Verdi: Messa Da Requiem - Staatskapelle Dresden Ed
Chor der Staatsoperette Dresden; Castronovo, Charles; Prudenskaya, Marina; Staatskapelle Dresden; Thielemann, Christian; Stoyanova, Krassimira; Zeppenfeld, Georg
The Requiem concerts of the Dresden Staatskapelle on Dresden Memorial Day maintain a long tradition. It is 68 years now since February 13, 1951, when Rudolf Kempe, at that time General Music Director of the Dresden Staatsoper and Principal Conductor of the Dresden Staatskapelle, conducted the Messa da Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi, the first Requiem to be performed on this day in remembrance of the bombing of Dresden in February 1945, during which many thousands perished within the space of a few hours and large parts of the city were destroyed. The effects of the war were everywhere to be seen in Dresden in 1951; heaps of rubble dominated the city. The presentation of the Verdi Requiem in the Large Auditorium of the Staatstheater – the present-day Schauspielhaus – left a deep impression on those present, who listened in awed silence. The horrors of the air raids were still a vivid memory, the emotional and physical wounds of the war far from healed, and the experience of shared mourning helped the bereaved to come to terms with their grief over the loss of close friends and family. The daily newspaper Die Union reported: “The emotional involvement and deep gratitude of the audience could not be better expressed than by their departure in silence.” Since that day, the Staatskapelle and the chorus of the Staatsoper have met every year on Dresden Memorial Day to present one of the great Requiem settings or a similar work appropriate to the occasion.