The works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(1756–1791) embrace all the main genres of his epoch, and in each of them the composer wrote the pieces that have become classical examples. This soiree will be dedicated to his sacred music: Great Mass in C minor
(1782–1783) and Requiem
(1791). Both compositions were not completed by Mozart but they are highlights of his legacy.
There are different versions of how Great Mass C minor was created: according to one of them the Mass was supposed to be performed in Salzburg when Mozart should have brought Constanze Weber as his wife there; according to another version, the Mass was composed on the occasion of Constanze’s convalescence; according still another one – on the occasion of their first-born child. Mozart had composed only Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus and partly Credo for the premiere on 25 August 1783, and the other parts were taken from the earlier masses. The composer did not return to this work any more. The next performance of the mass took place only in 1901 in Dresden under the baton of Alois Schmitt who had completed the Mass using Mozart’s sketches.
When composing the Mass, Mozart studied Bach’s and Handel’s music, and it was reflected in the composition. At the same time the coloraturas, passages and cantilenas were influenced by the Italian opera. The composer of genius combined all these movements in an amazingly harmonic whole.
Requiem was Mozart’s last composition. Working on commission from Franz von Walsegg, the composer could not get rid of the idea that he was writing this mourning funeral mass for himself. Mozart composed partial nine of the twelve parts (according to another version – seven parts including the first eight bars of Lacrimosa); the composer’s student Franz Xaver Süssmayr completed Requiem using Mozart’s drafts and verbal remarks. It was premiered on 14 December 1793 in Vienna. Requiem as genre certainly predetermined the tragic, mournful character of the music. The triumphant parts Sanctus and Hosanna and the luminous Benedictus contrast with the overall tone, setting off the theme of unavoidable death.
At the Novaya Opera Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor and Requiem will be performed under the baton of Filippo Arlia. International critics regard him as one of the most brilliant and versatile musicians of his generation. He has given over 350 concerts as pianist and conductor in more than 20 countries. It will be Filippo Arlia’s debut at the Novaya Opera.