06 Jan 2006

MOZART: Requiem

Requiem in D Minor (K. 626)

Music composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Text based on the Mass for the Dead (Requiem Mass).

First Performance: 14 December 1793 at Neukloster in Wiener Neustadt.

The Requiem was commissioned by Count Franz Walsegg-Stuppach in the summer of 1791. Although Mozart promised to have the work completed within 4 weeks, he was interrupted by other projects, including La Clemenza di Tito and Die Zauberflöte. In the meantime, Mozart's health rapidly deteriorated. Composition on the work nevertheless continued, even from his deathbed.

On December 4 Mozart was desparately weak, and a constant stream of friends visited him. In the early afternoon three singers from the theater sang through with him the completed movements of the Requiem, Mozart himself taking the alto line. When they reached "Lacrimosa," of which he had finished only the first eight measures, he wept and put the music aside.
The Compleat Mozart, Neal Zaslaw (ed.) with William Cowdery (New York & London: W.W. Norton, 1990) at p. 17. Mozart died the following morning.

Click here for the Latin text with English translation.

Click here for a presentation by the Ă–sterreichischen National-bibliothek.