Talk:Requiem (Mozart)

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Old discussion[edit]

At Mozart's death on 5 December 1791 he had only completed the opening movement (Requiem aeternam) in all of the orchestral and vocal parts (although recent evidence suggests that a few bars of orchestration were added in by someone else).

Really? There is evidence that Mozart entered the music for the Requiem aeternam at two or more different times during the composition process, based on the analysis of the varying ink colouration on the MS. My understanding of the graphological studies however is that non-Mozartean hands appear only during or after the Kyrie - aside from the obvious forgery of Mozart's signature and the date 1792 on the first folio, which was added by Franz Xäver Süßmayr. phi1ip 05:05, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Well, if you want to put it in less certain terms that's fine but I've seen a few Mozart scholars say that on newsgroups and the like. Sounds like you may know more about the topic than me; so you can remove it if you want.
I'm just curious to know which actual sections of the movement are being supposedly regarded as the work of others - I've studied Mozart's MS in facsimile, and I'm fairly convinced that virtually all of the 48 bars of Requiem aeternam are Wolfy's. phi1ip 05:55, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)

No oboes? If they were omitted it might be worth saying so, since you'd expect them in a "small classical orchestra." Or at least a dummy like me would. --Wetman 06:49, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)

There are indeed no oboes.
And the word "comprising" is there to tell you exactly what the orchestra consists of... phi1ip 05:55, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)

According to the Dover score of the Requiem, all of the continuo of the Hostias is by Sussmayer except for the first bar. Is there newer evidence to suggest otherwise? I would appreciate a response from the person who reversed my edit, uncommented, as "mistaken".

Given the lack of response I have put information back in. If you want to change it, please provide some sort of refutation for the Dover score's information. It may be that newer information has come to light that assigns the Hostias continuo to Mozart rather than Sussmayer, but that seems unlikely to me considering that the general trend seems to be assigning less to Mozart rather than more (for instance, the Dover score also has the Kyrie as 100% Mozart's work which we know not to be true now.)

Wasn't Franz Jakob Freystädtler involved too? (Perhaps the orchestration of the Kyrie was finished by him. See for example this and this) --Zoz 22:52, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

Freystädtler was not involved in the completion of the Requiem. See the NMA's critical report and the German Wiki page on K. 626 based on Michael Lorenz: "Freystädtler's Supposed Copying in the Autograph of K. 626: A Case of Mistaken Identity", (paper presented at the conference Mozart's Choral Music: Composition, Contexts, Performance, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 12 February 2006).--194.166.41.10 (talk) 09:09, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

lead[edit]

IMO, an article of this length needs a much longer lead, not just one sentence.--Bcrowell 00:27, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

kyrie[edit]

I'm puzzled by the addition someone has made describing the Kyrie fugue as "immensely difficult" -- difficult in what way? It's kind of fast and has an impressive sound (although the theme is derived either from Handel's Messiah or a popular tune at the time), but I don't see what's "immensely difficult" about it.

I suspect Salieri wrote that. -- Anon. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 206.124.154.93 (talk) 19:53, 22 January 2007 (UTC).

Images of original score[edit]

Given the *vast* quantity of discussion of the authenticity of the original scoring is it possible to get scans of the original score into the wikicommons and linked here? I did some searching online but I was unable to find any high quality scans or pictures of the (nearly) original scores. All I found was this low quality image of the last page, and this high quality fragment. Speed8ump 22:34, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

The so-called "Manuscript of the last page of Requiem.jpg is not actually the last page - it's a B&W scan of folio 87/33 recto - and *if* Mozart composed the Lacrymosa last, then this is actually the second last page - 87/33 verso would be the last. On the other hand, if Mozart abandoned work on the Sequence to concentrate on the Offertory, then the Hostias (99/45 recto) is probably last. Certainly the thief who ripped this page thought this was the case (qv 1958 World's Fair). Philip Legge phi1ip@netscape·net 04:40, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

1958 World Fair[edit]

Is there any source whatsoever to this claim? I've scoured Google (admittedly not a great source, but I was curious) and found only the exact same paragraph as is printed in this article, sometimes reworded. A look at the page to which is being reffered shows a missing corner, but I have yet to find a reliable source. This whole passage reeks of urban legend to me. Even an article in modern times may not be entirely accurate regarding this issue, as urban legends are often reprinted in the press. While this may be a difficult proposition for such a minor article, does anyone have an accurate source from the time in which this occured? -70.74.135.191 07:01, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

[1] shows a facsimile of the last page with the missing piece. The caption reads: "Down right the missing corner, that has been torn off and stolen at the 1958 World Fair in Brussels." Since this is from the Austrian National Library's official website concerning an exhibition of the manuscript, it sounds pretty convincing. [2], a review of the facsimile edition of the requiem, also refers also to the 1958 theft. --FordPrefect42 22:53, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

The facsimile edition of the Requiem contains an essay by Günter Brosche that explicitly describes the theft. I saw the folios myself in 2002 and can confirm the torn section. The reference for this is:

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. Requiem, K. 626, D minor (Süssmayr). [Requiem, KV 626. Vollständige Faksimile-Ausg. Im Originalformat der Originalhandschrift in zwei Teilen nach Mus. Hs. 17.561 der Musiksammlung der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek herausgegeben und kommentiert von Günter Brosche.] Documenta musicologica, 2. Reihe, Handschriften-Faksimiles, vol. 27. Musica manuscripta, vol. 6. Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt; Kassel, New York: Bärenreiter, 1990.

There was an earlier facsimile edition published in 1913 (prior to the vandalism), and the two may be compared to discern the missing portion.

I have a low-definition scan of the folio in question on my website at http://www.carringbush.net/~pml/music/mozart/requiem/mozart.html

I'm also concerned about the assertions marked as [missing citation] that have been added to the article since I last looked in on it.

Philip Legge phi1ip@netscape·net 04:21, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

German Article[edit]

The German article upon this subject has been labeled "Good article" (and is just in the "Featured Articles" Discussion). Perhaps one could use material from this article in order to enhance the English one. There is much about the music, reception, compeltions, etc. It has largely been written by me so I don't want to say anything about its quality. --Mautpreller 08:46, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

music composed by Süßmayr is of undoubtedly ordinary quality[edit]

This sort of opinion absolutely must be stricken. This reads like someone's exploration of their own taste than a legitimate encyclopedic article. Smyslov 19:36, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

You're right. Sussmeyer's taste was *every* bit as good as W's. Why, look at his catalog! -- Anon.

Reorganize This Article[edit]

The history of the requiem falls into four categories:

1. Mozart's Commission, his professional status and circumstances surrounding his work on the Requiem

2. Mozart's Death and the efforts made to complete the Requiem by others

3. Post Süßmayr completion, the cover-up, scandal and gradual disclosure of the true circumstances around the work's completion

4. Post Süßmayr completions up to the present day

I believe that the article should adhere to the four section structure above, and should therefore be reorganized. Nymaestro 04:59, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

That's a fair set of criteria to delineate a top to toe rewrite of the article. The main criticism I have of this article is that it demonstrates the worst feature of Wikipedia - instead of the content having been gradually refined in quality and converging to an article of encyclopædic character, it has been repeatedly and incompetently pummeled into an inconsistent hodge-podge of unrelated styles, unsupported citations, and abysmal editing. Although some good ideas have been introduced into the article, some of the actual myths - particularly the secrecy surrounding the completion by Süßmayr et al. - have been uncritically added in also by editors who obviously don't know better! See for example the NPOV-violating character assassination of Constanze Mozart that appears in the paragraphs added after the Myth vs Reality section. IMNSHO, this article is a shambles. -- Philip Legge phi1ip@netscape·net 10:32, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Philip: Thanks for your comments.... By the way, the stuff about Constanze is referenced in "Constanze Mozart--After the Requiem" by Heinz Gartner and in "Opus Ultimum: The Story Of The Mozart Requiem" by Daniel N. Leeson. I am a conductor, and a few years ago I ended up writing my own completion of the Requiem and around the same time, I gave a lecture on the history of the Requiem. I did quite a bit of research and as a result, it is important to me that the general public understand the history of the work fully and fairly. In my lecture, it was clear that most people believe the "Amadeus" version of history. I hope my contributions to Wiki help to set the record straight....Nymaestro 03:12, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Library resource[edit]

I like to add "Requiem KV 626 - online view and short description in The European Library" either as a link or reference. It would go to http://libraries.theeuropeanlibrary.org/Austria/treasures_en.xml (3rd treasure). Is that okay? Fleurstigter 14:29, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Today I added it. Greetings, Fleurstigter 10:38, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

At one point in this article (in the "Myth/Fact" section) it claims that a few days before his death Mozart was "moved to tears" by someone singing the Lacrimosa to him. At other various parts it is claimed that only the first 8 of bars of the Lacrimosa were composed at the time of his death, which means the main melodic theme was not even composed, only that violin intro. How are these two claims compatible? It seems like it's supposed to mean he cried because he found the Lacrimosa so beautiful... but he only composed 8 bars of it? Is it supposed to mean he cried because he was unable to complete it? Frazerho 21:32, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Mozart's fragment with the first eight bars comprise the choral parts up until judicandus homo reus, so the main melodic theme was indeed composed by Mozart. The claim about it moving him to tears, though, is unsourced, but that's hardly unique in articles of this sort. EldKatt (Talk) 21:56, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

My mistake, I hadn't seen the sheet music and my untrained ear thought it was written in 3/4, thanks for the response. Frazerho 04:16, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Maybe your ear isn't so "untrained" after all, as you were probably hearing the triplets; while the piece is in 4, it's probably written, in what? 12/8, I'm guessing (no access to a score at the moment). (Or 4/4 with triplets.) +ILike2BeAnonymous 04:44, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
12/8 it is. And an easy mistake to make. EldKatt (Talk) 13:16, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

The Neukomm story[edit]

The story regarding the presentation of the requiem in Rio de Janeiro has lots of questionable details. The Day of St. Cecilia is a happy festivity and it would be very awkward that the Requiem was presented on this day. It has come to my attention that some scholars have been questioning the story told by Jean-Claude Malgoire in the recent CD released by him with the Neukomm version. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 200.179.199.219 (talk) 23:09, 15 April 2007 (UTC).

Reducing the snobbery quotient of this article[edit]

I just spent a grueling 10 or 15 minutes combing through the article to replace many instances of the name which some editor had decided to render as "Süßmayr" with "Süssmayr". I find this sort of thing—the intentional use of foreign names rendered in their native language in all their incomprehensible glory—to be quite irritating, and it's fairly rampant here (Wikipedia), as if it gives an otherwise marginal (or worse) article a cachet of respectability. This seems to be the same sort of impulse that motivates those who would like to rub our noses in those Greek or Sanskrit-looking characters used in IPA pronunciation guides, which I abhor as so much highfalutin' academic nonsense. These articles aren't supposed to be restricted to ivory-tower denizens. +ILike2BeAnonymous 05:57, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

This needs to be thought through a bit before jumping to a standard. While I agree that both "Süßmayr" or "Süssmayr" would be acceptable, I think it is inexcusable to make an editorial decision in Wikipedia to remove something THAT IS CORRECT because one editor feels insecure about the completeness of a reference. Nobody is trying to rub noses in anything, we are contributing what is known to be true. Nymaestro 16:14, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm curious: why would you even consider using the former (double-S) version of that name? What's the point? To me, it simply places yet another impediment in the way of ordinary (that is, non-academic, or in any case probably non-German speaking and writing) readers. Less, rather than more, information is being imparted that way. +ILike2BeAnonymous 17:22, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
I find at least part of your argumentation utterly unconvincing: if you are aware of a more accessible manner of phonetic notation than the IPA, I would be interested in hearing about it; if not, I completely fail to see your point. As for the matter at hand: The point of using the double-S is that it is the de facto standard in German, as far as I know. As such, I see no reason not to use it, just like you also apparently see no reason to render the <ü> as the more "accessible" <ue>. EldKatt (Talk) 17:40, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, let's leave IPA out of it for now, as that's a side issue that could quickly consume all the available space here for argument (I will stand by my utter abhorence of it, though, because generally speaking, nobody understands it except pointy-headed academics.) But regarding "ß" vs. "ss", it's very simple: this is the English Wikipedia, not the German one. (I'd think the reverse would be true on the de wiki.) We (English speakers and writers) simply don't use those characters, so there's no good reason to confront readers with them here. +ILike2BeAnonymous 17:56, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
EldKatt makes a good point equating use of "ß" with use of "ü". Why would "ordinary", "non-academic", "non-German" readers be more likely confused by "ß" than by "ü"? My vote: go back to the "ß".Nymaestro 19:24, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
At least, it really does not appear very consistent to remove the "ß" but retain the "ü" in the renditions of Süßmayr's name. As the Süßmayr article states, Suessmayr would be the proper English form. I am certainly prejudiced in this matter as I am German, but since the de wiki has been brought up: it is standard in de wikipedia to have foreign names cited in the form of the respective national language, and I think it is a good standard, because from an encyclopedia I expect reliable information. To cut foreign names to the limitations of my own language, is what in return appears to me to be somewhat snobbery ... SCNR ;-) --FordPrefect42 22:24, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Can we PLEASE stop calling people names? We are all contributing our expertise to develop a BETTER wiki for Mozart Requiem. Better should mean clear, precise and useful information. The function of the article should be to inform completely and accurately. If it is snobbery to include the proper German spelling of Süßmayr, then what about including the correct Köchel-Verzeichnis number (626), or even calling it Köchel-Verzeichnis? Providing correct details is NEVER snobbery. On the other hand, if someone calls you a snob for contributing needed details, it does not make things better to call them a snob back....Nymaestro 22:34, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

(inserted out of order because of an edit conflict; oh, well)

In English, even in scholarly writing, but certainly in most general-audience writing, names are typically rendered in forms familiar to English readers. I'd argue against "Süßmayr" and in favor of "Süssmayr" simply because that double-S character in the former is likely not only to be unfamiliar to most non-German speakers, but also to be easily confused with the letter "B". An umlauted letter is much more easily dealt with; at least it looks like a "U". (If someone were in favor of "Suessmayr" instead, I wouldn't argue with that.) But again; consider the audience. +ILike2BeAnonymous 22:39, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Constanze[edit]

Please check the information about constanze: I believe more research has been done since Opus Ultimum and "Constanze Mozart..." and therefore this information is no longer quite correct. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.123.222.177 (talkcontribs) 03:23, 16 June 2007

Article format[edit]

The page is quite disjointed and listy; if there are no objections I'm going to delete or spin out a number of sections into daugher articles: "Structure of the work" (delete the list bit), "Myths surrounding the Requiem" (spin out), discography (delete). Ceoil 16:57, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Downloading[edit]

Suggest removing the section of where to download lest it advocates piracy, instead for a place that shows an example of it without being able to attain the file. If not, suggest that this begins the discussion of it. B.H. August 3, 2007; 9:29pm

There is no copyright because Mozart is long dead.--Svetovid 17:47, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Mozart's Requiem as such is in the public domain, because Mozart is over 70 years dead, ack. None the less, an actual recording of the Requiem may be copyrighted material. In the case of the download links in this article this is not the case, I guess, because the owners of the recordings themselves offer the download. --FordPrefect42 20:44, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Pupil or not?[edit]

In the intro, it says that Sussmayr was a pupil of Mozart's and then later this is listed as a "myth". Which is it? 207.237.51.59 (talk) 23:13, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

I suspec that he was not mozart's pupil and that the intro contains a typo of sorts. 24.226.77.23 (talk) 02:12, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

He was his pupil. RedFoxQCC? 22:06, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Süssmayr was not Mozart's pupil. See: Michael Lorenz, "Süßmayr und die Lichterputzer: von gefundenen und erfundenen Quellen", Mozart-Jahrbuch 2006, (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2008), 425-38.--194.166.41.10 (talk) 09:03, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Source of lyrics[edit]

I was fascinated to learn of a modern rock band which performed a song in Latin, with the lyrics same as in Mozart's Requiem (some parts of it). Mp3 Lyrics. That made me very curious -- did Mozart author the lyrics, or was it may be taken from even more ancient ages? Could editors of this article perhaps shed some light on the source of Mozart's poetry? ellol (talk) 08:13, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

The text to Mozart's Requiem —and almost any other Requiem— is based on the standard text used in the catholic Reqiem Mass; for details, see Requiem. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 12:25, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. ellol (talk) 16:08, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Related deletion discussions[edit]

Two articles seemingly related to this one have been listed at AFD, located here: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Requiem (Mozart)/Tuba mirum
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 04:20, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the notification. I'm sure others will partake of this particular instance of the sacrament, but I will continue to abstain for the time being. James470 (talk) 06:10, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Sonata form of the entire Requiem??[edit]

From the current version: "However, the fact that the work ends with a recapitulation of the first movement creates a work which, overall, displays characteristics of sonata form, which may help to authenticate the idea for the repetition of the first movement as the final movement."

What "characteristics" of "sonata form"? The fact that something is repeated later in a piece? That's not "sonata form." Sonata form is a form for a single movement, not the structure of a multi-movement work. Moreover, sonata form has a bunch of complexities not manifested here. Perhaps one could make an argument for some similarity in this multi-movement work structure to a ternary form (ABA), but the idea that his has anything to do with "sonata form"... well, the comparison doesn't make a lot of sense.65.96.161.79 (talk) 03:26, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

I removed it for now, as it smelled like original research. The passage can be reinserted if someone can find reliable sources that discuss the requiem as a whole as being in sonata form. ThemFromSpace 17:08, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Robbins account[edit]

I have added the fact that the Kyrie was finished up to bar 45 RedFoxQCC? 01:15, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

It appears someone else has removed this erroneous statement, but for the record, you’ve misread the information on page 150 of H.C. Robbins Landon’s “1791: Mozart’s Last Year”. Landon is not referring there to the state of completion of the work: he’s referring to the types of manuscript paper that Mozart used for the leaves of the particella: there are two distinctly different types of paper, and the first 45 bars of the Kyrie are written on Type I; the remaining 7 bars are written on a leaf which is of Type II. Cheers Philip Legge User Email Talk 02:58, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, but from this information he seems to digress that Mozart had written the first 45, then used the rest of paper type I to work on a different composition, then continued the Kyrie from 45 on type II paper, because the type I had been exhausted by the earlier stated second composition. Cheers yourself. RedFoxQCC? 22:04, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Mozart did not write the Kyrie out fully: he finished the vocal parts and the instrumental basses (with figured bass). The rest was completed by at least two composers. One of them was Süssmayr (trumpet and timpani parts); the completer(s?) of the other parts is (are?) unknown. Double sharp (talk) 12:30, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

Lack of references in "Modern completions"[edit]

There is almost no documentation of the discussion in the "Modern completions" section. Three paragraphs; one footnote. How reliable is this material? Can somebody please remedy this by adding references to independent third-party publications? -- Chonak (talk) 05:04, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Sections completed by Mozart-[edit]

In the Structure section, a corresponding list, describing which parts were written by Mozart, would be helpful. E.g. Introitus- all vocal and orchestral, completed by Mozart... Lacrimosa- FIrst eight bars completed by Mozart. etc.

Language(s) of the vocals[edit]

What is the language of the choral parts? Please edit the article. Thanks.CountMacula (talk) 15:54, 7 November 2013 (UTC)


Latin, like just about every Requiem excepting Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem 83.254.151.33 (talk) 12:20, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

"Modern mythmaking" by Shaffer is in fact much older[edit]

The lead section states that "A modern contribution to the mythology is Peter Shaffer's 1979 play Amadeus, in which a mysterious messenger orders Mozart to write a requiem mass, giving no explanation for the order; Mozart (in the play) then comes to believe that the piece is meant to be the requiem mass for his own funeral."

Visualizing it as a mysterious messenger ordering the work may have been Shaffer's own invention for the stage (it survived into the film, of course), but the notion that Mozart had creeping suspicions that he was secretly writing his own Requiem, for his own impending death, is certainly older. It appears in several books about Mozart that I've seen, that are prior to Shaffer's play, notably in the well-researched popular encyclopaedia The World of Music (several editions from about 1955 to the eighties; I saw this story in an edition from the mid-sixties and I've seen an earlier one which already had long sections of text about composers and works that would be retained in later editions) and I think Mozart says something to the effect even in his own letters to masonic friends during his last months. I wouldn't be surprised if it's already in what the prominent Mozart scholar Alfred Einstein wrote about him. Whether Mozart actually did think he had been tricked/ordained into writing his own death mass or not, the whole story has the ring of 19th century romantic legend about an iconic composer who was about to die. 83.254.151.33 (talk) 12:18, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

Lacrimosa or Lacrymosa?[edit]

Lacrimosa is correct Latin (and is used by the NMA), and hence I would usually support using it. However in this case Mozart's autograph clearly states the title of the movement in question as Lacrymosa, and uses this spelling in the lyrics. So perhaps we should use Lacrymosa instead in this case. Double sharp (talk) 12:26, 22 May 2014 (UTC)

Given the lack of objections, I changed Lacrimosa to Lacrymosa throughout in this article. Double sharp (talk) 15:00, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
(Also changed on the IMSLP page by me.) Double sharp (talk) 15:44, 15 June 2014 (UTC)