- Audio CD (May 16 1990)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Deutsche Grammophon
- ASIN: B000001GDM
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | LP Record
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
Between 1961 and 1986, Herbert von Karajan made three recordings of the Mozart Requiem for Deutsche Grammophon, with little change in his conception of the piece over the years. This recording, from 1975, is, on balance, the best of them. The approach is Romantic, broad, and sustained, marked by a thoroughly homogenized blend of chorus and orchestra, a remarkable richness of tone, striking power, and an almost marmoreal polish. Karajan viewed the Requiem as idealized church music rather than a confessional statement awash in operatic expressiveness. In this account, the orchestra is paramount, followed in importance by the chorus, then the soloists. Not surprisingly, the singing of the solo quartet sounds somewhat reined-in, especially considering these singers' pedigrees. By contrast, the Vienna Singverein, always Karajan's favorite chorus, sings with a huge dynamic range and great intensity, though with an emotional detachment nonetheless. Perfection, if not passion or poignancy, is the watchword. The Berlin orchestra plays majestically, and the sound is pleasingly vivid. --Ted Libbey
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This work, so deep, impressive and so beautiful, tempts the soloists to go overboard, the chorus to boom and the orchestra (especially the brass section) to blare during the huge instrumental portions. Only the most masterful of conductors can completely reign in the exuberance and produce a crafted version of this monumental composition.
I bought this because I love Von Karajan and the soloists, in particular Van Dam and Tomowa-Sintow. Von Karajan, the German precisionist, constructed a well-balanced and perfect rendition of this work. Nothing I have listened to since comes close. The soloists are top-class, but here they are not performing separate works to show off their skill. And the chorus is clean and balanced, allowing the listener to hear the work as a whole blending of orchestra, singers and soloists. If you own only one Mozart's Requiem, this has to be the one.
conveyed, and proceeding onwards to the final bars with a compelling eloquence
that grips the listener from start to finish."
The solemnity of the requiem mass, clear tenor and alto lines often indistinguishable in other recordings, well-measured pacing, and the perfect balance of orchestral and vocal emphases make this album an absolutely unquestionable choice.
You won't be disappointed in the least.
I cannot explain to you how beautiful this work is. I first heard it many years ago, as I am a classical musician, and it is just absolutely glorious, a wonder, a gem.
Mozart was obviousely a genius, and this is definetely one of his best works, besides his operas and piano sonatas.
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