St. Stephen’s Basilica

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A, € 60
B, € 48
C, € 39

Requiem in D minor, W. A. Mozart

Requiem in D minor, W. A. Mozart

The Requiem by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is shrouded in mystery, rumours and conspiracy. The Austrian genius composer could not complete the score due to his untimely death on 5 December 1791. The circumstances, under which he received the commission for this final work, remained unclear for a long time, and it was told Mozart believed he was composing a funeral mass for himself as ailing health and financial troubles slowly squeezed the life out of him. Legends aside, Mozart’s Requiem is a work of towering beauty, incomparable musical invention, and profound importance. This season, guests of Hungary’s fair capital Budapest can look forward to a wonderful performance of this classic work.

We can trace the history of the Requiem back to Count Franz von Walsegg. In the fall of 1791, the nobleman ordered Mozart to write a funeral mass for the anniversary of his wife’s passing in February. When the composer suddenly passed away and his student Franz Xaver Süssmayr completed the work, Mozart’s widow Constanze feared Walsegg would claim the Requiem as his own. To prevent that injustice and to collect the full commission’s pay, she played an active part in fuelling the various rumours and tall tales surrounding the composition of the work in order to firmly identify her late husband as its sole author.

While we now know that Mozart was not the only author of the Requiem and his contribution to it is likely less than half of the completed score, it is impossible to determine how much of Süssmayr’s additions were based on notes by Mozart, now lost. One thing is clear, however: Mozart’s Requiem is a uniquely moving and powerful work, clearly marked by divine inspiration. In Budapest, the symphony orchestra, the choir, and the soprano, alto, tenor and bass join forces in a singularly evocative performance. In it, mourning and desperation intertwine with veneration and divination. With Mozart’s inimitable sense for melody and harmony stamped all over the score, the Requiem remains a timeless testament to the Austrian prodigy’s unencumbered gifts.