The man behind Mozart’s alternative Requiem

The man behind Mozart’s alternative Requiem


norman lebrecht

July 12, 2018

Franz Beyer, a musicologist who revised Süssmayr’s completion of Mozart’s Requiem, has died in Munich at the age of 96.


  • barry guerrero says:

    Didn’t Bernstein use the Beyer edition for his DG recording of the Requiem?

  • Sue says:

    What? A clever and useful musicologist? I didn’t think such creatures really existed. Well, you wouldn’t think so reading SD.

  • Robert King says:

    Like several eminent colleagues who have completed composers’ works, Frans Beyer was also a notable instrumentalist and teacher. From 1962-1995 he was professor of viola and chamber music in the Munich Hochschüle für Musik: he also played viola with Collegium Aureum and also on occasion played second viola with the Melos Quartet performing Mozart string quintets.

  • mr oakmountain says:

    Of all the “alternative Editions” of the Requiem, Beyer is the safest and easiest to live with, because he only discreetly corrects Süssmayer’s most glaring mistakes and clumsy passages without rocking the boat too much. One difference that really sticks out is the missing trombone pre-echo of the first choral entry of “Rex” in “Rex tremendae maestatis”. Bernstein seemed to miss it and has the organ player fill in for the trombones. Harnoncourt always used Beyer, and so did Marriner in his earlier Decca recording.

    If you want to try a perhaps braver “what if …” edition, I find Benjamin Gunnar Cohr’s (of Finale Bruckner 9th fame) version the most satisfying. His orchestration is based on Eybler’s pre-Süssmayer work and the “Amen” fugue at the end of the Lacrymosa mirrors the structure of a similar Pergolesi one (Stabat Mater).