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35 Reviews
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120 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STILL REMAINS THE BEST
This was the piece of music that first really turned me on to classical music, listening to the very first performance from Coventry Cathedral on a small tranny radio. What I failed to realise then was that this massive impact was achieved by brilliant structural simplicity.

The whole work is effectively a study on the tritone, the 'diabolus in musica', that...
Published on 22 Aug 2006 by Klingsor Tristan

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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
I thought I'd like this, as I played it many years ago - but I don't - it's kind of cold
Published 13 months ago by Ed


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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything I wanted, and more!, 8 July 2012
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This review is from: Britten: War Requiem (DECCA The Originals) (Audio CD)
So much has been written about this great work and its authoritative performance over the past almost 50 years that nothing needs adding in that regard. My original Decca Stereo LPs still sound amazingly good, and the transfer to CD sounds as if the recording was made yesterday. The booklet contains the full English text and translations into German and French.

The big surprize was the inclusion of a substantial amount of rehearsal material at the end of the second CD which provides insight into Britten's interpretation of his own work, and which reveals (to me, at least) why subsequent recordings of the work have never quite matched the sweep and intensity of this original.

With the current state of world hostilities, the warnings contained in this work remain as relevant as when it was written. Buy it. Even if you don't like it, it will make you think.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive, 5 Feb 2012
This review is from: Britten: War Requiem (DECCA The Originals) (Audio CD)
This is the definitive recording of the War Requiem as originally imagined by the composer. Not that this is the only way of doing it, as others have shown, but the performance here is absolutely stunning as is the recording by John Culshaw. It still sounds fabulous after 50 years. What genius Culshaw was!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WAR REQUIEM-BRITTEN (his own recording), 12 Aug 2012
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Britten: War Requiem

I purchased by 'download' - had trouble with the process but, after a complaint, had a very helpful e-mail from Amazon and was able to download successfully. I then discovered that the download was flawed - items in the wrong order and the whole of the first movement (Requiem aeternam) missing. I drew this to the attention of Amazon and received a prompt apology and a refund. So - nearly - full marks to Amazon.

The cost (refunded) was £7.49 and the version I downloaded may have been withdrawn. The numbers at the top of this review probably refer to the same recording.

The recording I received (as long as one is prepared to put up with 'disorder' and the first piece missing) is well known, of course, and quite excellent - a very moving and powerful performance with good recording quality.

AT
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gwen, 17 April 2012
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This review is from: Britten: War Requiem (DECCA The Originals) (Audio CD)
I listened to the original broadcast way back in the 60's and was very impressed then and still get the same feeling hearing it again The voices are quite beautiful as is the whole concept of the production Although I am no real music buff ,I certainly can understand the message B B was sending.Quite brilliant
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only Version of this Monumental Work Worth Listening To, 27 Mar 2012
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E. A. Redfearn "eredfearn2" (Middlesbrough) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Britten: War Requiem (DECCA The Originals) (Audio CD)
I first heard this version during the late 1980s on LP and was very impressed with not only the recording, but more importantly the performance. Now recognised as a classic work of a great composer, this version can never be surpassed. I have also heard another version recorded by Sir Simon Rattle with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Elisabeth Soderstrom, Robert Tear and Thomas Allen being the soloists. This dates from 1983. I enjoyed the performance, but the recording was terribly unbalanced with the soloists being too far forward and the orchestra barely audible at times. This version, produced by John Culshaw is wonderfully balanced throughout, with the soloists being clear and the orchestra and chorus sounding just right, never too loud, or too soft. It is an extraordinary work, profoundly moving at times, depicting the horrors of war, rather than glorifying it. The poems of Wilfred Owen, who was killed in action barely a week before the armistice in November 1918, bear the testament of a lost youth, 'My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the Pity. . . .All a poet can do is warn.' Supreme words indeed.

Benjamin Britten in his wisdom, had composed a work of genius by interspersing nine poems of Owen along with the Latin text of the Requiem Mass, thus creating one of the great choral works of the 20th century.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have, 6 Aug 2011
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Per Arne Rudberg "P-A Rudberg" (Vallentuna, Sweden) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Britten: War Requiem (DECCA The Originals) (Audio CD)
This recording is the definitive recording of this music. The three soloists that this music was written for, with the composer conducting. It's deeply moving.
Everything is here working together to make the idea of this marvellous music alive.
I would especially point out the Fischer-Dieskau and Pears parts where two extremely intelligent singers understand what they sing.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As expected, 11 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Britten: War Requiem (DECCA The Originals) (Audio CD)
It came the next day - undamaged and it was the recording I wanted - what more can I say!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 18 July 2014
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Joanne H. Jepson "fogcity" (san francisco) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Britten: War Requiem (DECCA The Originals) (Audio CD)
Excellent
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Britten's War Requiem, 22 Feb 2014
This review is from: Britten: War Requiem (DECCA The Originals) (Audio CD)
An amazing, but very uncomfortable piece of music, difficult to sing as well as to listen to, but a lot to think about afterwards.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Britten War Requiem, 22 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Britten: War Requiem (DECCA The Originals) (Audio CD)
A favourite of my husband's who thinks this is still the best version. We only had it on tape before.
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Britten: War Requiem  (DECCA The Originals)
Britten: War Requiem (DECCA The Originals) by Galina Vishnevskaya (Audio CD - 2006)
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