Requiem by János Vajda premiered on 10 May in Debrecen

János Vajda (1949) has always been highly acclaimed for his vocal output. His Mario and the Magician and Leonce and Lena founded his fame as the leading Hungarian opera composer of the last decades. But his contribution to Latin sacred music is equally substantial, his Magnificat, Pater noster and Mass in B having been his main achievements so far.

His Requiem for mixed choir and organ was composed in 2012 and premiered on 10th May 2014 by its dedicatees, the Canticum Novum Chamber Choir in Debrecen, directed by Ágnes Török. The piece has eight movements, and its peculiarity is that unlike Mozart but similarly to Fauré’s Requiem the piece does not include an Offertorium; however, Lux aeterna is followed by a Libera me and an In Paradisum movement. On the other hand, Vajda set to music the dramatic Medieval sequentia Dies irae, missing from Fauré’s Requiem. In any case, these differences are permitted by the flexibility of the liturgy.

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