If you’ve seen the massively-long 1984 film “Amadeus,” you know a few things about classical Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. You know he had a shrill laugh, you know of his extensive collection of powdered wigs, and you know that the young musical mastermind died before he could finish his “Requiem Mass.” And, while that film took equally massive artistic liberties, the story of Mozart’s most infamous unfinished work still captivates audiences worldwide for it’s musical wonders as much as its mythical background.
While Mozart died with the Requiem very unfinished, fellow composer Franz Xaver Sussmayr, who was an assistant to Mozart and reportedly discussed the work with him before his death, offered a completed version of the Requiem that has long been the closest the world has gotten to Mozart’s masterwork. This weekend, the long-standing Sonoma Bach Choir, led by retired Sonoma State University professor Robert Worth and joined by the Live Oak Baroque Orchestra, will present an interesting dual concert titled “Mozart Requiem: The Story of a Masterwork.” The ensemble will tackle first the Requiem just as Mozart left it, before returning to the full work as completed by Sussmayr.
Before each of the two weekend performances, Worth will present a pre-concert talk that fully explores the controversial history of, and compositional significance to the Requiem. The Sonoma Bach Choir performs the masterwork on Friday, Nov 20, at St Andrew Presbyterian Church, (16290 Arnold Dr, Sonoma. 8pm, $15-$25) and then again on Sunday, Nov 22, at St. Vincent de Paul Church (35 Liberty St, Petalum. 7pm. $15_$25). Pre-concert talks begin 35 minutes before each performance. Tickets and details are here.