Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s life was cut short by poor health, stress and chronic exhaustion in the winter of 1791. His sudden passing followed the massively successful premiere of his comic opera The Magic Flute, but as the fantastical opera was winning over audiences, the Austrian composer was already busy working on another project – a Requiem that he would never finish. His student Franz Xaver Süssmayr officially completed the score in early 1792, and it counts as one of Mozart’s most impressive compositions ever since. Mozart’s Requiem now plays in Rome’s All Saints Church, a perfect venue for this sacred work.
Due to the tragic circumstances surrounding its creation, the Requiem (K. 626) is shrouded in mystery. Rumour has it an anonymous masked stranger commissioned the work from Mozart on a cold and rainy night, and some believe the composer, already gravely ill, was convinced he was writing music for his own funeral. The reality is much more bland: Count Franz von Walsegg commissioned the work to accompany a commemorative service for his late wife, without masquerades and trickery. The only supernatural thing about the Requiem is Mozart’s outstanding music that truly seems to open a portal between worlds.
The Requiem is written in the solemn key of d moll and follows a classical multipart structure. At the time of his death, Mozart had less than half of it in final or near-final form, with detailed drafts for some of the remaining parts. The performance at Rome’s All Saints Church presents the completed Mozart-Süssmayr score. The Orchestra Filarmonica d’Opera di Roma, the Coro Polifonico, as well as talented tenor, soprano, contralto and basso soloists promise a gripping musical experience!