How did Rosetti’s Requiem come to be chosen for Mozart’s memorial and why has it largely disappeared?

Antonio Rosetti’s Requiem was written in 1776 and forms part of the large lake of repertoire that is rarely, if ever, presented in concert. So, why present it at all and what can it offer a contemporary audience?

The answer lies with the death of Mozart and a unique concert. More specifically, in the depth of relationship and mutual love between him and the people of Prague, who upon hearing of his death organised a memorial service attended by thousands.

In stark contrast to the paupers grave and apathetic response offered by the citizens of Vienna, what made this sister city, 300km to the north west, respond with such force and emotion? How was the Rosetti Requiem chosen for Mozart’s memorial and why has it largely disappeared?


A contemporary of Haydn and Mozart, Rosetti was born Franz Anton Rösler around 1750 in Litoměřice, a town in Northern Bohemia. Working in Prague and surrounding areas he began as a double bass player in the city’s orchestras, also composing and conducting his own works before becoming Kappellmeister towards the end of his career. Prolific...

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now or log in to continue reading.