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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fauré's Beloved Sacred Work in an Ethereal Performance
Accentus, founded and directed by Laurence Equilbey, is one of Europe's premier choral groups. Over the last few years their CDs have been among my favorite choral recordings. This recording of Fauré's Requiem and the Cantique de Jean Racine joins that list. In fact, it's hard to imagine choral works more suited to the delicate, even ethereal sound of this group,...
Published on 19 Nov 2008 by J Scott Morrison

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars lovely music and performance, poor recording
beatiful music, quite transcendental, the performance good, but the recording has a background hiss which really detracts from the feeling of the music.

probably not the best disc
Published on 13 Nov 2010 by Frances


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fauré's Beloved Sacred Work in an Ethereal Performance, 19 Nov 2008
By 
J Scott Morrison (Middlebury VT, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Faure: Requiem (Audio CD)
Accentus, founded and directed by Laurence Equilbey, is one of Europe's premier choral groups. Over the last few years their CDs have been among my favorite choral recordings. This recording of Fauré's Requiem and the Cantique de Jean Racine joins that list. In fact, it's hard to imagine choral works more suited to the delicate, even ethereal sound of this group, with their impeccable tuning and gorgeous pianissimi. They are joined here by soprano Sandrine Piau whose Pie Jesu is innocent and moving, and by baritone Stéphane Degout in the 'Hostias' section of the Offertorium and in the Libera me. As well a children's chorus, Maîtrise de Paris, and a chamber-sized orchestra taken from the Orchestre National de France are heard. The Requiem exists in several different performing editions and it is not clear to me which of these is heard here. It certainly is not the version with full orchestra that Fauré's publisher insisted he provide. Rather it sounds like some version of the original form of the work. In its first version the Requiem had only five sections, with the Offertorium and Libera me added a couple of years later. If I'm not mistaken the Pie Jesu was originally sung by a treble and in this recording a female soprano is used, although it needs to be said that Piau's voice sounds very nearly like that of a boy soprano. Certainly the innocence and gentle urgency are there. Lest it seem I'm implying there is only a narrow dynamic range in this performance, let me add that the climactic moment of the Sanctus, the final 'Hosanna in excelsis!', really rings out. The same is true for the climax of the Libera me. The orchestra plays with great musicality and is particularly effective in the glorious accompanimental figure of the Agnus Dei that always haunts me for hours after hearing it. The recording was made in the basilica of Sainte-Clotilde, Paris, and the mildly resonant ambiance adds to the effective recorded sound. For me this recording will not replace, at least for sentimental reasons, the classic performance by John Rutter, the Cambridge Singers and the City of London Sinfonia Faure: Requiem and other choral music, but it comes very close to that one and is in superior sound.

Fauré wrote the Cantique the Jean Racine for his 1865 graduation from the École de Niedermeyer, the 'school of classical and religious music'. It sets Racine's translation of a Latin hymn 'Consors paterni luminis' which calls on God to look down on his children and imbue them with righteousness as they begin each new day. It is said that one can immediately recognize anything by Fauré within a few bars and even in this work written when Fauré was only twenty this is true; no one but Fauré could have written it. Equilbey's forces give us a lovely rendition of the work.

Another triumph for Accentus.

Scott Morrison
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great release of Fauré's Requiem, 11 Oct 2009
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This review is from: Faure: Requiem (Audio CD)
I just came across this recording of the requiem searching among other naïve titles. I don't like to be especially add to any discographic company, but I'm much in agreement with the way naïve works, when it comes to innovation in design, also musically speaking, of course.

This recording matches excellence in every sense. Accentus is a formidable choir, their sound is impecable and extremely musical, their latin highly understandable and bright. The soloists join also the great musicality of the choir. Piau gives a very pure version of Pie Jesu, with few vibrato and no mannerism, that works very well. And Degout brings two fantastic solos, whith non-operatic delicacy and perfect volume. Also under the baton of Equilbey, the 56 members orchestra plays accurately and clear, very tender and chamber-like.

The result is an excellent interpretation of the requiem. No forced dynamics, not a note out place; and very different from the most known and played version for full orchestra.

And to end with even better taste, a magnifique Cantique de Jean Racine, just to make you drop a little tear.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars lovely music and performance, poor recording, 13 Nov 2010
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This review is from: Faure: Requiem (Audio CD)
beatiful music, quite transcendental, the performance good, but the recording has a background hiss which really detracts from the feeling of the music.

probably not the best disc
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recording as marvellous as the performance, 14 Nov 2011
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This review is from: Faure: Requiem (Audio CD)
I really do not understand the reviewer who complained about the recording quality of this wonderful disc. The balance between clarity and a sense of the acoustic, and between choir, instrumentalists and organ, is exemplary I think. I especially love the way the liquid sound of the organ can be heard where it accompanies a melody on the strings, adding a sort of halo to the sound. Add two ideal soloists and a heavenly violin solo in the Sanctus, and you have near perfection. Don't hesitate!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Requiem is "for living", 4 May 2009
By 
Ellen Olsen - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Faure: Requiem (Audio CD)
If you need contact with your feelings it's good to listen to Faure`s Requiem. I am just an ordinary listener, but i think Accentus playes this composition into perfection. The track with Agnus Dei is simply magic!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rip Off?, 12 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Fauré: Requiem (MP3 Download)
I was seriously considering buying this version of the Requiem,especially as it has the wonderful Sandrine Piau taking part.
However,pleasure turned to disbelief when I saw the running time!
41 minutes
yes you saw it right
41 minutes!
How can the record label producing this justify that?
All the other recordings of the Requiem do at least fill the disc up with other Faure(or other composers)music.
As long as we buy such discs the record companies will get away with it,given that this is(from Amazon at least) full price.
BTW I give it 5 stars as a(possibly) great recording,but definitely NOT by running time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars clear and precise, 12 Aug 2013
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Pamela Shand - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fauré: Requiem (MP3 Download)
Like my music clear and this hits the spot. Don't know the group but I would look for their work again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 20 May 2013
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This review is from: Faure: Requiem (Audio CD)
Just what I expected, a very good recording of this superb piece of music. It is accompanied by the Cantique de Jean Racine
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful "Requiem", 18 April 2012
This review is from: Faure: Requiem (Audio CD)
Faure's "Requiem" is very beautiful work. Laurence Equilbey is fantastic conductor and Accentus Choir sings very beautiful. This cd is like the original 1893 version of Faure's masterpiece. It's a bit different from the final version. Orchestrated is different and orchestra is smaller. But, this cd is beautiful. Accentus is brilliant choir. I love this music.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good original version, 28 Nov 2010
This review is from: Faure: Requiem (Audio CD)
I heard the original version performed live and enjoyed it so much more than the version usually offered. This performance is of high quality whilst retaining the intimate nature of a smaller scale performance. The Agnus Dei sends shivers down my spine! Those of you with an interest in the liturgy of a Requiem will find this CD excellent for contemplation and prayer.
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