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Product Details

  • Performer: Accentus; Equilbey; Members of Orchestre National De France
  • Composer: Faure Gabriel
  • Audio CD (Nov. 18 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nvv
  • ASIN: B0019GKI88
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,387 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Fauré: Requiem opus 48 - Introït
2. Kyrie
3. Offertorium
4. Sanctus
5. Pie Jesu
6. Agnus Dei
7. Libera me
8. In Paradisum
9. Cantique de Jean Racine opus 11

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xb4e4e03c) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb4e59bac) out of 5 stars Excellent March 4 2010
By Joseph Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
First, let me say that I am no aficionado of Faure's Requiem; it is not my favorite musical work. So, if you want the purist's review of this work, you might want to seek another reviewer. However, I CAN hear; and this CD is excellent. Whether through singing technique or recording technique (or both), I don't know, but somehow the sound of this CD perfectly fits the nature of the music (a requiem). The voices blend in such a way as to create a sound that is heavenly (i.e., ethereal) but not lightweight. It creates just the right tone and atmosphere.

Sound (especially excellence of recording-quality) has always been very important to me. And I cannot remember any CD that has ever so perfectly matched the music with the appropriate sound. This is a beautiful CD. The combination of music and sound seemed to pull me in and embrace and soothe me. (I can recommend this CD if you ever need to relax before bedtime, though if you fall asleep it will be because of its soothing nature rather than from boredom.) Please don't misunderstand; this CD is not bland or boring; it is (as I now hear for the first time) how this piece should be sung and presented.

I also have this work on another recent CD, by Harry Chrisophers (2008, on Coro), which I thought was just fine, until I heard this one by Accentus. And indeed Christophers' group's singing is also excellent and the recording-quality is fine. However, next to the Accentus disc, the Christophers sounds somehow inappropriate to the music, and seems to draw too much attention to itself rather than creating the appropriate atmosphere.

This CD by Accentus is the first one I have heard from the Naive label, and I look forward to hearing more of them.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb4e075ac) out of 5 stars Fauré's Beloved Sacred Work in an Ethereal Performance Nov. 19 2008
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Accentus, founded and directed by Laurence Equilbey, is one of Europe's premier choral groups. Over the last few years their CDs have been among my favorite choral recordings. This recording of Fauré's Requiem and the Cantique de Jean Racine joins that list. In fact, it's hard to imagine choral works more suited to the delicate, even ethereal sound of this group, with their impeccable tuning and gorgeous pianissimi. They are joined here by soprano Sandrine Piau whose Pie Jesu is innocent and moving, and by baritone Stéphane Degout in the 'Hostias' section of the Offertorium and in the Libera me. As well a children's chorus, Maîtrise de Paris, and a chamber-sized orchestra taken from the Orchestre National de France are heard. The Requiem exists in several different performing editions and it is not clear to me which of these is heard here. It certainly is not the version with full orchestra that Fauré's publisher insisted he provide. Rather it sounds like some version of the original form of the work. In its first version the Requiem had only five sections, with the Offertorium and Libera me added a couple of years later. If I'm not mistaken the Pie Jesu was originally sung by a treble and in this recording a female soprano is used, although it needs to be said that Piau's voice sounds very nearly like that of a boy soprano. Certainly the innocence and gentle urgency are there. Lest it seem I'm implying there is only a narrow dynamic range in this performance, let me add that the climactic moment of the Sanctus, the final 'Hosanna in excelsis!', really rings out. The same is true for the climax of the Libera me. The orchestra plays with great musicality and is particularly effective in the glorious accompanimental figure of the Agnus Dei that always haunts me for hours after hearing it. The recording was made in the basilica of Sainte-Clotilde, Paris, and the mildly resonant ambiance adds to the effective recorded sound. For me this recording will not replace, at least for sentimental reasons, the classic performance by John Rutter, the Cambridge Singers and the City of London Sinfonia Faure: Requiem and other choral music, but it comes very close to that one and is in superior sound.

Fauré wrote the Cantique the Jean Racine for his 1865 graduation from the École de Niedermeyer, the 'school of classical and religious music'. It sets Racine's translation of a Latin hymn 'Consors paterni luminis' which calls on God to look down on his children and imbue them with righteousness as they begin each new day. It is said that one can immediately recognize anything by Fauré within a few bars and even in this work written when Fauré was only twenty this is true; no one but Fauré could have written it. Equilbey's forces give us a lovely rendition of the work.

Another triumph for Accentus.

Scott Morrison
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb4c8fe88) out of 5 stars A Chamber Music Approach March 22 2013
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Laurence Equilbey is highly regarded in Europe for her intense musicality as a conductor. She is more interested in communication than in drama and this is one reason why her recording of Gabriel Fauré's Requiem, the original 1893 version of his Opus 48 discovered in 1969 instead of the full orchestra large chorus version we have come to know in concert halls.

Here Equilbey conducts her own chorus Accentus and members of the Orchestre National de France, adding children's voices from the Maitrise de Paris. The sound is warm and caressing with as much emotional impact as the more often heard version of the work. Though Accentus is primarily known for a cappella work the 30 member choir blend beautifully with the chamber size orchestra - a small body of strings, brass, timpani, harp and organ. The recorded sound is deep and vibrant allowing the textures to be substantial with rich color tones.

The soloists for the work are very much in keeping with the chamber concept. Sandrine Piau is the soprano and her voice is light and almost childlike in quality - very appropriate here. The baritone solos are exceptionally fine with Stéphane Degout once again proving that he is one of the finest French baritones on the concert stage today. Though the entire Requiem is beautifully performed the moments that are almost unequalled on recordings are the Lux Aeterna, the Sanctus and In Paradisum.

The CD adds the Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11 with the orchestra adding woodwinds and an increased string section. This has become one of the most popular works with audiences, stirring responses that are not unlike the love for Barber's Adagio for Strings, and the Nimrod Variation form Elgar's Enigma Variations. It is a radiant ending to this very fine recording. Grady Harp, March 13
HASH(0xb4d841ec) out of 5 stars Five Stars Feb. 2 2015
By Thomas W. Price - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Only the French could perform Faure so beautifully!