Camille Saint-Saëns

Requiem, for soloists, chorus & orchestra, Op. 54

    Description by Joseph Stevenson

    Albert Libon, a friend of Camille Saint-Saëns, provided for his one funeral music by including in his will a bequest to the composer, on condition that he write a Requiem to be performed after Libon's death. Libon died in 1877. Early the next spring Saint-Saëns travelled to Switzerland, where he composed the Requiem in eight days.

    Saint-Saëns did not follow the Romantic Era's tendency to write larger, more symphonic requiems. Saint-Saëns kept his composition in a size, length, and style that would make it completely appropriate for performance in an actual requiem mass in church. It is a sorrowful piece, without the theatricality some church leaders were finding in some Requiems of the period. It is cleanly, not lushly, scored, with particularly effective use of the harps.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Requiem - Kyrie
    2. Dies Irae
    3. Rex Tremendae
    4. Oro Supplex
    5. Hostias
    6. Sanctus
    7. Benedictus
    8. Agnus Dei

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2007 Cala Records 4032
    2004 Chandos CHAN10214
    2002 Cala Records 1032
    1994 Cala Records 1015
    Adda 241902
    Premier 1025