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Britten: War Requiem, 1962 (Gabrieli Consort/McCreesh) Double CD

Price: £9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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£9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Britten: War Requiem, 1962 (Gabrieli Consort/McCreesh) + Incarnation: Christmas Music (Gabrieli Consort/McCreesh)
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Product details

  • Conductor: Paul McCreesh
  • Composer: Benjamin Britten
  • Audio CD (2 Sept. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Signum Classics
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,919 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Disc 1:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. War Requiem, Op. 66: IJohn Mark Ainsley10:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. War Requiem, Op. 66: IIJohn Mark Ainsley27:03£0.99  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. War Requiem, Op. 66: IIIJohn Mark Ainsley 9:34£0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. War Requiem, Op. 66: IVJohn Mark Ainsley10:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. War Requiem, Op. 66: VJohn Mark Ainsley 3:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. War Requiem, Op. 66: VIJohn Mark Ainsley23:02£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Following their acclaimed recordings of Berlioz 'Grande Messe des Morts' and Mendelssohn s 'Elijah', Paul McCreesh has once again assembled the mass forces of Gabrieli Consort & Players and Wroclaw Phiharmonic Choir to record one of the iconic masterpieces of the 20th-century oratorio repertoire. The work reflects Britten s long-held and committed pacifist beliefs. Composed to mark the consecration of a new Cathedral in Coventry, Britten combines the Latin text of the Missa pro Defunctis with nine poems by the First World War poet Wilfred Owen, which provide a moving (and frequently uncomfortable) commentary on the liturgical text. This series has already garnered substantial critical claim and a number of prestigious awards, including a BBC Music Magazine Award for Technical Excellence and two Diapason d'Or awards.


Perf (5/5) ***** Rec (5/5) ***** McCreesh creates a vast crescendo and pauses for an awestruck moment before an incandescent Hosanna...heart-stopping... a choral sound of airy, pure brilliance. His New College choristers have the ideal mix if celestial glow and nimble impatience; his orchestra is wonderfully articulate. And the sound picture has the greatest depth of range and recording... the profundity and coherence of McCreesh s reading sets a new standard for this work. --Helen Wallace, BBC Music Magazine- Christmas 2013

Intensely focussed singing, solo and choral (glinting with young voices), a dramatically persuasive performance and a gloriously immersive recording. --BBC Music Magazine Award nomination

(5/5) ***** 'McCreesh is in total command of his forces, and they are ever alert and responsive to his direction. With a superb complementary essay and imaginative packaging, this is a very attractive alternative to the composer s own recording.' --Philip Reed, Choir and Organ January/ February 2014

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Oscar Cheetham on 4 Dec. 2013
Format: Audio CD
This recording is one of the most immensely powerful recordings of an undeniably powerful work. Whilst the Britten recording will remain in anyone's collection, this is a must-buy for me and I recommend it wholeheartedly. Soloists and chamber orchestra provide beautifully reflective moments in complete contrast to wildly exciting, visceral sections with the full orchestra and stunning massed choir. For me, John Mark Ainsley is the most moving soloist - I challenge anyone to listen to this recording whilst looking at the war photography in the booklet without being moved to tears. A truly humbling experience and another epic release from Paul McCreesh and Gabrieli.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J N McMahon on 13 Dec. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having listened exclusively to the Britten recording of his own work for the last twenty years, I was sceptical about forking out £15 for another recording. I am glad I did: this is a quite brilliant recording. The sound is wonderful. The attention to detail makes it a captivating recording - it possibly also reveals gaps in the Brittem recording. Most of all, it navigates the transition from menace to pathos, and back again, in a wholly convincing way.

I vote this my own classical music disc of the year.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An excellent War Requiem 5 Oct. 2013
By enthusiast - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
There are now quite a number of recordings of the War Requiem and they are still coming - Pappano has an account in the pipeline. A recent version in the LSO Live series from Noseda was, I felt, disappointing. It seemed to underplay the importance of the songs and increase the focus on the Latin Requiem setting - the very opposite of what this piece needs - and the singers seemed weak, with Bostridge finding it hard to escape from the wonderful phrasing of Peter Pears. No such worries here. The signing is first rate - idiomatic and fresh. The choral and orchestral work is also excellent and McCreesh paces the piece perfectly. Nothing is exaggerated but many telling details and fine accounts of the songs make this a powerful account. On occasions the words that the higher voices are singing are not as clear as they should be - a problem with the acoustics of the venue? - but otherwise the sound is fine. Of course, the wonderful version conducted by Britten is not to be missed by anyone. And Rilling's account perhaps has more character than this new one. And Hickox - whose account can seem both careful and exaggerated - is also a contender. But McCreesh has given us a fine new War Requiem.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Less than fully satisfying or inspiring. 19 Oct. 2013
By RENS - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I eagerly awaited this latest recording of the War Requiem. Having listened to it carefully, I find it is several notches below the first-rate Hickox 1992 recording on Chandos Britten: War Requiem; Sinfonia da Requiem; Ballad of Heroes and nowhere near the excellence of Britten's original 1962 London/Decca recording. (On CD: War Requiem McCreesh's soloists are as far as I can tell as good as I expected - except that they are placed so far back from the microphones that they are at times barely audible, whereas the instruments of the small orchestra that accompanies them are quite up front. I agree with the first reviewer: the higher choral voices are difficult to understand. The boy choir is more articulate and very fine, indeed. Somehow the performance lacks energy and seems piece-meal rather than one section leading to and flowing into the next as Britten presented it. I had hoped to find this a 5 star recording. Because of the shifting acoustics (the recording was made over a period of time in three different venues) I nearly chose 3 stars. This is a beautifully packaged bit of merchandise with many wrenching WWI photos included as well as photos from Britten's life. I just wish the performance itself lived up to the packaging.

I recommend Britten's recording on London/Decca the one to have if you are having but one. This is especially so if you obtain the new audio Blue Ray remastering which also includes a lengthy set of excerpts from the recording sessions. Britten: War Requiem I also recommend very highly the superb 2012 performance on DVD and Blue Ray led by Andris Nelsons in the Cathedral of St. Michael in Coventry on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the premier performance in that same consecrated space. War RequiemAnd also on CD: Britten: War Requiem Also of interest is the DVD of an enthralled Erich Leinsdorf conducting the War Requiem at its premier in the United States with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The DVD is sufficiently clear black and white and the sound is stereo, unexpectedly focused and powerful given the state of television transmission in 1963. The performance is dedicated and thrilling. It took place at Tanglewood in the big shed, so the arrangement of the forces is quite cramped and odd. Unfortunately, the two male soloists have little sensitivity to the language of the poetry or to Britten's style. In any case, it is a wonderful historical document. Britten: War Requiem

There are a good number of other recordings of the War Requiem as befits the masterpiece it is. I have distilled out my favorites for this review. You will want to examine all the possibilities and choose what sounds best to your own ears. Certainly you will want to check out the 1966 recording by Karel Ancerl Britten: War Requiem if you are interested in the reception of the Requiem in a Soviet dominated country. A stunning performance in good mono sound (with a rather raw tenor). It is coupled with a recording of the Spring Symphony sung in Czech! Still, it is a pretty much a matter of historical importance. The original Britten recording cannot be beat, honest, period.
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