Composed during the last days of his life, Mozart’s Requiem moves from tragic resignation in its opening to the fierce vigor of the “Dies Irae” and finally the intense pleading of the “Lacrimosa,” the movement left unfinished at his death.
Antonio Salieri, depicted in the movie Amadeus as Mozart’s nemesis, actually composed some extremely beautiful music, none more so than De Profundis. A simple, pure soprano chant gradually builds to a grandiose conclusion with full orchestra and chorus.
Virtually unknown, Joseph Martin Kraus’s Requiem provides a striking contrast to Mozart’s—lighter but equally haunting. The German Kraus later worked in Sweden, becoming known as the Swedish Mozart.