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Mozart's Requiem: Historical and Analytical Studies, Documents, Score Paperback – June 25, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (June 25, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520213890
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520213890
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #914,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

"'When was the score of the Requiem completed?' is a question that everyone has asked; . . .but Wolff goes on to ask: 'Where do the technical and stylistic premises for the Requiem lie, and to what extent could these be taken into account after Mozart's death?' This question is rich in implications, central to the uniqueness of the work, and virtually undiscussed in the Mozart literature."—Thomas Bauman, co-author of Mozart's Operas

More About the Author

CHRISTOPH WOLFF is Adams University Research Professor at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA and Visiting Professor at the Juilliard School in New York. Born and educated in Germany, he studied organ and historical keyboard instruments, musicology and art history at the Universities of Berlin, Erlangen, and Freiburg, taking a performance diploma in 1963 and the Dr. Phil. in 1966. He taught the history of music at Erlangen, Toronto, Columbia, and Princeton Universities before joining the Harvard faculty in 1976. At Harvard he served as Chair of the Music Department (1980-88, 90-91), Acting Director of the University Library (1991-92), and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1992-2000). He currently serves as Director of the Bach-Archiv in Leipzig and President of the Répertoire International des Sources Musicales.

Recipient of the Dent Medal of the Royal Musical Association in London (1978), the Humboldt Research Award (1996), an honorary professorship at the University of Freiburg, and several honorary degrees, he is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften. He has been awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, honorary membership by the American Musicological Society, the American Bach Society, and the Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg.

He was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist in biography for "Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician" (New York, 2000), which won the Otto Kinkeldey Award of the American Musicological Society for the best musicological book published in 2000.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
Nothing is left for one to imagine after this reading. The mystery and circumstances of Mozart's great work is described in incredible detail in this book. It is really not an attempt by the author to prove or disprove theory and speculation about the compostion, but rather, to offer the reader the combined evidence accumulated throughout the years. These facts are then substaniated by quoting the source documents from books and essays that were written about the Requiem after Mozart's death. The author also includes letters as written by the key players as the Requiem controversy unfolded. I also very much appreciate the pictures of the original Mozart score and the printed score made available at the end of the book.
I must say that I am not learned in music, and I often found the book to be of difficult reading when musical terminology is used--and it is used quite often. Besides discussing the controversy, the author attempts to define Mozart's purpose and eventual composition of each movement. While fascinating to say the least, the use of musical terms can be overwhelming at times.
In all, I found this to be an exceptional book and I recommend it to anyone who loves the work of Mozart and especially that of his "Requiem."
David Pecnik
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Vincent J. Rufino on December 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book, by renown Bach and Mozart scholar and Harvard professor, Christoph Wolff is a must have for musicologists who specialize in music of the 18th century. Wolff discusses the several attempts to complete the work after Mozart's death, and portrays Constanze Mozart as a competent musician and entrepreneur who is concerned with the welfare of her children and care for her husband's legacy. Detailed analysis of each movement with the scholarly care one would expect from this august author.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Barnaby Thieme on February 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was drawn to this book after joining an amateur choir that will be performing the Requiem in its entirety, and am reading it with the eyes of a layperson, neither academic nor musicologist. From that perspective I found the book extremely illuminating. I believe it will also interest other general readers, though some familiarity with Mozart's biography and a general understanding of musical terminology will definitely help substantially.

The book is divided into four principle divisions: an analysis of the problems pertaining to our understanding of the Requiem's history and authorship, a short musicological analysis of the mass, a collection of historical documents pertaining to its composition, and a copy of the score that Mozart left behind, along with Süssmayr's score.

With respect to the problems of authorship, the basic facts are well-known. The Requiem was anonymously commissioned by Count Franz von Walsegg, who desired a suitable mass to memorialize his recently-departed wife. He presumably acted in secret in order to abet his proclivity for passing off commissioned works as his own.

Mozart fell ill during its composition and died, leaving a partially-completed score and sundry "scraps of paper" with notes for the uncompleted sections. The widow Constanze, desperately needing the balance of the commission, persuaded Mozart's student Franz Xaver Süssmayr to complete the work.

What we now possess are Mozart's autograph in a substantially uncompleted state, and Süssmayr's work. What we lack are the scraps of paper, so it is now a matter of conjecture how much Süssmayr contributed to the remaining sections.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael Bowen on May 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
I found the Christoph Wolff book on Mozart's Requiem excellent. It is very thorough and informative. This book is a must have in the library of anyone wishing to perform the Mozart Requiem.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By waltzing Mary on January 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a gift for a conductor friend who is planning on conducting Mozart's Requiem. She wanted an opportunity
to study the history and comments of others on this particular piece of music. It seems to have filled her requirements
quite well.
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