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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on October 23, 2003
There are countless versions of Mozart's almost penultimate masterpiece but this one goes to the head of the list. It is conducted in a very grand and ecstatic style which is probably what Mozart desired if he had the VPO, the Konzertvereinigung of the Vienna State Opera, AND such a powehouse as "Lady Bohm" available to interpret his work as he may have envisioned it as he lay dying and perhaps regretting the many, many works that were fermenting in his fertile mind before his very regretable demise. Leonard Bernstein's version on DG to memorialise his wife may come closest to Bohm's visionary interpretation. Herbert von Karajan's various gelatinous versions are travesties of this masterpiece.
The soloists: Edith Mathis, Julia Hamari, Wieslaw Ochman (superb!), and Karl Ridderbusch (also superb!) all get into Karl Bohm's spirit of the work and the chorus is (no pun intended) "heavenly".
I had a black disc copy of this in the mid-seventies that got worn out from repeated listening and thank God CDs were invented to enable we "requiem junkies" to get our almost daily fix without having to constantly replace vinyl.
The engineering by the inimitable Dr. Gunter Hermanns is exemplary and the production by Drs. Hirsch and Hickmann are up to DGs usual perfect standards - AT THAT TIME. They seem to have slipped of late.
There are other and more authentic versions out there but Karl Bohm and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus and the soloists play and sing for the ages and we should all be grateful to have this artistry preserved for all time on CD.
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on December 19, 2001
This recording deserves an infinite amount of stars. When I first heard this recording, I never thought that Mozart's Requiem could be performed with such a legendary amount of depth and maturity. Every tempo that Karl Bohm decided to use, made it only obvious, that he was a man of impeccable musical depth, both emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically. He had to be. You can actually FEEL the emotional power of this recording. It's a spiritual sensation! I have read certain reviews in which people have greatly acknowledged other particular recordings for their incredibly bravura, virtuosic, and flamboyant performances. However, it must be realized, that this is an EXTREMELY deep, and religious work that is primarily for the glory of GOD. And GOD, would obviously have no interest in a person who's goal would be to bring recognition upon themselves, for their flamboyant renditions. The first recording that I ever owned of the Mozart Requiem, was the fairly new release of the Claudio Abbado recording with the Berlin Philharmonic, which is also on the Deutsche Grammophon recording label (289 463 181-2). I thought that this was a great recording, however, my thoughts immediately changed when I heard the Karl Bohm recording. I heard a hundred times more detail in this recording than I ever did in Abbado's recording. It made me realize that the new Abbado recording is a rather horrible one! For instance, you cannot even hear the organ, at all, in the Abbado recording. If the Abbado recording was the first recording a person ever heard, he/she would have never known that an organ was supposed to even exist in the Mozart Requiem, unless they looked at the back of the CD case, and saw the organist's name printed there! There are tons of other major details that are completely missing in that recording too, however, a person would only be able to realize this, if they heard the Karl Bohm recording. Also, the total performance time of the Abbado recording, is about 49 minutes in length. The total performance time of this Karl Bohm recording, is about 64 minutes in length!! Bohm obviously took the greatest amount of time to express his deepest emotions, which makes this recording incredibly historic. There is NO competition with this recording. This recording MUST be owned, in order to TRULY experience what I believe Mozart intended, during his final hours.
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on February 4, 2002
I have come to love Bohm's direction of the works of Mozart, and this is no exception. The first Requiem I owned was Herbert Von Karajan's, and for a long time I loved it very much... However, as I became older, it sounded increasingly (and overly) muddled to me. Having read good reviews of it, I went out and purchased Gardiner's version. This I liked even less... though it is clear and concise, it feels all wrong for the opposite reasons. The parts which are naturally busy sound good under Gardiner's direction... but too often, the whole thing comes off as thin and passionless. This version, by Bohm, has turned out to be my "just right" bowl of porridge. Though the tempos are a little slow... only a little... the work as a whole will only grow on you. It is a great experience and a nice balance between Karajan's romanticism and Gardiner's precision.
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on July 3, 2000
Karl Bohm has always been praised for his sensitive interpretations of Mozart but I had always pledged my allegiance to the more flamboyant performances of Karajan. Until now. I have nothing but praise for this recording. The pacing is perfect and the reading has the right combination of gravitas and dignity without being stodgy and lumbering which I usually associate with Bohm. The quartet of soloists is excellent and the Wiener Statsoper choir is superior to the Vienna Singverein which sings for Karajan. I was completely won over the moment the Kyrie came on; the attack and polish of the basses was truly exciting. The sound quality is also amazing for its age; there is hardly any hiss and easily rivals and surpasses some of the digital recordings. If there is only one recording of the requiem you can buy then this is it.
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on July 15, 2003
I bought this CD on holiday, listened to the first movement and was hooked straight away. You've never heard Mozart this passionate or dramatic or flawless before in your life. The end of the first and last movements just beg to be listened to with headphones and the volume up as high as it can go. Ditto with the big sumptious endings with the organ in the middle movements.
The (slightly odd) trombone solo in "Tuba Mirum" is pretty much perfect, just like the rest of it really! I have no basis of comparison with other recordings of Requiem, but I think I have picked the best - I don't think it could be improved upon.
Please, buy this piece of music, even if it isn't this recording, just get it; it's too good to miss.
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on December 30, 2001
This performance of Mozart's legendary Requiem holds a special place among countless other Requiem recordings.
Karl Bohm's directing makes this piece very vibrant and alive - emotional and elaborate, as reflected in the rather slow tempos chosen throughout the movements. The solo performers and orchestra are all very involved and create a marvelous tapestry of music. When it's all put together, the Requiem radiates in the religious aura it deserves.
The recording (audio-wise) is very warm and detailed - the organ portions are particularly alive, which is something lacking in many recordings.
All in all, it's definitely a good buy for anyone interested in owning an excellent interpretation of Mozart's Requiem.
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on June 8, 2003
I'm very glad I chose to buy this performance of this particular Mozart masterpiece. I knew that Bohm is somewhat notorious for his slower pacing, but I have a variety of Bohm recordings --of other composers-- and they provided a sturdy foundation to support my choice. If anything the slowness is better; I was never troubled by it, and it's a benefit on the long/er run.
The depth is astounding.
Incredibly moving and profound.
Give Bohm a chance, please. Do yourself a favor. The rewards are high. You can also sample the Karajan version, though I doubt that you'll stick with that one after hearing this one --multiple times, mind you {high volume is advised}.
Best of luck with your decision...
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on February 19, 2000
Ever since I first saw Amadeus 10 years ago, I have been fascinated with Mozart's music. In particular, I have always enjoyed the death mass. It is a both a beautiful and a sobering insight into the human perception of death. I have heard several recordings of Requiem, and the Karl Bohm rendition is my favorite. The sound quality is amazing considering the original recording is from 1971. I have found this to be the case with most Deutsche Grammophone recordings. I highly recommend this disc.
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on July 12, 2004
Perhaps I'm biased, but the first version of the Requiem that I heard was conducted by Neville Marriner and it's the only one that sounds right to me.
The Bohm version, while the recording quality is excellent and the orchestra/chorus is superb, is too slow for my liking. It is a piece written for a funeral and all but it sounds lurching to me; it still has to move along at some pace and I think the Marriner version does this well, better than Bohm's.
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on June 4, 2004
What is so individual about K. Bohm's approach is the way he allows the music to unfold naturally...and that is is the magic. The Vienna Philharmonic introduces so wonderfully right down to the basset clarinets...all of this is so spine tingling as to defy description.
You really got to give his Beethoven a try...again it is so relaxed and full of beauty...he was a great artist and the only conductor the Vienna Phil named Conductor Laureate!!!
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