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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine performance of its time
For a conductor to record 3 different recordings of the same work in 3 decades for the same label must show an extraordinary love and commitment. Karajan made this recording of Mozart's Requiem in 1962 and made two further recordings in the 1970s and 1980s. I have a copy of his 1977 recording which I will review at some time but not his last digital recording from the...
Published on 21 Feb. 2013 by Bacchus

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2.0 out of 5 stars Fuzzy and boring
I did not enjoy this recording of the Mozart Requiem. The performance did not engage me, the soloists are not at their best, and the recording is fuzzy and distorted - in fact, it sounds a lot like vinyl used to if you had a build-up of fluff on the needle.
Published 15 months ago by Ian E.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine performance of its time, 21 Feb. 2013
By 
Bacchus (Greater London - Surrey) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart: Requiem (Audio CD)
For a conductor to record 3 different recordings of the same work in 3 decades for the same label must show an extraordinary love and commitment. Karajan made this recording of Mozart's Requiem in 1962 and made two further recordings in the 1970s and 1980s. I have a copy of his 1977 recording which I will review at some time but not his last digital recording from the 1980s.

This recording has received more criticism than the later ones and indeed the other reviews I have read on Amazon UK have been rather muted as have the ones I have read by professional reviewers.

As it happens, I really enjoyed listening to this recording even though there are a few caveats that I want to get out of the way first. As with many of Karajan's recordings of choral music, the chorus sounds rather distant. The Vienna Singverein is evidently a large choir but it never sounds overpowering at full volume and sounds a bit mushy when it is singing quietly. You rarely get the attack that you get from a modestly proportioned professional choir. The pacing too is relatively laid back. The fast passages can sound a bit lumbering - there is weightiness but it is not particularly exciting. I also had a problem with the soprano soloist[arguably the most important solo part] Wilma Lipp whose lovely voice is sometimes under the note and who has a tendency to swoop from under the note. However, I would say that this is a reflection of singing at the time. Singers tend to be a bit straighter in Mozart's music nowadays.

There are compensations though. Despite the observations above, I loved so many other aspects of the performance. The choral sound is always lovely to listen to. There are some heavenly sounds coming from the orchestra, especially the sonorous trombones and liquid basset horns and shimmering strings. There is so much love and care in the music making. The soloists were the leading Viennese singers of the time. I was particularly impressed by the male soloists, Anton Dermota and Walter Berry. I must say that the kind of mushiness I was complaining about in the choral passages was completely absent in the solo passages, which had tremendous clarity and presence. Because of these positive qualities, I never have that itching feeling that I would rather be listening to another recording.

So, not a perfect performance but one that is never less than hugely enjoyable for me.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly old-fashioned performance of Mozart's last composition, 22 Feb. 2014
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M. Counsell (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart: Requiem (Audio CD)
I am singing this shortly as a member of the Birmingham Choral Union, and wanted a reasonably cheap recording to practise with. This meets the bill perfectly. It is a bit old-fashioned in that it is slower than most modern performances but that is an advantage when learning the notes. It also came with a free on-line download so that I can listen to it on my computer etc.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Fuzzy and boring, 27 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Mozart: Requiem (Audio CD)
I did not enjoy this recording of the Mozart Requiem. The performance did not engage me, the soloists are not at their best, and the recording is fuzzy and distorted - in fact, it sounds a lot like vinyl used to if you had a build-up of fluff on the needle.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Karajan not quite at his best, 9 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Mozart: Requiem (Audio CD)
When I bought this I expected an awful lot, which may have been my downfall. As with much of Karajan, the pace is quite slow, which I think works OK, but occasionally it drags. The choir is a bit large for my likings and with the acoustic, the sound can become muffled in the polyphonic sections. My biggest problem though is the soprano soloist, who seems to glissando up to all her first notes, especially when in a low range. Overall, a good recording, but there are far better recordings out there!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Mozart: Requiem (Audio CD)
All OK
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very poor sound quality, 12 April 2013
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This review is from: Mozart: Requiem (Audio CD)
Despite this recording being of high calibre performers the sound quality is absolutely atrocious - particularly the orchestral sections. Very disappointing to have acquired such an abysmal recording of such a superb work.
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Mozart: Requiem
Mozart: Requiem by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Audio CD - 2010)
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