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4.5 out of 5 stars20
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 20 February 2009
One of the classical composers that today is most prone to bad recordings is without doubt Mozart. The popularity of the composer gives an extra incentive to release average recordings of his work as it is sure to make at least some money. I own several versions of his Requiem, and while all versions have their own pro's and con's, this is probably one of the overall best.

One of my major gripes is the somewhat laid back style of the recording, it doesn't always play with the energy that I feel the work deserves. Granted, the playing is really great, has a lot of feel to it, and is overall excellent. If I want a more energetic recording of this, I can just listen to my other recording of the work. However, the greatest boon about this edition is the singing. The chorus and soloists are absolutely amazing, with great clarity and emotional range.

Regardless, if you love Mozart's Requiem, you owe it to yourself to own at least two different versions, and this one should definitely be one of those two. It is great to have several versions of the Requiem, because then you can just listen to the version you are in the mood for.
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on 8 November 2006
Brilliant performance, gripping, double-dotted strings give a real edge to Rex Tremendae, while Kirkby and Watkinson's pure sound blend wonderfully with the fruity Knabenchor sound of Westminster Cathedral. The 'authentic' instruments really make this recording stand out, from the military-sounding timpani to the warm tones of the brass chords in the Tuba mirum. The inclusion of the Amen chorus is a controversial choice, and will probably offend some, but to my ears this sounds entirely in place - simultaneously plaintive and infused with Todesangst. This is a brilliant attempt to peel back the Süssmayr's modifications and get back to Mozart's original intentions. Dropping in Mozart's Amen chorus is a daring and explicit break with previous interpretations of this work. Buy it and be amazed.
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on 16 January 2016
I've often thought that Mozart's Requiem is 'one of those things' that seem to transcend musical taste. I'm not a big fan of Mozart, despite being a working musician; I enjoy it, yes, but I rarely feel the need to sit down and lose myself in his music - I freely acknowledge that it may come to me with age. Despite this, there are a few works that do appeal in that way - those pieces from which almost everyone will recognise a fragment, and if they don't, they should. As such, the requiem is a piece to which I would happily direct (and have often directed) anyone wanting their first taste of 'classical music'.

Unfortunately, those pieces tend to attract a certain nostalgia in performance - everyone sounds similar when they do them, the tempi are always within a narrow bracket, and they sound faintly ... 'traditional'. The 'Requiem' is often a victim of this.

Not so for Christopher Hogwood & Co. who provide what is for me one of the apexes of recorded music to date. I find it impossible to be moderate about this recording, impossible to not fizz with enthusiasm, impossible to provide an even remotely balanced review of it. It sparkles... no, more than that, it blazes. There is no dullness here, no trudging moderation, no weighty sense of appropriateness. Instead of weight, it has gyroscopic balance; instead of tradition, it has a gravity; and instead of nostalgia-laden pomposity, it has verve and definition.

I have many recordings of this work, but it's a rare thing that I listen to any but this one... Part of me wonders, in fact, if there's something slightly wrong with the ears of people who would do otherwise...
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on 19 February 2000
the choir is simply breathtaking and all the soloists, notably the soprano, sing it extremely traditionally and amazing in quality. this piece overall is one of the best i've listened to, despite it being a different version (Maunder edited sussmayer's version) but is WELL WORTH THE MONEY - very good
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on 19 February 2000
Very fine recording : maybe a bit slow but definitely captures the atmosphere and is very well done overall : Precise, well-rehearsed and co-ordinated, and the quality of the soloists are definitely admirable. Well worth it for the price.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 January 2011
This is a beautiful rendition of The Requiem, the acoustics of Westminster Cathedral playing a major part in the creation of a spaciousness in the sound. There is also a shiny timbre with the use of period instruments. I agree with an earlier reviewer that there is less dynamism and thrusting forward energy than with some other versions, but its swings and roundabouts really, because the quality of the soloists, particularly Emma Kirkby, is outstanding. Kirkby's pure soprano line rises and floats without strain, impossibly open and effortless. The Tuba Mirum is a wonderful illustration of this, a dance/progression from the strong bone and earth of David Thomas' bass and the vibrant brass to Kirby's ethereal tones, supported by that bone and earth, but escaping free into space.

What an extraordinary piece of music this is.
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on 30 July 2010
Emma Kirkby and the others are all absolutely brilliant.
We all know that Sussmayr may not have been equally brilliant in writing the bits Mozart himself didn't have time to complete, but what a shame this is the Maunder version, and not the Sussmayr version that we all know and love.
The combination of Mozart, Sussmayr and Emma Kirkby would have been as near to heaven as you'll ever get.
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on 14 March 2013
Definitely not a regular listener but whenever I am in a dark place this embraces it and more. The most amazing piece of music I have listened to ever.
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on 18 December 2015
Highly recommended.
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on 29 May 2011
I thought it good and well performed, which is what you would expect from the Academy of Ancient Music.
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