Requiem (Verdi)

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Giuseppe Verdi

Giuseppe Verdi (trans. Merlin Patterson)

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General Info

Year: 1874 / 2005
Duration: c. 22:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Choir and orchestra
Publisher: Merlin Patterson
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $550.00


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Messa da Requiem is a musical setting of the Catholic funeral mass (Requiem) for four soloists, double choir and orchestra by Giuseppe Verdi. It was composed in memory of Alessandro Manzoni, whom Verdi admired. The first performance, at the San Marco church in Milan on 22 May 1874, marked the first anniversary of Manzoni's death. The work was at one time referred to as the Manzoni Requiem.

Considered too operatic to be performed in a liturgical setting, it is usually given in concert form of around 90 minutes in length. Musicologist David Rosen calls it "probably the most frequently performed major choral work composed since the compilation of Mozart's Requiem".

- Program Note from Wikipedia

When Verdi was 16 years old, he read Manzoni's famous novel I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed), and from then on Verdi was in aw of Manzoni's national vision and sense of humanity. When the 89-year-old novelist died in 1873, Verdi wrote to his publishers: "I am deeply saddened by the death of our great man. But I will not come to Milan tomorrow because I haven't the heart to attend his funeral. I'll come in a little while to visit his grace, alone and without being seen." On June 2, Verdi traveled to Milan and early the next morning, he visited the gravesite, along. Later that day, he wrote his publisher, telling him he would like to compose a requiem ass to be performed the following year on the first anniversary of Manzoni's death.

Although the premiere of the Requiem took place in a church, it was not meant to be a church service, but rather a public tribute to Manzoni. Verdi used the ancient words of the Roman Catholic Mass for the Dead, a liturgy filled with images of fire, light, darkness, Heaven and Hell. He selected the texts he wanted and he re-arranged the, when he deemed it necessary in order to heighten the drama of the work. He was faith to the meaning of the text, but through his music he went beyond the words to release the feelings they evoke, from wrenching terror to wondrous peace.

- Program Note from Duncanville High School Wind Ensemble concert program, 16 December 2005


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer