Bring Life to the Mass for the Dead

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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The Requiem Mass, a piece usually composed to commemorate the dead, has inspired some of classical music's best composers to create pieces that rank among their most powerful and famous works.

Of the masterpiece Requiems by Fauré, Brahms and Mozart, tell us which one you want to hear and we’ll play the winner today at noon.

Additional information about the pieces to be played:

Johannes Brahms: German Requiem, Op. 45
— Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique; Charlotte Margiono, soprano; Rodney Gilfry, baritone; John Eliot Gardiner, conductor.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Requiem Mass in D Minor, K. 626
— London Symphony Orchestra; Marie Arnet, soprano; Anna Stephany, mezzo; Andrew Kennedy, tenor; Darren Jeffrey, bass; Sir Colin Davis, conductor.

Gabriel Fauré: Requiem, Op. 48
— Philharmonia Orchestra; Dame Janet Baker, mezzo; Gerard Souzay, baritone; Carlo Maria Giulini, conductor.

For reference:

Brahms: German Requiem, Op. 45

Mozart: Requiem Mass in D Minor

Fauré: Requiem

Comments [32]

Frank from UWS

People are so predictable. Always going for the hit tune, never taking a chance on anything less familiar. Sad.

Apr. 03 2013 12:13 PM
Janet from Brooklyn

I vote for the Manzoni Requiem by Verdi.

Apr. 03 2013 12:08 PM
William Leo Coakley from Manhattan

One needs all one strength to listen to Brahms's great tragic work for voice, but perhaps there is more hopeful solace in the Fauré,excerpts of which were sung, in a raging snowstorm, during my late lover's funeral on Long Island.

Apr. 03 2013 11:55 AM
Perry Weiner from Brooklyn

The Mozart Requiem is certainly and absolutely one of a handful of the very greatest pieces, so it's hard not to vote for it--though it is heard a great deal. I would also say that Brahms German Requiem is one of the most sublime pieces of music I've ever heard. While Faure's is quite beautiful, it is certainly not nearly so great as the first two.

Apr. 03 2013 11:52 AM
Renate Perls from Greenwich Village

Although the Brahms is my favorite, I would really love to hear the Faure Requiem today. It is such a beautiful
piece and played less often than the other two.

Apr. 03 2013 11:45 AM
Helen Mallon from Basking Ridge, NJ

The Faure Requiem offers memories of performances done by the Oratorio Choir of the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church and the Bucks County Choral Society in Doylestown, PA. We'd love to hear this beautiful music again and listen to your choice of Orchestra and Choir.

Apr. 03 2013 11:03 AM
Gerard Lambert from Westbury, NY 11590

I love the Brahms Requiem because for me it has more gentle comfort than any Requiem that I know. And the best performance I have ever experienced was Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic in 2001, playing it as a gift of consolation for New York City and the World in the aftermath of 9/11. Anyone who watched and/or listened to that performance will never forget it. Nor will any of us fail to remember the gratitude we will always feel.

Apr. 03 2013 10:53 AM
Geoffrey from Inwood NY

How can you choose just one of these? Please, just play them all!

Apr. 03 2013 10:46 AM
anne from NYC

Brahms please. But I have to point out that his requiem is neither a Mass nor a prayer for the dead. Brahms himself selected texts from scripture that were important to him and were as much for the living as for the dead. In fact his opening words are "Blessed are they who mourn for they shall find comfort."

Apr. 03 2013 10:42 AM

I voted for the Faure even though I completely agree with the comment made by Bernie from UWS. Why a requiem today? Stephen from New Haven is also correct, why not Dvorak's Requiem?

Apr. 03 2013 10:37 AM
Ruth Schueler from Jerusalem

Very difficult decision. I voted for the Faure, but I could have been Brahms, the music is sopowerful it gives me goosepimples.

Apr. 03 2013 10:35 AM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

I voted for the Faure Requiem; it is so beautiful and peaceful. One small correction - I hope you don't mind my being a little picky - but since you refer to the Requiem Mass, the Brahms German Requiem is not a Mass, so you should have offered another actual Requiem Mass as one of your choices.

Apr. 03 2013 10:16 AM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

I voted for the Faure Requiem; it is so beautiful and peaceful. One small correction - I hope you don't mind my being a little picky - but since you refer to the Requiem Mass, the Brahms German Requiem is not a Mass, so you should have offered another actual Requiem Mass as one of your choices.

Apr. 03 2013 10:16 AM
Rita from Rye NY

I chose the Mozart because it is so sublime, it MUST be the one that reaches Heaven!

Apr. 03 2013 10:11 AM
jesse from Staten Island, NYC

The Mozart Requiem - his last and truly greatest composition K-626. I believe in the film AMADEUS - it was suggested that Mozart felt he was composing it for himself, given his state of ill health, or was that just Hollywood excess. Rock on Amadeus - JTHMcJr

Apr. 03 2013 10:10 AM
David Greisen

Play Melancholy Baby

Apr. 03 2013 10:08 AM
Karen Langro

I voted for Mozart. His Requiem is so powerful, moving. The music gets hold of you and doesn't let g until it's over! Which is true of all of his music!

Apr. 03 2013 10:08 AM
Sarah Eigen from New York City

During June of that fateful year, Grace Church presented the most beautiful Faure Requiem. After 9/11, the Church repeated the Faure Requiem in October, as a Memorial. It now has a new meaning. It still brings tears from that Requiem that I shall never forget.

Apr. 03 2013 10:05 AM

To Sue's husband -- Thanks for the term "gun safety." Powerful way to spread the concept. thoughtful message.

Apr. 03 2013 09:58 AM
Richard from Englewood

I think the Faure is most suitable for noontime listening. It is gentle and beautiful. So, also, is the Brahms, but Faure doesn't get as much air time as he deserves.
Mozart's Requiem was clearly written by God himself. It cannot be listened to in the middle of the day, as it is impossible to function meaningfully afterwards!

Apr. 03 2013 09:55 AM
Susan from Manhattan

The Faure. I've sung all three, and love them, but I think the Faure is the most appropriate for lunch. So beautiful. I also have fond memories of attending a performance of the Faure at the Church of the Madeleine in Paris during my honeymoon. One of the altos even showed me where "la toilette" was during the intermission!

Apr. 03 2013 09:53 AM
Stephen from New Haven

These are all great Requiems, but also overplayed. How about Dvorak's requiem instead?

Apr. 03 2013 09:52 AM

Brahm's Requiem is my all-time favorite but I like the
Faure also. The two pieces are very different in character. The Brahm's is taken directly from various Scriptures. The music is so beautiful!

Apr. 03 2013 09:39 AM
tatyana from New York

I do not think it is a good idea to play any Requiem at lunch time. I much prefere something light and pleasant.

Apr. 03 2013 09:20 AM
Sue's husband

My wife Sue loves the Faure.Please play it for her as she drives to Hartford to support gun safety.

Apr. 03 2013 09:10 AM
Richard Viano from santa fe NM

Definately - Faure -- for me it is a spring time piece

Apr. 03 2013 08:55 AM
Peter O'Malley from Oakland, New Jersey

I've sung all three of these (both as chorus member and soloist), and it's hard to choose among them, but the Faure is, ultimately, the one that is the most consoling and the most transcendent, so I'm voting for it.

Apr. 03 2013 08:44 AM
Lawyer Mark from NYC

Fauré Please!

Apr. 03 2013 08:28 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Agree with a prior comment. Why just three? Where is Verdi's very operatic Requiem.

Apr. 03 2013 08:18 AM
Julia de Bary from Verona, NJ

It will be good Faure...really you do not hear on the radio this days..
Thank you

Apr. 03 2013 07:26 AM

Faure, Sublime and ethereal

Apr. 03 2013 06:46 AM
Bernie from UWS

Faure, please. We don't hear that work nearly enough on WQXR.

But just why are we choosing from these three this morning?

Apr. 03 2013 06:05 AM

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