With his Requiem, the Grande Messe des morts, Hector Berlioz wanted to create “the greatest work ever written”. And indeed, for the premiere at the Dôme des Invalides Church in Paris on 5th December 1837, more than 400 musicians and singers were involved. This is a composition of monumental dimensions, with Dies irae, the Day of Judgement, as the climax. This Day was of particular appeal to the otherwise not very religious Berlioz. Originally composed in memory of the victims of the July Revolution in 1830, the Requiem was eventually performed for the first time in commemoration of General Damrémont, who had fallen in the Algerian War.
The Wiener Symphoniker will play this masterpiece, unparalleled in its staggering dimensions, under the direction of its principal conductor Philippe Jordan. There, it will be joined by the Concert Choir of the Vienna Music Association and Saimir Pirgu who will take on the solo part in the Sanctus.