Mozart's Requiem at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

By Dr Christopher McElroy

The story of Mozart's unfinished masterpiece, his Requiem, has caused speculation and intrigue since Mozart's death in 1791. It is commonly believed that the score lay unfinished when he died, and that 'other hands' completed it. Legend has it that the commission was received and delivered via a masked messenger who kept the identity of the commissioner secret, possibly as they intended to pass the work off as their own.
 
The mystery surrounding the Requiem was brought into the wider public consciousness in 1984 by the release of the film Amadeus, which won eight Oscars including best picture and best actor. The film still proves popular, but scholarship in establishing exactly which bits of the Requiem Mozart may (or may not) have written has moved on greatly.
 
The genesis and reception of the Requiem are only a small part of the reason for the popularity of the work. The music is gripping, from the blood-curling 'Dies irae' to the tears of the 'Lacrimosa', making it one of the most popular pieces to be performed in concert halls and Cathedrals across the world.
 
As part of our Cathedral's jubilee celebrations, there will be a very special performance on Wednesday 15 November. For the first time ever, the choir of Westminster Cathedral will join Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral Choir to sing together. This is the first time that Westminster Cathedral Choir will ever have performed in Liverpool. Commonly understood as the finest two RC choirs in the country, this performance of the Requiem by the joint choirs promises to be a night to remember.
 
The choirs will be accompanied by the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra, who will complete an all-Mozart programme by performing the Masonic Funeral Music and Symphony No41 'Jupiter', directed by their resident conductor Adam Kornas. The choirs and orchestra will be joined by excellent local soloists Barbara Ruzsics (soprano), Stephanie Guidera (alto), David Lee (tenor) and Damian O'Keeffe (bass).
 
The joint choirs and orchestra singing the Requiem will be conducted by the Cathedral's director of music, Christopher McElroy. Dr McElroy commented: "We are enormously excited to welcome Westminster Cathedral Choir and the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra to join us in this special Jubilee Concert: the combination of these performers and the magical architecture of our Cathedral promises to make it a musical highlight of the Cathedral’s first 50 years."
 
Tickets for the concert (available on a first come, first served basis) are £20 for premium seats and £15 for standard seats; they are available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/lpoolmetmusic or the Cathedral shop on 0151 707 3525.