Giuseppe Verdi - Messa da Requiem

Although Requiem was a religious work, it was presented more in concert halls than in churches. Giuseppe Verdi wrote the famous Requiem in honour of his close friend, Alessandro Manzoni, the great Italian poet, writer, and humanist, who died in 1873. It is a powerful fusion of intense drama and passion, with moments of reverent simplicity. Verdi conducted the first performance at St. Mark's Church in Milan on May 22, 1874, the first anniversary of Manzoni's death. Revolutionary composition Verdi's Requiem has been revolutionary in two respects: First, because while the traditional requiem is a prayer of the living for the dead, Verdi's work was a function as much for the living as for the dead. As Verdi would expect, it's a dramatic, theatrical play. Written for four solo voices (soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor and bass) with full choir and orchestra, it follows the typical Roman Catholic Latin mass for the dead. The "libretto" certainly comes from the dram

Claude Debussy - Introduction

Claude Debussy's portrait by Raphael Schwartz.

Claude Debussy is a special case of musical innovator. With his lyrical drama "Pelléas and Mélisande" he was freed from the laws of tonality and created the conditions of a new musical language. First he changed the painting status of impressionism into music.

As a good "music painter" he was mainly interested in the color expression and extent of the sounds and projected through them, moods and mental impressions, which are caused by images and natural phenomena.

He listened to the rhythms, the "music" of nature and tried - and succeeded - to re-form it by proposing "music for the ear and not for the paper". He dared and of course won.

Without being dogmatic, he experimented by reordering the prevailing principles of aesthetics and art until his time and formed a new way of expressing discreetly sensual and discharged from the emotional tensions and successive explosions of mature and tired romance that ran through the end of the 19th century. He denied the established forms, repetitive sound patterns and conventional developments, screaming at every measure of his poetry, the right to difference.

The music composed by Claude Debussy has the hallmarks of a perpetual sluggish daydream. Benefited by an unparalleled orchestral technique, an exemplary balance and a harmonious boldness completely free from the shackles of academicism, she erased her own luminous path and despite all the initial doubts that emerged in a musical matrix for many of the later homotechnotic expressions of the 20th century.


(George Monemvasitis)


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