Every once in a while, something comes along that will convince me to venture into the City of Brotherly Mayhem. This is one of those things. My high school chorus generally did one bit from the Requiem each year, and at one time I could have translated the latin. All skills long lost to disuse. Actually, there are more than a few Requiems out there, but if you say “The Requiem,” one generally means that which was written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The historical fiction Amadeus, one of the great movies of all time distorted a lot of the history of this piece. While much of the play and movie were faithful, there was a lot of fanciful embellishment of the story. Mozart’s Requiem was actually commissioned by Count Von Walsegg, who had the odious habit of commissioning works from famous composers, and then passing them off as his own. That didn’t seem to work in this case, though it is true that Mozart died before the Requiem could be completed. Constanze Mozart had lesser known composer finish the work.
I am not familiar but with one other composers Requiem, and that’s the one written by Hector Berlioz. That piece was written to commemorate the dead in the French Revolution of 1830. Not to be confused with the French Revolution of 1832, on which Victor Hugo based his novel Les Miserables, which was later written into a musical of the same name.
3 thoughts on “Must Go!”
You can actually hear a guillotine drop in another Berlioz piece, Symphony Fantastique.
That’s one of the CDs I have had since childhood (from back when CDs first started appearing in large quantities). Performance is by the Berlin Philharmonic, Daniel Barenboim conducting.
Mozart’s Requiem is, being Mozart, wonderful.However, Faure also did a pretty decent Requiem. I recommend it.
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