Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Domine Jesu, Mozart's Requiem

Domine Jesu
W. A. Mozart
Maunder Edition

This is the 10th movement of the Requiem, and at times has the most difficult melodies in it. I Love It!!

The choir and orchestra start right of the bat together, playing the same rhythms for the first phrase. The dynamics are very soft until the text changes to "Rex gloriae" then the orchestra starts playing sixteenth notes. After that phrase, everyone is back to their original piano dynamic.

The sopranos then play a little call and response game with the rest of the choir for the "Ne poenis..." This goes on for a while until the tenors take over.

When the tenors finally take it (singing "Ne absorbeat tartarus...") this melody that they have is shifted in tonalities and sent to every other section, the altos, sopranos and basses. The melody moves down in sevenths, making it extremely difficult to hear initially. The sopranos then pass the "ne cadant" down through the parts leaving the basses to begint the "in obscurum".

The piece then breaks into a section for 4 sololists. The singers are all singing the same melodic motive and text, but they're all displaced by 8 beats. The melodies change tonality in every voice. At the end they're all basically together, but word stresses are on different beats.

Now come the "quam olim abrahae". Again, Mozart is taking the motive and sending it through all the different voice, rhythmically displaced and in different tonalities. You'd think this would get old, but I love it more every time!!! We then go back to when the sopranos lead every one in call and response. The basses take over being the leader briefly, until the sopranos steal the lead for the last phrase.

Wow, I love this movement.


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