Requiem (Mozart)

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by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
K626 Requiem Mozart.jpg
First page of Mozart's autograph
Key D minor
Catalogue K. 626
Text Requiem
Language Latin
Composed 1791 (1791)
  • four soloists
  • chorus
  • orchestra

The Requiem in D minor, K. 626, is a requiem mass by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart composed part of the Requiem in Vienna in late 1791, but it was unfinished at his death on 5 December the same year. A completed version dated 1792 by Franz Xaver Süssmayr was delivered to Count Franz von Walsegg, who commissioned the piece for a Requiem service to commemorate the anniversary of his wife's death on 14 February.

The autograph manuscript shows the finished and orchestrated Introit in Mozart's hand, and detailed drafts of the Kyrie and the sequence Dies irae as far as the first eight bars of the Lacrimosa movement, and the Offertory. It cannot be shown to what extent Süssmayr may have depended on now lost "scraps of paper" for the remainder; he later claimed the Sanctus and Agnus Dei as his own.

Walsegg probably intended to pass the Requiem off as his own composition, as he is known to have done with other works. This plan was frustrated by a public benefit performance for Mozart's widow Constanze. She was responsible for a number of stories surrounding the composition of the work, including the claims that Mozart received the commission from a mysterious messenger who did not reveal the commissioner's identity, and that Mozart came to believe that he was writing the requiem for his own funeral.

In addition to the Süssmayr version, a number of alternative completions have been developed by musicologists in the 20th century.


The Requiem is scored for 2 basset horns in F, 2 bassoons, 2 trumpets in D, 3 trombones (alto, tenor & bass), timpani (2 drums), violins, viola and basso continuo (cello, double bass, and organ). The basset horn parts are sometimes played on conventional clarinets, even though this changes the sonority.

The vocal forces include soprano, contralto, tenor, and bass soloists and an SATB mixed choir.


Süssmayr's completion divides the Requiem into 14 sections:

  1. Introitus
  1. Requiem aeternam
  1. Kyrie
  2. Sequentia (text based on sections of the Dies irae)
  1. Dies irae
  2. Tuba mirum
  3. Rex tremendae
  4. Recordare
  5. Confutatis
  6. Lacrimosa
  1. Offertorium
  1. Domine Jesu
  2. Hostias
  1. Sanctus
  2. Benedictus
  3. Agnus Dei
  4. Communio
  1. Lux aeterna

All sections from the Sanctus onwards are not present in Mozart's manuscript fragment. Mozart may have intended to include the Amen fugue at the end of the Sequentia, but Süssmayr did not do so in his completion.

The Introitus is in D minor and finishes on a half-cadence that transitions directly into Kyrie. The Kyrie is a double fugue, with one subject setting the words "Kyrie eleison" and the other setting "Christe eleison". The movement Tuba mirum opens with a trombone solo accompanying the bass. The Confutatis is well-known for its string accompaniment; it opens with agitated figures that accentuate the wrathful sound of the basses and tenors, but it turns into soft arpeggios in the second phrase while accompanying the soft sounds of the sopranos and altos.

The following table shows for the eight sections in Süssmayr's completion with their subdivisions: the title, type of movement, vocal parts (solo soprano (S), alto (A), tenor (T) and bass (B) [in bold] and four-part choir SATB), tempo, key, and meter.

Section Title Type Vocal Tempo Key Meter
I. Introitus Requiem aeternam Chorus with soloist SSATB Adagio D minor 4
II. Kyrie Kyrie eleison Double fugue SATB Allegro D minor 4
III. Sequentia Dies irae SATB Allegro assai D minor 4
Tuba mirum SATB Andante B major 2
Rex tremendae SATB G minor – D minor 4
Recordare SATB F major 3
Confutatis SATB Andante A minor – F major 4
Lacrimosa SATB Larghetto D minor 12
IV. Offertorium Domine Jesu Chorus with soloists SATBSATB Andante con moto G minor 4
Hostias Chorus SATB Andante – Andante con moto E major – G minor 3
V. Sanctus Sanctus Chorus SATB Adagio D major 4
Hosanna Allegro 3
VI. Benedictus Benedictus Soloists SATB Andante B major 4
Hosanna Chorus SATB Allegro
VII. Agnus Dei Agnus Dei Chorus SATB D minor – B major 4
VIII. Communio Lux aeterna Soloist and chorus SSATB B major – D minor 4
Cum sanctis tuis Chorus SATB Allegro



Bars 1–5 of the Lacrymosa

At the time of Mozart's death on December 5 1791, only the first two movements, Requiem aeternam and Kyrie, were completed in all of the orchestral and vocal parts. The Sequence and Offertorium were completed in skeleton, with the exception of the Lacrymosa, which breaks off after the first eight bars. The vocal parts and continuo were fully notated. Occasionally, some of the prominent orchestral parts were briefly indicated, such as the first violin part of the Rex tremendae and Confutatis, the musical bridges in the Recordare, and the trombone solos of the Tuba Mirum.

What remained to be completed for these sections were mostly accompanimental figures, inner harmonies, and orchestral doublings to the vocal parts.

Completion by Mozart's contemporaries[edit]

The eccentric count Franz von Walsegg commissioned the Requiem from Mozart anonymously through intermediaries. The count, an amateur chamber musician who routinely commissioned works by composers and passed them off as his own,[1][2] wanted a Requiem Mass he could claim he composed to memorialize the recent passing of his wife. Mozart received only half of the payment in advance, so upon his death his widow Constanze was keen to have the work completed secretly by someone else, submit it to the count as having been completed by Mozart and collect the final payment.[3] Joseph von Eybler was one of the first composers to be asked to complete the score, and had worked on the movements from the Dies irae up until the Lacrymosa. In addition, a striking similarity between the openings of the Domine Jesu Christe movements in the requiems of the two composers suggests that Eybler at least looked at later sections.[further explanation needed] After this work, he felt unable to complete the remainder and gave the manuscript back to Constanze Mozart.

The task was then given to another composer, Franz Xaver Süssmayr. Süssmayr borrowed some of Eybler's work in making his completion, and added his own orchestration to the movements from the Kyrie onward, completed the Lacrymosa, and added several new movements which a Requiem would normally comprise: Sanctus, Benedictus, and Agnus Dei. He then added a final section, Lux aeterna by adapting the opening two movements which Mozart had written to the different words which finish the Requiem mass, which according to both Süssmayr and Mozart's wife was done according to Mozart's directions. Some people[who?] consider it unlikely, however, that Mozart would have repeated the opening two sections if he had survived to finish the work.

Other composers may have helped Süssmayr. The Agnus Dei is suspected by some scholars[4] to have been based on instruction or sketches from Mozart because of its similarity to a section from the Gloria of a previous mass (Sparrow Mass, K. 220) by Mozart,[5] as was first pointed out by Richard Maunder. Others have pointed out that in the beginning of the Agnus Dei, the choral bass quotes the main theme from the Introitus.[6] Many of the arguments dealing with this matter, though, center on the perception that if part of the work is high quality, it must have been written by Mozart (or from sketches), and if part of the work contains errors and faults, it must have been all Süssmayr's doing.[citation needed]

Another controversy is the suggestion (originating from a letter written by Constanze) that Mozart left explicit instructions for the completion of the Requiem on "a few scraps of paper with music on them... found on Mozart's desk after his death."[7] The extent to which Süssmayr's work may have been influenced by these "scraps" if they existed at all remains a subject of speculation amongst musicologists to this day.

The completed score, initially by Mozart but largely finished by Süssmayr, was then dispatched to Count Walsegg complete with a counterfeited signature of Mozart and dated 1792. The various complete and incomplete manuscripts eventually turned up in the 19th century, but many of the figures involved left ambiguous statements on record as to how they were involved in the affair. Despite the controversy over how much of the music is actually Mozart's, the commonly performed Süssmayr version has become widely accepted by the public. This acceptance is quite strong, even when alternative completions provide logical and compelling solutions for the work.

Promotion by Constanze Mozart[edit]

The confusion surrounding the circumstances of the Requiem's composition was created in a large part by Mozart's wife, Constanze.[citation needed] Constanze had a difficult task in front of her: she had to keep secret the fact that the Requiem was unfinished at Mozart's death, so she could collect the final payment from the commission. For a period of time, she also needed to keep secret the fact that Süssmayr had anything to do with the composition of the Requiem at all, in order to allow Count Walsegg the impression that Mozart wrote the work entirely himself. Once she received the commission, she needed to carefully promote the work as Mozart's so that she could continue to receive revenue from the work's publication and performance. During this phase of the Requiem's history, it was still important that the public accept that Mozart wrote the whole piece, as it would fetch larger sums from publishers and the public if it were completely by Mozart.

It is Constanze's efforts that created the flurry of half-truths and myths almost instantly after Mozart's death. According to Constanze, Mozart declared that he was composing the Requiem for himself and that he had been poisoned. His symptoms worsened, and he began to complain about the painful swelling of his body and high fever. Nevertheless, Mozart continued his work on the Requiem, and even on the last day of his life, he was explaining to his assistant how he intended to finish the Requiem.

With multiple levels of deception surrounding the Requiem's completion, a natural outcome is the mythologizing which subsequently occurred. One series of myths surrounding the Requiem involves the role Antonio Salieri played in the commissioning and completion of the Requiem (and in Mozart's death generally). While the most recent retelling of this myth is Peter Shaffer's play Amadeus and the movie made from it, it is important to note that the source of misinformation was actually a 19th-century play by Alexander Pushkin, Mozart and Salieri, which was turned into an opera by Rimsky-Korsakov and subsequently used as the framework for Amadeus.[8]

Conflicting accounts[edit]

Source materials written soon after Mozart's death contain serious discrepancies, which leave a level of subjectivity when assembling the "facts" about Mozart's composition of the Requiem. For example, at least three of the conflicting sources, both dated within two decades following Mozart's death, cite Constanze as their primary source of interview information.

Friedrich Rochlitz[edit]

In 1798, Friedrich Rochlitz, a German biographical author and amateur composer, published a set of Mozart anecdotes that he claimed to have collected during his meeting with Constanze in 1796.[9] The Rochlitz publication makes the following statements:

  • Mozart was unaware of his commissioner's identity at the time he accepted the project.
  • He was not bound to any date of completion of the work.
  • He stated that it would take him around four weeks to complete.
  • He requested, and received, 100 ducats at the time of the first commissioning message.
  • He began the project immediately after receiving the commission.
  • His health was poor from the outset; he fainted multiple times while working.
  • He took a break from writing the work to visit the Prater with his wife.
  • He shared the thought with his wife that he was writing this piece for his own funeral.
  • He spoke of "very strange thoughts" regarding the unpredicted appearance and commission of this unknown man.
  • He noted that the departure of Leopold II to Prague for the coronation was approaching.

The most highly disputed of these claims is the last one, the chronology of this setting. According to Rochlitz, the messenger arrives quite some time before the departure of Leopold for the coronation, yet there is a record of his departure occurring in mid-July 1791. However, as Constanze was in Baden during all of June to mid-July, she would not have been present for the commission or the drive they were said to have taken together.[9] Furthermore, The Magic Flute (except for the Overture and March of the Priests) was completed by mid-July. La clemenza di Tito was commissioned by mid-July.[9] There was no time for Mozart to work on the Requiem on the large scale indicated by the Rochlitz publication in the time frame provided.

Franz Xaver Niemetschek[edit]

1857 lithograph by Franz Schramm, titled Ein Moment aus den letzten Tagen Mozarts ("Moment from the Last Days of Mozart"). Mozart, with the score of the Requiem on his lap, gives Süssmayr last-minute instructions. Constanze is to the side and the messenger is leaving through the main door.[10]

Also in 1798, Constanze is noted to have given another interview to Franz Xaver Niemetschek,[11] another biographer looking to publish a compendium of Mozart's life. He published his biography in 1808, containing a number of claims about Mozart's receipt of the Requiem commission:

  • Mozart received the commission very shortly before the Coronation of Emperor Leopold II and before he received the commission to go to Prague.
  • He did not accept the messenger's request immediately; he wrote the commissioner and agreed to the project stating his fee but urging that he could not predict the time required to complete the work.
  • The same messenger appeared later, paying Mozart the sum requested plus a note promising a bonus at the work's completion.
  • He started composing the work upon his return from Prague.
  • He fell ill while writing the work
  • He told Constanze "I am only too conscious... my end will not be long in coming: for sure, someone has poisoned me! I cannot rid my mind of this thought."
  • Constanze thought that the Requiem was overstraining him; she called the doctor and took away the score.
  • On the day of his death, he had the score brought to his bed.
  • The messenger took the unfinished Requiem soon after Mozart's death.
  • Constanze never learned the commissioner's name.

This account, too, has fallen under scrutiny and criticism of its accuracy. According to letters, Constanze most certainly knew the name of the commissioner by the time this interview was released in 1800.[11] Additionally, the Requiem was not given to the messenger until some time after Mozart's death.[9] This interview contains the only account from Constanze herself of the claim that she took the Requiem away from Wolfgang for a significant duration during his composition of it.[9] Otherwise, the timeline provided in this account is historically probable.

Georg Nikolaus von Nissen[edit]

However, the most highly accepted text attributed to Constanze is the interview to her second husband, Georg Nikolaus von Nissen.[9] After Nissen's death in 1826, Constanze released the biography of Wolfgang (1828) that Nissen had compiled, which included this interview. Nissen states:

  • Mozart received the commission shortly before the coronation of Emperor Leopold and before he received the commission to go to Prague.
  • He did not accept the messenger's request immediately; he wrote the commissioner and agreed to the project stating his fee but urging that he could not predict the time required to complete the work.
  • The same messenger appeared later, paying Mozart the sum requested plus a note promising a bonus at the work's completion.
  • He started composing the work upon his return from Prague.

The Nissen publication lacks information following Mozart's return from Prague.[9]

Portrait of Michael Haydn (younger brother of Joseph Haydn), whose own Requiem influenced Mozart.


Mozart esteemed Handel and in 1789 he was commissioned by Baron Gottfried van Swieten to rearrange Messiah (HWV 56). This work likely influenced the composition of Mozart's Requiem; the Kyrie is based on the "And with His stripes we are healed" chorus from Handel's Messiah, since the subject of the fugato is the same with only slight variations by adding ornaments on melismata.[12] However, the same four-note theme is also found in the finale of Haydn's String Quartet in F minor (Op. 20 No. 5) and in the first measure of the A minor fugue from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier Book 2 (BWV 889b) as part of the subject of Bach's fugue,[13] and it is thought that Mozart transcribed some of the fugues of the Well-Tempered Clavier for string ensemble (K. 404a Nos. 1-3 and K. 405 Nos. 1-5),[14] but the attribution of these transcriptions to Mozart is not certain.

Some[who?] believe that the Introitus was inspired by Handel's Funeral Anthem for Queen Caroline, HWV 264. Another influence was Michael Haydn's Requiem in C minor which he and his father heard at the first three performances in January 1772. Some have noted that Michael Haydn's Introitus sounds rather similar to Mozart's, and the theme for Mozart's "Quam olim Abrahae" fugue is a direct quote of the theme from Haydn's Offertorium and Versus. In Introitus m. 21, the soprano sings "Te decet hymnus Deus in Zion". It is quoting the Lutheran hymn "Meine Seele erhebet den Herren". The melody is used by many composers e.g. in Bach's cantata Meine Seel erhebt den Herren, BWV 10 but also in Michael Haydn's Requiem.[15]


Autograph score of "Dies irae"

Before 1791[edit]


  • 5 January: Mozart completes his last piano concerto, in B (K. 595).
  • 14 January: Mozart completes three German songs (K. 596–8).
  • January–March: Mozart composes mostly dance music (K. 599–611).
  • 14 February: Anna, Count von Walsegg's wife, dies at the age of 20.
  • 3 March: Mozart completes the Fantasia in F minor for a mechanical organ (K. 608).
  • 8 March: Mozart completes the bass aria Per questa bella mano (K. 612).
  • March: Mozart completes the Variations in F on "Ein Weib ist das herrlichste Ding" (K. 613).
  • 12 April: Mozart completes his last string quintet, in E (K. 614).
  • May 4: Mozart completes the Andante in F for a small mechanical organ (K. 616).
  • 23 May: Mozart completes the Adagio and Rondo for glass harmonica, flute, oboe, viola and cello, his last chamber work (K. 617).
  • 17 June: Mozart completes the motet Ave verum corpus (K. 618).
  • July: Mozart completes the cantata Die ihr des unermeßlichen Weltalls (K. 619).
  • mid-July: A messenger (probably Franz Anton Leitgeb, the count's steward) arrives with note asking Mozart to write a Requiem mass.
  • mid-July: Commission from Domenico Guardasoni, impresario of the Prague National Theatre to compose the opera, La clemenza di Tito (K. 621), for the festivities surrounding the coronation on September 6 of Leopold II as King of Bohemia.
  • 26 July: Birth of Mozart's younger son, Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart.
  • August: Mozart works mainly on La clemenza di Tito; completed by September 5.
  • 25 August: Mozart leaves for Prague.
  • 6 September: Mozart conducts premiere of La clemenza di Tito.
  • mid-September – 28 September: Revision and completion of The Magic Flute (K. 620).
  • 30 September: Premiere of The Magic Flute.
  • 7 October: Mozart completes his Clarinet Concerto in A major (K. 622).
  • 8 October – 20 November: Mozart works on the Requiem and a cantata (K. 623).
  • 15 November: Mozart completes the cantata.
  • 20 November: Mozart is confined to bed due to his illness.
  • 5 December: Mozart dies shortly after midnight.
  • 7 December: Burial in St. Marx Cemetery.
  • 5 December – 10 December: Kyrie from Requiem completed by unknown composer (once identified as Mozart's pupil Franz Jakob Freystädtler, although this attribution is not generally accepted now)
  • 10 December: Requiem (probably only Introitus and Kyrie) is performed in St. Michael's Church, Vienna, for a memorial for Mozart by the staff of the Theater auf der Wieden.
  • 21 December: Joseph Leopold Eybler receives score of Requiem from Constanze, promising to complete it by mid-Lent (mid-March) of next year. He later gives up and returns the score to Constanze, who turns it to Süssmayr to complete.

After 1791[edit]

  • Early March 1792: Probably the time Süssmayr finished the Requiem.
  • 2 January 1793: Performance of Requiem for Constanze's benefit arranged by Gottfried van Swieten.
  • Early December 1793: Requiem is delivered to the Count.
  • 14 December 1793: Requiem is performed in memory of the count's wife in the church at Wiener-Neustadt.[citation needed]
  • 14 February 1794: Requiem is performed again in Patronat Church Maria Schuts in Semmering.
  • 1799: Breitkopf & Härtel publishes the Requiem.
  • 1800 or later: Walsegg receives leaves 1 through 10 of the autograph (Introitus and Kyrie).
  • Autumn 1800: Abbé Maximilian Stadler compares all known manuscript copies (including Walsegg's) and editions of the score, notes copying errors, and determines precisely which parts of the Requiem were written by Mozart.
  • After 1802: Abbé Stadler receives leaves 11 through 32 (Dies irae to Confutatis) of Mozart's Requiem autograph from Constanze. Later Eybler would receive leaves 33 to 46, the Lacrymosa through Hostias.
  • 17 September 1803: Süssmayr dies of tuberculosis and is buried in an unmarked grave in the St. Marx Cemetery.
  • 1825: Gottfried Weber writes an article in the music journal Cäcilia calling Mozart's Requiem a spurious work.
  • 5 December 1826: On the 35th Anniversary of his father's death, Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart conducts Mozart's Requiem at St. George's Ukrainian Greek Catholic Cathedral in Lviv (Lemberg).[18]
  • 11 November 1827: Count Walsegg dies. Karl Haag, a musician formerly in Walsegg's service, receives his score (Mozart's autograph of the Introitus and Kyrie; the rest a copy by Süssmayr) and when he dies, he wills it to Katharina Adelpoller.
  • 1831: Abbé Stadler gives the leaves of the Requiem autograph in his possession to the Imperial Court Library.
  • 1833: Eybler suffers a stroke while conducting a performance of Mozart's Requiem. The leaves of the Requiem autograph in his possession are turned over to the Imperial Court Library.
  • 8 November 1833: Abbé Stadler dies.
  • 1838: Count Moritz von Dietrichstein asks Nowack, formerly an employee of Walsegg, to search among Haag's possessions for six Mozart string quartets that may have been given to Walsegg. Nowack does not find them but discovers Walsegg's score of Mozart's Requiem. The Imperial Court Library pays Adelpoller 50 ducats for the score.
  • 21 September 1839: Gottfried Weber dies.
  • 15 December 1840: François Habeneck conducts the Paris Opera in a performance of the Requiem at the reburial of Napoleon I.
  • 6 March 1842: Constanze Mozart dies.
  • 29 July 1844: Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart dies.
  • 24 July 1846: Eybler dies.

Use in other funerals and memorial services[edit]

19th-century musicians whose funerals or memorial services used Mozart's Requiem included Carl Fasch (1800); Giovanni Punto (1803); Joseph Haydn (1809); Jan Ladislav Dussek (1812); Giovanni Paisiello (1816); Andreas Romberg (1821); Johann Gottfried Schicht (1823); Carl Maria von Weber (1826); Ludwig van Beethoven (1827); Franz Schubert (1828); Alexandre-Étienne Choron (1834); Mme Blasis (1838); Ludwig Berger (1839); Frédéric Chopin (1849); Luigi Lablache (1858); Gioachino Rossini (1868); Hector Berlioz (1869); and Charles Hallé (1895).[19]

19th-century artists whose funerals or memorial services used Mozart's Requiem included Friedrich Schiller (1805); Heinrich Joseph von Collin (1811); Johann Franz Brockmann (de) (1812); Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1832); and Peter von Cornelius (1867).[19]

Among other 19th-century figures whose funerals or memorial services used Mozart's Requiem included Carl Wilhelm Müller (de) (1801); Jean Lannes, 1st Duc de Montebello (1810); Princess Charlotte of Wales (1817); Maria Isabel of Portugal (1819); August Hermann Niemeyer (1828); Thomas Weld (1837); Napoleon (1840); John England (1842); John Fane, 11th Earl of Westmorland (1860); and Nicholas Wiseman (1865).[19]

In 1989, Mozart's Requiem was also used for the Requiem Mass of Zita of Bourbon-Parma, Empress-Consort of Austria and Queen Consort of Hungary.[20]

Modern completions[edit]

In the 1960s, a sketch for an Amen Fugue was discovered, which some musicologists (Levin, Maunder) believe belongs to the Requiem at the conclusion of the sequence after the Lacrymosa. H. C. Robbins Landon argues that this Amen fugue was not intended for the Requiem, rather that it "may have been for a separate unfinished mass in D minor"[citation needed] to which the Kyrie K. 341 also belonged.

There is, however, compelling evidence placing the Amen Fugue in the Requiem[21] based on current Mozart scholarship. First, the principal subject is the main theme of the Requiem (stated at the beginning, and throughout the work) in strict inversion. Second, it is found on the same page as a sketch for the Rex tremendae (together with a sketch for the overture of his last opera The Magic Flute), and thus surely dates from late 1791. The only place where the word 'Amen' occurs in anything that Mozart wrote in late 1791 is in the sequence of the Requiem. Third, as Levin points out in the foreword to his completion of the Requiem, the addition of the Amen Fugue at the end of the sequence results in an overall design that ends each large section with a fugue.

Since the 1970s several composers and musicologists, dissatisfied with the traditional "Süssmayr" completion, have attempted alternative completions of the Requiem. Each version follows a distinct methodology for completion:

  • Franz Beyer – makes revisions to Süssmayr's orchestration in an attempt to create a more Mozartian style and makes a few minor changes to Süssmayr's sections (i.e. lengthening the Osanna fugue slightly for a more conclusive sounding ending).
  • H. C. Robbins Landon – orchestrates parts of the completion using the partial work by Eybler, thinking that Eybler's work is a more reliable guide of Mozart's intentions.
  • Richard Maunder – completely rewrites orchestration working from Mozart's autograph and eliminates Süssmayr's portions entirely with the exception of the Agnus Dei. Recomposes the Lacrymosa from bar 9 onwards, and includes a completion of the Amen fugue.
  • Duncan Druce – makes slight changes in orchestration, but retains Eybler's ninth and tenth measures of the Lacrymosa, lengthening the movement substantially to end in a lengthy Amen fugue. The Benedictus is completely rewritten using the opening theme as its starting point.
  • Robert D. Levin – retains the structure of Süssmayr's orchestration and contributions while adjusting orchestration, voice leading and other instrumental passages in an effort to make the work more Mozartean. Other notable aspects include a completion of the Amen fugue and an extension of Sussmayr's Osanna fugue.
  • Simon Andrews – follows a similar method as Levin but is considerably less radical in adding new material.
  • Pánczél Tamás – makes revisions to Süssmayr's score in a manner similar to Beyer but extends the Lacrymosa significantly past Süssmayr's passages to end in a completion of the Amen fugue, and rewrites the Benedictus's ending leading into the Osanna reprise.
  • Clemens Kemme – orchestration rewritten in a style closer to Eybler's, emphasing the basset horns in particular, with a reworked Sanctus, Benedictus and extended Osanna fugue.
  • Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs – provides an entirely new instrumentation, based on Eybler's ideas, new elaborations of the Amen and Osanna fugues, and a new continuity of the Lacrymosa (after b. 18), Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei, following those bars of which Cohrs speculates Mozart might have sketched himself.
  • Masaaki Suzuki – follows a methodology similar to Robbins Landon, but with further stylistic elaboration on Süssmayr's sections; also includes a short Amen fugue.
  • Marius Flothuis – largely a Beyer-like revision of Süssmayr's version via removal of vocal doubling, rewriting of the trombone parts and the harmonic transition to the Osanna reprise in the Benedictus.
  • Timothy Jones – follows a Levin-like approach in reworking the Lacrymosa and the composition of an extensive Amen fugue modeled on the Cum sancto spiritu fugue from the Great Mass in C minor, K. 427; the same process is applied to the Sanctus and Osanna fugue.
  • Michael Finnissy – takes the Süssmayr orchestration as its basis but eliminates his compositions. Of the five movements newly completed by Finnissy, the Lacrymosa has been written in Mozartian style while the four final movements represent an exploration of musical styles since Mozart's death in 1791.
  • Knud Vad – follows Süssmayr's completion until the Sanctus and Benedictus which are noticeably rewritten in places (i.e. Osanna turned into a double fugue played adagio)
  • Gregory Spears – like Finnissy, includes a new "Sanctus", "Benedictus" and "Agnus Dei" designed to replace the Süssmayr completion of those movements. Spears's completion recognizes the juxtaposition of old and new sources common in liturgical music of the period, and incorporates two cadential fragments from Süssmayr's completion into the end of his "Benedictus" and "Agnus Dei".
  • Letho Kostoglou (Australian musicologist) – a parody completion primarily utilizing music composed by Mozart. It was performed at Adelaide Town Hall on 4 September 2010. This edition was endorsed by Richard Bonynge and Patrick Thomas.
  • Pierre-Henri Dutron's edits are largely a revision of Süssmayr's version. The Sanctus and Benedictus are significantly rewritten from opening themes onward. Creative liberties are taken with regard to the dispersion of the vocal material between the chorus and soloists. This version was used by conductor René Jacobs for his performances given at the end of 2016.
  • Michael Ostrzyga – takes an approach similar to Levin's in correcting Sussmayr's work but retaining some of it, completing the Amen Fugue and composing further Mozartean material where needed.
  • Gordon Kerry was commissioned by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to write a completion.[22]

As detailed above, many composers attempting a completion use the sketch for the Amen fugue discovered in the 1960s to compose a longer and more substantial setting to conclude the sequence. In the Süssmayr version, "Amen" is set as a plagal cadence with a Picardy third (iv–I in D minor) at the end of the Lacrymosa. Jones combines the two, ending the fugue with a variation on the concluding bars of Süssmayr's Lacrymosa as well as the plagal cadence.

For a performance of the Requiem in Rio de Janeiro in December 1819, Austrian composer Sigismund von Neukomm constructed a further movement based on material in the Süssmayr version. Incorporating music from various movements including the Requiem aeternum, Dies irae, Lacrymosa and Agnus Dei, the bulk of the piece is set to the Libera me, a responsory text which is traditionally sung after the Requiem mass, and concludes with a reprise of the Kyrie and a final Requiescat in pace. A contemporary of Neukomm and a pupil of Mozart's, Ignaz von Seyfried would compose his own Mozart-inspired Libera me for a performance at Ludwig van Beethoven's funeral in 1827.

Autograph at the 1958 World's Fair[edit]

Mozart's manuscript with missing corner

The autograph of the Requiem was placed on display at the World's Fair in 1958 in Brussels. At some point during the fair, someone was able to gain access to the manuscript, tearing off the bottom right-hand corner of the second to last page (folio 99r/45r), containing the words "Quam olim d: C:" (an instruction that the "Quam olim" fugue of the Domine Jesu was to be repeated da capo, at the end of the Hostias). The perpetrator has not been identified and the fragment has not been recovered.[23]

If the most common authorship theory is true, then "Quam olim d: C:" might very well be the last words Mozart wrote before he died. It is probable that whoever stole the fragment believed that to be the case.

Selected recordings[edit]

In the following table, large choirs and orchestras are marked by red background, ensembles playing on "period instruments" in "historically informed performance" are marked by a green background under the header Instr..

Recordings of Mozart's Requiem
Conductor / Choir / Orchestra Soloists Label Year Choir type Instr.
Messner, JosefJosef Messner
Aula academica
in Salzburg 1950 (1950)
Toscanini, ArturoArturo Toscanini
Robert Shaw Chorale
NBC Symphony Orchestra
RCA Victor 1950 (1950) Radio
Scherchen, HermannHermann Scherchen
Wiener Akademie Kammerchor
Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera
Westminster 1953 (1953) Chamber Opera
Schmidt-Isserstedt, HansHans Schmidt-Isserstedt
NDR Chor
NDR Orchestra
Tahra 1954 (1954) Radio Radio
Jochum, EugenEugen Jochum
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Vienna Philharmonic
Deutsche Grammophon 1955 (1955) Opera Symphony
Walter, BrunoBruno Walter
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Vienna Philharmonic
Orfeo d'Or 1956 (1956) Opera Symphony
Böhm, KarlKarl Böhm
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Vienna Symphony
Philips 1956 (1956) Opera Opera
Scherchen, HermannHermann Scherchen
Wiener Akademie Kammerchor
Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera
Westminster 1958 (1958) Chamber Opera
Horenstein, JaschaJascha Horenstein
Wiener Singverein
Vienna Symphony
Vox 1961 (1961) Opera
Richter, KarlKarl Richter
Münchener Bach-Chor
Münchener Bach-Orchester
TELDEC 1961 (1961) Bach Bach
Karajan, Herbert vonHerbert von Karajan
Wiener Singverein
Berlin Philharmonic
Deutsche Grammophon 1962 (1962) Symphony
Kertész, IstvánIstván Kertész
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Vienna Philharmonic
Decca 1966 (1966) Opera Symphony
Gönnenwein, WolfgangWolfgang Gönnenwein
Südwestdeutscher Madrigalchor
Consortium Musicum
EMI 1966 (1966) Symphony
Davis, ColinColin Davis
John Alldis Choir
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Philips 1967 (1967) Symphony
Frühbeck de Burgos, RafaelRafael Frühbeck de Burgos
New Philharmonia Chorus
New Philharmonia Orchestra
EMI 1968 (1968) Symphony Symphony
Britten, BenjaminBenjamin Britten
Aldeburgh Festival Chorus
English Chamber Orchestra
BBC 1971 (1971) Chamber
Böhm, KarlKarl Böhm
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Vienna Philharmonic
Deutsche Grammophon 1971 (1971) Opera Symphony
Barenboim, DanielDaniel Barenboim
John Alldis Choir
English Chamber Orchestra
EMI 1972 (1972) Chamber
Karajan, Herbert vonHerbert von Karajan
Wiener Singverein
Berlin Philharmonic
Deutsche Grammophon 1975 (1975) Symphony
Corboz, MichelMichel Corboz
Coro Gulbenkian
Gulbenkian Orchestra
Erato 1977 (1977)
Marriner, NevilleNeville Marriner
Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Decca 1977 (1977) Chamber
Giulini, Carlo MariaCarlo Maria Giulini
Philharmonia Chorus
Philharmonia Orchestra
EMI 1979 (1979) Symphony Symphony
Rilling, HelmuthHelmuth Rilling
Gächinger Kantorei
Bach-Collegium Stuttgart
CBS 1979 (1979)
Harnoncourt, NikolausNikolaus Harnoncourt
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Concentus Musicus Wien
Teldec 1982 (1982) Opera Period
Schreier, PeterPeter Schreier
Leipzig Radio Chorus
Staatskapelle Dresden
Philips 1983 (1983) Radio Symphony
Davis, Sir ColinSir Colin Davis
Bavarian Radio Chorus
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Arthaus (DVD) 1984 (1984) Radio Radio
Hogwood, ChristopherChristopher Hogwood
Academy of Ancient Music
English Baroque Soloists
L'Oiseau-lyre 1984 (1984) Period
Barenboim, DanielDaniel Barenboim
Choeur de Paris
Orchestre de Paris
EMI 1986 (1986)
Shaw, RobertRobert Shaw
Atlanta Symphony Chorus
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Telarc 1986 (1986) Symphony Symphony
Gardiner, John EliotJohn Eliot Gardiner
Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists
Philips 1987 (1987) Period
Bernstein, LeonardLeonard Bernstein
Bavarian Radio Chorus
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Deutsche Grammophon 1989 (1989) Radio Radio
Giulini, Carlo MariaCarlo Maria Giulini
Philharmonia Chorus
Philharmonia Orchestra
SONY 1989 (1989) Symphony Symphony
Solti, GeorgGeorg Solti
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Vienna Philharmonic
Decca 1991 (1991) Symphony
Davis, ColinColin Davis
Bavarian Radio Chorus
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
RCA 1991 (1991) Radio Radio
Bertini, GaryGary Bertini
Kölner Rundfunk Chor
Kölner Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester
Phoenix 1991 (1991) Radio Radio
Norrington, RogerRoger Norrington
Schütz Choir of London
London Classical Players
EMI 1992 (1992)
Christie, WilliamWilliam Christie
Les Arts Florissants
Erato 1995 (1995) Period
Herreweghe, PhilippePhilippe Herreweghe
La Chapelle Royale
Harmonia Mundi France 1997 (1997) Period
Savall, JordiJordi Savall
La Capella Reial de Catalunya
Le Concert des Nations
Alia Vox 1998 (1998) Period
Abbado, ClaudioClaudio Abbado
Swedish Radio Choir
Berlin Philharmonic
Deutsche Grammophon 1999 (1999) Radio Symphony

Other recordings[edit]


The Requiem and its individual movements have been repeatedly arranged for various instruments. The keyboard arrangements notably demonstrate the variety of approaches taken to translating the Requiem, particularly the Confutatis and Lacrimosa movements, in order to balance preserving the Requiem's character while also being physically playable. Karl Klindworth's piano solo (c.1900), Muzio Clementi's organ solo, and Renaud de Vilbac's harmonium solo (c.1875) are liberal in their approach to achieve this. In contrast, Carl Czerny wrote his piano transcription for two players, enabling him to retain the extent of the score, if sacrificing timbrel character. Franz Liszt's piano solo (c.1865) departs the most in terms of fidelity and character of the Requiem, through its inclusion of composition devices used to showcase pianistic technique.


  1. ^ Blom, Jan Dirk (2009). A Dictionary of Hallucinations. Springer. p. 342. ISBN 9781441912237. 
  2. ^ Gehring, Franz Eduard (1883). Mozart (The Great Musicians). University of Michigan: S. Low, Marston, Searle, and Rivington. p. 124. 
  3. ^ Wolff, Christoph (1994). Mozart's Requiem. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 3. ISBN 9780520077096. 
  4. ^ Leeson, Daniel N. (2004). Opus Ultimum: The Story of the Mozart Requiem. New York: Algora. p. 79. Mozart might have described specific instrumentation for the drafted sections, or the addition of a Sanctus, a Benedictus, and an Agnus Dei, telling Süssmayr he would be obliged to compose those sections himself. 
  5. ^ Summer, R. J. (2007). Choral Masterworks from Bach to Britten: Reflections of a Conductor. Scarecrow Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-8108-5903-6. 
  6. ^ Mentioned in the CD booklet of the Requiem recording by Nikolaus Harnoncourt (2004).
  7. ^ Keefe, Simon P. (2012). Mozart's Requiem: Reception, Work, Completion. Cambridge University Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-521-19837-0. 
  8. ^ Gregory Allen Robbins. "Mozart & Salieri, Cain & Abel: A Cinematic Transformation of Genesis 4.", Journal of Religion and Film: Vol. 1, No. 1, April 1997
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Landon, H. C. Robbins (1988). 1791: Mozart's Last Year. New York: Schirmer Books. 
  10. ^ Keefe, Simon P., ed. (2006). Mozart studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 3–4. ISBN 0521851025. OCLC 76850387. 
  11. ^ a b Steve Boerner (December 16, 2000). "K. 626: Requiem in D Minor". The Mozart Project. Archived from the original on June 8, 2007. 
  12. ^ "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's 'Kyrie Eleison, K. 626'". Discover the Sample Source. Retrieved 2017-06-17. 
  13. ^ Dirst, Charles Matthew (2012). Engaging Bach: The Keyboard Legacy from Marpurg to Mendelssohn. Cambridge University Press. p. 58. ISBN 1107376289. 
  14. ^ Köchel, Ludwig Ritter von (1862). Chronologisch-thematisches Verzeichniss sämmtlicher Tonwerke Wolfgang Amade Mozart's (in German). Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel. OCLC 3309798. Archived from the original on 12 February 2008. , No. 405, pp. 328–329
  15. ^ "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's 'Requiem in D Minor'". Discover the Sample Source. Retrieved 2017-06-23. 
  16. ^ Wolff, Christoph. Mozart's Requiem: historical and analytical studies, documents, score, 1998, University of California Press, p. 65
  17. ^ Wolff, Christoph (1998). The New Bach Reader: A Life of Johann Sebastian Bach in Letters and Documents. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. 
  18. ^ "What Musical Events did Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart Organize?". Myron Yusypovych. 2016. 
  19. ^ a b c Keefe 2012, p. 86
  20. ^
  21. ^ Paul Moseley: "Mozart's Requiem: A Revaluation of the Evidence" J Royal Music Assn (1989; 114) pp. 203–237
  22. ^ James Wade, "Where Words Cannot Reach": An Interview with Gordon Kerry. Retrieved 28 December 2017
  23. ^ Facsimile of the manuscript's last page, showing the missing corner Archived 2012-01-13 at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ "Mozart: Requiem, K626 (including reconstruction of first performance, December 10, 1791)". Gramophone. 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017. 


  • C. R. F. Maunder (1988). Mozart's Requiem: On Preparing a New Edition. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-316413-2. 
  • Christoph Wolff (1994). Mozart's Requiem: Historical and Analytical Studies, Documents, Score. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-07709-1. 
  • Brendan Cormican (1991). Mozart's death – Mozart's requiem: an investigation. Belfast, Northern Ireland: Amadeus Press. ISBN 0-9510357-0-3. 
  • Heinz Gärtner (1991). Constanze Mozart: after the Requiem. Portland, Oregon: Amadeus Press. ISBN 0-931340-39-X. 
  • Simon P. Keefe (2012). Mozart's Requiem: Reception, Work, Completion. Canmbridge UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-19837-0. 
  • Requiem (2005) Decca Music Group Limited. Barcode 00028947570578

External links[edit]