Requiem and Funeral Music
Mozart, Cherubini, Berlioz, Fauré, Dvořák, Verdi … many of the great composers in music history have set the text of the Requiem mass to music. Works of great significance were created which form a central part of the composers’ vocal oeuvre.
Each composer approached the task in a different manner, resulting in a wide range of Requiem compositions. Mozart’s „Requiem“, certainly the most well-known and famous work of the genre, was still intended for church services. This also applied to Luigi Cherubini’s „Requiem in C minor“. In the early 19th century this work, with its strict focus on musical form and without soloists, was considered to be a model for the genre and enjoyed an extraordinary appreciation by composers such as Beethoven and Schubert.
In the 19th century, the Requiem increasingly became a composition for the concert hall. Thus Berlioz and Dvořák created large-scale, in all respects monumental works. This also applies to the „Requiem“ by Giuseppe Verdi, which with its dramatic elements clearly shows operatic influences. The approach which Gabriel Fauré took to composing his Requiem was quite different. His „Messe de Requiem“ breathes a sense of serenity, which is expressed both in the restrained instrumentation as well as in the characteristic style of all the movements.
This „Focus“ presents the Requiem compositions and further funeral pieces from the Bärenreiter catalogue. The works most recently published in new Urtext editions include Verdi's Messa da Requiem and Cherubini’s Missa pro Defunctis.