Requiem (Michael Haydn)

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Michael Haydn wrote the Missa pro defuncto Archiepiscopo Sigismondo, or more generally Missa pro Defunctis, MH 155, following the death of the Count Archbishop Sigismund von Schrattenbach in Salzburg on December 1771. Haydn completed the Requiem before the year was over, signing it "S[oli] D[eo] H[onor] et G[loria.] Salisburgi 31 Dicembre 1771." At the beginning of that year, his daughter Aloisia Josefa[1] died. Historians believe "his own personal bereavement" motivated the composition.[2] Contemporary materials which have survived to the present day include the autograph score found in Berlin, a set of copied parts with lots of corrections in Haydn's hand in Salzburg and another set at the Esterházy castle in Eisenstadt, and a score prepared by the Salzburg copyist Nikolaus Lang found in Munich.[3]

The mass is scored for vocal soloists and mixed choir, 2 bassoons,[4] 4 trumpets in C, 3 trombones, timpani and strings with basso continuo.

  1. "Requiem aeternam..." Adagio, C minor, common time
  2. Sequentia "Dies irae, ..." Andante maestoso, C minor, 3/4
  3. Offertorium Domine Jesu Christe, "Rex gloriae, ..." Andante moderato, G minor, common time
    — "Quam olim Abrahae..." Vivace, G minor, cut time
  4. "Hostias et preces..." Andante, G minor, common time
    — "Quam olim Abrahae..." Vivace e più Allegro, G minor, cut time
  5. "Sanctus, Sanctus Dominus..." Andante, C minor, 3/4
  6. "Benedictus qui venit..." Allegretto, E-flat major, 3/4
  7. Agnus Dei et Communio "Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi..." Adagio con moto, C minor, common time
    — "Cum sanctis tuis..." Allegretto, C minor, cut time
    — "Requiem aeternam..." Adagio, C minor, common time
    — "Cum sanctis tuis..." Allegretto, C minor, cut time

Sherman recommends a tempo relation in which "in Agnus Dei et Communio, the eighth note of both Agnus Dei and Requiem aeternam equals half note of the fugue Cum sanctis tuis."[5] Sherman also recommends interpreting the Andante maestoso of the Dies Irae at "a pulse of quarter note = MM. 104."[6] Leopold Mozart instructs "that the staccato indicates a lifting of the bow from the string" with no accent implied.[7]

Both Leopold and his son Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart were present at the first three performances of Haydn's Requiem in January 1772,[8][9] and Wolfgang was influenced in the writing of his own Requiem in D minor, K. 626.[10] In fact, Michael Haydn's Requiem is "an important model for Mozart" and strongly suggests that Franz Xaver Süssmayr's completion of Mozart's way does not depart "in any way from Mozart's plans."[11]


  1. ^ Max Kenyon, Mozart in Salzburg: A Study and Guide. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons: 154. "Haydn's second child, so quickly baptized on the day she was born, was named Josepha : had Michael his great brother in mind ?"
  2. ^ p. [i] (1969) Sherman
  3. ^ p. [ii] (1969) Sherman
  4. ^ p. [i] (1969) Sherman. Though the score says "Fagotto," in the preface Sherman writes: "Two bassoons are necessary to reinforce the basses at the octave."
  5. ^ p. [ii] (1969) Sherman
  6. ^ p. [ii] (1969) Sherman
  7. ^ p. [ii] (1969) Sherman
  8. ^ p. 537 (1995) Heartz
  9. ^ p. 65, Wolff (1998) Christoph. Berkeley, California Mozart's Requiem: historical and analytical studies, documents, score University of California Press
  10. ^ p. 538 (1995) Heartz
  11. ^ p. 70 (1998) Wolff


  • Heartz (1995) Daniel. New York. Haydn, Mozart, and the Viennese School: 1740 — 1780 W. W. Norton & Co.
  • Sherman (1969) Charles. Mainz Foreword to Missa pro Defunctis Universal Edition
  • Wolff (1998) Christoph. Berkeley, California Mozart's Requiem: Historical and Analytical Studies, Documents, Score University of California Press