Top positive review
GRANDIOSE, REVERENT,DEVOTIONAL MOZART
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.