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Anniversaries: Mozart's Requiem Premiered at His Funeral 220 Years Ago

On December 10, 1791, after Mozart had died five days earlier at age 35, there was a memorial service in Vienna, and for the first time some of his Requiem was performed. It was not noted then what parts were played, but H.C. Robbins Landon, who has studied the Requiem completion in some depth and made his own edition, makes the obvious nomination: the movements that Mozart had largely completed, the Introit (Requiem aeternam), which was fully finished, and the Kyrie, for which Mozart had written all the vocal parts and the basso continuo, and which thus needed only the orchestration, which was accomplished at least well enough for that first performance by Franz Jakob Freystädtler (a student of Mozart's) doubling the choral parts with instrumentation, while another student of Mozart's, Franz Xaver Sűssmayr, composed original parts for trumpets and timpani.

Jan Swafford recently wrote, "Like most composers of the Enlightenment,
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