show support for the people of Haiti and take some solace in the incredible beauty and power of Brahms’ choral masterpiece. The work has been called the German Requiem, but Brahms (ever the populist) said he preferred to think of it instead as the “Human” Requiem. With that thought in mind, the trandscendently beautiful opening chorus Selig sind, die da Leid tragen (“Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted”) was the perfect message for the day.