Renowned Soloists Perform Mozart's Requiem at Taft

Music for a While Concert Series November 6


Taft School's Music for a While concert series continues Sunday, November 6 at 5 pm in Woodward Chapel with A Concert of Remembrance: Mozart’s Requiem. The event is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart began his Requiem in D Minor, K. 626 in Vienna in 1791; it was unfinished at the time of his death in December of that year. It was completed in 1792 by Franz Xaver Süssmayr, and presented to Count Franz von Walsegg, who had anonymously commissioned the piece for a requiem mass to commemorate the anniversary of his wife's passing.

The Requiem is celebrated not only for its musical achievement, but for the mystery and speculation surrounding its creation. Many assume that von Walsegg intended to pass the Requiem off as his own work, as he had done with other compositions. When Mozart died, his wife, Constanze, wanted to get the Requiem finished quickly and in secret, so as to attribute it solely to Mozart and collect the full commission fee. Joseph von Eybler worked on it for a while before giving up; Süssmayr completed what we now know as the “traditional” version of the work.

The Requiem is scored for a full complement of brass and strings, as well as timpani and basso continuo (cello, double bass, and organ). The vocal forces include soprano, contralto, tenor, and bass soloists, and a soprano, alto, tenor, bass mixed choir.

The Taft program will feature the vocal tour de force of Taft’s own student choir, Collegium Musicum, and a highly regarded, talented consort, Cantus Excelsus. Bruce Fifer, head of the Arts Department at Taft, directs both groups; they will be accompanied by the Woodward Chamber Orchestra. The program features solo performances by renowned vocalists soprano Louise Fauteux, mezzo-soprano Mary Ann Hart, tenor John Tiranno, and bass Hyong Sik Jo.

THE TAFT SCHOOL  | 110 Woodbury Road | Watertown, Connecticut 06795 | 860-945-7777 |