Simultaneously a time of mourning and one of the highest holidays in the liturgical year: Good Friday is a day on which the Christians remember Jesus' crucifixion. Mozart's „Maurerische Trauermusik“ (Masonic Funeral Music) was composed in 1785 and was performed at the funerals of two aristocratic Freemasons in the same year. Gustav Mahler's „Totenfeier“ (Funeral Rites) was originally planned to be the first movement of his Second Symphony. After finishing the entire work, Mahler wrote the following program notes: „At the grave of a beloved person. His struggle, his suffering and desires pass by the inner eye. Questions intrude: What does death mean - is there life beyond the grave?“ Robert Schumann, a Protestant in the predominantly Catholic Rhineland, wrote his Requiem two years before the onset of his psychological illness and his suicide attempt in 1854.This work premiered nine years after Schumann`s death in 1856. Surprisingly, the Requiem voices a submissive tranquility, rather than existential fear or a bitter lament, as if the composer were already at peace with himself and the world.
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