Mozart’s Masterpiece.

Mozart’s Final Work.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in 1791. In 1991, at the 200th anniversary of his death, there was a memorial for Mozart at the Stephanskirche (St. Stephen’s church) in Vienna. Mozart’s Requiem was performed by an amazing group of soloists, and conducted by Sir Georg Solti.

For many years I have felt that this particular performance represented the ultimate in performance interpretations of this final, though uncompleted work by Mozart.

Having listened to yet another performance, I have come to change my mind. Yesterday, and then again this morning, I listened to conductor Claudio Abbado perform this work with a group of amazing instrumentalists and singers, who all came together in Lucerne, Switzerland.

This performance utilized the version of the Requiem as “constructed” from material that Mozart left us mostly as sketches before he died. This version was created by Franz Beyer, and I must say I enjoyed it a lot. Previously I only heard the more frequently played version done by Franz Xaver Süssmayr.

Claudio Abbado’s integration of this music was astounding: It is scored for four voice soloists, two choruses, and full symphony orchestra. I particularly loved the singing of Rene Pape, Bass (Left hand photo; singer on the right-hand side.)

The one part of this Mozart masterpiece that I find particularly moving is the so-called “Lacrimosa”, which is Latin for “Weeping”

Here is a video of Requiem Mass in D minor K.626, “Lacrimosa”, as performed by the
Vienna Symphony Orchestra, as conducted by Karl Böhm:


And here is a small section of the version I heard today, with conductor Claudio Abbado, and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, assisted by the Bavarian Radio Choir and the Swedish Radio Choir.

The soloists are:

Soprano: Anna Prohaska
Alto: Sara Mingardo
Tenor: Maximilian Schmitt
Bass: René Pape

Amazing music, is it not?


Tags: Mozart, Requiem, Abbado, Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Choir, Swedish Radio Choir