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The Requiem in C minor for mixed chorus was written by Luigi Cherubini in 1815 and premiered 21 January 1816 at a commemoration service for Louis XVI of France. Cherubini's setting of the requiem was considered by Beethoven to be superior to Mozart's.
Ludwig van Beethoven listened to Cherubini's operas with the keenest attention (the evidence is there in Fidelio) and declared that, if ever he should write a Requiem, his model would be Cherubini's C minor setting.
This particular setting of the requiem Mass consists of seven movements:
In 1820 a funeral march and a motet In Paradisum were added. In 1834 the work was prohibited by the archbishop of Paris because of its use of women's voices, and in 1836 Cherubini wrote a second Requiem in D minor for men's chorus.
The Requiem is orchestrated for SATB-choir, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 trumpets, 2 horns, 3 trombones, timpani, gong and strings. Note the absence of flutes and SATB-soloists, and the presence of a gong, notably in the 'Dies Irae'-section.
Discography and references
A notable recording of this requiem has been made under the baton of Arturo Toscanini, with the NBC Symphony Orchestra and Robert Shaw Chorale. Also included in the compilation is the Te Deum from Verdi's Quattro pezzi sacri.
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