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Initial post: 13 Jan 2014 23:45:42 GMT
Mark says:
I'm a big fan of Mozart's Requiem and I've heard small snippets from Verdi's, Faure's and Karl Jenkins, but I'm not sure if they have won me over. I've seen good reviews for Cherubini's requiem. If anyone can recommend one or two that are fantastic (including the non Mozart ones mentioned) I'm all ears. Thank you in advance

Posted on 14 Jan 2014 00:28:54 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Jan 2014 00:32:15 GMT
JayJayDee says:
Berlioz (Messe des Morts) is magnificent.
Try Colin Davis Berlioz: Grande Messe des Morts or Leonard Bernstein Requiem .

Most of the choir had a nervous breakdown at the premiere.

If you prefer the baroque era, you can try (before purchase) the attractive JC Bach Requiem done by the RIAS on Youtube
Puccini wrote an attractive requiem if you like his brand of tunefulness
Verdi: Requiem/Puccini: Missa di Gloria/Poulenc: Gloria.
With this set you can also enjoy the Verdi which is truly loveable!
The thing about the Verdi is that, as the years go by, it is different parts of the work that become more attractive.
My favourite Verdi is the Solti/Janet Baker performance from Chicago
Verdi: Messa da Requiem - Sony Classical Masters.

A desert island disc if ever there was one!

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2014 01:00:48 GMT
Anonymouse says:
"I'm not sure if they have won me over."

They're not too sure about you, either. :-)

But seriously, the requiem field is a large and fecund one. (There's got to be a really wicked funny joke in that. Omar? Ken?)

Henze. (This one's purely instrumental.)
Britten. (Plus a Sinfonia da requiem, too, which is dynamite.)
Brahms. (I've never liked this one. Everyone else in the world knows that I'm wrong and just gives me pitying glances from time to time.)

Posted on 14 Jan 2014 07:33:56 GMT
Mark says:
Thank you both i will check out those you have listed. There seems to be a lot of fans of Verdi's Requiem so I'll start with the Sony Classics one. Cheers

Posted on 14 Jan 2014 08:00:48 GMT
enthusiast says:
I was surprised to see your comments on Verdi's, Malx. Is it all Verdi that you have been ambivalent towards or just the Requiem? There are so many great recordings - Bernstein or Reiner or the Decca (VPO) Solti are all wonderful. And Britten's War Requiem (draws from Verdi deliberately giving us powerfully emotional settings of Owen's war poems between somewhat Verdian settings of the Latin Requiem Mass) - Britten's recording leads the field but Hickox, Rilling and McCreesh are all excellent.

Faure's is very different and gentle and beautiful. It might actually serve as a Requiem for a real person. I like Fauré - Requiem; Franck - Organ Symphony which has a great Franck Symphony as a coupling.

There are others that are wonderful but those three are the big ones (along with Mozart) for me. The Brahms German Requiem is not at all my favourite Brahms piece and is very hard to bring off so I don't include it high up in a list of requiems.

There was an excellent BBC4 programme on Requiems a few weeks ago. It was very interesting on Requiems as political statements rather than functional pieces for playing when a loved on dies (who wants to think of their loved one facing the terrors of Judgement?) and it surveyed a lot of music. It is bound to be repeated.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2014 09:08:42 GMT
Malx says:
enthusiast - I take it your comments are directed to Mark rather than myself!

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2014 09:25:40 GMT
Bruce says:
Funnily enough though I like both - Verdi's was actually written for a specific person, (Alessandro Manzoni) while Faure's was not, as far as I am aware?

The choir I am in, has just started working on Verdi's Requiem for a performance in Hove in April. :-)

Posted on 14 Jan 2014 09:41:14 GMT
The first version of Faure's Requiem was written for the funeral of M Lesoufache, a Parisian architect, in the church of La Madeleine where Faure was organist. The work was later expanded and reorchestrated to give the familiar version. John Eliot Gardiner has recorded the first version (with movements Faure added for publication).

Anyone wanting to try a Requiem from an earlier era could go for Victoria's Requiem; my favourite version is from Westminster Cathedral Choir conducted by David Hill but there is also a fine version from The Sixteen. Also there is Schutz Musikalische Exequien to a German text; my favourite is Mauersberger and the Dresdner Kreuzchor but there are various more modern versions available.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2014 10:02:05 GMT
Bruce says:
"My Requiem wasn't written for anything - for pleasure, if I may call it that!"

Letter from Fauré to the composer Maurice Emmanuel, quoted in Nectoux (1991), p. 116 (English translation by Roger Nichols). in the original French, Fauré's words were "Mon Requiem a été composé pour rien - pour le plaisir, si j'ose dire!" Some English versions translate "pour le plaisir" as "for fun"

Posted on 14 Jan 2014 10:16:08 GMT
Mondoro says:
Michael Haydn's Requiem is not way inferior to the works of his more illustrious brother. Recorded on Hyperion CDA67510

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2014 10:48:58 GMT
Gordon D says:
Anonymouse - While I love the second section of Brahms's Deutsches Requiem (Denn alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras), I can't say I've ever been really grabbed by the rest of it.

I second anyone's nomination of Berlioz's Grande Messe des Mortes. If you have a decent hi-fi, the Lacrymosa will blow you away.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2014 11:03:57 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Jan 2014 11:18:43 GMT
Whatever Faure's later thoughts were, the work was first performed on 16 January 1888 at the above mentioned funeral. He later told an interviewer he had wanted 'to do something different'. This was because 'after all those years accompanying funerals! I'd had them up to here.'

In any case I would prefer to see the context of his remark, not just the single line (and citation) taken from Wikipedia.

In another version of events it was the death of his father in 1885 that prompted him to start a Requiem.

He also revised the work twice.

Posted on 14 Jan 2014 13:49:53 GMT
mancheeros says:
If you like Early Music you should try this outstanding recording...

Ockeghem: Requiem; Missa Fors Seulement

Posted on 14 Jan 2014 14:20:51 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Jan 2014 15:27:46 GMT
scarecrow says:
I've just heard , well a month ago;the Verdi with Muti and CSO, and Britten with Dutoit and CSO. . .neither exalts the perfection of the Mozart.

The Britten has structural problems, the musical form is too overdetermined (Orchestra Tutti, Chamber digression, choir..then reverse) .etc.Like Britten didn't know what to utilize first, and second. . .He wasn't a hardcore modernist, so you cannot take these occasional excursions in form without some prior experience with it; ; to sustain the dramatic power you need be content with the power of your materials. . ., The musical power is dissipated as the piece progresses. . . . . there are truly wondrous moments in it, the "misterioso" choir mists, are heavenly. . and the Men Solos are impassioned, the Tenor and Bass, as if the globe functions only through the imagination of Men, Real Men of Sacrifice and Redemption. . .Don't Women struggle as well. . .It should have been edited. . . I don't think is stands by-itself for drama or content in the current state . But who am I. . . . .
the Soprano persona is truly heavenly and very distant,"lontano". . .third person. . like women simply visit these "places" of struggle;as if women are not "players" for Britten, perhaps not. . .perhaps yes! It is obvious if you are truly engaged in the work. . . as I was sitting there fixed,gazed with my program booklet. . .

The Verdi Requiem; hearing it now seems overblown for no reason,Poor Verdi can never be subtle, Well it wasn't a subtle age was it, ,the paradigm got larger with Victoria. . .Although Victor Hugo reveals the narrative complexity that was possible then. . .

Muti and CSO certainly suggested an elegant seamless reading. .You can find it on youtube. . . .
Requiems our about Time, movement to another place, a remembrance of suffering and sacrifice; and desecrated, the Sacred and the Profane. . . ;
Whom is it directed toward? is the question. .What dead?, Where; and now it seems like the 19th Century was a "messy" place, a "variegated" time in which to inhabit the earth. . . yes death was always on the "table" of the powers playing games, as today. . .our maimed mutilated soldiers returning from the Middle East. . .no one cares for them. . I wonder if the Neo-Cons could shake a few million$$ out of their golf bags for them and their impoverished families. . .

Gerhard Stabler did a very powerful chamber-requiem piece, "Sabra and Shaltila", the massacre of Palestinians. . is perhaps the only "requiem" you will ever encounter on this subject. . .Jean Genet has written about this atrocity,really one of his last assignments. ."The Prisoner of Love", was allowed to smell the rotting flesh in the aftermath. . .

Also painter Botero did a quite compelling series of paintings, requiem like on Abu Ghraib. . . they made the touring rounds the globe. . .

The Mozart I've never grown tired of its power,complexity,texture and beauty, it eternally generates itself, it, the music never tires of itself, whereas the other Requiems also the Brahms, seems like it struggles, it lumbers to make Substance emerge from it. .

Messiaen's "Et expecto. . ." very modern and powerful with winds brass,saxophones percussion,(large tam-tam, and gongs),with deployed blocks of players Cross shape on the performing platform. . . the music suggests a "wall", a mural of impenetrable sound. . .reveals the power of modernist technique, something Britten should have learned. . .
Here we have no human voices, and yet the music transcends its bounds. . . suggests more than itself. . .
Well, the human voice is in "another" place now, gone,mystified eradicated;
This piece does approach the Mozart for its economy of structure, ugly beauty,dramatic power,suggestion of subject; its pacing is overwhelming. . .written for the dead of WW2, played originally outdoors. ..I've heard Boulez with CSO twice. . . .none better for this material. . .

Posted on 14 Jan 2014 14:48:44 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Jan 2014 14:51:08 GMT
Bruce says:
I have recently bought two great versions of the Verdi Requiem :

Verdi: Requiem (Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano) [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region Free]

Verdi : Messa di Requiem

and really enjoyed this new version of the Britten :

Britten: War Requiem (Erin Wall/ Mark Padmore/ Hanno Muller-Brachmann) (Arthaus: 108070) [Blu-ray] [2012][Region Free]

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2014 15:39:24 GMT
Bella says:
JJD: We all listen with different ears - I too am very attached to the Verdi Requiem, but loveable is just about the last word I would use!!

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2014 18:54:43 GMT
enthusiast says:
Yes indeed, Malx, but I may not realised it at the time. Obviously my morning coffee was not as strong as usual today.

Posted on 14 Jan 2014 19:50:17 GMT
MacDoom says:
I didn't find Gounod's or Saint-saëns's very interesting, but the one by Fauré is certainly in my top whatever. From the almost interminable Brahms requiem I really only like 'denn alles Fleisch'. The rest goes past me completely. Not one I'd have thought of for requiems, but Von Suppé's is actually very attractive. Gouvy's requiem must be one of his personal best works, which is saying something. Dvorak's is wonderful. Schumann wrote two very small late ones (op. 98b and 148). Bruckner's also, is a curiosity more than anything. Wetz has a biggie, Rejcha's is grander than its content warrants.

Posted on 14 Jan 2014 21:32:42 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Jan 2014 21:33:07 GMT
Roasted Swan says:
interesting no-one has mentioned the Howells - an extraordinarily moving work Howells & Vaughan Williams: Requiem & Mass which later evolved into the equally miraculous Howells: Hymnus Paradisi/Concerto for Strings - surely one of the great British vocal works of the 20th century. Both works written in memoriam of Howells' son Micheal who died in childhood of meningitis.

For what its worth - I love the Verdi requiem - so theatrical but glorious. Try Tresors Des Requiem. This is an excellent set hiding some very good versions of the "basic" requiems complete plus a few excerpts. It include my favourite Solti/Chicago Verdi (used to be on RCA) & the Durufle, Saint-Saens, Mozart & Faure complete.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2014 12:50:57 GMT
Last edited by the author on 18 Jan 2014 12:55:44 GMT
JayJayDee says:
Perhaps you replay the Dies Irae (repeat) too often. The Agnus Dei and Ingemisci (best operatic piece in my collection) are as truly 'loveable' as any piece of music.
That Solti disc is currently one of the true bargains of the current Amazon catalogue - at £4 inc. postage you can get a brand new copyVerdi: Messa da Requiem - Sony Classical Masters of this piece of music on a single disc which exceeds 81 minutes.

Posted on 18 Jan 2014 13:10:31 GMT
I was given Gergiev's recording of the Verdi Requiem some years ago and, seeing that the tenor soloist was Andrea Bocelli, was apprehensive about listening to it. In the event I needn't have worried. Bocelli's singing is a bit penny-plain maybe, but not the car crash I had been expecting. Renee Fleming is the soprano soloist and her singing is a bit vacuous, but she can at least make a lovely sound, and everyone else holds their end up pretty well - the orchestral part in particular suits Gergiev down to the ground. Not a connoisseur's version, I would imagine, but I enjoy it.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2014 22:55:01 GMT
Last edited by the author on 18 Jan 2014 23:01:59 GMT
scarecrow says:

I think Verdi would have preferred this immediacy, directness, the surface-flash makes bonfires of a common-place. He was far from great subtle moments,his palette was made in broad arm-swinging gestures. .. . . nor was he one for complex discourse. . .much like our Rappers today,so angry,self-righteous; direct,in-yer-face. .
I can see Bocelli's voice as the gentle innocent revolutionary, seizing the day with simplicity yet un-tiring passion. .

Gergiev is great for this,Also very impassioned, direct, he's a builder of orchestras, and music establishments. . . as he did in his homeland; Sir Solti had a similar demeanor and temperament. . .Solti's chosen soprano was Renee Fleming. . eternally. . .
Reading, rendering the "commons" was what Verdi and his Age loved, It brought great pleasures to the smoldering, tortuous Unification process. . .

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jan 2014 14:56:47 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jan 2014 15:01:08 GMT
Chris L says:
Two particularly good Requiems from the Rennaissance era are by Manuel Cardoso and Duarte Lobo ,
with a fine performance of each on the Naxos CD 8.550682 , Portuguese Requiem Masses ,
by the Oxford Schola Cantorum , here:
Lobo/Cardoso - Missa pro defunctis

Posted on 5 Feb 2014 13:43:36 GMT
For me it is:


with Brahms as a definite favorite.
I like Solti. Klemperer is also good. A bit disappointed with the Gardiner from Philips, but I noticed he has a new version out on SDG.

Never really tuned in to Mozart's Requiem although his instrumental stuff is among my favorite music. I actually prefer his Coronation Mass and the Great Mass in C minor (is it c minor?) to the Requiem. I will be getting Savall's recording just to see if he can change this situation.

Posted on 5 Feb 2014 14:15:17 GMT
Bruce says:
The choir I'm in is well into rehearsals for Verdi's Requiem now and I think actually trying to sing this stuff gives you a whole new perspective and gets it in your head in a way that nothing else can. We did the Faure last year and now I can't see how you can compare the two - as they are like chalk and cheese - or rather a huge multi course banquet vs. a light souffle! ;-)
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