The sound of the Empire

A Coronation for Napoleon, a Requiem for Paris

Concert Choral Music Sacred Music
This new Palazzetto Bru Zane production offers a chance to relive the experience of the Paris premiere of Mozart’s Requiem in 1804, in a version that has never been published. To mark the bicentenary of Napoleon’s death (1821), the work is associated with Giovanni Paisiello’s Mass for the Coronation of Napoleon, given at Notre-Dame Cathedral just two weeks before French audiences discovered the Requiem. This version of the work, however, was not exactly the one composed by Mozart. And throughout the First Empire and the Restoration, it continued to undergo more or less significant alterations in order to adjust it to the expectations of the public, to the contingencies of the production or to the running time required by the concert organisers. The success of its first performance also took on the form of a political message: ‘That day also marked the triumph of the Conservatoire of Music. This proud establishment gave the whole of Europe striking proof of the perfection that all the arts are bound to achieve in the reign of the great man who governs France. […] Soon the French will be able to boast, with good reason, that they possess a national music that will yield to no other school in Europe’ (Correspondance des Amateurs Musiciens, 1805). As this quotation makes clear, the triumph of Mozart was seen as an echo of the apotheosis of the Consul Bonaparte, who had just been crowned Emperor...


Thu 3 February 2022
Arsenal, Metz
Wed 27 April 2022
Bozar, Bruxelles


Julien Chauvin conductor
Sandrine Piau / Mélissa Petit soprano*
Chantal Santon Jeffery soprano
Éléonore Pancrazi mezzo-soprano
Mathias Vidal tenor
Thomas Dolié baritone

*Sandrine Piau at the Arsenal (Metz, France) / Mélissa Petit at the Bozar (Bruxelles, Belgium)


Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
Requiem KV 626 (1791, version parisienne de 1804)
Messe pour le sacre de Napoléon (1804)
Co-production Palazzetto Bru Zane / CAV&MA – Namur Concert Hall / Le Concert de la Loge
Scores published by the Palazzetto Bru Zane
Bru Zane Mediabase
Digital resources for French Romantic music
Mass for Napoleon's coronation - Giovanni Paisiello