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Ein Deutsches Requiem

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Product Details

  • Performer: Giulini; Cotrubas; Fischer-Dieskau
  • Composer: Brahms Johannes
  • Audio CD (Aug. 19 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bbcl
  • ASIN: B001EQPDA6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
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Product Description

Ileana Cotrubas, soprano - Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baryton - Edinburgh International Festival Chorus - London Philharmonic Orchestra - Carlo Maria Giulini, direction

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Amazon.com: HASH(0xa42f6f6c) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa42d612c) out of 5 stars A lovely reading, but the sound is too distant April 11 2011
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This broadcast performance of the German Requiem dates from august, 1978 on a visit by the London Phil. to the Edinburgh Festival. As the lead reviewer notes, the sound is distant, both for chorus and orchestra, which raises the question of whether one might prefer the better sound on Giulini's late recording for DG in 1987. It features excellent soloists (Barbara Bonney, Andreas Schmidt) and the Vienna Phil., and it too was taped in concert. As interpretations go they are really the same. The first movement takes just over 10 min. in both readings; the overall timing is 73 min. Compared to Simon Rattle's recent recording on EMI, which takes 67 min., this is a slow, reverential, often gentle account. the lack of strong attacks by the chorus in the second movement, for example, will tell you if he is too soft-grained for your taste.

For me, the later, better recorded one is the obvious choice, beautiful as this one is. The baritone soloist, Fischer-Dieskau, all but owned the part in the postwar era, replacing Hans Hotter (who moves me much more); his three commercial recordings all precede this one from Edinburgh, with Kempe (1955), Klemperer (1961), and Barenboim. (1972). the singer was 63 but in very good voice. The problem is that he is too far from the microphone; one wonders why the BBC engineers didn't correct this at the time. Musically the solo part is rendered with the same artistry and assurance one hears on all of F-D's studio versions. Cotrubas suffers more from being too far back because her German is not as distinct, but she is touching nonetheless. The festival chorus that year sounds very good.

In all, this is a lovely souvenir of a conductor who won the hearts of the British public, and on those grounds it is well worth hearing, despite the sonic deficits.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa46033e4) out of 5 stars Another Master's Performance Sept. 9 2010
By Music Lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Even though the chorus sounds a little distant in this late 70's live recording, the great solo work of Dietrich Fisher Dieskau (maybe the greatest German lieder singer of the last century with a lover's history for the Brahm's Requiem), Eleana Cortrubas (Romanian)and with the great conductorial scheme of master Brahmsian Carlo Maria Giulini, we have a delectible performance from the past for those of us who love these three. (I for one believe Giulini to be perhaps the greatest conductor of Brahms of the 20th century! -- and I know that takes in a lot of territory. Not the only good one, but maybe the greatest!) Dieskau and Cortrubas perform perhaps the best solo work of the 9 or 10 versions I have kept over the years- and by the way, I only keep the great ones. Not only the other one by Giulini (VPO), but two great ones from Chicago (Levine & Barenboim). And about seven other keepers including an English one by Toscanini (1943).

Back to this recording. It is more passionate than the one Giulini conducted live in Vienna and recorded by DG in the late 80's. It is, in short, too bad this one was delayed so long before released by BBC. Giulini conceptualized Brahms like few others. Many do not know he grew up in an northern Italy Austo/Italian neighborhood where he got both Brahms and Verdi. He conducted both from the earliest of his days. This man conducted Brahms more than a half century. Few conducted him as well. He excelled with respect for the composer's own concept of his music. He lets it play out. Such a natural thing when Giulini conducts.

The chorus is the Edinburgh International Festival Chorus, and it does OK. The sound does not help it. It's hard to judge it because of its distance. However, everything else falls in place for a great experience with this Requiem. Get it if you love Giulini like I do. It's very good and a welcome addition to his Vienna performance a decade later.