Like many of Kurt Weill's works, 'Das Berliner Requiem' is based on a text by Berthold Brecht and is thus far removed from the realm of the traditional Catholic liturgy. It is, in fact, about the forgotten dead: the unknown soldier, a drowned girl, and the murdered socialist Rosa Luxemburg. As in other works, Weill combines various styles: classical with light music, jazz with atonality. The result is one of his masterpieces.
Star violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja plays another great work from Weill's oeuvre, his violin concerto. It shows the clear influence of Paul Hindemith and - according to Weill himself - of Igor Stravinsky, too, particularly in respect of the clarity of the sound structures. The violin is accompanied by a wind band, a percussionist and - in place of a string orchestra - a solitary double bass.
Interspersed between the Weill works are fine 'a capella' pieces by Hanns Eisler and Hugo Distler.