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Sigismund Neukomm (1778-1858), a pupil of Joseph and Michael Haydn, was commissioned to write this Requiem by Prince Tallyrand for performance at St Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna, in 1815. Originally written for unaccompanied voices, Neukomm indicated several performance options, and this orchestral version has been prepared from manuscripts in the Bibliothèque Nationale. Beginning with a Marche funèbre for brass and voices, the Requiem itself is primarily harmonically conceived, with effective contrasts of dynamics and textures, but limited contrapuntal writing. This is a world premiere recording, and, judging by the many noises ‘off’, was a single-take recording of a public performance.

RUPERT GOUGH Read the full review on Agora Classica

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