Verdi conceived the idea of a Requiem after the death of Rossini. He suggested that leading composers would commission separate movements to a composite Requiem, thereby honouring Rossini. The initiative did not succeed due to disputes among the composers, but Verdi still completed the full text later, starting from the “Libera me” movement that was initially assigned to him.
The visionary text of “Dies irae”was more and more interpreted as a dramatic scene by composers of the 19th century. Thus, requiems gradually outgrew churches and increasingly became concert pieces.
Verdi’s Requiem can be viewed as his most popular opera, in simplifying terms, because it is apparent that this work is clearly structured as a sequence of lyrical and dramatic pictures, where the composer contrasts the solo movements depicting the frail man with the choir movements painting dramatic scenes. In the performance, the imagination of the audience will be aided by pictures and lyrics.