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Berlioz:Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts) (DG The Originals)

Charles Munch Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £11.92 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Jan 2009)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B001JJX7KQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,855 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Disc 1:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Berlioz: Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts) - 1. Requiem - KyrieSymphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks11:50Album Only
Listen  2. Berlioz: Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts) - 2. Dies irae - Tuba mirumSymphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks12:27Album Only
Listen  3. Berlioz: Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts) - 3. Quid sum miserSymphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks 3:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Berlioz: Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts) - 4. Rex tremendaeSymphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks 5:46£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Berlioz: Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts) - 5. Quaerens meSymphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks 5:31£0.79  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Berlioz: Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts) - 6. LacrymosaSymphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks11:08Album Only
Listen  2. Berlioz: Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts) - 7. Domine Jesu ChristeSymphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks 8:27£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Berlioz: Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts) - 8. HostiasSymphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks 3:28£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Berlioz: Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts) - 9. SanctusPeter Schreier10:33Album Only
Listen  5. Berlioz: Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts) - 10. Agnus DeiSymphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks12:16Album Only

Product Description

DGG 4777561; DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON - Germania; Classica vocale Sacra Messe

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous piece 10 Sep 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
great recording of a piece that is not heard oftene enough - mainly due to the large forces needed. But it is great!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good chorus and soloist can't make up for a tired Munch 2 April 2009
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Charles Munch died in 1968, the year this Berlioz Requiem appeared. Munich is an unlikely place to look for Berlioz, but in several ways this remake is better than the original release with the BSO from 1960. Although only eight years separates the two, DG's sound is considerably cleaner and more vivid than RCA's. There's also a major advantage in the choral singing; the Mew England Conservatory chorus was musical and enthusiastic, but they sounded too young and light-voiced. The Bavarian Radio Chorus sounds professional from start to finish. And the young, perfectly secure Peter Schreier is compelling in the treacherous Sanctus; so was Leopold Simoneau in the Boston version.

The most telling difference, however, has to do with Munch himself, who simply sounds old and tired here. It would be hard to imagine a more melanchily Kyrie to open the work, not so much summoning Christ as mourning him. Even the Hosanna in the Sanctus is downbeat. Tempos are slack throughout, and although Munch's phrasing is accomplished and sensitive, the sensational side of this epic work, which Berlioz intended to arouse awe and terror in his listeners, isn't really present. The forces involved also sound too small in scale, whereas the composer envisioned a titanic assemblage (the only close approximation I know of comes from Bernstein's live reading on Sony, recorded at Lees Invalides in Paris where the premiere took place, but it has sonic limitations).

It's regrettable that the preeminent Berlioz conductor of the Fifties and early Sixties never made a totally satisfying Requiem, but that's the case. Frankly, for DG to foist this off as some kind of classic takes nerve, considering that they've been peddling it at budget price off and on for years.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Berlioz presented as something better than a circus act 9 Dec 2012
By Wayne A. - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I read the other review here and got a bit suspicious. While I generally respect the opinions of "Santa Fe" I find in his reviews a consistent bias toward interpretations that are more "exciting" or "dramatic." Those two terms are highly subjective, and in my drearily long experience with music listeners--the *market*--I've found that they tend to mean louder, faster, techni-colored, and,too often, insensitive, superficial, and rock and roll-ish. In my happily long experience with music *listening* I've learned that there are many ways to produce the subjective experience of drama or excitement, including pulling back a bit and letting the music speak for itself, paying attention to the overall concept, and avoiding producing a stereo demonstration record.

I read other reviews of this Requiem, elsewhere, and found something intriguingly consistent in them. All agree this has fine singers and chorus and great work by the orchestra, but Munch's recording was also reported as being more sensitive, detailed, and spiritual than most. I decided to buy a copy.

Hector Berlioz was a complex man and a composer far ahead of his time. He marketed himself as the ultimate loony Romantic and this reputation maintained itself into modern times. I think Berlioz's self-mythologizing actually helped many listeners cope with the modernity of the music--helped it sell. What was actually often brilliant and subtle, but confusingly above the heads of his contemporaries, could be *accepted* as "bad-boy" music (nearly every bit in the George Antheil sense): individualistic, revolutionary, and anti-establishment. By the early 20th Century, even someone as usually insightful as Donald Francis Tovey bought into this bad-boy myth, and did much to perpetuate it. Later, and beginning with Jacques Barzun and Colin Davis, and with accolades by level-headed composers like Stravinsky, more studious analysis of Berlioz's scores showed him to be far more than a manufacturer of sonic blockbusters and daring effects. Tovey's criticisms of Berlioz, and his patronizing attitude toward the composer, were the outpourings of a person who didn't *get* Berlioz. Sadly, it's probably Berlioz's fault, but what else could Berlioz do?

As much as I love Berlioz's music, I never cared for the Requiem. It seemed shallow and superficial--a cynical mob pleaser. George Bernard Shaw didn't like it either and compared its seeming trivial profundities to someone try to scare us by waving around a skull with a candle in it. Now, with this Munch recording, it's no longer a shallow sonic blockbuster but instead a proper requiem, and a very great one. I recommend it as a first choice, but only if you aren't looking for just thrills and spills, and Halloween scarum.

I recently had a similar experience with Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade. Ferenc Fricsay's performance, once available in the DG box set Ferenc Fricsay: A Life in Music [Box Set], was unlike any I had ever heard. I realized that Fricsay had downplayed the blockbuster side of the piece and presented it as what it truly is, an extraordinary example of musical story-telling. As with the this Berlioz Requiem, this awareness of the flow of the *whole* piece made the dramatic bits--played less dramatically than in most recordings of Scheherazade--far more "impactful". This is an age old technique, found in all the older fine arts and crafts. But *less-is-more* seems to be a lost concept in these hyper-sensationalist times.
2.0 out of 5 stars Prefer the Shaw version of Berlioz Requiem 11 May 2013
By J. Jones - Published on
Format:Audio CD
The Berlioz Requiem is my absolute favorite opus of all time. I've adored it ever since I had the privilege of participating in a performance as a college student. It's a completely mad, wild ride. It challenges singers on every level and each vocal part has plenty of opportunity to shine. Every six months or so, I dig out my vocal score and read/sing through it a few times. I love that it isn't all about sopranos or soloists. The chorus is the star. It requires focus. You can get lost in a flash if your attention flags, and then you're behind and it's "O Rex."

Get the Shaw recording, and if you have any experience with music get a vocal score too. You'll appreciate this Requiem's extreme, lush, dissonant, magical and romantic beauty even more. The Shaw is beautifully, beautifully sung, which is what it's all about. My dream is to participate in another performance of this Requiem just one more time in my life. A girl can dream.
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