Mozart: Requiem (with Intro & Commentary) / Arman, Academy of Ancient Music Berlin
The version submitted by Howard Arman for the Bavarian Radio Chorus is based on surviving Mozart sources as well as on his colleague Süßmayr's additions; in several places, however, it reaches new conclusions that are implemented with due caution and humble respect for Mozart's magnificent original. Mozart's Requiem is followed by Neukomm's Respond Libera me, Domine – and for musical, liturgical and chronological reasons, the programme begins with Mozart's Vesperae solennes de Confessore KV 339 (1780), composed of psalms from the Old Testament as well as the Magnificat from the Gospel of St Luke and composed for the liturgical festival of a holy confessor. Howard Arman has prepended Mozart’s movements for the festival vespers with antiphons taken from the vespers De Confessore Pontifici (for a confessor who was a bishop) of the Gregorian Liber usualis, and has also composed his own organ intonations to enhance the antiphons.
Although it remained incomplete as Mozart’s last work, the Requiem in D minor (1791) ranks as one of the most important settings of the Latin Mass for the Dead ever written. Immediately after Mozart's all too premature death, his pupil Franz Xaver Süßmayr elaborated a completed version that is still appreciated and regularly performed to this day because of its close proximity to the original – and this despite a number of new adaptations created over the years that sometimes add cautious improvements to the Süßmayr version or instead follow their own lights entirely. – Mozart’s Requiem KV 626 from 1791 is followed by Sigismund von Neukomm's Libera me, Domine, the Respond from the Liturgy of Exequies composed by Neukomm in 1821 as a liturgical completion of Mozart's Requiem for a performance in Rio de Janeiro (the Salzburg composer Neukomm had emigrated to Brazil in 1816).
Howard Arman conducts all pieces with assurance, in a period-informed style. Choral singing complements the accomplished period-informed playing of the thirty-four-strong Akamus on authentic instruments. The world-class Bavarian chorus shows a unanimity of cause, and supplies an inspired sacred sound, ardent, ample and immediate. Arman’s vocal soloists integrate splendidly and convincingly. Amid the emotional drama generated in the performances, the reverential nature of these sacred scores remains fundamental, and is honoured here faithfully.
Release Date: October 02, 2020
Catalog Number: BRK900926
Label: BR Klassik
Number of Discs: 2
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Sigismund Ritter von Neukomm
Orchestra/Ensemble: Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
Performer: Christina Landshamer, Sophie Harmsen, Julian Prégardien, Tareq Namzi