The Contra Costa Chorale will be performing the newly published 2022 Bärenreiter edition of the Mozart “Requiem,” which was completed and edited by Michael Ostrzyga. Mozart died before the completion of the “Requiem,” and thus various composers, most outstanding of whom was Franz Süssmayr, one of Mozart’s students, finished about one third of the total “Requiem.” There has been much controversy over the years concerning Süssmayr’s completion and therefore since 1941 there have been 4 partial completions, and no less than 16 full completions from various composers.
What may set this edition apart is that Ostrzyga has done an enormous amount of historical research in considering valid possibilities for the last three movements for which Mozart left no sketches. As Ostrzyga states, “I do not see my edition as being a substitute for Süssmayr’s completion, but rather as an alternative as perhaps Mozart could have composed in 1791.” Although any of these 16 completions in the last 82 years may be valid in one way or another, Ostrzyga comes to his completion with much historical evidence to back up his musical decisions.
We look forward to presenting Mozart’s “Requiem” from a fresh perspective that, nonetheless, is closely tied to the “Requiem” you have always known through the years as a masterpiece in choral literature.