Much is known about the special and particular circumstances surrounding the composition of Mozart’s Requiem. 1791 was a tumultuous year, and before Mozart’s life was cut short at the start of December he had composed, among other works, Die Zauberflöte, La Clemenza di Tito, the Clarinet Concerto and evidently this Requiem, although it was left in an unfinished state.
Arthur Schoonderwoerd presents this work as a complete “Missa da Requiem” in its liturgical context, with Gregorian chant, and adds a newly composed “Amen” by Schoonderwoerd himself and a “Libera me” by Ritter Ignaz von Seyfried (both world premiere recordings). The starting point of this recording is the performance of a Requiem Mass as it would have sounded in Vienna around 1800 – i.e. in a scoring which Mozart could possibly have visualised. The vocal part is sung by the soloists of the Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam, well-known for their recordings of the complete vocal music of J. P. Sweelinck.