Requiems that aren't really Requiems


Non-liturgical but related are the numerous so-called 'German requiems' and other compositions bearing in some form the title 'Requiem'. Composers such as Schutz, Praetorius, Schubert, Fasch and Brahms contributed to this category. These German requiems may derive their texts from the Lutheran Bible as Brahms' did or from a variety of Protestant liturgical sources and ceremonies.

A popular poem by the German poet and dramatist Friedrich Hebbel (1813-1863) Requiem: Seele vergiss sie nicht, has been confused with German requiems in its many settings by composers such as Reger Geilsdorf, Cornelius and Gebhard.

A Deutsches Helden-Requiem (1937) by Hermann Erdlen sets a Nazi theme in a text by A. Thieme.

Hanns Eisler's Lenin: Requiem (1970) is a tribute to the Russian leader.

John Taverner's Celtic Requiem (1972) is a composite of liturgical text, Irish poetry and children's singing-games and is a work for the stage.

Mike Oldfield wrote the soundtrack for the film Killing Fields and one of the pieces was called "Requiem". The music was instrumental, but the theme was death.

Return to the Requiem Web main page


Last updated: 8th June 1997