A rare reconstruction of Mozart
Letho Kostoglou is the first Greek Australian to attempt a complete reconstructon of Mozart's Requiem Mass
Mozart's Requiem Mass is considered his finest work and was composed at the end of his life in 1791.
There's a saying that a tree bears its finest fruit just before its death and Mozart's Requiem Mass is a magnificent example of this.
Not only did this masterpiece draw out of Mozart his final and greatest act it may also have been responsible for taking the young composer's life. He was only 35 when he passed away.
The problem was this masterpiece was never finished; only the first movement was completed, leaving professional antecedents to speculate on the missing three movements to see what the whole work could have possibly been.
The composer Franz Xaver Sussmayr (1766-1803) was the first to attempt a traditional completion, not long after Mozart's death.
This is considered by many as the definitive interpretation, which should not be tampered with.
Then there's the other, more radical, school of composers who have reinterpreted the Mozart Requiem Mass in their own style.
Nothing's wrong with that you would suppose.
But it still leaves that ultimate curiosity unresolved, exactly how would the original master Mozart have wanted it had he completed it himself?
On September 4 at the Adelaide Town Hall you can experience the first attempt by an Australian-Greek composer Letho Kostoglou with the help of music editor Nike Levendis, to achieve a traditional completion of this mighty work.
Kostoglou immersed himself for six months in all of Mozart's work, looking in particular at his other religious masses.
With the precision of a surgeon Kostoglou has extracted the essence of some of these works and even borrowed complete sections and grafted their 'cellular structures' onto the skin of Mozart's original work.
This is an extraordinary achievement by anyone's standards, and it should be added that this project has been strongly endorsed by Maestro Richard Bonynge, the conductor husband of Dame Joan Sutherland, and Patrick Thomas.
If you are a classical music lover, it won't take much convincing how important this event is.
And to be able to experience it live with a full orchestra and choir makes it an even greater privilege.
Unfortunately this privilege is going to pass in a blink of an eye; it is being performed for one night only.
That's enough to make me jump on a plane so as not to miss it.
I would also dare to speculate that the chances of it coming to any other Australian cultural centres, or the rest of the world for that matter, may depend entirely on how much it is supported at this premiere in Adelaide.
One can only hope that this will be the case.
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