The packaging labels this disc Mozart Requiem
, but the actual programme on the DVD bears the title "Herbert Von Karajan Memorial Concert", a document of a concert given on July 16, 1999 in Salzburg Cathedral to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of the conductor. Mozart's unfinished Requiem
, as completed by Süssmayr, is obviously the main work. We are told that other works were performed, but not what they were, the only additional pieces being two short arias for soprano, Betrachte dies mien Herz un Frage Mich
, KV42 and Laudate Dominum
, KV339 beautifully sung by Rachel Harnisch. In the Requiem
Claudio Abbado summons a deeply atmospheric performance from the Berlin Philharmonic and Swedish Radio Choir, and equally expressive singing from his finely matched soloists. Bass Bryn Terfel is powerfully communicative, soprano Karita Mattila hauntingly resigned. If not as fiery as if Karajan himself were conducting, this is still a memorable and rewarding tribute.
On the DVD: There is a wonderfully three-dimensional Dolby-Digital 5.1 sound mix which brings the Salzburg Cathedral ambience alive, and a stunningly detailed and clear anamorphically enhanced picture. Documentation is minimal; no texts, subtitles or information about either Von Karajan or Rachel Harnish is given. There is only one special feature, which is not documented on the disc: by default the disc offers a standard multi-camera view, but at a press of the "angle" button it switches to a second set of cameras focused entirely on Abbado. --Gary S. Dalkin
Claudio Abbado leads the Berliner Philharmoniker in this performance of Mozart's last work, recorded live at Salzburg Cathedral in July, 1999. The Schwedischer Rundfunkchor is joined by soloists including Rachel Harnisch, Karita Mattila and Bryn Terfel.