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Mozart Requiem

Just curious, since it is my first time programming/conducting the Mozart Requiem - is it traditionally done as the only piece on the concert?  Or ?  Thanks for any suggestions.
Replies (10): Threaded | Chronological
on January 2, 2014 11:44pm
Congratulations on doing the Mozart Requiem; the piece easily stands alone.  If you think it too short and are willing to invest in 8 more players, consider his Munich Kyrie in d minor (K.341) as a stunning opener.
Applauded by an audience of 2
on January 3, 2014 2:16am
Chris Bowman asks whether the Mozart Requiem is traditionally done as the only piece on a concert.
 
There are many types of concerts and you don't say what the context is of yours, or the venue, performers and audience, or the edition. But a good guideline for a mainstream public concert is an average of around 75 or so minutes of music. Since the Mozart in most editions is listed at around 50 minutes (Maunder is a bit less), there's your answer.
 
Because the Mozart is relatively challenging for the choir more than for the orchestra, I normally put a substantial orchestra piece on the first half, though since our audience comes to hear singing I begin with a relatively brief choral work or two. If you want all-Mozart, Ave verum and Sancta Maria mater Dei (K273) can work well; the E-flat symphony (K543) is a good choice if you're working with a per-service rather than salaried orchestra, since you won't be paying oboists who don't play the rest of the concert. Next December when we do the Requiem we'll open with the earlier of the two Haydn Te Deum's and, because it's a Strauss year and it fits well with the Requiem concept, the Metamorphosen. Around 80 minutes total; we'll have the audience out the door by 10, which keeps them happy.
 
Best regards,
Jerome Hoberman
 
Music Director/Conductor, The Hong Kong Bach Choir & Orchestra
Applauded by an audience of 1
on January 3, 2014 3:02am
It depends a bit on who is singing (boys/children/student/adult) choir and who your public will be. For a full concert just the Requiem will hardly be enough.
 
Winfried
Det Norske Guttekoret - (The Norwegian Boys Choir)
Applauded by an audience of 1
on January 3, 2014 5:13am
Yes. A couple years ago, we did a full concert in which the first half was a multi-media look inside the Requiem - composer, social/religious context, composition, and history - using musical examples, live and prefilmed video, and still images.  My community orchestra and community chorus are all volunteers, so our biggest expense was professional videography. We hired people to film and edit video, run the cameras, and project the video.
 
The second half was a straight-through performance of the Requiem. It was fantastic.
Applauded by an audience of 2
on January 4, 2014 10:39pm
Re John Hoffacker's report on his performance of the Requiem preceded not by other music but by a multi-media examination of the Mozart:
 
It seems to me that this wasn't a full concert, but a curated museum exhibition followed by a 50-minute performance. The distinction is important, I think, because the first part, in its focus on context, may well have altered (I hesitate to say "reduced") the listeners' experience of the Requiem (in what no doubt was a fantastic performance) from a musical one of the thing-in-itself to a intellectual and comparative one, no doubt interesting and rewarding but far from the transcendent, out-of-body, life-changing absorption that musicians aspire to, which is likeliest to occur (given an appropriately high level of technical achievement on the performers' part and an audience's willing ear) only if preceded by the emptying of external distractions from one's consciousness. In other words, *thinking about* the music can impede the *experience of* the music.
 
Best regards,
Jerome Hoberman
 
Music Director/Conductor, The Hong Kong Bach Choir & Orchestra
on January 5, 2014 6:39am
The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay performed the Mozart Requiem with the Florida Orchestra in April 2013 with Guest Conductor Xian Zhang.  Our program included opening with Mozart's motet "Ave Verum Corpus", followed by Mozart's Symphony #35.  After intermission, we closed the program with Mozart's Requiem.  The program provided a nice balance of an intimate choral piece, followed by one of Mozart's more well known symphonies and then concluding with the last composition of his life's work.  We also had a pre-concert lecture by our Musical Director, Dr. James Bass about the story surrounding the composition of Mozart's Requiem.  The program flowed very well together and played to three full houses on three consecutive days.
 
The Florida Orchestra has had several of these composer themed concerts and they have been well received by the audience.  The total concert duration including intermission was about 2 hours.
 
Personally, I believe programming the Requiem alone is too short a program.  Depending upon how much you are charging for admission, the audience may expect more than that.  Also providing more than one musical selection can increase the audience draw, depending upon what other works you select to balance the Mozart.
on January 6, 2014 5:25am
Oh, that's easy. The Mozart (bassett) clarinet concerto K622. Just the right length and a real crowd-pleaser :)
Applauded by an audience of 1
on January 13, 2014 2:43pm
For the Newcastle upon Tyne Bach Choir's concert of Mozart in The Sage Gateshead, UK, the programme is
Overture to Don Giovanni
Mass in C K256
Exsultate Jubilate
Requiem (completed by Duncan Druce who is also giving a pre-concert talk)
 
We are fortunate to have engaged the services of Mhairi Lawson, who will stun the audience with her coloratura in the motet.
 
I just posted this on Choralnet yesterday!
 
best
 
Alex Murchie
 
on January 14, 2014 6:16am
While I dearly love Mozart - to hear, sing, conduct, and especially to sing as a soloist, I would not, personally, gravitate toward planning an all-Mozart program.....or an all-[any composer] program.
I do know that, of all composers, Mozart (with the possible exception of J. S. Bach) quite likely gets more full programs, and for good reasons, such as musical variety, etc. 
it is probably just my personal tendency toward variety and contrast; I'd program him with Poulenc, Bernstein, or groups of spirituals.  I like to widely-balance the musical diet of myself, my singers, and my listeners.
Having said that, it is likely that I would enjoy all the programs described here.
Alex Murchie, is there a chance that a [legal/little] bit of Mhairi Lawson's rendition would find itself on a link we could access?  
Bles-Sings to all,
Lucy
on January 17, 2014 1:13pm
Hi Chris
I remember you well from LA Master Chorale days!
Pieces I have programmed or thought about programming with the Requiem:
By Mozart:
Venite Populi for double chorus
Ave Verum
Sancta Maria
Exultate jubilate for solo soprano
Six Nocturnes for two solo sopranos and bass with string or woodwing trio acc.
Symphony #40
Other composers:
Lamentations of Jeremiah by O. di Lasso not all nine - 1 or two;
Requiem - Herbert Howells a cappella chorus, incidental soli
When David heard - Whitacre
Schubert - Salve Regina in A for solo soprano and strings
Pergolesi - Stabat Mater
Poulenc - Stabat Mater great piece with fantastic soprano solo
Pax et Bonum!
Stephen Grimm
 
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