W. A. Mozart:
Symphony no. 40 in G minor, KV 550 (1788) 33 ‘
Ave verum corpus, KV 618 (1791) 3 ‘
Requiem in D minor, KV 626 (1791-92) 46 ‘- Süssmayr’s version
Barcelona Symphony Orchestra
Serena Sáenz, soprano
Avery Amereau, contralto
Jorge Navarro Colorado, tenor
Erik Rosenius, bass
Ensemble O Vos Omnes
Xavier Pastrana, choral conducting
Trevor Pinnock, conductor
Requiem in D Minor, a work of legendary fame, marks a highpoint in W. A. Mozart’s late period dedicated to sacred music. A work that went unfinished due to the composer’s premature death, it is an autobiographical testimony to the composer, over and beyond his treatment of the themes of death and Divine Judgement. Mozart’s use of dramatic action breathes new life into this sacred genre, with a sound that shines out to create a powerfully intense experience. His disciple Franz Xaver Süssmayr, who had already assisted him with other contemporary works such as The Magic Flute and The Clemency of Titus, finished off the requiem: a work with some pending issues since Mozart posed the question of death, but it still remains unresolved.
Mozart’s famous Symphony No. 40 stands out among his last three symphonies and among all those that he wrote in Vienna for its masterly use of wind instruments in the orchestral texture and for its bold harmonics, which are unique to this work. This masterpiece contains all the promise and heralds all the potential that would later be reflected in Romantic symphonies.
Despite the brevity of this motet on the death of God made man, Ave verum corpus is considered to be “the most sublime work of art ever written by Mozart” in the opinion of leading 20th expert in Mozart, Bernhard Paumgartner.