Mozart's Requiem Analysis Essay

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 mass was specifically for church ceremony, but recently, the Requiem has been used and performed at concerts to showcase Mozart’s musical brilliance (Stango, n.d.).
And a musical genius Mozart was indeed! As I analyzed this piece, I was continually struck by his following of major voice leading and counterpoint rules. The times Mozart did break away from the standard were masterfully done, engaging to the ear, and he was always able to bring us back home. In this paper I will share with you what I learned about Mozart’s Requiem, Domine Jesu measures 1 through 43. I will start with the big picture and whittle it down to the minute details.
The parts of this piece written by Mozart are the Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass and Cello/Organ parts. Sussmayr wrote the Corni di Basseto, Fagotti, Trombone (alto, tenor, and bass), Violin 1 and 2 and Viola. The part of this piece I was given is written in the key signature of Bb major and G minor, however it modulates to C minor at measure 9, Ab major at measur...

... middle of paper ...

...his project is now a valuable source of knowledge to draw on when the time arrives.

Works cited:
Stango, C. (n.d.). A Study of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, His Requiem, and Its Influence on Conducting. Retrieved from
Kemme, C. (2009). The Domine Jesu of Mozart’s Requiem: Theory and Practice of its Completion. Dutch Journal of Music Theory, volume 14 (number 2). Retrieved from
Full Text Lyrics to Mozart’s Requiem. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Neapolitan Chord. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Flandreau, T. (2010). Music Theory Teacher- The Neapolitan Chord. Retrieved from

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