Many people assume Brahms was an old man when he wrote his Requiem. They often see him as a fat guy with a cigar and beard, stretching his arms to reach the piano keyboard. In
reality, Brahms was a handsome younger man in his 30s when he wrote the Requiem, years before he wrote his first symphony.
Instead of the traditional Latin text, Brahms chose passages from the Bible as translated by
Martin Luther. The majority of the Requiem was composed three years after his mother's death. The fifth movement was added after the official premiere in 1868.