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Berlioz: Requiem Hybrid SACD


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Amazon.com: 10 reviews
46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Still one of the best recordings Feb. 1 2005
By Neaklaus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This recording of the Berlioz Requiem (Grande Messe des Morts)

is still after more than Fourty years, one of the best. The tenor

soloist Leopold Simoneu has yet to be bettered in the Sanctus

part, While the New England Conservitory Chorus may not be the

best one for this music they do at least make a good effort. The

Boston Symphony delivers a majestic performance of the music and

Charles Munch manages to keep the whole thing running like a

well oiled watch. Which is saying something in a large work such

as this. RCA released a recording with the BSO under Ozawa with

Vinson Cole and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus as a One disc

item, while it was a fair effort, it cannot begin to hold a

candle to this classic RCA RED SEAL recording. The only

recording I have heard that comes close to it is the one that

Sir Colin Davis recorded for Phillips as part of his Berlioz

Cycle. This recording is very much a classic and a clear first

choice.
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Remarkable Dec 27 2005
By Good Stuff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This has been hailed as a great performance for more than four decades.

It is also a remarkable recording, a true testament to the genius of the late, great Lewis Layton, RCA's Recording Engineer extraordinaire!

This is one of those wonderful occasions where new technology works to show us just how great prior technology really was.

As for the performance, Charles Munch had the common good sense to allow Berlioz' vision to speak for itself. This is a Requiem that doesn't ask for redemption. It screams for it! It demands atonement. It pleads for salvation.

There are other wonderful recordings of Berlioz' Requiem. The Robert Shaw comes to mind as one in which the conductor understands what Berlioz was about.

However, there is no other recording of this amazing, illusive, demanding and unique work that can lay claim to this: Charles Munch and The Boston Symphony Orchestra's performance is, in a word, exhilarating.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
When I die... June 12 2008
By Tin Tan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Berlioz thought big for his Mass: "The number [of performers] indicated is only relative. If space permit, the chorus may be doubled or tripled, and the orchestra be proportionally increased. But in the event of an exceptionally large chorus, say 700 to 800 voices, the entire chorus should only be used for the Dies Irae, the Tuba Mirum, and the Lacrymosa, the rest of the movements being restricted to 400 voices." I've performed the work as a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus. We did not number 400, but I can attest to the fact that the house was crammed with 16 timpani, 10 pairs of cymbals, four brass choirs, and a partridge... Given that no recording can do this work justice, why not go with the one that's the most musically sublime? In my opinion, it pretty much takes a French musician to convey the style- Munch was Alsatian, close enough. There's only one brief solo in the piece, the Sanctus, it's stratospheric and most tenors either belt it or cheat by singing falsetto. Tenor Leopold Simoneau managed to shape every phrase perfectly- just achingly beautiful. The weakness on the recording is the New England Conservatory chorus. The tenor line is soaring and prominent throughout, and this tenor section is stretched (pun intended) beyond their limitations. Still, the Chorus is more than adequate and gets the message out. (I also highly recommend the Solti/CSO recording of Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust.)
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5 Stars is not enough April 30 2005
By Joseph Serraglio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I agree with the previous reviewers about both sound and performance. This recording is miraculous, even in CD sound. I do not own a SACD player yet, but this disk tempts me to get one.

I was a bit puzzled about Amazon's price--I bought it in a major retail store as a twoer with a factory sticker to that effect, suggesting that BMG's price is $11.99 for both disks. Even at 11.99 per disk, though, it's still a bargain.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Yes but... Dec 7 2013
By Christian Courdy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
One of the american performance for the french conductor Charles Münch. Its a great performance but its to a great machine.
If you really want to know the best performance of Charles Munch for this Requiem, you must find by DGG the concert with one of the best orchester in the world, the bavarian radio symphonic orchestra and chorus, with Peter Schreier as tenor. Munch was tired, he died a few weeks later, in USA, and for this performance he give is last energy.
Friends music lovers, please, dont quit this Earth without hearing that, and sorry for my poor english...


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