Zelenka Requiem

the splendid, D major Requiem

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Czech composer Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679 – 1745), whose music has only been revived since late 1950s, had written a huge repertoire of sacred music, including more than 20 masses, a few oratorios, and requiems.

Written for Friedrich August I of Saxony “Augustus the Strong”, Requiem in D Major mourns the loss of a great ruler, and honors his life at the same time. Zelenka showed his genius and refined artistry using an unusual instrumentation compare with his contemporaries, along with impressive timbres and splendid colors. Despite the brilliance of the music, the piece is still very under-performed, and there are only 3 known recordings in the world.  

Written in D Major, an unusual key for requiem, and starting with a fanfare-like opening, the Requiem offers not only comforts, but also strengths for listeners to face the difficulties ahead.   This time, Hong Kong Youth Choir, joined by local artists, presents the Zelenka Requiem in hope of bringing some strengths and consolations to the city.