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Requiem by W. A. Mozart

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Friday 10th April 2020 at 9:00 pm

Caravita Church, via del Caravita 7, Rome

Opera e Lirica presents the last music score by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the masterpiece that told the last hours of the great composer: Friday April 10th, 2020 at 9:00 pm, the Requiem Mass by W. A. Mozart will be held at the Caravita Oratory in Rome. The expanded formation of Opera e Lirica Symphony Orchestra will be directed by Nicola Samale. The Melos Choir, composed of forty singers, will be directed by Filippo Manci.

Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D minor was marked by a peculiar event. A mysterious customer in black suit, without introducing himself, asked Mozart to compose this mass for his lady who had passed away. He was the Earl Walsegg, who wished to claim the authorship of the composition in exchange for the payment of a large sum. Mozart, who was already in poor health conditions, interpreted the dark apparition as an omen of death. The composer got down to work feverishly on the music score, believing that the Almighty God was calling him to write a funeral mass for himself. That was the case. Mozart passed away in December 1791 before finishing the task, which was then completed by his loyal student Franz Xaver Süssmayr, who stayed at his bedside until the end.

The incompleteness and mystery characterizing the Requiem contribute to its charm. The dark tone and the pathos of the work make it stand out from the rest of Mozart’s works. The mass lets him recover the profundity and sacredness that had become unfamiliar to the society of the XVIII century. Mozart carries on his own research to combine spirituality with reason and the civil progress brought about by the Enlightenment.

The solemn character of the liturgy shifts attention from humanity to the individual, with the soloist’s voice contrasting with the choir. There are some moments when the solo vocal lines combine to increase their effect when imploring the Son of God and the eternal rest.

The choice of playing in counterpoint, as is typical of sacred music, effectively represents God’s inscrutable purpose in Kyrie, and the exultant souls in Osanna. The pictorial and descriptive quality of the composition is shown in the passage when the imploring choir of Domine Jesu is overtaken by the terror of damnation. The same happens with the voices reproducing the descent into hell. The melodic line of the strings is orchestrated to reproduce the flames of hell in Confutatis, with a repeated and obsessive melody adding to the opposition between the damned and the redeemed (male choir and female choir). The descending scale played by the strings in Agnus Dei evokes abatement and a gloomy and ghostly atmosphere. During the apparition of the Supreme Judge in Rex Tremendae, solemnity is evoked by the archaic sound of the dotted rhythm of the strings alternating with the choir. The music becomes more serene during the pauses when the hope of salvation prevails, as in Recordare and Lacrimosa.

The work is divided into sections, creating contrast with an alternation of instruments and contents. They create a new solution for the sacred style and keep the unity of the composition. The Requiem is thus one of the masterpieces of XVIII-century sacred music.

Conductor: Nicola Samale

Soloists:
Soprano Aleksandra Buczek
Contralto Elisabetta Basirico
Tenore Emil Alekperov
Basso Fabrizio Nestonni 

Choir Conductor: Filippo Manci 
Melos Ensemble Choir 
Opera e Lirica Symphony Orchestra  

PROGRAMME
Requiem in D minor K 626, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:

Introitus
Requiem aeternam” (Adagio) soprano and choir
"Kyrie" (Allegro) choir

Sequentia
“Dies irae” (Allegro assai) choir
“Tuba minor” (Andante) solo
“Rex tremendae” (Grave) choir
“Recordare” (Andante) solo
“Confutatis” (Andante) choir
“Lacrimosa” (Larghetto) choir

Offertorium
“Domine Jesu” (Andante con moto) solo and choir
“Hostias” (Andante, Andante con moto) choir

Sanctus (Adagio) choir
“Osanna” (Allegro) choir

Benedictus (Andante) solo
“Osanna” (Allegro) choir

Agnus Dei choir

Communio, Lux aeterna (Allegro, Adagio) soprano and choir

More Information
Location Caravita Church, via del Caravita 7, Rome
Start time 9:00 pm
End time 10:30 pm