Friday, January 3, 2014

A Page From My Life: December 5th, 1991, Vienna; A Memory by Payman Akhlaghi (2013)

A Page From My life: December 5th, 1991, Vienna
By Payman Akhlaghi
(*) First published at on December 6th, 2013, under: A Page From My Life: December 5th, 1991, Vienna.

On December 5th, 1791, Mozart died at the young age of 36. Two hundred years later on that night, I happened to be in Vienna, when the end of "The Mozart Year" was to be celebrated by a ceremonial performance of his Requiem, conducted by Georg Solti at St. Stephen's Cathedral. I was among a sizable group of music lovers who stood outside of the cathedral, ignored the slippery snow and the cold, sipped on the free coffee they kindly gave away, and watched the ceremony on the large screen and speakers set up outdoors for the like of us. The first row inside was populated by the Austrian President, among others, so you may guess the rest.

I had known the piece from the excellent recording made by Sir Colin Davis and (I think) the BBC SO, so I could follow it pretty well. For a 20-something curious mind who had just left Iran, it was a night to be remembered.

Here's a recording of that night, without the recited sections of the liturgy, which were presented during the ceremony by the Bishop. Mr. Solti later recorded the piece as I recall with the same the soloists, a CD of which I own in my library.[1]

December 5th, 2013, Los Angeles

© 2013, Payman Akhlaghi. All rights reserved.

Mozart's Requiem, K. 626, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Georg Solti, (1991, ca. 47')

[1] Note added as a reminder that even as many such as me pay for the music, it's prudent for both artist and publisher to leave links as this available on YouTube as a most basic way to spread the culture, and the music. -- P.A.

(*) Payman Akhlaghi is a composer, pianist and piano teacher based in Los Angeles. His repertoire covers Classical music, as well as Persian (Iranian) Music, Pop Music, and Film Music. For information on the lessons in the Greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Encino, Brentwood, etc. please call: 310-208-2927. Thank you.

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