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As good and as reliable a Requiem as one would expect from this source
on 25 November 2013
This disc, well recorded in 1986, contains the version of the Requiem as completed by Mozart's pupil, Sussmayr. There have been various attempts to complete this work, Mozart's last, but it is arguable that this is still the best option. It is certainly the most often performed.
On this occasion Gardiner has the support of four excellent and well-matched solo singers with Barbara Bonney, Anne Sofie von Otter, Hans Peter Blochwotz and Willard White. The Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists (orchestra) complete a very distinguished line-up and they do not disappoint.
The style of the performance is one of reliability with no attempt made to do anything other than deliver a good performance without any oddities as regards content, tempi or phrasing. All of these targets are met and the performance is, in consequence, very satisfying if without the drama that some other conductors strive for. Drama beyond the written note seems a questionable notion in a work such as a Requiem.
The disc is completed with a performance of the Kyrie KV 341 which is scored for a larger orchestra than the main work. Once more the character of the performance is conceived in the same manner as the Requiem.
This is therefore a first class, middle of the road performance where everything is as it should be but one which does not aim to excite in any way that would be inappropriate.
As such I would suggest that it makes an ideal recording suitable for repeat listening and is therefore well worth considering as a purchase option.