How Lovely are thy Dwellings

Album: Ein Deutsches Requiem (1868)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • "A German Requiem, To Words of the Holy Scriptures," is a large-scale choral work composed between 1865 and 1868 by German composer Johannes Brahms. It comprises seven movements, which together last 65 to 80 minutes, making it Brahms's longest composition. The Requiem's darker ruminations are alleviated by this fourth movement, taken from Psalm 84.
  • Brahms composed this major choral work in three major periods of his life. An earlier version of the second movement was first composed in 1854, not long after his friend Robert Schumann's attempted suicide, and was later finished and used in his first piano concerto. The majority of the Requiem was written after his mother's death in 1865, a loss that caused him much grief. The fifth movement was later added after the official premiere in 1868.
  • The term "Requiem" is used to describe any sacred composition that sets to music religious texts which would be appropriate at a funeral. Brahms' work was so called because the text was taken from Luther's German translation of the Bible rather than the Latin texts normally used for such sacred compositions. (Brahms used a German Bible that he was given as a child to choose the passages for the work). Cast in seven divisions, it focused on the sorrow of those who mourn, rather than speculating on the fate of the dead. The Requiem proved a triumphant success following its first performance in 1869 and was soon performed in concert by massed choirs and mighty orchestras. It marked a turning point in Brahms' career placing him among Europe's leading composers.
  • The theme of transition from anxiety to comfort runs throughout the Requiem. However, although God is the source of the comfort, a sympathetic humanism persists through the work. In fact, Brahms purposefully omitted Christian dogma.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Director Mark Pellington ("Jeremy," "Best Of You")

Director Mark Pellington ("Jeremy," "Best Of You")Song Writing

Director Mark Pellington on Pearl Jam's "Jeremy," and music videos he made for U2, Jon Bon Jovi and Imagine Dragons.

Julian Lennon

Julian LennonSongwriter Interviews

Julian tells the stories behind his hits "Valotte" and "Too Late for Goodbyes," and fills us in on his many non-musical pursuits. Also: what MTV meant to his career.

Gene Simmons of Kiss

Gene Simmons of KissSongwriter Interviews

The Kiss rocker covers a lot of ground in this interview, including why there are no Kiss collaborations, and why the Rock Hall has "become a sham."

Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles

Timothy B. Schmit of the EaglesSongwriter Interviews

Did this Eagle come up with the term "Parrothead"? And what is it like playing "Hotel California" for the gazillionth time?

Lita Ford

Lita FordSongwriter Interviews

Lita talks about how they wrote songs in The Runaways, and how she feels about her biggest hit being written by somebody else.

Todd Rundgren

Todd RundgrenSongwriter Interviews

Todd Rundgren explains why he avoids "Hello It's Me," and what it was like producing Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell album.