Q: When one thinks of settings of the Latin texts of the Requiem, I think the two, probably, that first come to mind are the Verdi, which we've talked about, and the Mozart.
RS: And the Mozart, yeah, I would think so.
Q: And of course you've performed the Mozart dozens and dozens of times, and recorded it. Let's begin with the version that you used when you recorded it most recently, the Franz Beyer version. How did you come on it and did it work for you?
RS: It was just in all the journals. Everybody came upon it at the same time. It was sort of announced and became available. And for me, it had the advantage of including the - what was the name of the man who finished the Mozart.
RS: Sussmeyer. It had the advantage of including all of his choral material, and that was the piece, of course, which I had done two or three hundred performances of, and I felt that the other one that was available at that time, which stopped at, substantially at the "Lacrimosa", was not a full experience. I was still - I'm sure you've heard the sentence too of, "If Mozart did not write the end of the 'Requiem', it was a Mozart who did", a Mozart who did. And so those pieces never felt inferior to me, I must say. Beyer, of course, added the four measures at the end of the two "Hosannas," which I found immediately comfortable, accepted right away.
But I'd also, in the meantime from the early days when I went on tour with the Mozart "Requiem", I'd done a few of the early Mozart masses which filled in, and felt comfortable with, and I'd also done the "C Minor Mass". I'm happy to do the "C Minor Mass" in its torso, rather than finish. I once made the mistake of trying to - I think it was a Lloyd Schmidt, a version which was published years ago, of doing the whole - which he finished the Mozart "C Minor Mass" with movements from other masses. But I forget, I put something else on the front of that program which was also about 45 minutes or an hour long, and I think that concert is still going on at Carnegie Hall, because I couldn't believe that this Mozart "C Minor Mass" could possibly last this long.
Somehow the "C Minor Mass", ending as it does with the "Benedictus", and a rather comfortably joyful "Benedictus", and a "Hosanna", gives you - and its duration is long enough to give you somehow a sense that you've done a work. And I never felt that with the, when we got to the "Lacrimosa" of the "Requiem", somehow I felt that there was still a lot of ending left that ought to be filled with something. And so I don't mind doing the "C Minor Mass" and stopping at that point, the way the Robbins Landon's edition or others had done.
But the Beyer edition changes, the changes which the Beyer edition has, are largely in the instrumentation, as you know, and they were done with sufficient skill so that without reference to my earlier scores, as I was looking only at this score, they seemed just about the way I remembered them, and they’re very, very slight changes, and so it felt - that felt good to me.