A Requiem to Remember

The Brahms German Requiem has rarely been performed in Santa Barbara, but it was given its full and lush due by the Santa Barbara Choral Society in the expansive First Presbyterian Church. This beautiful work is, unusually for a requiem, non-liturgical and sung in German rather than Latin, reflecting Brahms’s desire to focus on comfort and hope for the survivors of a loved one’s death. The work has been subject to some flak for not being “Christian” enough, but it remains a beautiful and uplifting piece, and Brahms’s longest work. SBCS gave it what many thought their best performance yet, and soloists soprano Tamara Bevard and baritone Lester Lynch were sublime. Two receptions featuring delicious organic gourmet comestibles by Kay Bowman rounded out the weekend.