It is not known why Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Requiem remained unfinished. It was written after the assassination of the Italian King Umberto I in Monza in 1900. Umberto I was King of Italy from January 9, 1878 until his death. because of his hard- line conservatism, he was deeply hated by left-wing circles, especially anarchists. Leoncavallo, who had already gained world fame with the opera Pagliacci, was commissioned to write a large funeral service in memory of the slain sovereign. The composer took this commitment to heart and designed the structure of the work, the instrumental composition, solo and choral parts. His desire was to create an original work, emphasizing the mystical character with Gregorian chants that permeate the entire work. It is not known why the author stopped writing the spectacular composition, but it is certain that these themes and motifs found their place in the dramatic works composed later.
After intensive research work on the entire work of Leoncavallo, Joszef Acs built the integrity of the work from the other compositional fragments. His desire was to publish this masterpiece and offer it to the music community and the general public to honor the genius of this composer, worthy of admiration. „The musical themes of the Requiem – writes Joscef Acs – penetrate deep into the soul, the dramatic motifs alternate with authentic lyrical elements, the harmonious world in places reaches atonality, and the expressed feelings to the extreme…”. Joscef Acs has created three versions of the work The first version is for three soloists, choir and organ and the second one is for soloists, choir and clarinet, organ, cellos and double basses (2008/2009). The world premiere was on August 22, 2009 at the 14th International Festival in Brissago. The third version created in 2013, will be performed by soloists, choir, chamber orchestra and organ.