Mozart’s dramatic Requiem is the main work in a programme presented by Shaldon Singers at their spring concert this weekend  at St Peter’s Church, Shaldon. 

The choir, conducted by Tim Crompton, will be accompanied by the Shaldon Sinfonietta, led by Anna Cockroft. The 7pm concert  on Saturday (May 18) will also feature excellent local soloists – Anna Gregory, Rebecca Squire, Jonathan Waterworth and Tim Mirfin at a concert on Saturday (May 18).

There remains an enduring degree of mystery surrounding the composition of Mozart’s Requiem. It was written in the final weeks of his life, in response to an anonymous commission. 

Mozart was in severe financial difficulties, and became ill in late 1791. When he died leaving the work unfinished, his widow Constanze was left destitute. She engaged another musician, Franz Sussmayr, to complete it secretly, so that she would receive the payment from the commission.

Because of the secrecy, it is unlikely ever to be clear which parts of the Requiem are entirely Mozart’s and which are by Sussmayr. However, it remains an extraordinary composition, a high point in western cultural achievement. It is Mozart’s genius that clearly shines through.

The Magnificat which opens the concert, dating from the early eighteenth century, was composed, it is now agreed, by Francesco Durante. It was, however, misattributed to the more famous Giovanni Pergolesi for many years.

There will be a retiring collection for Dawlish Community Transport, which offers help to people who need support in getting out and about.

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