This distinctive recording of Mozart s last great work can claim to be unique in two defining ways: the use of soloists drawn from the chorus, as in Mozart's day including young male singers for the soprano and alto solos combined with a period orchestra. These are not idle historical gestures. The contemporary virtues of this approach are consistency in the sound-world between chorus and solo ensemble, and homogeneity of style between period ensemble (here the superlative Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment) and period chorus. The musical text employed is Süssmayr s completion of Mozart' s unfinished score what Christoph Wolff has called the only document that represents the genuine musical truth of the unfinished work .
Thanks partly to the secrecy of its commission, and partly to his having died before its completion, Mozart's Requiem is one of music's most tantalising pieces, prompting eternal dispute as to which parts were written by Mozart. Edward Higginbottom has opted to ignore the plethora of more recent completions in favour of Süssmayr's "official" version, his faithfulness extending to drawing individual soloists from the choir, even using male voices for the higher parts. It's an interesting exercise which perhaps pays greatest dividends in the "Benedictus" section employing just the quartet of soloists. *** --Independent,17/06/11
A 'unique'Requiem performed entirely by men and boys.The choir is full-throated and admirably secure. --Gramophone,Oct'11
Higginbottom thinks Sussmayr's additions to Mozart's incomplete score have been over-censured and his fine church-style reading,with soloists drawn from the choir,achieves greater unity than most. **** --BBC Music Magazine,Nov'11