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Work of the Week – Anton Bruckner: Requiem in D minor and Libera me in F minor

On 22 November, the RIAS Kammerchor will perform Anton Bruckner’s Reqiuem in D minor and Libera me in F minor at the Berlin Philharmonie alongside the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, conducted by Łukasz Borowicz. They will perform using the new Anton Bruckner Urtext Complete Edition, edited by Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs.

Bruckner composed his Requiem in D minor in 1849 in memory of his close friend Franz Sailor, while working at the Austrian monastery of St. Florian where the work was premiered later that year on 15 September. The latest findings of the Anton Bruckner Urtext Complete Edition propose Bruckner’s Libera in F minor may have been written at the same time as the Requiem, despite being premiered five years later. In light of this Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs has collated both compositions into one volume. Unlike previous versions, the Complete Edition will also use multi-coloured imaging to comprehensively indicate all variations of the musical text, such as original manuscripts and first print editions.

Anton Bruckner – Requiem in D minor and Libera me in F minor: in memory of Franz Sailer

The influence of Mozart is audible in Bruckner’s Requiem, and as Libera me shares stylistic similarities with Mozart’s Requiem a connection between Bruckner’s Requiem and Libera me is further supported. The Requiem is divided into five major sections – Introit, Sequence, Offertorium, Sanctus & Benedictus, and Communium – following the structure of the Missa pro defunctis. For this reason, the new edition being performed by the RIAS Kammerchor also incorporates Bruckner’s Gradual and Tractus (after the Introitus) and the antiphon In Paradisum as they are conventional parts of the requiem.

On Founders’ Day, a requiem was performed by St. Florian’s teaching assistant – Anton Bruckner. It turned out very well; the 25-year-old young man is a virtuoso on the organ. After the Vespers, he introduced himself and he and his companion were invited to the table. – P. Beda Piringer (11 December 1849)

The RIAS Kammerchor will perform the same programme on 25 November in a guest appearance at the Philharmonie Essen.