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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 28 October 2010
Although I own more than twenty recordings of the Verdi Requiem and have loved the piece for forty years, ever since I heard Bernstein's TV broadcast from St Paul's (commemorated in what is still a favourite version made with the same forces but recorded in the Albert Hall), for some reason until recently I had avoided acquiring this one. Perhaps I had been put off by untested accusations that Solti's interpretation was all brash theatricality and no vertical sense; perhaps I supposed that Joan Sutherland would be no-one's ideal of a Verdi soprano - but as soon as I finally bought and listened to it, this version leapt to the top of my list alongside three or four favourites including the aforementioned Bernstein on Sony, the famous Reiner recording, the 1952 Toscanini and Karajan's dream-team DVD from 1967(also featuring a young Pavarotti).

Apart from the quality of the sound, the fervour of the chorus and the fact that I think Solti, following Toscanini's model, successfully combines drama with the requisite reverence, the soloists offer an extraordinary combination of qualities: Sutherland's security and amplitude of tone, Horne's magnificent lower register and shining top, Pavarotti's liquid beauty of tone and mesmeric half-voice, and Talvela's rock-solid intonation and resonance; these are all great voices in their prime. Not only that, they combine so well, having sung together quite often by this time. My main criticism centres on pronunciation of the Latin text: I wish Talvela had not employed Germanic Latin; Horne pulls vowels about wilfully; Sutherland, while not as opaque as was sometimes the case, can be indistinct and occasionally falters (as at the start of the "Libera me, domine"); Pavarotti is the only one whose diction shines. But there are many superb moments, such as Sutherland's poised B flats or the thrilling momentum of "Quam olim Abrahae". I found myself swept along by this account - and the spectacular sonics contribute to the excitement of the reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2010
Like a few other commentators I had purchased the cheap Russian recording - my fault of course - but it really is bad!
So I scoured the reviews which are so helpful. Of course I knew the top soloist names and top conductors so it was really confusing. I was tempted by the latest recording but one or two of the reviews by people who clearly know more than I left some doubts.

The reviews for Solti Decca recording sold it for me. Although I bought it some many weeks ago today is the first time I have had a chance to play it - full blast because my husband is in the garden and won't nag me about the volume! I am absolutely delighted with the quality of the recording - yes it is remastered but it is as sharp as if it were recorded yesterday. And those soloists - Joan Sutherland and Pavarotti in their younger days with sublime voices. Talvela is not a name known to me but his rich bass is magic. Fantastic value for money and enjoyment - various artists!! where did Decca go wrong with their marketing?
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2008
I chose this CD because I had lost my other copy and I needed it for practice for a concert that I will be taking part in. I was particularly looking for a clear chorus line so that it would be easy to identify the different parts, and when I listened to the extracts on Amazon, this was the clearest version.

When I received the CD, I was surprised by several things. Firstly, the recording is 40 years old (1968 on the sleeve) but the digital re-mastering is excellent. Secondly, the soloists include Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti, both recorded in what I assume was their prime and sounding wonderful. Not only do they sound fantastic, but the other two soloists, who I have not heard of before, are both excellent. In particular, the bass soloist, Marti Talvela, has a beautiful rich and resonant voice. You only have to play the first movement and listen to the soloists as they are introduced one by one in the Kyrie section, to appreciate how well matched the voices are. This CD is like a box of sparkling jewels - an absolute joy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2010
I'm not a catholic and I can't speak latin, but I find this to be one of Verdi's most dramatic and powerful pieces of music. Movingly performed by some of the all time greats of opera. You can't go far wrong with Solti's recordings, but I think you can take the second cd out once the Requiem ends, the Four Sacred Pieces are not in the same league.
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on 9 September 2014
Absolutely brilliant
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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
How I convinced myself I wanted this, I'll never know.

As you might expect, plenty of impact in the louder portions, but just as with the much purchased Ring Cycle, Solti's Verdi is a performance of fits and starts, exciting then bland, with a glamour quartet more designed to appeal on paper than to make for a well-rounded musical experience. They're all big name soloists, so a ceratin kind of listener will be willing to ignore the lack of spirituality or deep conviction here, when big distinctive voices like Talvela and Horne are at play.

Not me. Not this time.

If you really think of this as kind of an away-day for Verdi and his opera house faves, than by all means, click to pay. For a deeper experience, look to Karajan, Gardiner, Abbado, etc.
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