Dan Fronckowiak



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Dan Fronckowiak, MUS303: Music History 2
Faculty Mentor(s): Professor Carolyn Guzski, Music

Mozart's Requiem is a work shrouded in mystery. Some of that was by the design of his widow, Constanze, desperate for income after her husband's untimely death at the age of 36. Some of the mystery comes from the multiple hands involved in its composition. While Mozart's autograph sketches were later recovered, still more mystery comes from Mozart pupil Franz Süssmayr intentionally making them unavailable after the Requiem was delivered to the unidentified person who commissioned the work. Given the questions that continue to surround the Requiem, how can a contemporary ensemble perform it in a way that pays homage to its contexts of time and place? Further, how can those needs coexist with the needs of contemporary performers and audiences? In researching Mozart's Requiem, I seek not definitive answers about its evolution and completion, rather, I hope to understand more clearly the mystery-rich way in which it was completed. With that understanding, I provide contexts that will allow contemporary vocalists and instrumentalists, irrespective of skill sets or previous historical knowledge, to develop an artistically fulfilling performance “one that honors its historical contexts” for contemporary audiences.

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Requiem or Requiem Not: Creating An Historically-Informed Performance
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