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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breath of fresh air, 15 Nov 2012
This review is from: Brahms: Requiem (Audio CD)
Some people will tell you that Eliot Gardiner, wedded to notions of appropriate period practice, has produced an unemotional and dry performance of Brahms' problematic choral masterpiece. This is not true. Of all the great works in the choral repertoire, this is the one that most often grinds to a gloomy end in recording. The catalogue is littered with performances by "great" conductors that I would cross the road to avoid. I will not name names but will draw a decent veil over the corpses. Paradoxically, Gardiner seems to have tried to perform the work as if it had been written last week. He has prepared it as if a hundred years of increasingly constipated reverence for "the great work" had never happened. The result is a performance that is fresh, moving and yet light on its feet. I know this work well and have sung it several times as a member of the chorus but this performance still took me by surprise, in the best sense. All the performers, including both soloists, are characterful and accomplished. The whole work feels unified and sombre, yet uplifting. Lots of beautiful harmonic and rhythmic details, lost in the sludge of turgid tradition in most other performances, sparkle and charm. The dramatic passages (the Requiem does contain them) are quite thrilling and throw the darker, more meditative, moments into relief. I really loved it and it's astonishingly good value in its new incarnation as an "Original".
There is one crucial detail that has been fluffed in the production of the disc. It has a picture of the much-older bearded Brahms on the cover. It would have been particularly appropriate to have the wonderful 1866 photograph of Brahms taken at the time he was composing the Requiem. Not a whisker on that smooth, intelligent face.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant perormance, beilliantly captured on disc, 1 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Brahms: Requiem (MP3 Download)
This is a dazzling and exciting performance of a well known and loved work. This recording is like hearing it for the first time and loving it even more! I would recommend this to anyone.
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Brahms: Requiem
Brahms: Requiem by Charlotte Margiono (Audio CD - 2010)
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