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Dellers (Cornwall, England)

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Verdi : Messa di Requiem
Verdi : Messa di Requiem
Price: 13.18

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raw Passion!, 26 April 2006
Verdi's Requiem is often considered one of the finest Requiems of musical history - and rightly so. The music is just overflowing with passion and beauty; melodies that simply melt the heart, lush and rich harmonies and orchestration to blow your mind. The impact of this particular performance is astonishing. The emotion, passion and brilliance of the music comes across very powerfully, yet the Berliner Philarmonic never stray from correct musical technique. It is a fine achievement.

Angela Gheorghiu is simply beautiful. Her voice is perfect for this work; and by the time the heart rendering melody of the 'Libera me' arrives she simply glides and floats delightfully through the sequential falling thirds. It has to be one of my favourite passages of music.

Abbado has done an excellent work in showing off the beauty of this music to its full. It seemed to me that this recording very much brings out the 'Italianness' of the Requiem although I am not entirely sure if I am explaining myself very well here. Let it just be said that this particular performance is a jem of musicianship.

One of the highlights is the famous 'Dies irae' movement which is truely magnificent. There are few things in the world that can beat listening to a piece of music like this and turning your stereo up really loud to feel each crashing chord pounding through your body (or even better would be a live performance). The violins and piccolos wheel and squeal to great heights before the orchestra plunges uniformly to a new crunching depth. Utterly superb! But it is not just the 'Dies irae' that is brilliant, the entire Requiem is just one piece of beautiful music after another.

The conclusion then? Definitely worth getting. This Requiem is a masterpiece of great quality, rich in passionate melody and beautiful operatic voices. In particular this performance has to be one of the best I've heard. A stirring recording.


Absolution
Absolution
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 5.85

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Multiple Genres, Massive Sounds, Great Emotion and Brilliant Music!, 26 April 2006
This review is from: Absolution (Audio CD)
Muse are one of those very few genuinely talented and musically focused bands on the modern scene. They have a style that is entirely unique but draws influences from luscious Romantic piano (noticably Rachmaninoff), some Classical orchestration, Baroque driven polyphony, electronica (perhaps Radiohead inspired), heavy guitar (definitely RATM) and classic pop-rock (Queen, Pink Floyd, Nirvana). For a three-man band they create a massively rich textured sound that is full to bursting with sublime musicianship and raw passion.

Muse are perhaps best heard in a live show. Their live performances are renowned and have earnt the band several awards (Brit Awards 2005, MTV Awards 2005) even though they are not yet widely recognised for their true talent. The factors behind the brilliance of their live shows are mainly in the individual skill of each band member. Matt Bellamy especially has achieved a remarkably high level of skill in two instruments (piano and guitar) and his vocal range of pitch and tone is astonishing. He easily shifts up octaves to glide his voice through a beautiful range of falsetto pitches approaching astonishingly high screams. But the bass and drums of Dom Howard and Chris Wolstenholm should not be missed as well. Instrumentally they are superb and they are easily capable of carrying a song on their own, allowing Matt Bellamy the freedom to improvise and perform solos.

The band have explored several different genres since their first album 'Showbiz'. But each piece of music they play has a distinct 'Muse twist' to it. 'Absolution' is an album that is more subdued than the heavy momentum of Origin of Symmetry and explores a great deal of Muse's more Classical influences. 'Time Is Running Out' is the first track on the album that was released as a single. Its highlight is an effective groove bass line. 'Stockholm Syndrone' and 'Hysteria' are two more singles that feature. These are perhaps two of the heaviest and rockiest tracks with wonderful guitar riffs. 'Hysteria' is aptly named since it moves to heights of ecstacy and brilliance through its compelling riffs and captivating soloing. 'Butterflies and Hurricanes' is a massive track which really brings Matt Bellamy's talents to the fore with a powerful piano driven section that features more than a little hint of Rachmaninoff.

Overall the album progresses perfectly from one track to the next with a natural flow. Linking tracks such as 'interlude' emphasise the fact that the album is produced in a deliberate and precise order. The music spans several genres (rock, electronica, metal, Classical, Romantic etc) yet each track is appealing to the musically minded listener. Although I have picked out some general highlights, the album as a whole is a great accomplishment and each track is a good piece of music. I would definitely hihgly recommend this band and this album.


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