June 30th, 2024

The Requiem in D minor, K. 626, is a Requiem Mass by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791). Mozart composed part of the Requiem in Vienna in late 1791, but it was unfinished at his death on 5 December the same year. A completed version dated 1792 by Franz Xaver Süssmayr was delivered to Count Franz von Walsegg, who had commissioned the piece for a requiem service on 14 February 1792 to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of his wife Anna at the age of 20 on 14 February 1791.


Composers rarely kept meticulous records of what they composed and when, so musicologists take on the important job of cataloguing and labelling a composer’s body of work – usually after the composer’s death.

The first musicologists to publish a catalogue of Mozart’s work were Franz Gleißner and Johann Anton André in 1833, but this was incomplete. It was Ludwig von Köchel’s much more extensive 1863 catalogue that went on to become the accepted classification.

Köchel simply started with the earliest known work and gave it the number 1, then went through in order. The Requiem in D minor – still unfinished at the time of Mozart’s death was the 626th and last piece in his catalogue and so received the number K.626.

Köchel’s original list (K) has been revised a couple of times since publication, as new pieces and better dating information have come to light. The version in current use is K, published in 1964 by Franz Giegling, Gerd Sievers and Alexander Weinmann.

Mozart, Frédéric Chopin, Giacomo Puccini, Franz Joseph Haydn, Maurice Ravel, Gustav Mahler, Kerry Muzzey or Ludovico Einaudi, matters not. Let me listen to them all. And in merciless abundance. Today was a sublimely wistful summer day strengthened by the inexpressibly boundless “Favourites Mix” of Apple Music. The sunshine was glorious. The air refreshing, breezy and balmy. The river’s normally polished surface was artfully dissonant beneath the channel’s northerly gusts. From my idyllic 2nd storey perch, fuelled by a triple espresso with freshly pressed lemon juice I rejoiced in my critical observatory and convalescence from a paralyzing bottleneck that haunted me irrationally and unforgivingly all last night, destabilizing my erstwhile equanimity and causing me embittered and incoherent anxiety.

My weekend and month end were thus blissfully disentangled, distinguished instead by a consuming resonance and placability. The elevation was astronomic. Though I hadn’t the Stoic luck on this Sabbath, the last day of June, to arise from my overnight lair in time for the 8 o’clock worship service, I had at least the providence (and dare I say, the foresight) to undertake a purgative tricycle about the neighbourhood, an occasion to relish the balminess of the notable and fleeting summer day. My championship athleticism was punctuated by a collaborative jaunt parallel the river park sidewalk with a congenial woman whom I know. Her mellifluous bubbles were as predictably mellow as the compositions of the classic musicians. We trumpeted our way to Gale Street then separated, she diverting to the Old Town Hall, I back along Spring Street.

Gustav Mahler (German: 7 July 1860 – 18 May 1911) was an Austro-Bohemian Romantic composer, and one of the leading conductors of his generation. As a composer he acted as a bridge between the 19th-century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century. While in his lifetime his status as a conductor was established beyond question, his own music gained wide popularity only after periods of relative neglect, which included a ban on its performance in much of Europe during the Nazi era. After 1945 his compositions were rediscovered by a new generation of listeners; Mahler then became one of the most frequently performed and recorded of all composers, a position he has sustained into the 21st century.

In retrospect what seems a mere swath of time, a tiny wedge of temporal measurement, I have reunited with life’s pleasantries. Gone are the ennui and apprehension. I have bonded with my trifling ambitions, the palliative preoccupations of an indolent mind. Make no mistake, I do not flatter myself to presume to be of any consequence.  Mine is but a selfish autobiography with no more compelling account than possibly that of distantly historic scrutiny. But neither is this of any immediate disappointment. I have supplanted my former pursuant of jurisprudence with the now assuaging amateur amusements of photography and writing. Though it is the only value I now sustain, though my commercial usefulness is exhausted, I am nonetheless content to fulfill this shallow enterprise with the equally mediocre distinction. Now is the moment for casual and unrepentant observance. To see Nature and youth in their vigour. The material world is but a memory of artifacts, a summary of the past, a conglomerate not unlike the musical algorithms. It is time to move along, to dawdle in the process, to leave behind what is extinguished, to abandon surplusage, to pick the fruit from the tree before it perilously falls from the branch. It is the end of June 2024.

St. Paul’s Anglican Church