Friday, March 22, 2013

Montage # 97 - Requiem in d-Moll



As of April 19, 2013, this montage will no longer be available on Pod-O-Matic. It can be heard or downloaded from the Internet Archive at the following address / A compter du 19 avril 2013, ce montage ne sera plus disponible en baladodiffusion Pod-O-Matic. Il peut être téléchargé ou entendu au site Internet Archive à l'adresse suivante:

 http://archive.org/details/Pcast097




pcast097- Playlist

===================================================================== English Commentary – le commentaire français suit

For the final installment of our look at Requiems, I have chosen a performance of Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor, with other tracks from his sacred catalog.
As I often do, I turn to the comprehensive on-line catalog maintained by Robert Poliquin and his comprehensive list of masses by Mozart – there are so many! Many of the masses are complete, and a surprising number are fragmentary – or only propose a single section. However, the Requiem stands out not only as having been left unfinished at the time of Mozart’s death, it is one of his few works to have been completed by a contemporary.
Composed in Vienna in 1791 and left unfinished at the composer's death on December 5, the Requiem was finished not by Salieri as Peter Shaffer's 1979 play Amadeus suggests, but rather by Franz Xaver Süssmayr who was Mozart’s copyist. The work had been “anonymously” commissioned by Count Franz von Walsegg asa requiem mass to commemorate the February 14 anniversary of his wife's death.
The autograph manuscript shows the finished and orchestrated introit in Mozart's hand, as well as detailed drafts of the Kyrie and the sequence as far as the first nine bars of "Lacrimosa", and the offertory. It cannot be shown to what extent Süssmayr may have depended on now lost "scraps of paper" for the remainder; he later claimed the Sanctus and Agnus Dei as his own.
E.T.A. Hoffmann once wrote that "[Mozart's] Requiem is the sublimest achievement that the modern period has contributed to the church." Mozart's deathbed composition held a high appeal for the nineteenth century; in the supposedly more rational twentieth, it ascended to truly iconic status. It did so despite fundamental mysteries of its composition and even its authenticity, mysteries still unsolved in the twenty-first century. Something in the music's gravitas and subtlety touches each successive generation. Mozart’s mass is one of the “unavoidable” in the Requiem repertoire: along with Verdi’s and Berlioz’s.
The performance I chose is the oft-reissued 1961 studio recording by Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic.

At the time he was working on the Requiem, Mozart composed his final motet Ave Verum Corpus for a schoolmaster in Baden near Vienna. Setting the four-line Catholic communion hymn for four-part chorus, strings, and organ in a simple yet sublime 46 bars, Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus was also his last completed sacred work as he did not live long enough to complete his Requiem. But with its severe serenity, the motet is transcendentally glorious, and in its final line, "Be for us a foretaste of the trial of death," the work achieves the sense of the eternal and the infinite that the Requiem never attains.
Famed for the beauty of its solo soprano aria Laudate Dominum (Psalm 116), the Vesperae solennes de confessore is the second of two settings of the early evening Vespers service composed by Mozart for liturgical use in Salzburg Cathedral. Both date from shortly after the composer returned from the abortive trip to Paris which witnessed the death of his mother, a period which also saw the composition of two important masses, "Coronation" Mass, K. 317, and the Mass in C, K. 337. Here are the verspers in their entirety:


The motet Exsultate, jubilate was composed in Milan in January 1773 while Mozart and his father Leopold were on the last of their three visits to Italy. It was for Venanzio Rauzzini - the most famous castrati of the day - that Mozart composed this work. Exsultate, jubilate follows a formal pattern little changed from that of the early eighteenth century Italian motet: two da capo arias framing a brief recitative, followed by a brilliant "Alleluia."
 A fitting end tothis montage of Mozart sacred favourites. I think you will love this music too!
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Commentaire français
Notre regard sur les Requiems prend fin cette semaine avec le Requiem en ré mineur de Mozart, accompagné de quelques sélections de son catalogue de musique sacrée pour compléter le montage.
Notre billet d’aujourd’hui commence avec une visite sur le catalogue en-ligne des œuvres de Mozart du mélomane Robert Poliquin qui souligne un grand nombre de messes, certaines complètes et d’autres sont fragmentaires (incomplètes ou se limitant à quelques sections). Dans ce contexte, que le Requiem n’ait pas été complété du vivant de Mozart n’est donc pas inusité en soi. Toutefois, que cette messe ait été complétée par un contemporain est digne de mention…
Les sections autographes furent écrites à Vienne en 1791, et prises en main non pas par Salieri (comme la pièce et le film Amadeus le suggèrent) mais par le rédacteur de Mozart, Franz Xaver Süssmayr. La pièce a raison toutefois de suggérer que la commande était anonyme; en fait, le Requiem était la commande du Comte Franz von Walsegg.
Là où Mozart et Sussmayr contribuent à l’oeuvre est moins évident. Les manuscrits montrent que l’introit avec l’orchestration est de la plume de Mozart, et que Mozart laisse des esquisses détaillées de la majorité de la sequence et de l’offertoire. Sussmayr aurait pu avoir recours à d’autres fragments sur des pages disparates, mais il a prétendu que le Sanctus et l’Agnus Dei sont de son cru.
Le Requiem de Mozart a la cote d’amour au XIXe et XXe siécles, et ce ne seront les œuvres de Verdi et Berlioz qui pourront partager cette distinction dans l’ère post-Romantique. La version retenue est celle de studio de Karajan et de la Philharmonique de Berlin, originalement endisquée en 1961 et souvent remise sur le marché.
Des trios owuvres retenues en complement de programme, seul le motet Ave Verum Corpus est cintemporain au Requiem. La sérénité et la tendresse de l’œuvre en font une de mes pièces sacrées de Mozart préférées. Le ravissant Laudate Dominum extrait des vêpres Vesperae solennes de confessore accompagne la version Karajan/Requiem prime aujourd’hui sur le disque compact Eloqience dans ma collection (une version intégrale des vêpres est offerte dans le commentaire anglais ci-haut) . Il y a aussi une version du motet Exsultate, jubilate mais j’ai choisi la version de la mezzo Cecilia Bartoli, plus fluide et moins lourde. J’étais étonné d’appprendre que la creation de cet air avait été confiée par Mozart à un castrato populaire de son époque, Venanzio Rauzzinié
 Bonne écoute!