Post-concert postscript: It was awesome! I sat fourth row back center so I could be amazed watching the dexterity of, say, a violinist's hands (the nearest one was a young and gorgeous Asian woman, Japanese I would guess).
"The German Requiem was radical in 1868 because it did not follow the traditional structure or theme of a requiem Mass; indeed it never mentions Christ, final judgment, or salvation. In contrast to the text of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass, the theme of Brahms' Requiem is a non-dogmatic victory over death, expressing that the transcendence of time is a kind of resurrection offering eternal renewal. Brahms, a learned religious thinker but an agnostic, used scriptural texts and the music itself to express comfort for those who mourn and inspiration for all mortals. He said he could have called it, 'The Human Requiem.'
"The first and seventh movements frame the Requiem with the key of F major, and the other movements wander the 'orbit' of F major. Brahms carries us through the 'flat side' of the tonal field, the sound of mourning, up through the 'sharp side,' where brightness enters the music, only to return us in the seventh movement to the comfort of the home key, F Major, where it all began.
"By ending with the same word, 'selig' ('blessed'), and the same key as he used to begin, Brahms creates a timeless loop where contraries like earthly time and heavenly time are resolved and where the promise of consolation is at once anticipated and fulfilled. Music, based so thoroughly on time and in time, is yet the artistic medium perhaps most suited to allow us to experience the transcendence of time."
Now, back home after an early dinner of delicious Chicken Gorgonzola at a restaurant up the highway, and with the dog walked, its time to go from Brahms to the Amy Winehouse concert I got from Netflix. Nothing like radically juxtaposed signals to my soul.