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Thread: Mozart: Requiem Mass in D minor, K. 626

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    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    Default Mozart: Requiem Mass in D minor, K. 626

    This is one of Mozart's most popular works and probably the most famous requiem of them all. If you're unfamiliar with the fascinating story of the circumstances of its composition, you definitely want to read the wikipedia article about it. It's a very good article!

    But how do you feel about this work? What do you like or love about it? How does it challenge you?

    Feel free to discuss specific recordings. Here is Trout's list, based on his research:

    1. Harnoncourt (cond.), Schäfer, Fink, Streit, Finley, Concentus Musicus Wien, Arnold Schoenberg Choir (2003)

    2. Schreier (cond.), Price, Schmidt, Araiza, Adam, Staatskapelle Dresden, Leipzig Radio Chorus (1983)

    3. Herreweghe (cond.), Rubens, Markert, Bostridge, Müller-Brachmann, Champs-Élysées Orchestra, La Chapelle Royale Paris, Collegium Vocale (1996)

    4. Marriner (cond.), McNair, Watkinson, Araiza, Lloyd, Academy & Chorus of St. Matin in the Fields (1990)

    5. Mackerras (cond.), Gritton, Wyn-Rogers, Robinson, Rose, Scottish Chamber Orchestra & Chorus (2002)

    6. Böhm (cond.), Mathis, Hamari, Ochman, Ridderbusch, Haselbock, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna State Opera Concert Choir (1971)

    7. Hogwood (cond.), Kirkby, Watkinson, Rolfe Johnson, Thomas, Orchestra & Chorus of the Academy of Ancient Music, Westminster Cathedral Boys Choir (1983)

    8. Gardiner (cond.), Bonney, von Otter, Blochwitz, White, English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir (1986)

    9. Walter (cond.), Seefried, Simoneau, Tourel, Warfield, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Westminster Choir (1956)

    10. Giulini (cond.), Donath, Ludwig, Tear, Lloyd, Philharmonia Orchestra & Chorus (1979)
    I will link to some other TC posts and threads that are relevant to this discussion.

    You can see where this work currently ranks compared to others on the Talk Classical Community's Favorite and Most Highly Recommended Works.
    Last edited by science; Dec-03-2018 at 03:41.
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by science View Post
    This is one of Mozart's most popular works and probably the most famous requiem of them all. If you're unfamiliar with the fascinating story of the circumstances of its composition, you definitely want to read the wikipedia article about it. It's a very good article!

    But how do you feel about this work? What do you like or love about it? How does it challenge you?
    I still haven't found a "definite" recording of this piece. It's been more than a year since the last I listened to the Requiem, but it used to be one of my favorite compositions from the classical period. Even though I'm not a Christian, by listening to the Requiem I felt like a could understand what it means to feel regret, to ask for forgiveness, and what it means to die and go to the other world.

    However, nowadays I consider this "weight" (guilt, forgiveness, God's judgment) a bit overwhelming. I mean, it's a very beautiful piece (even for me, considering I'm not much into tonal music recently heh), but it's too emotionally heavy for me. As for religious music, I'm more into eastern music overall.
    Last edited by rbacce; Dec-03-2018 at 19:19.

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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Why is this in the vocal section ant not religious.
    See also: https://www.talkclassical.com/search...archid=3807157

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerx View Post
    Why is this in the vocal section ant not religious.
    One good reason is that there is singing in the work. Another is that the Vocal Forum states - "Forum for discussing vocal music including lieder and choral works".

    Some threads fit well into more than one forum - this is one of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
    One good reason is that there is singing in the work. Another is that the Vocal Forum states - "Forum for discussing vocal music including lieder and choral works".

    Some threads fit well into more than one forum - this is one of them.
    Requiem means religious, original a Catholic mass, so I do not agree.
    Last edited by Rogerx; Dec-04-2018 at 07:51.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerx View Post
    Requiem means religious, original a Catholic mass, so I do not agree.
    That's quite a rigid take on the subject. Why do you care?

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    Concerning recordings, my go-to versions are Schierer, Gardiner and Bohm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
    That's quite a rigid take on the subject. Why do you care?
    OP can get more response from link I provided , besides that; I can ask you the same question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerx View Post
    OP can get more response from link I provided , besides that; I can ask you the same question.
    I'm supporting Science, love Mozart's Requiem, and this forum is a reasonable spot for the thread.

    By the way, your link goes nowhere.
    Last edited by Bulldog; Dec-04-2018 at 09:05.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
    I'm supporting Science, love Mozart's Requiem, and this forum is a reasonable spot for the thread.

    By the way, your link goes nowhere.
    It's not about who's right or wrong, so we disagree.
    Use the advance search on the main board, use Mozart Requiem in title only and you find lots of threads.
    This is one for starters.
    What is your favourite Mozart Requiem recording?

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    Funny coincidence. Tonight on Jeopardy, the final question was on Mozart. It was, like, "What work, written in 1791, his last year of life, is numbered 626?"

    My wife, as soon as 1791 was mentioned, called out "His Requiem!" Didn't even wait for the rest of the question.


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    Boys, boys! Stop arguing about whether it's a religious work or a vocal work. IT'S BOTH.

    But I'll say this: Religious and sacred music is music performed or composed for religious use or through religious influence.

    Vocal music is a type of singing performed by one or more singers, either with instrumental accompaniment, or without instrumental accompaniment (a cappella), in which singing provides the main focus of the piece.

    Mozart's Requiem fits nicely into BOTH of these loose definitions.

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    To get this thread back on topic to its original intent...

    Mozart's Requiem is often treated as one of the finest jewels of the sacred music repertoire, and in many ways I find this hard to disagree with. There is a certain resigned nobility and distillation of compositional genius in this work that betrays an aura of elemental mystery. The sinuous, almost sinister opening lines of the Introitus that evolve into a series of finely-spun melodies, erupting into the thick and almost dizzying Bachian counterpoint of the Kyrie fugue is one of my favorite sequences in choral music. It's pure speculation to try and integrate Mozart's supposed circumstances during the time of its composition, but what I hear in this music is the strains of an artist struggling to grasp what faith means to him. There is much trepidation and fear in this music, but also a rather hesitant tender warmth and devotion that shines through in several golden moments, most notably in the Lachrymosa. Was this the last music going through Mozart's head as he succumbed to death? For a work of its scope, it is remarkably compact, and that is one thing I have always appreciated about it. I'll leave the discussion of various completions open to others who are more knowledgeable than I (there's a thread going on under Classical Music Discussion about that topic), but I will say that, miraculously enough, the work feels complete for me at the Hostias. Sometimes I'll even stop listening at the Lachrymosa, not pondering what could have been but the fascination of what we've been given. Reservations...it would not occupy my upper echelon of favorite works due to the relative brevity of the authentic portion, and the fact that I treasure the Great C Minor Mass significantly more- in fact, for me the Mass is the greater, more inspired, more monumental, and more deeply impactful composition, and I may even consider it the pinnacle of Mozart's non-operatic works. But the Requiem will always remain at once a rewarding document and a peerless, affecting view into the waning stages of an artist's psyche.

    Recordings... I prefer the heavier, more "romantic" interpretations that strike a balance between drama and pathos. I also think that strong soloists are pivotal. Currently, Bohm and Bernstein (both on DG) are my favorites- performances that truly communicate the emotional palette necessary for a successful reading of the Requiem.

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    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegro Con Brio View Post
    the relative brevity of the authentic portion,
    I sense Mozart's fingerprints in the "inauthentic" portion as well.
    For example, I hear the sounds of these in the Agnus Dei of the Requiem:

    [ 2:53 ]

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsBEbWRarDg&t=2m53s


    [ 9:54 ]

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKbBvx9_KJw&t=9m54s


    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post
    I say Amen to this.
    Considering the way Misericordias Domini in D Minor K. 222 (1775) develops (the 'A-B-C-D-E' in the soprano) resembles Levin's completion of Amen.

    [ 3:28 ]

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4PQRbBn3OI&t=3m28s


    [ 23:04 ]

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGg2AwyNZA4&t=23m4s
    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Feb-22-2020 at 06:56.

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    Mozart's Requiem Mass is most definitely my favorite classical piece. I probably own over 20 different recordings. They range from the brisk 44 minutes which goes great with coffee and bagels, to the lethargically 64 min Bohm (1971) version that's so lethargically slow that it's enough to make me yawn until my face cracks wide open. And yes, I do use that one to help me get to sleep sometimes.

    I find this piece to be quite enigmatic. At times, it can be sort of dour and melancholy at one moment, yet sublime and uplifting at the next. The tempo variations can certainly play on these to great effect.

    I hate to pick favorites. But, if I had to, it would definitely be the version released in 1977 on Argo records featuring Ileana Cotrubas, Helen Watts, Robert Tear, John Shirley-Quirk, the Academy and Chorus Of St. Martin-In-The-Fields, Laszlo Heltay, and of course conducted by Sir Neville Marriner. It's been probably the best version ever to be made available on reel to reel (Barclay Crocker, also released in 1977), and beautifully remastered by Decca in 1987. Among other attributes, it clocks in at just under 55 minutes, which makes it a relatively average tempo Beyer Edition which keeps a consistent and steady pace from start to finish without any rushing or long dramatic pauses in between sections.

    I realize many will have differing opinions and that is fine. It's a remarkable piece that's been subjected to numerous variations. I probably have most of the popular ones.

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