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Britten: War Requiem [Maris Jansons] [BR Klassik:900120] [Import]

Benjamin Britten Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Benjamin Britten was born in Lowestoft, Suffolk, in 1913. Although he was already composing vigorously as a child, he nonetheless felt the importance of some solid guidance and in 1928 turned to the composer Frank Bridge; two years later he went to the Royal College of Music in London, studying with Arthur Benjamin, Harold Samuel and John Ireland. While still a student, he wrote his ... Read more in Amazon's Benjamin Britten Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Britten: War Requiem [Maris Jansons] [BR Klassik:900120] + Beethoven: Symphonies and Reflections [Mariss Jansons, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra] [BR Klassik:900119]
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Product details

  • Conductor: Maris Jansons
  • Composer: Britten
  • Audio CD (7 Oct 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: BR Klassik
  • ASIN: B00E9HG3WY
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 181,791 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

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


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. War Requiem, Op. 66: Requiem aeternamEmily Magee 9:37Album Only
Listen  2. War Requiem, Op. 66: Dies IraeEmily Magee28:08Album Only
Listen  3. War Requiem, Op. 66: OffertoriumEmily Magee10:33Album Only


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. War Requiem, Op. 66: SanctusEmily Magee10:59Album Only
Listen  2. War Requiem, Op. 66: Agnus DeiEmily Magee 3:550.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. War Requiem, Op. 66: Libera MeEmily Magee24:07Album Only


Product Description

Product Description

This release commemorates the life of the English composer Benjamin Britten, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year. Britten, who in May 1942 refused to fight in World War II, began working in 1960 on a "War Requiem". In March of this year, during the performances by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Mariss Jansons, the work delivered its shattering impact once again – due not only to the Tölz Boys' Choir but also an outstanding trio of soloists.

Product Description

Chor and Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks - Mariss Jansons, direction

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
For decades, Bavarian Radio has supplied the state Radio Sym. Orch. with consistently impressive sound, and here they go out of their way to capture the War Requiem's three-dimensional sound world, with different placements for the main orchestra, chamber orchestra, two chorus (including a boys' choir) and the three soloists. From the opening measures the recorded sound, even through two channels, is exceptionally atmospheric. Another good omen at the outset is Jansons's quick tempo; clearly he's not going to fall into the trap of lugubrious sentiment. Within minutes we hear Mark Padmore's passionate delivery of Wilfred Owen's first poem - we are off to a very good start, and by the end, the experience of listening becomes harrowing and exciting by turns.

Although instantly greeted as a masterpiece in 1962 when premiered at the reopening of the bomb-ruined Coventry Cathedral, the War Requiem is emotionally elusive. Is it protest or elegy? Does it view death in war as horrifying or poetically worth enshrining? Of course, the same questions faced Britten as a pacifist who met with considerable contempt and hostility when he and Peter Pears fled to America during WW II (they came back home before the cessation of hostilities, as did Sir Thomas Beecham). The London Sym. made a classic Decca recording immediately after the premiere, and their remake last year (on LSO Live) under Gianandrea Noseda to mark the Requiem's fiftieth anniversary was operatic and heartfelt. No other recorded version is quite as thrilling, although in concert Mstislav Rostropovich led heart-rending performances ("private" recordings can sometimes be found online).

Vocally, it's spooky how close Jansons' solo trio comes to the original.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous live War Requiem 15 Dec 2013
By stephen
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It is great to see so many new Britten recordings appear in this 100th year since his birth. This one is exceptional for many reasons - one being the amazing chorus! Jasons clearly understands how important the Latin text is and more particularly how it relates to the Owen poetry that sits along side it. The chorus are as committed and inside the music as you could ever hope for. The recording balance is wonderful and the orchestra are superb - they not only play brilliantly but sound like an band who, like their conductor, are as one with the music.
The soloists are very good, especially the tenor and bass. The soprano scores 9 out of 10 for me as she has a habit of introducing to much 'swoop' in her attempt to be expressive, particularly in the 'Lacrimosa.' One fears the shadow of the Britten recording will forever be a benign thorn in any sopranos attempts to match it at least.
I understand the Gabrielli recording is the one to go for these days but until I can afford another purchase this one and the peerless Britten recording will do nicely!
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A more traditional-sounding War Requiem with very fine singing and playing. 2 Oct 2013
By Andrew R. Barnard - Published on Amazon.com
Britten's War Requiem is soaked with such fervent emotion that it is hard for any interpretation to leave a listener unmoved. Yet as one of the great modernist masterpieces, it leaves a wealth of options for the interpreter. Should it be nakedly emotional, primarily soothing, grieving, or frightening? All options seem legitimate, making the main imperative passion and complete commitment, regardless of the application.

Mariss Jansons certainly doesn't favor the brand of all-out excitement as produced by Noseda on his recent LSO Live release. In comparison, Jansons is quite subdued, with conducting that focuses on plaintive beauty over drama. The Bavarian Radio Symphony plays very well and the recorded sound is clear and detailed, so we can hear a wide range of variety--more than usual. For me that was the chief attraction to Jansons' conducting. But Jansons' primary way of dealing with the puzzles of the score is to bypass them, lending a reading that sounds traditional instead of shocking. The choral work in particular is balanced with great care and a sense of conservatism that makes the work sound rather like a regular mass. In Dies Irae and Libera Me, there isn't nearly enough impact for me--this music wasn't meant for church. On the plus side, the small orchestra plays with the most striking individuality and detail that I've heard since Hickox's great account.

It's very good to have Emily Magee as the soprano soloist, without the Slavic wobble that inflicted many past readings. Her delivery drips with intensity and a sense of harrowing fear. Britten was merciless in his vocal writing, but Magee masters the challenges without much stress making her a true highlight. Tenor Mark Padmore doesn't have the vocal authority of Pears or Langridge but with his sensitive, lyric voice he finds sorrowful beauty that can be tear-jerking. He doesn't reach the level of Ian Bostridge, who has the ability to sound creepy and heartbroken all at once, but Padmore finds a unique place in the private, hushed passages which he sings with complete commitment. German baritone Christian Gerhaher has a rich, smooth voice that is easy to enjoy, but of all the soloists he seems the most lacking in impact. The agonized moments in Libera Me are rather straightforward. His tone is gorgeous; he simply doesn't follow a strong emotional line, something this work asks for.

At the end of the day, there are many fine aspects to this reading, but mainly due to Jansons the work doesn't fulfill its dramatic potential. There are many things to enjoy though, so for fans of the work the effort may be worth it for the playing and sound as well as the singing from Magee and Padmore.

P.S. April 2014: Ouch--I badly misjudged this reading. On relistening, I hear greatness that enables Jansons to excel or match the best of the competition. I'll hopefully get around to editing soon.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting War Requiem to rival the best - exciting and amazingly well recorded 2 Oct 2013
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
For decades, Bavarian Radio has supplied the state Radio Sym. Orch. with consistently impressive sound, and here they go out of their way to capture the War Requiem's three-dimensional sound world, with different placements for the main orchestra, chamber orchestra, two chorus (including a boys' choir) and the three soloists. From the opening measures the recorded sound, even through two channels, is exceptionally atmospheric. Another good omen at the outset is Jansons's quick tempo; clearly he's not going to fall into the trap of lugubrious sentiment. Within minutes we hear Mark Padmore's passionate delivery of Wilfred Owen's first poem - we are off to a very good start, and by the end, the experience of listening becomes harrowing and exciting by turns.

Although instantly greeted as a masterpiece in 1962 when premiered at the reopening of the bomb-ruined Coventry Cathedral, the War Requiem is emotionally elusive. Is it protest or elegy? Does it view death in war as horrifying or poetically worth enshrining? Of course, the same questions faced Britten as a pacifist who met with considerable contempt and hostility when he and Peter Pears fled to America during WW II (they came back home before the cessation of hostilities, as did Sir Thomas Beecham). The London Sym. made a classic Decca recording immediately after the premiere, and their remake last year (on LSO Live) under Gianandrea Noseda to mark the Requiem's fiftieth anniversary was operatic and heartfelt. No other recorded version is quite as thrilling, although in concert Mstislav Rostropovich led heart-rending performances ("private" recordings can sometimes be found online).

Vocally, it's spooky how close Jansons' solo trio comes to the original. Gerhaher could be Fischer-Dieskau reborn in his strong, articulate delivery (a welcome change from his usual understatement); Padmore is Pears's equal in intensity, while Magee, coping with a treacherously difficult part, is nearly as strained and unsteady as Vishnevskaya but eloquent. I think I might like the chorus better here than in London; they are flexible, expressive, and beautifully in tune. Jansons is as exciting as Noseda, but not operatic. He accomplishes wonders through precision and steady emotional pressure. (Dare one say it? This is one score where not having an English conductor helps, as Noseda and Rostropovich already proved. )

I really can't thrust a straw between the Noseda and Jansons recordings, both are so riveting. Here the spectacular recorded sound must be counted as the best I've ever heard in this work, but then, the London performance drew more tears. Padmore is unforgettable, but so was Ian Bostridge for Noseda. You choose.

P.S. - I only noticed later that the Wilfrid Owen poem, "it seemed that out of battle I escaped," Padmore sings both verses where in the Britten recording, they are divided between tenor and baritone.

Emily Magee (soprano), Mark Padmore (tenor), Christian Gerhaher (baritone)

Chor and Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks & Tölz Boys' Choir, Mariss Jansons
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