Mozart's Requiem Analysis Essay

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Mozart’s Requiem is “one of the most performed and studied pieces of music in history” (Stango, n.d.). The story behind the start of this piece begins with Count Franz von Walsegg, who commissioned a requiem mass for his wife Anna (who had passed away). Throughout his work on this piece, Mozart began to get so emotionally involved with the piece that he believed that he was writing a death mass for himself. Mozart died December 5, 1791, with only half of the Requiem finished (through Lacrimosa). Franz Xaver Süssmayr finished the Requiem based on Mozart’s specifications from notes and what he had already written. The completed work is dated 1792 by Süssmayr and was performed for the first time on January 2, 1793. Mozart’s intent for this…show more content…
Deliver them from the lion's mouth. Neither let them fall into darkness nor the black abyss swallow them up. And let St. Michael, Thy standard-bearer, lead them into the holy light which once Thou didst promise to Abraham and his seed” (“Full Text Lyrics,” n.d.). I was asked to explain why the Corni di Bassetto is the only instrument not in the key of Bb/g. This is because the Corni di Bassetto, a basset horn, is in F, a perfect fifth below concert pitch. Everything the Corni di Bassetto plays sounds a perfect fifth below the written note. Getting down to some smaller details, I have Neapolitan chords, nonchord tones, voice leading, sequences, elisions, and imitation to discuss. In measure 12, beat 1, there is a major chord built on the lowered second scale degree of C minor. This chord is a Db major. Following some research on this chord, I found that it is what’s called a Neapolitan chord, its name coming from its association with the “Neapolitan school” of 18th century Italian opera composers (“Neapolitan Chord,” n.d.). What is unusual about the one found in measure 12 is that it is not found in its common first inversion form, but rather in second inversion. This chord’s harmonic function is to prepare for the dominant. The fifth of the chord (Ab) usually resolves down a semitone to G (which is what happens in the bass part on beat 3). Another curious thing about this
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