Hear three of the great Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s most iconic works performed by candlelight in the spectacular setting of St Paul’s Cathedral.
The acclaimed Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra present Mozart’s dramatic and enigmatic Requiem in D minor. Unfinished at the time of the composer’s death, and shrouded in mystery since it was first commissioned by an anonymous messenger dressed in grey, the Requiem is one of the world’s most famous compositions. From the Requiem’s dark and ponderous opening bars, to the scintillating Dies Irae, the dramatic choral fugues, the famous Tuba Mirum and the emotionally gripping Confutatis and Lacrymosa movements, the work takes the listener on an emotional journey like few others in Western music.
Also being performed is the famous Symphony No. 25 in G minor, its first movement made famous since being used as the opening music in Miloš Forman’s award-winning biographical film Amadeus. Composed when Mozart was just 17 years old, it is regarded by many as one of his finest early works. The symphony is written in a “Sturm und Drang” style (German for “Storm and Stress”) – a style characterized by emotional extremes and sudden changes in tempo and dynamics. The opening movement begins with a particularly dramatic repeated syncopated pattern in the violins and violas. This rhythm returns again in the final movement. Ludwig van Beethoven knew the symphony well, copying 29 bars from the score in one of his sketchbooks. It is thought that the opening theme of the Symphony No. 25’s final movement may have inspired the third movement of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.
Finally, hear the poignant motet Ave Verum Corpus, a miniature masterpiece and the final choral composition ever completed by the great composer.
RMP Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Andrew Wailes leads the RMP Choir and Orchestra, joined by four outstanding soloists in a spectacular performance in the stunning setting of St Paul’s Cathedral.
For this concert, much-loved Australian soprano Jacqueline Porter, well-known to RMP audiences and a regular performer with all the major Australian orchestras, headlines the quartet. She will be joined by the young Japanese-Australian mezzo-soprano Syrah Torii (recipient of the 2023 Victorian Opera Emerging Artist Prize, and a Developing Artist in Melbourne Opera’s Richard Divall Emerging Artists Programme) and the quickly-emerging young tenor Benjamin Glover (winner of the Conductor’s Encouragement Award at the 2022 RMP Aria Competition). They will be joined by the much-respected Sydney-based bass-baritone Christopher Richardson (a former winner of both the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Aria Award and ‘The Frances MacEachron Award for Outstanding Vocal Achievement’ at The Oratorio Society of New York’s Solo Competition at Carnegie Hall).
MOZART: Symphony No. 25 in G minor, KV. 183/173dB
MOZART: Requiem in D minor, KV. 626
MOZART: Ave Verum Corpus KV.618
Andrew Wailes, conductor
Jacqueline Porter, soprano
Syrah Torii*, mezzo soprano
Benjamin Glover, tenor
Christopher Richardson, bass baritone
Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir
Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra
Approximate duration of concert: 90 minutes with no interval
*Syrah Torii appears courtesy of Victorian Opera. Syrah is the 2023 recipient of the Opera Prize generously supported by the family of the late Frederick R Davidson.