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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ponderous magnificence
The reverberations of St Paul's Cathedral provide wonderful acoustics for this magnificent work, all too often recorded or performed in dull surroundings. They also provide an extra challenge for the performers, but there is no evidence of the Doppler effect often heard in Cathedrals when live. Unfortunately, the tempo in certain sections is a little ponderous, but I've...
Published on 29 April 2013 by Katie

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Colin Davis' swan song
The cavernous accoustic of St Pauls Cathedral and Colin Davis tendency to slow down in his old age make this a seriously slow and disappointing recording of a great piece of music. Colin Davis has recorded it several times in the past, and I was hoping for magic but for that you need to listen to his dvd from 1989 recorded in Regensburg Cathedral.
Published 18 months ago by teapotowner


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5.0 out of 5 stars I was there, 25 Feb. 2014
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This was almost the last concert the late, great, Sir Colin Davis conducted: he sat for pretty much all of it. Had to buy it, as a momento of this marvellous man
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good replacement for the old Davis/Dowd recording, 22 Jan. 2014
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John HOLLAS (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Berlioz: Grande Messe des morts (MP3 Download)
I purchased the old Colin Davis/ Ronald Dowd recording, which held sway for a quite a long time when there only very few recordings available. This is not an easy piece to record: the old recording was not of the best quality. Apparently, this new recording was made in St Paul's cathedral, not an easy venue, but the engineers have really pulled it off. As another reviewer says, the recording is better than many of those LSO Live recordings made in the Barbican. The Sanctus is really written too high for the tenor (who am I to criticise Berlioz?) making it very difficult to avoid strain in the voice. Barry Banks makes a very good attempt, rather better than Ronald Dowd was able to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully worrying, 8 Jan. 2014
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I was stimulated by a recent BBC programme on Requiems to collect those mentioned and have found them to be beautiful and satisfying (I have not yet listened to them all though).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Berlioz's Requiem has been a favourite of mine for longer than I can remember and ..., 2 Nov. 2014
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Berlioz's Requiem has been a favourite of mine for longer than I can remember and I'm familiar with several different recordings. The subject of this review, by the LSO and Collin Davis, is the most tremendous and powerful I've ever heard. I feel lucky in having come across it - it's wonderful!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Colin Davis' swan song, 13 Jan. 2014
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The cavernous accoustic of St Pauls Cathedral and Colin Davis tendency to slow down in his old age make this a seriously slow and disappointing recording of a great piece of music. Colin Davis has recorded it several times in the past, and I was hoping for magic but for that you need to listen to his dvd from 1989 recorded in Regensburg Cathedral.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Conductor's Final Recording., 12 Aug. 2013
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I first came aquainted with the Berlioz Requiem, around 1947, as a schoolboy visiting BBC's Maida Vale Studios,
where Sir Thomas Beecham conducted an overwhelming performance in the converted ice rink. Numerous later
performances, including Sir Colin's performance (and rehearsal) at St Paul's in 1969. Then he had acoustic and
timing problems with the four brass bands at the far extremties of the cathedral. Things were different for the
present recording, as he placed the brass bands on the four corners of the dome, near the main orchestra. Age
and experience of the acoustics produced a wonderully measured performance, but an unusual feature, not to
found on other recordings. The many tympani and percussion, placed in a line between the orchestra and choir,
completely overwhelmed the choir and most of the orchestra during the Dies Irae, both in performance and CD.
That said, as probably the greatest Berlioz conductor, we have both his last thoughts on this massive work, and
unfortunately what is also probably his last recording. A great way to go!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 22 Sept. 2014
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It's awesome, it's amazing... it's a must have for any serious recorded music collection...
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative, 4 May 2013
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I agree entirely with the comment regarding the first reviewers pointless discussion of the recording. What about the music?!!!! As one would expect, in such a setting, a broader approach must be obligatory to ensure clarity but this is not at the expense of the wealth of experience that this maestro has and this must be accorded the necessary respect. Go and play with lasers and multi channel sound elsewhere and save this sonic verbosity for a boys toys forum. Splendid and magnificent in every respect. A fitting testament indeed.
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11 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars decent enough performance, 24 Mar. 2013
I was amazed at how much emphasis the first reviewer put on sound rather than music. A bad performance in spectacular sound is still a bad performance. Happily, this isn't a bad performance, far from it, but earlier recordings have conveyed the grandeur of the Berlioz score with a bit more concern for the line and balance. Barry Banks is one of the better recent tenors to record this killer (very high) part but he reaches the end of his capacity, having to strain for several notes. My favourite is still the Ormandy / Philadelphia with Valletti.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, 6 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Berlioz: Grande Messe des morts (MP3 Download)
Beautiful recording. I often play it and am reminded how awful it is when death takes away a loved one.
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