His operas describe fateful configurations of power and love, loyalty and betrayal with unique precision and overwhelmingly powerful musical expression. Verdi wrote his requiem with the same spirit. Its world premiere on 22 May 1874 was a landmark in European culture and marked the beginning of a remarkably successful history. A quartet of distinguished soloists, the Johanneskantorei, the Reading Festival Chorus and the düsseldorf festival! orchestra perform this requiem mass, combining moments of unrestricted existential fear together with Christian catharsis, under conductor Wolfgang Abendroth.