Author ORCID Identifier
Year of Publication
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
Dr. Jefferson Johnson
Zdeněk Lukáš (1928-2007) was one of the most prolific Czech composers of the 20th century having composed over 300 pieces. His works include a wide array of genres including symphonies, operas, chamber music, and a large amount of choral and vocal music. He was influenced by Czech folklore and music and was self-taught until he was nearly 40 years old. Lukáš began his career as a teacher but later began working for the Czechoslovak Radio Studio in Plzeň where he founded the mixed choir, Česká Píseň (Czech Song), which became quite famous and still enjoys great fame.
Requiem per coro misto, op. 252 is considered by many to be Lukáš’s most famous choral work. It was written in 1992 for a cappella SSATB chorus. The piece is divided into seven movements; “Requiem aeternam,” “Dies irae,” “Lacrymosa,” “Offertorium,” “Hostias,” “Sanctus,” and “Agnus Dei.”
This document presents an analysis and conductor’s guide of Requiem. The analysis includes an examination of Latin pronunciation employing Germanic Latin when possible and an IPA pronunciation guide and translation of the text. Also included in the analysis is discussion on form, tonality, and development of melody, harmony, and rhythm all of which reveal that Lukáš wrote this piece in a very traditional style.
The conductor’s guide points out many of the issues that a choir may face in preparing Requiem. Some of the issues include intonation, range, and dynamics. One specific issue is that although the piece is tonal, there is considerable use of modes and scales that many singers would consider exotic. One such scale is the Hungarian Gypsy which is essentially a harmonic minor scale, but includes a raised fourth degree. Many of the intonation issues that could arise stem from the frequent parallel motion.
Lukáš believed that a cappella singing is one of the purest forms of music and that singers should be allowed to sing without regard to any instrumental influence whether it be from the composer or some other source. Requiem exhibits this belief through its challenges and its beauty. The work or its individual movements can be challenging yet accessible to singers of all levels.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Miller, Samuel James, "AN ANALYSIS AND CONDUCTOR’S GUIDE TO ZDENĚK LUKÁŠ’ REQUIEM PER CORO MISTO, OP. 252" (2018). Theses and Dissertations--Music. 114.