Classical music review

Seraphic Fire’s ‘complete’ Mozart Requiem effectively blends old and new

Composer: Gregory Spears created a new completion of the requium.
Composer: Gregory Spears created a new completion of the requium.
Andrew Jordan / Andrew Jordan

South Florida Classical Review

The story of Mozart's Requiem is among the best-known in classical music. The fever-wracked composer races to finish a mass for the dead commissioned by an Austrian nobleman. He dies with some parts only sketched out and entire sections unwritten. His poor widow, in desperate need of the commission, hands the task of finishing the requiem to Franz Xaver Süssmayr, whose dutiful, uninspired completion is still performed today.

Many composers have written alternatives to Süssmayr's version, and on Friday in Fort Lauderdale the choir Seraphic Fire, performing with its Firebird Chamber Orchestra, gave the world premiere of a bold new completion it commissioned by the well-regarded young composer Gregory Spears.

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