Monday, November 2, 2009

Remembering Mozart Requiem

Listening to Mozart's Requiem on my computer while I work, reminded me of the awesome concert in 2005 where City of Dunedin Choir, Auckland Choral Society and Southern Sinfonia combined forces to lift the rafters in the Dunedin Town Hall. Now you know why the Town Hall will be closed next year for 12 months for an upgrade!

As part of a concert presented by the Southern Sinfonia, the conductor was Ryusuke Numajiri; Soloists Madeleine Pierard, Kate Spence, Kenneth Cornish, David Griffiths.

Here is a wee taste - there is more of this delightful music on Youtube if you don't have the CD.

John Eliot Gardiner conducts the English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir. This performance was filmed at the Palau de la Musica Catalana, Barcelona in Dec. 1991.

A Requiem Mass in the Roman Catholic tradition is a service designed to pray for the souls of the departed. The parts of the liturgy that are meant to be sung are what constitute all Requiem Mass compositions, including Mozart's.

The structure is as follows:
1. Introit
2. Kyrie
3. Sequence: a. Dies irae b. Tuba mirum c. Rex tremendae d. Recordare e. Confutatis f. Lacrimosa
4. Offertory: a. Domine Jesu Christe b. Hostias
5. Sanctus
6. Benedictus
7. Agnus Dei
8. Lux Aeterna

Mozart died before finishing the Requiem Mass, and his wife Constanze gave the task of finishing the work to a pupil of Mozart's named Süssmayr. From the Sanctus onward, the Requiem is the creation of Süssmayr, though he did use portions of the Introit and Kyrie for the Lux Aeterna.

Despite, or maybe partially because of, the controversy surrounding this Requiem Mass, it is widely regarded as Mozart's greatest masterpiece.

1 comment:

Rosi Crane said...

There are two things that stick in my mind from that concert - firstly we were exhorted to come in with precision and firmness - not like jellyfish! Secondly the Auckland alto lot forgot to come in on a couple of occassions - isn;t it funny that a wholoe section can manage to do the wrong thing simultaneously - I mean we all forget to come in, or come in too early - but to do it en masses takes er .. well talent I guess. (It'll be our turn next - now that I've mentioned it - the kiss of death strikes the unprepared)