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

Liszt - Hungarian Rhapsody No. 5

Liszt's love of Hungarian gypsy music initially inspired him to publish a series of works entitled Hungarian National Melodies. Much of the material was transformed into Hungarian Thapsodies and produced over a long period of time, starting in 1846. These works were first written for piano. Some, like this one, the composer later orchestrated them.

The music begins darkly, with the deep strings playing in unison. Then the violins evolve the original melody, sad and nostalgid, followed by a solo of the cello.

For a very short time, the key changes from minor to major, but emotional relaxation is temporary.

The atmosphere of the work is generally melancholic and sceptical. The tragic mood, created by the strings that often play on the substrate of the dark chords of the wood and brass instruments, prevails until the last sad note.