A. Dvořák. “Requiem” in B minor for soloists, chorus and orchestra, op. 89, B. 165
To commemorate the Day of Mourning and Hope, Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra conducted by its artistic director and chief conductor Gintaras Rinkevičius, chose to perform a monumental work – “Requiem” by the Czech composer Antonin Dvořák (1841–1904). A. Dvořák was encouraged to write this Mass for the dead in 1890, when he received a commission from the Birmingham Music Festival. It seems that the impetus for such work came at the right time: A. Dvořák was at the peak of his career, so he wanted to add everything he had achieved in his life as composer and human being into the new work. At the age of almost fifty, the author made an effort to touch upon the most important issues of human existence and to express his own relationship with God.
“Requiem” is one of A. Dvořák's most intellectually profound works. There is no superficial flair, pathos or melancholy in it – instead, the work is marked by bold grief with no gloom or tragic connotations. The composer does not elevate the posthumous life above the earthly existence – he appears to be grateful for all the gifts he has received in this world. The contemplation of death in the work does not cause fear, but rather a great deal of sadness – it is a farewell to the most precious people, nature and the beloved art of music.