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Mozart ‘Requiem’ to bow here Thursday

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orcherstra (LPO) returns with a true classical program  this Thursday in New Orleans and Friday on the Northshore, April 19-20, with an ambitious night featuring the Wolfgang Mozart Requiem in D Minor, K 626, and the Ludwig von Beethoven Symphony No. 2. in D Major, Opus 36.

Soloists for the Mozart Requiem include two principals named Lattimore, who are not related. Grammy nominated soprano Jonita Lattimore will be joined with mezzo-soprano Margaret Lattimore. The male leads are tenor Stephen Tharp and bass-baritone Michael Dean.

The tragic Wolfgang Mozart, whose unfinished Requiem was commissioned six months before his death.

LPO maestro and artistic director Carlos Miguel Prieto will work closely with the highly-regarded Symphonic Chorus of New Orleans for the important choral sections in the Requiem, a piece left unfinished by the composer at the time of his death. The Requiem has been a flashpoint of speculation by music scholars because no one is really sure where Mozart’s handiwork ends and that of his student’s – Franz Xavier Süssmayr – begins.

Despite posthumous accounts by his widow Constanze which suggested that Mozart received his commission via a mysterious messenger, scholars have since determined that the work was most likely commissioned by an Austrian count as a memorial for his recently departed 20-year-old wife. The count was an amateur musician who frequently commissioned works by well-known composers of the day and then claimed them as his own. The ruse of using a messenger was an apparent ruse that fooled no one. The commission came at a time of desperation and depression for Mozart, who was also finishing his opera “The Magic Flute.

While not as highly regarded as his ground-breaking Third Symphony (“Eroica”), Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 does possess many hidden charms that suggest the nature of the composer’s genius. That work in four movements will be performed by the LPO during the first half of each evening’s program.

The LPO with soloists and the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans perform at First Baptist Church, 5290 Canal Boulevard, on Thursday, April 19 with limited ticket availability. They will reprise their performance the following night, Friday, April 20, at First Baptist Church, 16333 Louisiana State Highway 1085 in Covington, Louisiana. Both performances begin at 7:30 p.m.

For tickets click here or call 504-523-6530 for more information.