Belgian National Orchestra – David Reiland conductor – Katharine Dain soprano – Sophie Harmsen alto – Thomas Walker tenor – Thomas E. Bauer baritone – Octopus Symfonisch Koor
Sinfonia (Esther, HWV 50a) Georg Friedrich Händel
Symphony, Hob.I:44, "Trauer" Joseph Haydn
Requiem, KV 626 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Haydn’s Symphony No. 44 was nicknamed Mourning because Haydn felt the Adagio (the third movement in this symphony) was so successful that he wanted it played at his own funeral. However, his wish was not respected upon his death in 1809: instead, Mozart’s Requiem was played.
A mysterious ambiance surrounds Mozart’s final composition. A grey messenger, seemingly from another world, apparently ordered him to compose a requiem. Mozart worked day and night on this composition but died before he was able to complete it. Other composers, primarily students of Mozart, were charged with completing the requiem by Mozart’s wife. Understandably, she did not wish to repay the messenger’s advance (in reality this messenger was an employee of the eccentric duke Franz von Walsegg) and forego the rest of the promised sum. Mozart’s Requiem is today one of his best-known and most popular compositions, partly due to the success of the film Amadeus, which is based more on Pushkin’s tragedy Mozart and Salieri than on any factual historical material.