How Much of the Requiem did Mozart Actually Write?

in music •  3 months ago 
Image Source: Wikipedia Licensed in the Public Domain

Hello everyone! The Mozart Requiem is an insanely fascinating body of work. And, I have always wondered how Mozart managed to write so much quality material in such a short span of time (especially considering it was his final work). In researching this, I have recently discovered several passages from the Mozart requiem which utilize themes by other composers. In this post, I am briefly going to mention these different passages.

Disclaimer: All of the passages are still Mozart's own theoretical work in terms of development. I am merely pointing out the use of themes by other composers within this work

Requiem Introitus

First of all, here is the introitus movement:

The first theme of this movement is a quotation of the first theme in Handel's "The ways of Zion do mourn." This can be noted within the Requiem to be the text:

Requiem aeternam

I also feel like the starting mood and accompanying figure of this Handelian work is quite similar to the starting mood of the movement.

However, according to this source, it would appear that Handel was not the only composer to use this theme. It comes first from a Lutheran hymn called “When My Final Hour is At Hand." The source specifically says:

The main “Requiem” theme, the DNA of which permeates the entire work, is, in fact, a quote. This melody (d-c#-d-e-f) is from a Lutheran hymn, “When My Final Hour is At Hand.”

Though I haven't been able to find a recording of this hymn, I checked the Wikipedia page about Handel's piece. That says:

The anthem begins with a chorus that recalls the chorales used in the Lutheran church services Handel attended and composed music for as a young man

I think these two things paired together are strong enough to at least be included. Here is Handel's use of the theme though:

The next theme which is a quotation is the soprano solo which from another Lutheran Hymn/Bach cantata. Both of these pieces are called: "Meine seele erhebet den Herren." (“My soul doth magnify the Lord," also called "the German Magnificat.") The text this theme is used for is:

Te decet hymnus Deus in Zion

Apparently, Mozart was not even the first to use this theme for this text. That was apparently done by Michael Haydn in his own requiem, a work which Mozart apparently sang in his youth.

Here is a recording of the Bach:

Here is a recording of the Haydn:


The last movement I know of which quotes another work is the Kyrie Eleison which is a Double Fugue, the primary subject of which utilizes a Handelian theme from the Messiah movement "And with His stripes we are healed." This one was fun to discover because it was my first time listening all the way through the Messiah. It seemed to come out of nowhere, and I knew right away that I'd heard it in the Kyrie movement of this requiem. Here's a recording of the Handelian work:

Here is the Kyrie movement:



Thanks for reading this! I hope you have found this information helpful. I consider it interesting how much the masters seemed to quote historical hymns or the historical work of other masters. I partially wonder if this world with an absence of copyright laws was a better breeding ground for creative geniuses than our current world. However, there are many who prove that theory wrong. Please remember that feedback is always appreciated and greatly encouraged! I hope you have a great night!

(Note) In order to encourage meaningful feedback on the platform, I will check comment trails of users who leave superficial comments (ie "Awesome post," or "Upvoted.") and will mute any users who exhibit a pattern of leaving "spammy" comments.

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

Interesting! So would you consider this a series of hat-tips or plagiarism?

Sorry, I didn't see this. I would consider it hat tips. Everything is quoted tastefully in a new unheard and innovative way.

Resteemed, your post will appear in the next curation with a SBD share for you!

Your post has been supported and upvoted from the Classical Music community on Steemit as it appears to be of interest to our community. We also support jazz and folk music posts!

If you enjoy our support of the #classical-music community, please consider a small upvote to help grow the support account!

You can find details about us below.

The classical music community at #classical-music and Discord. Follow our community accounts @classical-music and @classical-radio or follow our curation trail (classical-radio) at SteemAuto!

Delegation links: 10SP, 25SP, 50SP, 75SP, 100SP, 150SP, 200SP, 250SP, 500SP, 1000SP

Congratulations @cmp2020! You have completed the following achievement on the Steem blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

You distributed more than 43000 upvotes. Your next target is to reach 44000 upvotes.

You can view your badges on your Steem Board and compare to others on the Steem Ranking
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

To support your work, I also upvoted your post!

Vote for @Steemitboard as a witness to get one more award and increased upvotes!

Have you heard the Mozart Fantaisie K608 played on organ? One of my favourite works. Make sure you also use the creativecoin tag in these types of posts to earn CCC.

I apologize, I did not see this either. I had not heard that particular piece. Thanks for the tip onn CCC, I used in my most recent post!

No worries @cmp2020. Asides from the #creativecoin tag, there is also #sonicgroove (for music only). So make sure you use them both :) I got @isaria to make sure you were included in the SONIC airdrop.

!giphy cheers