Brahms first contemplated composing a Requiem after the death of Schumann, his friend and mentor. But it was the death of his mother in 1865 that spurred him into action. Rejecting the Catholic Mass, he set instead his own selection of Biblical passages. Perhaps because Brahms was not a man of strong religious convictions, his Requiem is concerned less with the terror of the Day of Judgement than it is with offering comfort to the living. The result is a work which combines grandeur and tenderness with great humanity.