Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Mozart - Requiem, KV 626 (1983)

Peter Schreier conducting the Dresden State Orchestra and the Leipzig Radio Chorus.

My favorite Mozart work and quite possibly my favorite work of classical music.  And while I'd never heard of the conductor, the orchestra, or chorus prior to purchasing this CD (or since, for that matter), this is a fantastic recording.  I've sought out other interpretations/recordings and have never found one that has this much energy or power.  Soprano Margaret Price, with whom I was previously familiar, gives a fantastic performance on the solos.

While the 1979 stage play and 1984 movie Amadeus use the end of Mozart's life and his writing of the Requiem for dramatic effect, those shows should be viewed more for entertainment than historical accuracy.  Mozart did not finish the Requiem, but it was later completed by Austrian composer Franz Xaver Süssmayr, reportedly finishing the work within 100 days of Mozart's death in 1791.  While other versions exist, the Süssmayr is the most popular edition and the one used for this recording.

I've never compiled a list of classical music "desert island" discs, but if I were to do so, I'd start with this one.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  This is one of the first classical CDs I ever purchased and is showing some wear: the jewel case is cracked and scuffed while the booklet is warped from water damage.  No matter.  As you might expect, the disc has been played quite a bit in the last 25+ years but is holding up nicely, thankyouverymuch.  I have my own study score (below) and can sing the tenor and bass parts if you need that (cinch me up in some tight pants and give me a few shots of bourbon and I might be able to sing the soprano and alto parts as well).  In graduate school in 1989, I wrote a term paper for a music history class in which I analyzed the double fugue in the Kyrie section.  While receiving high marks, that paper has unfortunately been forever lost to society, currently sitting in a landfill on a 5¼" floppy disc formatted for use with an Apple IIe.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Horowitz Plays Mozart (1987)
Serenade in B flat, KV 361 "Gran Partita" (1984)
Mozart Overtures (1982)

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