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The German Requiem is Brahms’s largest work, written for orchestra, chorus and two soloists. It made Brahms an international name, and the scope and technique of the composition brought him not only a new audience but also comparison with Bach and Beethoven. Although it fell out of favour for much of the earlier part of the twentieth century, it has found new critical support as an original and progressive work and there are many current recordings. This detailed study examines its history (especially its deep links to the past) and controversial reception, analyses its textual and musical structure, and discusses performing traditions from Brahms’s time to the present, including nine recorded performances made over the last fifty years.