Here's an interesting recording of the rarely-heard Requiem by the little-known Mannheim-based composer Georg Joseph Abbé Vogler (1749-1814). The son of a violin maker, Vogler joined the Mannheim court in 1771 and won the patronage of the Elector Karl Theodor. The Elector financed Vogler's studies in Italy where the young composer studied with Hasse. Vogler took holy orders while he was in Rome, hence the "Abbé" in his name. Vogler returned to Mannheim and established a school which was called "the first systematic institute for music." Two of Vogler's most notable students were Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer and that is what he is mostly remembered for.
Vogler was a prolific composer, well-schooled and a generous soul--according to the liner notes, "he accepted pupils without regard to status, sex or religion." So why has his music languished in obscurity? I can't say, but for it seems that unless the composer is Haydn or Mozart, choral works from the Classical period are generally neglected. But judging from what we have on this recording of his Requiem in E-flat major he certainly deserves wider recognition. Vogler wrote the Requiem in 1808 and hoped that it would be performed at Franz Joseph Haydn's funeral in 1809. It wasn't. No matter, the Requiem has lots going for it. The choral writing is excellent and the orchestral writing even better. The agitated strings and biting brass in the Dies irae are thrilling and the echo effects in the Quantus tremor section have an operatic dramatic punch. An absolutely gorgeous Libera me features wind writing that wouldn't have been out of place in Mozart's Masonic Funeral Music. The Requiem is a quality work and well worth discovering.
The other work on the recording is Haydn's Te Deum and it has the requisite pomp required of a work honoring royalty--the Empress Maria Therese. I can't say that it's Haydn at his best but as works of this kind go it's not bad. Both works receive excellent performances by some good but not spectacular vocal soloists, the excellent Orpheus Chor München and Neue Hofkapelle München, a period instrument orchestra.