Jan Schweiger conductor
Annelies Van Gramberen soprano
Sandra Paelinck mezzo-soprano
William Helliwell tenor
Janne Sihvo bass
Vlaams Radiokoor choir
Anton Webern – Langsamer Satz
As Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lay on his own deathbed, he sketched out the broad outlines of his Requiem in 1791. He still managed to put the work’s phenomenal choral parts and basso continuo accompaniment on paper. Before he can orchestrate the music, the composer died. Yet the requiem has survived Mozart thanks to his former pupil and colleague, Frans Xaver Süßmayr. Indeed, he made sure to complete the work, to the liking of his master. Based on the surviving material and Süßmayr’s knowledge of Mozart’s composing, it is as if he brought him back to life.
A few years ago, the drama of this Missa pro defunctis came incredibly close to becoming reality. In fact, we were ready to perform this Requiem when the world shut down in February 2020. That was a terrible experience. Artists who had been dedicating their lives to the arts suddenly found themselves hopeless and distraught on the side-lines for months.
But like Mozart, we want this death mass to convey a positive message. Because the composer did not want this to be a sombre affair, he saw his work primarily as a celebration of life. Entirely in that spirit, we now pick up the Requiem again, together with choral conductor Jan Schweiger of Opera Ballet Vlaanderen. As a sign of our resilience, as a final tipping point after all the worries and, above all, as jubilant musical consolation for all those who have suffered in recent years.
In co-production with The Last Company and created with the support of the Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Governmentback to homepage