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Verdi’s Requiem has reached posterity even though it was not intended as sacred music for liturgy but written by the composer as a vast concert piece.
At the height of his career in opera, Verdi had nothing more to prove but his friend Manzoni’s funeral gave him the idea of a large composition, in line with Berlioz’s famous Requiem.
This is indeed a “sacred operatic drama”, where Nabucco’s chorales meet Othello’s soloists and Aida’s trumpets, the brilliance of music allied to the depth of feelings. The Requiem was created in the San Carlo church in Milan for the anniversary of Manzoni’s death in 1874 and Verdi conducted it for three evening performances at the Scala and the following week at the Opéra Comique in Paris, to great success then as today.
For this powerful work, Enrique Mazzola has gathered four talented soloists, his full orchestra and the Orchestre de Paris choir, to perform Verdi’s Requiem in a venue appropriate to the scope of the composition: the monumental gallery of the Orangerie, Palace of Versailles's stone cathedral.
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)