Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem was initially conceived as a ‘cantata of grief’ – it was the death of his mother and the desire to create a memorial to his friend Robert Schumann that makes this music so intensely personal. With its radiant messages of humanity, consolation and comfort, the Requiem caused a sensation and made Brahms famous virtually overnight. The work is heard here with its ‘ad libitum’ organ and contrabassoon reinstated, enormously intensifying the depth of tone colors and lower sonorities. For the conductor Ralf Otto flexibility, diversity and transparency of sound have always been essential for his work with orchestras and choirs. Otto believes that understanding the compositional structure of a piece of music is an indispensable prerequisite to achieving intensely emotional expression. The conductor’s reputation is based on his gift for interpreting different musical styles, from the Renaissance to the music of today. Since the beginning of his career, he has been a strong advocate for the performance of early music according to historically informed performance practices. His numerous recordings and broadcasts are a testament to his artistic achievements.