Lacrimosa Interpretations

Lacrimosa interpretations

The story of Mozart’s commission to write a Requiem coming literally at the end of his life is well known, so I won’t repeat it here. Suffice it to say that the Requiem is an amazing work, and Mozart did not get to complete it. However, his student, Franz Xaver Süssmayr worked on creating the completed work from Mozart’s sketches, and this is one of the versions that is played in modern times.

I am always touched by this composition. At the 200th anniversary of Mozart’s death, conductor Sir Georg Solti conducted this work at the St. Stephens cathedral in Vienna. Mozart himself had his funeral service at that same cathedral in 1791 when he died.

I am particularly fond of the Requiem movement called Lacrimosa. LACRIMOSA means tearful, mournful, weeping, in sorrow.

Listen now to several interpretations of this specific movement, and decide which one you like. I have for your review performances by Carl Boehm, Herbert von Karajan, and Georg Solti. Perhaps I’ll find some more…

Enjoy, and feel free to comment on your individual preference at the comment space below. There is no “right answer”. Simply the performance that is most meaningful for you…

Presented in random order:

1. Here is Requiem of Mozart – Lacrimosa – conducted by Karl Böhm


2. And next, here’s the Requiem by Mozart – “Lacrimosa”… conductor unknown


3. And now here’s an amateur group: the chorus and orchestra at the Providence Presbyterian Church, Fairfax, Virginia

4. And now here’s LACRIMOSA performed by Herbert von Karajan; the Lacrimosa starts at 2:22


5. Finally here’s the performance by Sir Georg Solti at St. Stephens cathedral in Vienna:

If you’d like to hear the entire Mozart Requiem, performed by the Vienna Philharmonic at the Vienna large Hall of the Friends of Music, conducted by Karajan, you can hear all 56 minutes of it here:

Tags: Mozart, Requiem, Lacrimosa, Solti, Karajan, Karl Boehm

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