Japan Composer Stands In for Mozart

From Associated Press

An Austrian group has chosen a Japanese composer’s arrangement of a requiem left unfinished by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to mark the 200th anniversary of the composer’s death, it was announced today.

The International Stiftung Mozarteum, an organization devoted to Mozart research, chose Shigeaki Saegusa’s “Symphonic Concerto for Violin, Viola, Cello and Orchestra.”

It is to be performed Dec. 5, 1991, the anniversary date.

Saegusa’s composition is a completed version of Mozart’s unfinished “Requiem Mass.” For unknown reasons, Mozart was unable to complete the piece he was commissioned to write in the summer of 1791.


One of his students, Franz Xavier Sussmayr, completed a version of the work after Mozart died later that year.

But, Saegusa said, “Sussmayr’s version was written in a style too ‘romantic’ to suit Mozart’s composition. . . . The Stiftung Mozarteum asked me to write my own version.”

“I tried to return to his state of mind,” said Saegusa, one of Japan’s foremost composers of classical music.

He said his composition will be recorded in May and released next August.