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Franz von Suppé
1819 - 1895
Croatia / Austria / Belgium
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F. von Suppé
Franz von Suppé (18/04/1819 - 21/05/1895), an Austrian composer of Belgium descent, born in Split, Now Croatia. Full name: Francesco Ezechiele Ermenegildo Cavaliere Suppe Demelli.
Source:Grove's dictionary of music and musicians
Requiem in D minor
Composed in:1855
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
In memory of:Franz Pokorny
Label(s):Novalis 150 112-2
Virgin Classics 7243 5 45614 2 9
EROL 200011
BNL 112774
Requiem in D minor (1855) is for soli, choir and orchestra. Despite his success in the operetta world, Suppé repatedly strove to leave his mark in other, completely different, musical domains. We can see this especially in his sacred works, many of which he composed in his later years. The Requiem in D minor can be regarded as the apotheosis of his sacred oeuvre. He dedicated the work to his friend and mentor Franz Pokorny, who directed several theaters simultaneously (in Vienna, Baden, Oedenburg and Pressburg). In 1855, five years after Pokorny's death, Suppé completed the Requiem and had it performed in November of thye same year at a commemorative mass in honor of his friend held at Vienna's Piarist Church. ALthough the work was performed several times over the next years and drew great acclaim from the public, it gradually became caught in the crossfire of the critics. The branded the Requiem "Italian style" as too operetta-like, and felt that the character of the piece was too cheerful and lacking in seriousness.
The score of the Requiem was believed to be missing since the last ascertained performance of the piece in Vienna in 1901. It was only recently that the still unpublished score was rediscovered in a Viennese library. Suppé's work, which follows the requiem liturgy, pays greater allegiance to the tradition of sacred music than, for example, the Requiem which Verdi composed 19 years later. Suppé's work boasts a rich instrumental palette and a multi-faceted writing. "Italian" flair is suggested by a number of wind soli and bel canto melodies. Like Rossini and Verdi, who have gone down in music history as stage composers, Suppé also created a sacred work of riveting intensity which explores an expressive world completed different from that of his operettas.
Author:Gabriel Christian; translation: Roger Clément