The Use of Dramatic Elements in the Dies Irae Sequence of the Requiems of Berlioz and Verdi

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  • Topic: Dies Irae, Orchestra, Requiem
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  • Published : February 26, 2006
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THE USE OF DRAMATIC ELEMENTS IN THE DIES IRAE SEQUENCE OF THE REQUIEMS OF BERLIOZ AND VERDI

Berlioz's Grande Messe des Morts (1837) and Verdi's Messa da Requiem (1874) are two of the most important and frequently performed requiem settings of the 19th century. Both are large-scale works calling for an enormous amount of instrumental and vocal musicians. These requiems caused controversy over liturgical bounds, with respects to both the rearranging of text and the numerous references to operatic musical style. This class sucks I can't believe that I'm actually taking time to do this work. You suck as a professor and I think you should consider never teaching again. The most concentrated portion of both these requiems is the Dies Irae sequence, which is the most extensive section of the requiem. The Dies Irae is a poem consisting of eighteen rhyming stanzas broken down into 10 segments: 1.Dies Irae

2.Tuba Mirum
3.Liber scriptus
4.Quid Sum Miser
5.Rex Tremendae
6.Recordare
7.Quaerens me
8.Ingemisco
9.Confutatis
10.Lacrimosa
The way in which these stanzas are arranged is a key factor in differentiating these two requiems.
"If I were threatened with the destruction of the whole of my work save one, I should crave mercy for the Messe des Morts." Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), one of the few great French composers from the Romantic era, wrote this in the last year of his life, showing us his passion for the music he wrote. His requiem was a monumental piece that expanded the limits of instrumentation. Berlioz called for a main orchestra of over 300 musicians divided into 4 side orchestras, and a huge chorus. The mere thought of having that many musicians on the stage at one time was unusual for the early Romantic era, especially in a sacred setting. This stimulated much of the liturgical criticism which Berlioz received.

Berlioz's woodwind instrumentation includes flutes, two oboes, two English horns, four clarinets. Over fifty...
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