Too Many Notes, Mozart…NOT! ;-)

Very soon, your favorite choir will take the stage with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra to present the timeless and powerful Requiem by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Composed at the end of his life (he left it unfinished, actually) Mozart’s Requiem stands as an enduring and dramatic message of timeless hope and reconciliation.

Though the Requiem was essentially Mozart’s latest work, it is not his most modern. In fact, through it, the composer reveals his admiration for the methods of the Baroque masters, especially George Frideric Handel. Sturdy counterpoint, copious musico-rhetorical figures, and a sparse yet poignant orchestral complement give us a look over the shoulder at such works as “And with His stripes we are healed” (Messiah) and even plainchant.

The “Dies Irae” (“Day of Wrath”), the musical depiction of judgement day in the Christian tradition, is always a much anticipated moment in most Requiem settings. For Mozart, it’s a fury of racing notes, soaring vocal lines and thunderous fortes surely meant to reach to the heavens. And it’s striking to note that Mozart achieves all this with such a sparse orchestra: bassett horns (think of a clarinet with nasal congestion), bassoons, two trumpets, timpani and strings.

In the famous/infamous movie of the 1980s “Amadeus,” there’s a scene where the Emperor tells the young composer, “too many notes.” We couldn’t disagree more! Each note belongs, and contributes to the powerful drama and message of timeless impact. We look forward to sharing this magnificent work with you.

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