When the opera genius Giuseppe Verdi suddenly presented his audience with a requiem, it came to everyone as a great surprise. His monumental Messa da Requiem, therefore, does not simply belong in the traditional line-up of requiem masses. A religious sceptic, Verdi also speaks the language of theatre rather than that of the church in this work. Yet, the result is Verdi pur sang: the Dies Irae and Rex Tremendae are shimmering chunks of energy, the four soloists deliver some intimate passages, and the entire work slowly fades away in a tone of abject despair. Even in his operas, Verdi never traversed such a broad emotional spectrum in so few pages. Philippe Herreweghe allows choir and orchestra to shine in one of the great favourites of the choral repertoire.
Verdi: Messa da Requiem
Location: Rue Ravenstein, 23, 1000 Brussels