In his monumental Requiem, Giuseppe Verdi found an outlet for his sorrow over the loss of two great role models – the composer Giaochino Rossini and the author Alessandro Manzoni. Han-Na Chang conducts the Oslo Philharmonic and the Oslo Philharmonic Choir in a piece of great contrasts and powerful emotions.
The Italian author Alessandro Manzoni (1785–1873) wrote his major work I promessi sposi (The Betrothed) in the 1820s and 1830s, publishing the final version in 1842. With this novel, Manzoni became a figurehead in the battle for Italian independence, which was completed by the Capture of Rome in 1870.
Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) made his great breakthrough as a composer in 1842, with the opera Nabucco. The most popular number in the opera was the “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves”, which is still Verdi’s most famous melody. The choral music featured in his operas was one of the reasons why over the following decades he established himself as one of the greatest composers of his time.
Verdi composed the first movement of his Requiem upon the death of the composer Giaochino Rossini in 1868. His intention was for 12 composers to collaborate on a mass for Rossini, but this was never realised. Manzoni’s death in 1873 also affected Verdi greatly, and by the first anniversary of his passing Verdi’s Requiem was ready for its premiere in Manzoni’s home city of Milan.
What is played
- Giuseppe Verdi