In St. Paul’s’ Church on the Last Sunday of the Church Year (Eternity Sunday) the city of Vladivostok was able to hear the German Requiem by Johannes Brahms
(15th Annual German Cultural Days for Vladivostok, October 2-November 20, 2011)
For the 15th time St. Paul’s Church hosted the German Cultural Days for the city of Vladivostok. They took place this year from the 23rd of October to the 20th of November and had as their theme: Russia and Germany—what are they for each other? St. Paul’s Church offered an exhibition that featured well-known speakers like Alexander Menh Prize winner Falk Bomsdorf from Munich; Historian Astrid Volpert from Berlin, Associate Editor of the 3 Volume Work: Russia and Germany in the 20th Century; Professor Gennadij Bordjugoff, Moscow, President of the Society for Research of Russian Society. Many students, teachers, and people from the public sector of our city found their way to our church. Our traditional “Philosophical Readings” with lectures and discussions for the youth were again exceptional. It is also noteworthy that this time the “Polish Society” took part in our German Cultural Days. We have worked with the “Alliance Francaise” (French Alliance) in the past. Maybe sometime we will arrive at “European Cultural Days”.
Almost all of our events took place in our St. Paul’s Church. Only the following were staged at a different location: the performance of the Mozart Opera “The Marriage of Figaro” (Curator Peter Schwarz from Germany); the exhibition of contemporary German artists (Peter Schwarz, curator) and the events dealing with the “Days of German Science in the framework of German-Russian years of education, science and innovation.” Provost Brockmann accompanied the speakers to the Universities.
The main emphasis was the music: three organ concerts with the German Church Muisc Director Matthias Boehlert, Chamber musicians Chamber orchestras along with our accomplished musicians from Vadivostok. As a finale and also the high point of the days was the performance of the “German Requiem” by Johannes Brahms, performed in the St, Paul’s Church by their Concert Choir (rehearsals conducted by Margarita Pleschkowa) and accompanied by the Vladivostok Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Tatjana Tereschenko.
This concert took place on the Last Sunday of the Church Year (also known as Eternity Sunday) following our church service. Johannes Brahms dedicated this work with the superscription: “ All people are grass…, but the word of our God will stand forever. “ (Isaiah 40:6-8). At the beginning of the performance everyone stood and remembered our dead with the tolling of the St. Paul’s church bell.
Ambassador Ulrich Brandenburg, Moscow, was present for our church service and presented St. Paul’s a certificate of thanks for its work of many years in the area of German-Russian understanding.
We thank all of our sponsors, who made these Cultural Days possible and we especially thank those whose financial sponsorship made it possible to present the performance of “German Requiem” by Johannes Brahms.
Manfred Brockmann, Pastor of St. Paul’s Church in Vladivostok, and former Honorary Consul of Germany in Vladivostok