Opus Ultimum: The Story of the Mozart Requiem

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Algora Publishing, 2004 - Music - 175 pages
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The haunting beauty of Mozart's Requiem and the tragic circumstances surrounding its composition have made it a favorite among performers and listeners alike. But how much of it actually Mozart's - and how do we know? Who wrote the missing pieces? What role did his wife, Constanze, play - and what about the man who secretly commissioned the work? Who tricked whom, and who had the last laugh in this grim tale? The author, an internationally recognized expert on Mozart, traces the complex web of events and intrigue surrounding the composition of the Requiem and how it was completed after Mozart's death. In an easy-to-read style, he presents an accurate, precise, complete narrative of the dramatic story; and with a spoonful of sugar, he introduces newcomers to some of the technical problems, clues, and terminology used in reconstructing such histories.
 

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Page 7 - Emilie did as she was desired, and it seemed as if she sought a relief from her own thoughts; for, after running over a few chords of the piano, she commenced in the sweetest voice, the following lines: "Spirit! Thy labor is o'er, Thy term of probation is run, Thy steps are now bound for the untrodden shore And the race of immortals begun. "Spirit! Look not on the strife, Or the pleasures of earth with regret, Pause not on the threshold of limitless life, To mourn for the day that is set. "Spirit!...
Page 7 - Do not deceive yourself, my love," said the dying father ; " this wasted form can never be restored by human aid. From Heaven's mercy alone do I look for aid, in this my dying hour. You spoke of refreshment, my...
Page 7 - Spirit ! thy labour is o'er ! Thy term of probation is run, Thy steps are now bound for the untrodden shore, And the race of immortals begun. Spirit ! look not on the strife Or the pleasures of earth with regret— Pause not on the threshold of limitless life. To mourn for the day that is set. Spirit ! no fetters can bind, No wicked have power to molest ; There the weary, like thee — the wretched, shall find A haven — a mansion of rest.
Page 7 - The dying father then raised himself on his couch ; — " You spoke of refreshment, my daughter; it can still be afforded my fainting soul. Take these notes, the last I shall ever pen, and sit down to the instrument. Sing with them the hymn so beloved by your mother, and let me once more hear those tones which have been my delight since my earliest remembrance.
Page 7 - my Emilie — my task is done — the Requiem — my Requiem is finished." " Say not so, dear father," said the gentle girl, interrupting him, as tears stood in her eyes ; " you must be better — you look better, for even now your cheek has a glow upon it. I am sure we will nurse you well again — let me bring you something refreshing." " Do not deceive yourself, my love," said the dying father ; " this wasted form can never be restored by human aid.
Page 8 - As she concluded the last stanza, she dwelt for a few moments on the low, melancholy notes of the piece, and then waited in silence for the mild voice of her father's praise. He spoke not — and, with something like surprise, she turned towards him. He was laid back on the sofa, his face shaded in part by his hand, and his form reposing as if in slumber.
Page 6 - ... obsequies. While engaged in this work, and under this strange inspiration, he threw himself back, says his biographer, on his couch, faint and exhausted. His countenance was pale and emaciated; yet there was a strange fire in his eye, and the light of gratified joy on his brow that told of success. His task was finished, and the melody, even to his exquisite sensibility, was perfect. It had occupied him for weeks; and, though his form was wasted by disease, yet the spirit seemed to acquire more...

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