Artistic Direction: Gabriel Bebeșelea
"Transylvania" State Philharmonic Choir
Mozart: Requiem in D minor, K.626 (edition by Robert Levin)
+/- 45 minutes
PERFORMERS: 73 musicians
17. -22. April 2022
The Requiem in D minor, K626 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was commenced in Vienna in 1791 as a somehow mysteriously commissioned work, but left unfinished at the composer’s death on December 5th. His wife Constanze turned to several Viennese composers to complete the Requiem, but finally it was Mozart’s student Franz Xaver Süssmayr, who completed the Requiem in 1792. It is not sure how much of the Requiem was actually composed by Mozart, but the autograph manuscript shows that at the time of his passing, Mozart finished and orchestrated the Introit, as well as drafting in detail the Kyrie and the Sequence as far as the first eight bars of the Lacrimosa, and the Offertory. The last three movements — Benedictus, Agnus Dei, and Communio — remained unwritten, and nearly all the orchestration was incomplete. So to complete the work, Süssmayr had to add orchestral parts for most of the Sequence and Offertory. The Lacrimosa had to be finished and the work needed the still missing sections. It cannot be shown to what extent Süssmayr may have depended on Mozart’s now lost ‘scraps of paper’ for the remainder, as he later claimed the Sanctus and Agnus Dei as his own.
Until the late 20th century, the Süssmayr completion was the version usually performed, but several musicologists took to revising and completing their own versions of the Requiem and the most favorably received among these is one by American pianist and musicologist Robert D. Levin.
A noted Mozart scholar, Levin had completed many Mozart fragments and specialized in historically informed performances of Mozart’s piano works. A lifetime of study allowed him to “get into Mozart’s mind”. He recognized in Mozart’s original score a structure, of five major sections, each ending in a fugue. By completing the Amen fugue found in the Berlin sketch and revising Süssmayr’s Hosanna fugue, Levin restored Mozart’s original structure. Levin retained what he recognized as Mozart’s themes, revised Süssmayr’s compositional errors and created a new and compelling completion of the Requiem.
With Mozart’s Requiem, Gabriel Bebeșelea pays homage to his close friend Robert Levin, showcasing Musica Ricercata versatility in a programme where they are joined on stage by the highly acclaimed “Transylvania” State Philharmonic Choir.