Donizetti: Messa da Requiem
Began in October 1835 to commemorate the death of Donizetti's friend and rival Vincenzo Bellini in Naples, the work was left unfinished (probably due to composer unable to conduct it in December, because he was not in the city). It was published in 1870 by Lucca in a vocal with organ arrangement. The first known performance took place the same year in Donizetti's native Bergamo, in the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, under Alessandro Nini. It was repeated in 1875 on the occasion of the translation of the remains of Donizetti and his teacher Simon Mayr to Santa Maria Maggiore; then on the centenary of Donizetti's birth (1897) and death (1948, under Gianandrea Gavazzeni).
The manuscript is preserved in the Conservatorio di San Pietro a Majella (Naples). In 1974 Vilmos Leskó prepared a new Ricordi edition of the Requiem, and since then it came to be regarded as one of the most important non-operatic compositions by Donizetti.
The Requiem for Bellini is one of four Requiem settings by Donizetti, but the only one to survive to the present day. Among the others were a Requiem for Niccolò Zingarelli (composed 1837 in 3 days) and a Requiem for Lorenzo Fazzini (performed in San Ferdinando, Naples, 7 November 1837).