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Inspired by a recent thread on Schumann’s requiem, I was wondering if people could recommend lesser known requiem masses. I recently came across Saint Saëns’ requiem and I was surprised to find it has only been recorded 7 times and not by any famous conductor. I liked it quite a bit and it reminded me how epic and amazing the form is, so I want to listen to more of them. So far I have only heard Mozart’s which is one of my favourite works in any form, and Saint Saëns’. Planning on listening to the Brahms, Faure, Verdi but I want to expand my list. Recording recommendations are of course also welcome!
 

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My favorite requiem of them all is from Maurice Duruflé. It's not a heavy-handed piece --- it takes much of its inspiration from Gregorian chant but imbues it with Impressionism. This combination is flat-out gorgeous. Another favorite requiem is from Schnittke, which is the polar opposite of the Duruflé. It's polystylistic and one of the movements actually incorporates a rock rhythm section. Totally cool.
 

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"Only recorded 7 times"? Try only once!
Richard Wetz' Requiem is probably the best thing he ever wrote. A stunning synthesis of tight symphonic form and rich, romantic content.
I can't recommend this piece - or the composer in general - enough.
Here's what I wrote a couple of months agao:

Without exaggeration I can say that this must be Wetz' masterpiece, and one of the greatest romantic Requiems.
What makes it so special is that it's truly symphonic in nature, choir and soloists are treated like orchestral instruments, completely integrated with the dark-toned orchestral textures.
One could even call it a choral symphony, in the vein of Rachmaninoff's "The Bells".
There aren't that many striking melodies - that wasn't Wetz' forte, but he more than compensates with colorful harmonies and original orchestral effects. Not that it's music that relies on effects - it's very inwardly directed music, with an intimate feel even at its most extroverted, powerful moments. The ending "Lux Aeterna" is transcendental, touching, magical.
The performance on CPO is serviceable, not brilliant. As ever with Wetz, beggars can't be choosers. There's another, much older performance at youtube, from 1960, recorded in Regensburg, sounding more animated than the CPO version, though it it's 10 minutes slower. But the orchestral playing and singing are definitely inferior.
The good news is that Wetz' Requiem will be performed at the Brucknerfest Linz, 30 september 2022. Let's hope a recording will be made!


 

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Not unknown but the Schnittke requiem is a favorite of mine. There are two CDs that include both the requiem, and Choir Concerto. The labels are Praga, and Prophone. For CD collectors, the Praga CD sells for only 8 dollars at Presto Classical.
 
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I am always happy to recommend Hindemith's 'When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd: A Requiem for those we love'.

Of course there is Berlioz & Dvorak's Requiems too, although maybe not in the lesser-known category.
 

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I am always happy to recommend Hindemith's 'When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd: A Requiem for those we love'.

Of course there is Berlioz & Dvorak's Requiems too, although maybe not in the lesser-known category.
Ah yes, I forgot about the Hindemith! A fine piece.
 

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among Baroque requiems, Biber's may be the most well-known.

An early work by Aumann. With a boy soprano soloist and foreboding use of harmonies, it has an eerie quality to it.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH4vUp7MhMY&t=9m23s
the ensemble (9:23) of the Tuba mirum is consoling.

this had been misattributed to Haydn; it's now identified as a work by a contemporary of his in Salzburg; Pasterwitz.

MH155

Hasse
 

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Requiem Opus 39 (1963) by Wilfred Josephs currently available via Chandos site: Wilfred Josephs - Symphony No.5/Requiem/Variations Orchestral & Concertos Lyrita (chandos.net)



Requiem (1984) by Andrew Imbrie on CD from Bridge records: Andrew Imbrie Requiem, Piano Concerto No. 3 BRIDGE 9091 – Bridge Records



... and while not a requiem in any formal sense, this "Mass of the Holy Bomb" by Leonard Rosenman for the soundtrack LP program on Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) is a satirical memorial service for the annihilation of the human species on planet Earth.



 

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Cherubini has actually two, one d minor, one c minor and one of them has only male chorus, IIRC.
There are two famous French baroque requiem masses (somewhat frequently recorded but I don't care much for them) by André Campra and Jean Gilles.
Non catholic funeral music from the baroque worth trying are Schütz Musikalische Exequien (probably the predecessor to Brahms "Ein deutsches Requiem", despite >200 year gap), Purcell's Funeral odes and Handel's Funeral ode "The ways of Zion do mourn".
 

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Funny that you should ask; just last week I compiled a list of requiems I now own. Here it is. The boldfaced ones are my favorites - recommended!.
Generally speaking, the sound becomes more lush as the centuries advance, except from the post-war period on, when anything can happen.

1532 Richafort (1480-1547) Requiem in memoriam Josquin Des Prez
1544 Morales (1500-1553) Missa Pro Defunctis
1550 Morales (1500-1553) Officium Defunctorum
1582 Guerrero (1528-1599) Missa pro Defunctis 2: Requiem Mass
1605 Victoria (1548-1611) Requiem mass (1605)
1606 Du Caurroy (1549-1609) Requiem, Missa pro defunctis
1609 Cardoso (1566-1650) Missa pro Defunctis à 6 (Requiem)

1653 Rubino (1603-1668) Miessa di morti a 5 concertata (Requiem)
1689 Kerll (1627-1693) Missa Pro Defunctis [Kerll]
1691 Biber (1644-1704) Requiem à 15 in concerto in F minor
1705 Gilles (1668-1705) Requiem, Messe des morts [Gilles]
1715 Lotti (1667-1740) Requiem in F [Lotti]
1720 Fux (1660-1741) Kaiserrequiem 1720
1733 Zelenka (1679-1745) Requiem for Elector Friedrich August I, ZWV.46
1734 Zelenka (1679-1745) Officium defunctorum, ZWV.47
1757 Bach (J.C.) (1735-1782) Missa da Requiem [JC Bach]
1760 Gossec (1734-1829) Grande Messe des Morts, RH.501
1763 Hasse (1699-1783) Requiem in C (1763)
1771 Haydn (M.) (1737-1806) Requiem in C minor 'Pro defuncto archiepiscopo Sigismundo', MH155
1774 Gossec (1734-1829) Requiem, RH.508 (Régibo version)
1787 Cimarosa (1749-1801) Requiem in G minor
1791 Mozart (1756-1791) Requiem in D minor, KV.626
1805 Salieri (1750-1825) Requiem in C minor
1808 Vogler (1749-1814) Requiem in E-flat
1816 Cherubini (1760-1842) Requiem for chorus and orchestra in C minor

1820 Bomtempo (1775-1842) Requiem in C minor for Camões
1835 Donizetti (1797-1848) Messa da Requiem for Bellini
1837 Berlioz (1803-1869) Requiem (Grande Messe des morts)
1849 Bruckner (1824-1896) Requiem in D minor, WAB.39
1849 Schumann (1810-1856) Requiem für Mignon, op.98b
1852 Schumann (1810-1856) Requiem, op.148
1855 Suppé (1819-1895) Requiem in D minor for Pokorný
1862 Kiel (1821-1885) Requiem in F minor, op.20
1868 Brahms (1833-1897) Ein deutsches requiem, op.45
1868 Lange (1841-1918) Requiem [De Lange]
1873 Verdi (1813-1901) Messa da Requiem
1878 Borodin (1833-1887) Requiem [Borodin]
1878 Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) Messe de Requiem, op.54
1883 Taneyev (1856-1915) Cantata "John of Damascus", op.1 ("A Russian requiem")
1888 Fauré (1845-1924) Requiem, op.48
1890 Dvorák (1841-1904) Requiem, op.89
1896 Stanford (1852-1924) Requiem, op.63
1907 Popper (1843-1913) Requiem for 3 cellos and orchestra, op.66
1915 Reger (1873-1916) Lateinisches Requiem, op.145a, WoO V/9
1915 Reger (1873-1916) Requiem on a poem by Hebbel, op.144b
1916 Delius (1862-1934) Requiem
1917 Kastalsky (1856-1926) Requiem for fallen brothers
1922 Pizzetti (1880-1968) Messa da Requiem
1923 Finzi (1901-1956) Requiem da Camera, op.3-2
1924 Wetz (1875-1935) Requiem in B minor, op.50
1927 Kreek (1889-1962) Requiem [Reekviem]
1932 Howells (1892-1983) Requiem [Howells]
1940 Britten (1913-1976) Sinfonia da Requiem, op.20
1946 Hindemith (1895-1963) When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd: a requiem for those we love
1947 Duruflé (1902-1986) Requiem, op.9
1947 Leifs (1899-1968) Requiem, op.33b
1961 Britten (1913-1976) War requiem, op.66
1965 Ligeti (1923-2006) Requiem [Ligeti]
1966 Stravinsky (1882-1971) Requiem canticles
1972 Martin (1890-1974) Requiem [Martin]
1975 Schnittke (1924-1998) Requiem [Schnittke]
1984 Andrew Lloyd Webber Requiem [Webber]
1984 Penderecki (1933-2020) Polish Requiem
1985 Rutter (1945-) Requiem [Rutter]
1991 Kilar (1932-2013) Requiem Father Kolbe
1998 Preisner (1955-) Requiem for my friend
1999 Silvestrov (1937-) Requiem for Larissa
2004 Eliza Gilkyson Requiem [Gilkyson]
2005 Karl Jenkins Requiem [Jenkins]
2008 Goodall (1955 - ) Eternal Light – a Requiem
 

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Just a few unmentioned ones:
  • Artyomov: Requiem [1988]
  • Denisov: Requiem [1980]
  • Févin: Messe de Requiem [c. 1500]
  • Henze: Requiem [1993]
  • Kozlovsky: Requiem [1798]
  • Luchesi: Requiem [1771]
  • Maderna: Requiem [1946]
  • Pedro de Escobar: Requiem [1504]
  • Prioris: Requiem [c. 1500]
  • Reimann: Requiem [1980/82]
  • Rihm: Requiem Strophen [2016]
I don`t see any mentions of Ockeghem`s Requiem as well but I don`t think that one is "lesser known" since it`s known as the earliest surviving Requiem mass.
 

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The first that came to mind were the spectacular, collective work Mass for Rossini, a tour-de-force of Italian vocal music from those days, including early material for Verdi's Requiem, and Silvestrov's moving, modern Requien for Larissa.

Henze's Requiem is instrumental, edgy, for chamber ensemble, including piano.
 

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I, too, experienced the Schumann Requiem for the first time listening to it from the link above in this thread. I enjoyed it.

Curious, I went to my Discogs database and typed in the word Requiem. Though I have long sought out "classical music" settings of the Requiem Mass, I was surprised by the number of hits, 102, that the term "Requiem" gave me among the 7400 discs currently in my catalog. Not all of these 102 are classical music Requiem masses in the style of Mozart's, Brahms's, Verdi's .... And I don't have every single item in my collection (especially older LPs) added to the database yet. But the 102 was intriguing. I saw, of course, the listings for Requiems by Verdi, Brahms, Fauré, Mozart, Dvorak -- all on the first page of 50 listings. The Dvorak appears on a Karel Ančerl "Gold Edition" disc (number 13); another Ančerl "Gold Edition" on that first page (number 21) featured the more obscure Czech Requiem (Death And Redemption) Op. 24, composed in 1940 by Ladislav Vycpálek. That one is certainly worth a revisit.

Several recordings of the Mozart Requiem appear on that first page of 50, as well as more than two by each Brahms and Verdi. But there was also Palestrina's Missa Pro Defunctis which features the "Introitus: Requiem Aeternam", Britten's War Requiem, Duruflé's and André Campra's wonderful settings, and the not so obscure works by Howells and John Rutter, as well as Stravinsky's Requiem Canticles, Ligeti's Requiem, and Penderecki's A Polish Requiem. A more obscure work, perhaps, that showed up on that first page is German composer Wolfgang Rihm's Requiem-Strophen, a piece written in 2015-2016; ditto for the Requiem of Finnish composer Joonas Kokkonen. More unusual is the Requiem Ebraico (Hebrew Requiem) by Erich Zeisl. It appears on a disc also featuring Franz Waxman's The Song Of Terezín, which I consider a requiem. Most unusual (and perhaps most obscure) of all the pieces on the opening page is a work that appears on disc 4 of the col legno release Donaueschinger Musiktage 1998; it is Helmut Oehring's Requiem, a work hard to classify and which bridges the worlds of avant-garde classical, jazz, and rock music. I'm listening to it as I write. I'm hearing an out of tune guitar strumming a pop-folk-like chord progression. This is certainly music for fans of Schnittke's First Symphony, of which I count myself one.

Much of the other music featured on the 50 discs on page one of my Discogs search proves intriguing (with composers like Merzbow [Requiem For The 259,000 Quails Culled At A Farm In Toyohashi], Gorecki [Kleines Requiem Für Eine Polka], Lennie Tristano [Requiem], Enrique Muñoz [Sombras "Espacios Para Un Requiem"], and Chicago-based psych-rock band Cave's "Requiem For John Sex" from their album Psychic Psummer.

But I'm interested on getting to that second page of 50 "hits" for the word "Requiem" in my Discogs database.

So, let's see.... Page 2 launched with a recording of the Jean Gilles Requiem, another favorite work of mine. There's Alfred Schnittke's Requiem. I also see Requiems by Fux, Cherubini, Brahms and Dvorak (again), a couple more from Britten, and at least three more from Fauré. There's the Delius Requiem on disc 13 of the 18 disc box set 150th Anniversary Edition from EMI Classics. A box set featuring conductor Celibidache allows one more each of the Requiems of Mozart, Brahms, Verdi, Fauré. To the more uncommon works, within a Neos box set of 6 discs, Darmstadt Aural Documents Box 3, one finds Frederic Rzewski's Requiem (Part I), For Female Speaker, Male Choir (Basses), Piano, Tubular Bells, Woodblock And Four Drones, Synthesizer, Thunder Stick And Jew's Harp (1963-1967). If you haven't heard that one yet, need I say more?


Andrew Imbrie's Requiem is coupled with his Third Piano Concerto on a Bridge disc. On a Vienna Modern Masters disc (I think I have collected that label's entire catalog on CD) I see the Requiem "Soothing Souls In The Sea" (For Soprano, Clarinet, Piano) (1988) by Noriyasu Tanaka. It's followed by another NEOS disc of Mieczysław Weinberg's Requiem. And on a Naxos is Gloria Coates's Cantata Da Requiem 'WW II Poems For Peace' (For Soprano And Chamber Orchestra) (1972). The Requiem: Dies Irae by Michel Chion shows up in the Sub Rosa label collection titled
An Anthology Of Noise & Electronic Music / Third A-Chronology 1952-2004. And on another VMM disc (of which I see I have two) is the Requiem For Survivors "And Suddenly It's Evening. . ." (1974) by American composer Gerhard Samuel who passed in 2008.

So many Requiems. And so many people in need of one.


From my collection I see I have plenty of "requiem" music to listen too. Before I go on, I'll peak at that third page, where the final two disc units are listed.

And they are: the Poseidon Society 1972 vinyl disc of Alan Hovhaness's Requiem And Resurrection (For Brass And Percussion), which is coupled with Fra Angelico (on an absolutely beautiful disc of music I have not visited for some time, long overdue). And finally featured at spot 102 in the catalog is the 55-CD compilation titled 111 Years Of Deutsche Grammophon | The Collector's Edition. Featured in that box set of astounding music is two the biggies, the Requiems of Mozart and Verdi.

All that music to listen to. I think I will redraw my will with a clause that suggests that at my funeral all of these Requiems are to be played, simultaneously, or one at a time if you wish. Which should keep people away, if anyone were planning to attend anyhow. I would prefer to spend my own funeral alone and in silence; I've had music enough, so much music, all of my life. And people, too. Time to try something different for the next stage.
 

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I recently did listen to this and it's good.

Meanwhile, another one I have that was not mentioned: Theodore Gouvy's Requiem
View attachment 179003
Thank you for mentioning this composer! I've checked him out on Wikipedia. Remarkable... How could I have completely overlooked this man the past ten years? Perhaps because he was ignored by both the French and the Germans because the French regarded him as German and the Germans regarded him as French? Anyway, I'll try his Requiem (and Stabat Mater) this weekend.
 
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