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Mozart, Requiem in D minor, K. 626
The Requiem is not only Mozart's last composition, but also the one most
shrouded in mystery. The purportedly enigmatic patron who ordered the work
and the fatal illness that befell Mozart while he was working on it long
nurtured the macabre legend of Mozart composing his own Requiem mass
commissioned by Death himself. The Requiem was completed by Mozart's friend
and pupil Franz Saver Süssmayr on the basis of Mozart's sketches and
instructions. The somber woodwinds and brass, the artless melodies and the
stirring shifts from intricate contrapuntal writing to mighty homophonic
blocks convey an otherworldly, apocalyptic feeling seldom encountered in
Mozart's works. Despite its almost operatic solo passages and large
orchestra, the Requiem was intended for the church, and is indeed an ideal
work for the theatrically sumptuous and brilliant Baroque churches of
Austria and southern Germany.
The abbey church in Diessen (Bavaria) is a splendid example: completely
rebuilt in the early 18th century by one of the leading South-German
Baroque architects, it provides an admirable setting for Leonard
Bernstein's sensitive conducting of the Requiem. This production, which the
Maestro dedicated to his wife Felicia Montealegre on the tenth anniversary
of her death, is a moving and memorable tribute to commemorate Mozart's
and others' deaths.
||Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
||Mozart, Requiem in D minor, K. 626
||Marie McLaughlin, Maria Ewing, Jerry Hadley, Cornelius Hauptmann
||Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
||Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks