International tour – Dortmund
About the program
After the extraordinary success in England of the large-scale oratorical Dvořák pieces, “Stabat mater”, ”The Spectre’s Bride” and “Saint Ludmilla” composed in the 1870s and 1880s – the two latter compositions originally commissioned for Leeds and Birmingham – the Requiem was also ordered from Birmingham in 1888.
The busy composer started composing only at the beginning of 1890, on the first day of the year, and due to travelling abroad he had to suspend his work several times. The partiture was ready by the end of October, and the premiere was held a year later, on 9 October 1891 in Birmingham. It was conducted by the composer himself. In the following months, the Dvořák’s masterpiece was performed in other British cities, in Bohemia and in the United States.
Requiem – like Verdi’s death mass composed seventeen years earlier – was originally composed for concert venues, not for clerical purposes.
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