Actions and Detail Panel
Toronto Mozart Players: Mozart Requiem
Sun, 26 March 2017, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT
Andrea Núñez, soprano
Lyndsay Promane, mezzo soprano
Daevyd Pepper, tenor
Dylan Wright, bass
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 Joseph Eybler and Maximilian Stadler. Franz Xaver Süssmayr, after studying composition with Salieri, had become Mozart’s copyist, student, assistant and confidant. Mozart had 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, indeed a student and friend, 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. 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.