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Bruckner: Requiem; Psalms 112, 114

Anton Bruckner , Matthew Best , English Chamber Orchestra , Corydon Singers , Joan Rodgers , et al. Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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  • Performer: Corydon Singers, Joan Rodgers, Catherine Denley, Maldwyn Davies, Michael George
  • Orchestra: English Chamber Orchestra
  • Conductor: Matthew Best
  • Composer: Anton Bruckner
  • Audio CD (1 Jan 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B000002ZJR
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 122,969 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Requiem Aeternam
2. Dies Irae
3. Domine Jesu Christe
4. Hostias Et Preces
5. Quam Olim Abrahae
6. Sanctus
7. Benedictus
8. Agnus Dei
9. Requiem Aeternam
10. Cum Sanctus Tuis
11. Psalm 114 (116)
12. Psalm 112

Product Description

Review

'Magnificently performed and excellently recorded. Recommended to more than Bruckner devotees' --Music & Musicians

Product Description

Requiem - Psaumes 112 & 114 / Joan Rodgers, soprano - Catherine Denley, contralto - Maldwyn Davies, ténor - Michael George, basse - Corydon Singers - English Chamber Orchesta, dir. Matthew Best

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beatiful music, beautifly performed. 3 Dec 2005
Verified Purchase
Bruckner's early Requiem is an under-rated and under performed work. Whilst it lacks the impact of his later mass settings, it does contain some exquisite music. This is, without much doubt, the finest version available. The singing from both soloists and choir is sublime, particularly Joan Rodgers and Maldwyn Davies, and the ECO is on fine form and Matthew Best holds the whole thing together with his usual touch. The two psalm settings, both also early works, receive equally good treatment. The recording, which dates from 1987, is very good indeed.
If you are a Brucknerite, then you need this disc, it's as simple as that.
If you like choral music, then this is a worthwhile purchase.
The CD plays for just under an hour. You get useful, if brief notes, and full libreto.
What you don't get is a detailed track listing, which is annoying, but not fatally so.
There is also a three CD set of Best's recordings of Bruckner's three mature masses and Te Deum available (Hyperion again ASIN: B000002ZFX) which is even more essential than this set.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful! 10 July 2003
By A Customer
That's a very interesting recording of two early works by Bruckner which sound more Mozartian than Brucknerian. They deserve to be better known and we must be thankful to Hyperion for issuing this recording. The performance is excellent in all respects.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterful performance of an overlooked masterpiece. 24 July 2004
By Are Johannes Solberg - Published on Amazon.com
Bruckner's Requiem of 1849 is a masterpiece of choral works, drawing it's vibrant energy both from the baroque tradition of masters like Bach and Vivaldi and the composer's contemporary early romanticism. It is, by all measures, a massive and highly dramatic creation, and though it is much more 'available' to a mass public than many other comparable choral works, it is also a work that can distinguish the master performers from the mediocre.

The Requiem in D minor is considered Anton Bruckner's first major orchestral/choral work and the instrumental setting is grand with both organ, symphonic orchetra and a full chorus, besides the very important group of trombones that add a vibrant and vital sonic bridge between the bass of the organ and the light, busy strings.

Hyperion's recording with the English Chamber Orchestra and the Corydon Singers, conducted by Matthew Best, is probably the best recording ever of this dramatic masterwork. The recording and mastering is fully digital and the often subtle melodic components are fully distinguishable through the massive expression. Bruckner's use of the busy orchestral strings are painted over with a more slowly moving vocal pattern, often held up by the organ and trombones that set a remarkable tone to the work. Every single aspect of Bruckner's original vision seems fulfilled under Matthew Best's supervision, with the elegant performances by an ensemble of masterful performers. This recording is highly recommended to anyone fond of grand choral/orchestral work - a true milestone in classical recording and performance.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite all it should be, but the only recording that one can find 6 April 2010
By COLOBARI - Published on Amazon.com
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Well the point of this recording is Bruckner's Requiem, an early work. It is competently recorded, but not spectacular. The piece, as the insert notes suggest, sounds a great deal like Haydn or perhaps Mozart, but with somewhat more interesting harmony. The soloists, overall, seem to be better than the chorus, which I found bland and pallid sounding. I was unable to locate another recording of the work. I suppose that another ensemble should make a stab at a slightly more theatrical take of the piece, and then buyers could choose which viewpoint they prefer. Interestingly, it is scored for only strings and three trombones, chorus, and solo quartet. Which for Bruckner is not so very odd in terms of orchestration, but it certainly sticks out from other works of the era. There are also recordings of two Psalm settings, which I like (I also like his motets very much). Again the choral sound is perhaps a bit pallid for German romantic era music, but it is competently performed.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bruckner as a wee lad of 25 4 Jun 2013
By R. Kopp - Published on Amazon.com
Those unfamiliar with the 1849 Requiem are likely to find it a very, very pleasant surprise, especially considering its general neglect. While it doesn't have all the trademarks of Bruckner's later style, it remains exceptionally lovely and fresh. I had forgotten that he composed it when he was just a wee lad of 25--before he submitted to the rigorous regime of Simon Sechter, who basically forbade him to compose anything other than exercises. (Hyperion's helpful liner notes are by none other than Robert Simpson.)

The writing for female voices is superb throughout and the Cordyon Singers are fine, as they are in Best's recordings of the three numbered masses. At times the choruses lift and shudder and swell with the power of a great cathedral organ. I'm a lot less impressed by the writing for the men, which is relatively earthbound.

Simpson considers the Requiem to be a descendent of Haydn's Lamentatione Symphony, which is certainly an intriguing connection. For what it's worth, I hear more Mozart early on, with a teaser of the great Fauré Requiem in the angelic high female registers.

My favorite movements of are definitely the first two, so I guess I have to admit that the ending, for me, is a bit of a let down--very unusual in Bruckner! The Requiem Aeternam and Dies Irae are extraordinary, however.

The Requiem opens with a rising and falling hurdy gurdy-like theme for strings alone that lasts only about 27 seconds, but for my money it's one of the most haunting and beautiful passages in all of Bruckner. Again, it very much sounds like something composed on an organ but here is brilliantly transposed for strings. I would have been happy if it had gone on forever but instead it melts like butter into a heartrending chorus, a plea for eternal peace. Best and his engineers make good use of a wide but realistic dynamic range here.

After the almost medieval, almost modern supplication of the Requiem Aeternam, the Dies Irae comes as a shock--a celebration of the Last Judgment, startling, thrilling, wonderfully intense--very Carl Orff, but let me pay it an even higher compliment: the riff itself (sans vocals) feels like classic symphonic Bruckner--the scherzo of a great symphony he never wrote.

The fillers are Bruckner's settings of the 114th and 112th Psalms, written in 1852 and 1863. Simpson makes a particularly strong case for the latter. Its blazing horns and triumphant chorus put me in mind of Handel--a surprising reference point for Bruckner. If I'm a little less persuaded by it than Simpson, it is, at the very least, a solid piece of craftsmanship and an interesting sidebar to the career of the great symphonist.

Very enthusiastically recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Bruckner 17 Feb 2013
By Alan M. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Bruckner is one of my favourite composers and therefore I was pleased to add this to my Bruckner CD collection.
Once again Hyperion has put out a great CD.
4.0 out of 5 stars Leave it to the Scholars 28 Jun 2014
By TONY L. ENGLETON CNMT - Published on Amazon.com
06-28-2014 The English Chamber Orchestra does it again, here on this Hyperion CD, with Matthew Best at the helm and the Corydon Singers and four competent soloists in tow in this performance of the seldom heard requiem of Anton Bruckner. Written in 1849, and first performed ON September 15, 1849 and is scored for mixed choir, 3 trombones, one French Horn, and organ and strings. This February 1987 recording by Matthew Best and his charges, runs for 36:32 .
The music is undistinguishable for anything resembling his mature style and it is not the powerful, "rock-of-ages" material I had anticipated it would be. Rather, it sounds very much like an early Mozart or Haydn Mass, clearly demonstrating his debt to the older masters. It was also the largest work to have been composed just prior to his 6 years of tuition with Simon Sechter, and then Otto Kitzler in Linz before he set out and began writing his first 3 Symphonies, numbers 0, 1 and 2 as well as his only Masses, the awesome trio, that receive far more attention than this somewhat neglected requiem.
The opening section combines essentially material usually found in the Mass segment known as the gradual, a meditative verse placed between the reading, silently by the priest of the Epistle and then the Gospel. here, Bruckner combines the requiem aeternam and the usually following Kyrie into one text and uses the choir in a noble and reverent manner to establish the work's solemnity.
the major section of this, or any requiem, is the Sequence titled the "Dies Irae," a sylabaic form of a narrative with the qualities of a dramatic prose. Most" Dies iraes" by other composers are sub-segmented for dramatic effect, when in fact, they become the centerpiece of say, the Verdi, Berlioz and others, like Mozart. Although I am and have been for over 40 years of listening and self-study, a devoted fan of Bruckner, I must admit this dies iraes is a dry, rushed and uninvolved chunk of music, leaving me disappointed that the composer never wrote another one after his time with Sechter, which brought out much of the composer's recognizable style and methodology of writing. in fact, much the same applies to this entire composition. Surely his numbered Masses are of much higher quality, hence their more prolific performance history--deservedly so.
The several remaining segments of the requiem are more or less similar in their routineness and absence of any really striking artistic presence, but almost sound as a mandatory demo made at the request of a teacher of the young man from Ansfelden. And yet, this "young man," was nearly 25 at the time of this opus and had already written much of his organ pieces and several liturgical items for St. Florian's Chapel services, his home since about the age of 10.
Matthew Best's treatment is scholarly and respectful, but not really riveting or passionate, but then, neither is the music itself. Somewhat detached and matter-of-factly written, this 1849 work is a curiosity, and little else and I had to admit it was a piece ai could of survived without. Still, it's a good recording, full, detailed and worth collecting for a budget price, which is about what it is worth. Happy listening and God bless you all, Tony.
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