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The Dvořák-Requiem

Sat, 24. May 2025 | 19:30 UhrKKL Luzern, Konzertsaal

6.30 PM | CONCERT INTRODUCTION BY BETTINA GFELLER (in German)

Program
  • Antonín Dvořák (1841 ‒ 1904)

    • Requiem Op. 89

 

The second part of our Dvořák celebration is dedicated to a single work, the Requiem. A powerful, expansive choral work whose performance, under chief conductor Michael Sanderling, gains immensely by the participation of the world-renowned Prague Philharmonic Choir. It could hardly be more authentic. Despite Dvořák’s deep piety, this is not a liturgical work, nor was it written for an occasion of mourning. It is a Roman Catholic oratorio, if you will; but more than that, it is a Czech oratorio. Its inner radiance speaks of the universal, while its musical nature is symphonic, which shows it is intended for concert performance. Nevertheless, mourning, confession of guilt, prayers for redemption on Judgement Day, and consolation can also be heard here, with a truly impressive depth of expression. A ‘lamenting’ leitmotif – a brief five-note motif heard right at the beginning – runs through the entire work. Antonín Dvořák conducted the premiere in Birmingham on 9 October 1891. The audience reacted with both enthusiasm and emotion.

A requiem for the concert hall? Yes; despite Dvořák’s piety, his Requiem is not a liturgical work but a Czech oratorio, intended for concert performance.

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