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The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra And Choral Society Perform Robert Levin's Edition Of Mozart's "Requiem"


Melony Dodson talks with Maestro Aram Demirjian about the unique characteristics of Robert Levin's completion of Mozart's Requiem

Most Classical music enthusiasts have heard recordings and/or performances of Mozart's iconic Requiem, but have you heard the version edited by Mozart scholar, Robert Levin? The most often performed edition of Mozart's final composition is one that was completed shortly after Mozart's death by his friend and copyist, Franz Xaver Süssmayr. Mozart's wife, Constanze, sought the help of Süssmayr for the completion so that she was able to collect the fee for the work; funds that were desperately needed after Wolfgang's passing. But the work was done hastily and resulted in a version that may not be the best representation of Mozart's wishes. Starting in the late 1980's, Robert Levin, spent years studying the various completions of the Requiem, analyzing and comparing them. Eventually, with the prodding of conductor, Helmuth Rilling, he decided to write his own completion, which was premiered in 1991.

In this interview, Music Director, Aram Demirjian, talks about the differences and additions with Levin's version, and why he feels that they may more accurately reflect Mozart's intentions. The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and Knoxville Choral Society will perform this edition on their upcoming Masterworks Series Concert. Also on the program is Death of the Poet by TJ Cole, and the Sinfonietta No. 1 (In Memory of Mozart) by Heitor Villa-Lobos.

The performance will be given in the Magnificent Tennessee Theatre on Thursday, April 20th and Friday, April 21st, both at 7:30pm. The guest soloists for the Requiem are soprano, Abigail Santos, contralto, Emily Marvosh, tenor, Norman Shankle, and bass, David Crawford. Tickets and additional information at https://knoxvillesymphony.com/concert/mozart-requiem/

Melony calls the beautiful mountains of Boone, N.C., home, although she was born near Greensboro, N.C. There’s just something about those Blue Ridge Mountains that got in her blood and never left after she moved there to attend Appalachian State University (ASU). While at ASU, she majored in piano performance and music therapy and began to cultivate a love for accompanying and for collaborating with other musicians. This soon led her to earn a master’s degree in collaborative piano at the University of Tennessee, which she attended from 2006-2008.