Antonín Dvořák composed the Requiem at the beginning of his peak creative period. The construction of the mass is not typical: the composition is divided into two basic parts, each of which begins with the original interconnection of several liturgical sequences. Dvořák inserted between the "Sanctus" and "Agnus Dei" a lyrical "Pie Jesu" movement based on the final text of the "Dies Irae" sequence. The Requiem's basic melodic motif is created by two ascending half-tones with an incorporated very sorrowful diminished third, which begins the piece and continues in many variations as the main motif throughout the whole work. Dvořák's Requiem is a supreme opus of classicist-romantic synthesis. This composition inspired many other Czech composers, such as Josef Suk and Bohuslav Martinů.
- Section I:
- 1. Introitus: Requiem aeternam
- 2. Graduale: Requiem aeternam
- 3. Sequentia: Dies irae – Tuba mirum – Quid sum miser – Recordare, Jesu pie – Confutatis maledictis – Lacrimosa
- Section II :
- 4. Offertorium: Domine Jesu Christe – Hostias
- 5. Sanctus – Pie Jesu
- 6. Agnus Dei
The approximate duration of the work is 95 minutes.
The work is scored for soprano, alto, tenor and bass soloists; SATB choir; and an orchestra of piccolo, two flutes, two oboes, English horn, two clarinets, bass clarinet, two bassoons, contrabassoon, four horns, four trumpets, three trombones (two tenor and one bass), tuba, timpani, tam-tam, campane, organ, harp (Offertorium and Hostias only), and strings.
- Antonín Dvořák: Rekviem – Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Chorus, conducted by Karel Ančerl, chorus master Markéta Kühnová; soloists: Maria Stader – soprano, Sieglinde Wagner – alt, Ernst Haefliger – tenor, Kim Borg – bass. Supraphon, 1959, re-edition on 2 CD 1991 (Ančerl Gold Edition no.13). This recording was awarded the "Grand Prix du disque de l´Académie Charles Cros".
- Dvořák: Requiem for soloists, chorus and orchestra, Op. 89 – Czech Philharmonic orchestra, Kühn's mixed choir, conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch; soloists: Gabriela Beňačková, Brigitte Fassbaender, Thomas Moser, Jan Hendrik Rootering.
- Dvořák: Requiem b-moll, op. 89 – London Symphony Orchestra, conductor István Kertesz, Ambrosian Singers choir, soloists: Pilar Lorengar, Erzsebet Komlossy, Robert Ilosfalvy, Tom Krause; published by Decca.
- Dvořák: Requiem, op. 89, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, conductor Zdeněk Mácal, Westminster Choir, soloists: Oksana Krovytska (soprano), Wendy Hoffman (mezzo-soprano), John Aler (tenor), Gustav Beláček (bass). 1999 Delos.
- Dvořák: Requiem, op. 89, Capella Weilburgensis, conductor Doris Hagel, Kantorei der Schlosskirche Weilburg, soloists: Mechthild Bach (soprano), Stefanie Irányi (mezzo-soprano), Markus Schäfer (tenor), Klaus Mertens (bass). 2006 Profil – Edition Günter Hänssler.
- Dvořák, Requiem, Symphony No. 8, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, conductor Mariss Jansons, Wiener Singverein, soloists: Krassimira Stoyanova (soprano), Mihoko Fujimura (mezzo-soprano), Klaus Florian Vogt (tenor), Thomas Quasthoff (bass). 2010 RCO Live.
- Score, summary
Dvořák, Antonín (2001). Requiem Op. 89, score. Prague: Editio Bärenreiter. ISMN M-2601-0090-9. H 3213.
- Requiem (Dvořák): Free scores at the International Music Score Library Project
- Dvořák's "Requiem". Spanish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Carlos Kalmar, conductor.