Date: August 2003
Creator: Cho, Ick Hyun
Description: Several interpretations in performances, recordings, and publications of Giuseppe Verdi's Messa da Requiem raise issues concerning the relationship between these readings and the composer's intention. Understanding Verdi's tempo and phrasing in the Requiem is of crucial importance in rediscovering his intention. Knowing that Verdi's metronome markings were not merely performance suggestions but that they actually reflected his final decision is equally important. Unlike his operas, fast tempos are not introduced suddenly in the Requiem; rather, where tempo changes occur gradually from one section to the next, thereby maintaining the music's overall character. Verdi's phrasing is very subtle, and unconventional, because one sign may have multiple meanings. Compounding this complication are the many editorial errors in the published editions. David Rosen, in his critical edition, corrected many of these errors, and made additional editorial suggestions, but there are still numerous places where determining correct phrasing, as well as tempo fluctuations, knowledge of Verdi's use of signs and symbols is difficult.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries