Mozart’s Requiem Mass was incomplete at the time of his death in 1791. This sublime work is one of the miracles of classical music. Several composers, but mainly Franz Xavier Sussmayer, completed the Requiem in the years following Mozart’s death.
The miracle is that whichever version we listen to, the structure and instrumentation sounds as though by Mozart’s hand. Last Saturday’s translucent performance given by Leeds Philharmonic Chorus with Manchester Camerata, conducted by Grant Llewellyn, and the Town Hall organ played by Simon Lindley was a further reminder of the divine spiritual quality of this wonderful music. The Choral singing was incandescent, the instrumental detail bathed in light. A superlative solo quartet comprising Rebecca Evans, Catherine Wyn-Rogers, John Daszak and Stephan Loges enriched the operatic lines of Mozart’s vocal writing.
Earlier, the dramatic Motet No 1, Splendente Te Deus, for soloists, chorus, orchestra and organ demonstrated the greatness of the youthful Mozart’s evolving style. The pellucid quality of Grant Llewellyn and Manchester Camerata’s performance of Symphony No 40 in G minor probed the deeply personal character of this late masterpiece.
Ilkley Gazette and Wharfedale & Aireborough Observer