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Recordings

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:  Requiem K. 626
10 Mar 2006

MOZART: Requiem

Mozart’s Requiem has become widely-known and popular since the 1984 movie Amadeus. Left incomplete at his death, his student and assistant Franz Xaver Sussmayr (1766-1803) completed the work from Mozart’s notes.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Requiem K. 626

Barbara Bonney, Anne-Sofie Otter, Hans Peter Blochwitz, Willard White, The Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner (cond.)

Philips 00289 475 7057 [CD]

$10.48  Click to buy

It is this version that is performed here. Mozart probably knew that Count Walsegg was the mysterious patron, and the inclusion of basset-horns in the composition means that he had specific players in mind for the performance. Sussmayr’s version was assisted by Joseph Eybler, a former pupil who added some instrumentation; Abbe Maximilian Stadler, who orchestrated the Domine Jesu; and Franz Jacob Freystadtler. The program notes include some interesting true-false questions regarding the composition of the Requiem and Mozart’s health and stability, many myths having been fanned by the movie itself.

It is nice to hear this piece performed by period instruments, and the smaller chamber-like orchestra more in line with the time period. The soloists include Barbara Bonney, soprano; Anne Sofie von Otter, contralto; Hans Peter Blochwitz, tenor; and Willard White, bass. Although recorded in 1987, the crispness and clarity of the performance carries through the digital remastering. A very nice addition to anyone’s classical collection.

Dr. Brad Eden
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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