Verdi’s Requiem, composed in 1874, is a huge, great wind-machine of a thing, often labelled an opera in all but name. Verdi had written a ‘Libera me’ as a part of what was meant to be a joint Requiem by him and several other composers, in honour of Rossini. When all that fell through, his Libera me was sent back to him. In his sixties and prompted by the death of his friend, the writer Manzoni, he set to work on surrounding it with its other constituent parts. It was a huge hit. In performance, it can be impressive simply to see the eight trumpets, often lined up round the stage, but when they play along-side a chorus marked ffff (that’s four times as loud as ‘loud’) well, it’s simply staggering.