Requiem for Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
Nicholas Charles Bochsa (1789–1856)
Modern edition by David Whitwell (1937–)
Instrumentation: Wind Ensemble, ATB soloists, ATB choir (Fl 1.2, Ob 1.2, CA, Cl 1.2, Bsn 1.2, Hn 22.214.171.124, Tpt 126.96.36.199, Tbn, Tuba, Cbs, Harp, Timp, BD, Cym, Tam-Tam)
After Napoleon was first defeated by a coalition of European powers in 1814, the coalition restored the throne of France to Louis XVIII on 6 April 1814. Louis XVIII returned to Paris on 24 April 1814 and the subsequent celebration of the Bourbon Restoration was the occasion for a Motet, by Bochsa, “Composed for the celebration of the Apotheose of Louis XVI and the Happy Return of the Bourbons”.
After “The Hundred Days,” during which Napoleon attempted to regain control, another, much larger celebration was held on 15 January 1815 centered on the reburial of the remains of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. It was for this celebration that Bochsa and Cherubini composed Requiems in honor of Louis XVI.
The Bourbon Restoration ended with the July Revolution of 1830, a commemoration of which resulted in the government’s commission of Berlioz’ Symphony for Band. Thus we have as book-ends for the Bourbon Restoration two large-scale, important original compositions for large band.