Mozart: Requiem

La Cappela Nacional de Catalunya, Le Concert Des Nations, Jordi Savall

Mozart: Requiem
Compact disc
Alia Vox
12 May 2023

Mozart: Requiem

La Cappela Nacional de Catalunya, Le Concert Des Nations, Jordi Savall

Tradition und Vision, young and old, show and intimacy. This year’s Mozart Week in Salzburg offered the Requiem in two performances which couldn’t diverge more from each other, even though they are based on the same score. First, the 81-year-old Savall conducted with his chamber ensemble Le Concert des Nations and chorus La Capella Nacional de Catalunya a version vividly depicting the horrors of death; 4 days later, the 30-year-old Thomas Guggeis – replacing Daniel Barenboim – delivered with an abundantly-staffed Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Wiener Singverein a traditional obliging reading ...

Savall succeeded in delivering a much more convincing and direct performance ... Jordi Savall had a clear advantage regarding the concert location and the ensemble. And while traditional conductors perform this music with Bruckner and Wagner in mind, Jordi Savall intimately knows the history preceding Mozart. It dramatically changes the perspective ...

Jordi Savall has played everything of the gambe and ensemble music from the Middle-Ages to Mozart (and recently Beethoven and Franz Schubert). Among which much religious music, that Savall colors with a Spanish Catholicism full of dark pathos and menacing death ... Savall, as a musician and consummate scholar is a man of the Enlightenment and succeeds in reviving the original religious intention and effect of this Mass for the Dead.


It’s 1955 and a 14-year-old creeps into a church in Igualada, Spain, where a rehearsal is being conducted by the local director of the conservatoire. Spellbound, the boy sits listening to the choir rehearse with the organ and string quartet. They are practicing a work that only just managed to survive into the modern era. Impressed by the ‘originality of the various themes and the perfection of the counterpoint and the richness of the modulations’ the young boy decided then and there to make music his life. That boy was Jordi Savall, world-renowned viola da gamba musician and director of Hespèrion XXI, who on this album presents his second recording of that seminal work: Mozart’s Requiem KV 626, from 1791.

In the 1990s Savall, with his beloved wife soprano Montserrat Figueras (1942–2011), La Capella Reial de Catalunya, and Le Concert des Nations, recorded the Requiem for release on his label, Alia Vox. Now, 25 years later, he joins with these same ensembles to again present this work which is so close to his heart.

For those who don’t yet know, a key part of what Savall does is strip away any modern assumptions that might be brought to the works he chooses, and tries to bring them back to the purity of what the composer wrote, including performing on contemporary instruments and referring to original scores (such as they are for this work). The thing about the Requiem though, and one of the reasons it continues to be a favourite of concert halls around the world, is that it always sounds amazing. With Savall at the helm, it can only soar into the heavens with the ‘lux aterna’ (eternal light) ‘and the great power of consolation that emanate[s] from this majestic piece’. For those who know, I don’t need to say anything else, but if you are a fan of Mozart and haven’t discovered Savall’s recordings of his works, you must do yourself a favour and add this album to your collection.

This item is in-stock at 2 shops and will ship in 3-4 days

Our stock data is updated periodically, and availability may change throughout the day for in-demand items. Please call the relevant shop for the most current stock information. Prices are subject to change without notice.

Sign in or become a Readings Member to add this title to a wishlist.