Toronto Mozart Players: Mozart Requiem

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Sunday, March 26th, 2017
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Church of the Redeemer

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Andrea Núñez, soprano
Lyndsay Promane, mezzo soprano
Daevyd Pepper, tenor
Dylan Wright, bass

The Toronto Mozart Players
The Hart House Chorus

David Bowser, conductor

Mozart’s Requiem was commissioned through an unknown messenger by Count Franz von Wazlsegg-Stuppach, an amateur musician who presumed to pass the work off as his own composition to commemorate his late wife. Having been paid in advance, Mozart died before fulfilling his commission leaving Constanze to solicit the help of other composers to discretely finish the work. Several unsuccessful attempts were made, notably by Franz Jacob Freystädtler, Joseph Eybler and Maximilian Stadler. Franz Xaver Süssmayr, after studying composition with Salieri, had become Mozart’s copyist and assistant. Mozart had likely spoken to him about the Requiem and his compositional procedure. Significantly, Süssmayr’s ability to imitate Mozart’s quill strokes of musical notation was an asset to hide the collaboration from the Count. He was uniquely suited to the task and Constanze asked him to complete the masterpiece. Other versions of the Requiem exist, completed by more recent musicologists. It remains, however that Süssmayr was a contemporary of Mozart who was well acquainted with his compositional process and stylistic tendencies. Mozart had made notes indicating the instrumentation and many features for movements he did not complete which was a great resource for Süssmayr. Indeed given the calibre of his other compostitions, it is unlikely that Süssmayr himself could have summoned the genius revealed in the movements he claimed to have completed independently. But given the failed attempts of more established composers, Süssmayr’s achievement – the completion of a masterpiece with original contributions which respect and complement the work of the master — is truly remarkable.
Mozart’s Requiem will be preceded by the world premiere of David Bowser’s new composition for solo violin and string orchestra, Farewell to a Soul Ascending, dedicated to concert master Leslie Dawn Knowles and the Toronto Mozart Players.
Tickets are available at the door.