When you hear “Requiem” in the classical music scene outside the church, usually composer names that come to mind are Verdi and Mozart, possibly Berlioz or Lloyd Webber for modern music fans. Not often will Antonin Dvorák come to mind though. Coming from the Romantic period (late 1800s) Dvorák is better known for his New World Symphony, Dumky Trio and very popular Slavonic Dances. He was however, a devout Catholic and, for one of his many conducting invitations to visit Great Britain (8 visits in 7 years), he was commissioned to write a Requiem for the Triennial Music Festival in Birmingham 1891.
The work was a huge success, not surprisingly, as he had already become a celebrity in the UK with a huge following of fans just waiting to see what he would come up with next. Despite this initial success, Dvorák’s Requiem did not gain the long term following of those of Verdi and Mozart but, when it is performed, it is very well received as it was tonight. Continue reading SYDNEY PHILHARMONIA CHOIRS : DVORAK REQUIEM