Magazine article Gramophone

Choral

Magazine article Gramophone

Choral

Article excerpt

WINNER Mozart Requiem

A moving performance from the Dunedins that takes us hack to 1791

Mozart Requiem recordings come around almost every month in one form or another; good ones appear too with gratifying regularity. Truly brilliant ones are, of course, a far rarer proposition.

In recent decades, the way to make your Requiem eye-catching was to use one of the many 'completions' that proliferated from the 1970s to the 1990s. The scholars behind these editions took issue with what they saw as the substandard work undertaken by Franz Xaver Sussmayr to render the work performable in the weeks and months after Mozart's death. Thus orchestration was stripped back and clarified, rather like a conservator removing layers of dirt from an old master--the 'thick, grey crust' alluded to by Friedrich Blume half a century ago. In addition, more radical surgery was often undertaken: Sussmayr's frankly rather inept contrapuntal expositions were extended a la Mozart and, in some versions, an 'Amen' fugue (based on the sole surviving sketch, rediscovered in 1962) was projected, occasioning also a redesign of the 'Lacrimosa'.

More recently, however, the tide has turned against these revisionist documents and many have argued for the authenticity of Sussmayr's completion. After all, the young amanuensis was in and around the Mozart household late in 1791, claimed to have studied and performed parts of the score with Mozart and must surely have discussed with the composer the strategies and techniques he intended to employ. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.