Review Summary: Mozart's final ever work- Definitely the album of the year (albeit that year is 1791)
Vienna, December 5th, 1791. A bedridden and impoverished Mozart finally loses his ongoing struggle with rheumatic fever. Tightly clutching the pages of his final composition, he utters a single sentence before passing away. . . “Why the **** hasn’t anybody reviewed my Requiem on Sputnikmusic yet?”
Though you may be considering a snide remark about my overactive imagination, the fact is, that for all we know, Mozart’s death could well have happened exactly like that (although, to tell you the truth, I’m not sure my interpretation was entirely accurate.)
You see, the problem is that nobody quite knows the circumstances surrounding Mozart’s death on that fateful day. His final composition, ‘Requiem’, is coated in controversy- it is rumoured that Mozart believed he was writing the Requiem for his own funeral, not to mention that it was actually left unfinished at his death, leaving it to be completed by another composer.
It’s a tale that has inspired books and films alike (the movie ‘Amadeus’, for instance), and frankly makes this epically orchestrated composition even the more tastier. But enough of this history lesson- what of the Requiem itself?
Firstly, it’s important to point out that this really is a grand effort, even to the point of instrumentation; Mozart wrote this for a full blown choir and a complete orchestra, making his final composition buttclenchingly powerful. It’s rather difficult to review this track by track- mainly because there are so many tracks, and I’m a little hungover at the moment.
But this Requiem has absolutely everything for the Classical music enthusiast, and I think most people (be it metal, punk, rock, etc etc) will appreciate this greatly as well. If you’re looking for a nice happy piece of music which will help you relax, then you’d better look elsewhere. This Requiem manages to sound sweet one moment, then grabs you by the b******* and twists until you’re screaming, sweating, and shaking.
Scary to listen to when going to sleep, great to listen to while playing Medieval Total War, and just plain dangerous if you put this on while you're driving.
I would say the highlight of this Requiem is definitely “Dies Irae” (roughly translated, The Day of Judgement. . . or in simpler terms, the most powerful two minutes of Classical music ever written).
Unfortunately, with everything brilliant, there’s usually something not so brilliant, and Mozart’s Requiem is no exception. Personally, I would recommend steering clear of “Tuba Mirum”- in my humble opinion, it doesn’t hold a candle to the rest of the Requiem, and I always find myself skipping past it.
To sum up Mozart’s Requiem: Utterly mind-blowing.