Mozart’s Requiem is as famous for the melodic music itself as for the mystery behind the composition. The passionate emotions of sorrow, grief and misery evoked by this beautiful music are intensified by the fact that Mozart himself knew he was living his final days on Earth while composing it. He never finished his masterpiece---leaving most movements as sketches. Even today, 228 years after Mozart’s final note was written, some composers are taking it upon themselves to finish the requiem in what they believe is the proper Mozartian style. We’ll look into some of these versions and learn some of Mozart’s compositional techniques as we listen to excerpts from this haunting work.
The speculation regarding the Requiem just isn’t about how to finish it, but also about who actually wrote it! How much of what we hear did Mozart actually did compose? Immediately following his untimely death, and at the behest of his widow, two of his former students quickly finished the piece so that she would be paid by the patron who commissioned it – a trickster count who was known to pass poor musicians’ works off as his own! The legends and folklore surrounding Mozart’s Requiem doesn’t lessen the fact that it is one of the most revered pieces music the world knows!
About the Instructor: As an American harpist, Lauren Woidela has travelled to three continents performing solo, chamber and orchestral concerts. As an instructor, she has given lectures for the musicology department of the Université de Paris-Sorbonne, focusing on 19th & 20th century music. She produced and hosted her own radio program for the former KXTR, Kansas City’s classical music radio station, captivating her audiences by bringing a fresh new view to classical music.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia
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