The Riverdale Choral Society has invited members and friends of RYSEC to attend their May 2022 concert at Christ Church Riverdale, 5040 Henry Hudson Parkway, in the Bronx.

They will be performing Ein Deutsches Requiem by Johannes Brahms.

Date: Sunday, May 22, 2022
Time: 3:00 pm

Music Director: John Lettieri
Baritone Solos: Joseph Gansert
Soprano Solos: Madeline Apple Healy
Keyboard Accompaniment: Mun-Tzung Wong and David Stetch

Admission is $25.  For tickets and further information, visit the Riverdale Choral Society’s website.  To share the flyer, download it from that website.

More information: 718 543-2219 or  or

Note from Jone Johnson Lewis, RYSEC Leader:

Brahms’ German Requiem has sometimes been called A Human Requiem.  Brahms was inspired to write it by his own sense of loss at the death of his mother, Chritiane Brahms, in 1865.  Many also have assumed Brahms was dealing with his grief over the earlier death of his mentor, Schumann.

Before Brahms’ Requiem, musical requiems were set with a Roman Catholic Latin text.  Brahms used excerpts from the Lutheran Bible.  But he did not intend it to be sectarian.  In fact, in a letter, responding to a complaint that Jesus isn’t mentioned in the Requiem, he wrote, “I would gladly omit the ‘German’ as well, and simply put ‘of Mankind’…”

A focus of some of the requiem, unlike requiems before it, is on comforting those who survive, rather than solely on the eternal life of the person who has died.  The opening words, in fact, are “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Because of this history, and though much of the text is traditional Christian ideas about deity and the afterlife, selections from this requiem have been used in many memorial services of humanists and Ethical Culture members.


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