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27 Reviews
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best visual recording of Verdi's Requiem
I was fortunate enough to have had obtained a ticket for this performance at La Scala in Milan at the end of August of 2012. Surprisingly enough it was quite easy to do so on the internet. When I came out, I was simply living in a different world. A world full of Verdi’s melodies! This was for me a unique experience.
Finally this performance has come out on...
Published 17 months ago by George Thanos Assimakis

versus
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Hopefully the person I bought it for enjoyed it
Published 3 months ago by P. Atkins


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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Requiem, 20 Mar. 2014
By 
Gerhard P. Knapp "gpk" (Salt Lake City, UT, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have always treasured Giulini’s 1964 reading of Verdi’s Manzoni Requiem (with his dream team of soloists: Schwarzkopf – Ludwig – Gedda -- Ghiaurov) and perhaps used it as a subconscious “blueprint” when appreciating other performances, either live or recorded. On DVD, my favorite has been Abbado’s deeply felt and searing 2001 recording with the Berliner Philharmoniker, still in very good sound and more than respectable video. Maazel’s more recent interpretation with the Symphonica Toscanini (2007, see my review) I found disappointing. Yes, this is the verbatim beginning of my comments on Gustavo Dudamel’s new Verdi Requiem – and I repeat it here, as I want to put my cards on the table for the following review of Daniel Barenboim’s almost simultaneously released recording. I will not even attempt to compare the two readings: they are vastly different in their respective conceptions, but equally fine.

The Requiem was recorded live in August 2012 at the Teatro alla Scala, an immense theatre, and the challenges for both sound engineers and film crew must have been severe. I respectfully disagree with some fellow-reviewers and find both the audio and the video for the most part very good, if not always outstanding. Not only are the Scala acoustics tamed and focused quite well, the video is relatively sharp, given the difficulty of recording placement and angle. The camera work, however, is not entirely to my satisfaction: too many long shots on the maestro – the soloists rightly get plenty of attention – and the very fine, huge Coro del Teatro alla Scala, too little focus on the orchestra musicians who play very well indeed. One should not forget that Verdi could be a brilliant orchestrator: the Requiem is ample proof of this. The repeated pans through the theatre are useless and annoying.

Barenboim has a stellar quartet of soloists with Anja Harteros, Elina Garanca, Jonas Kaufmann and René Pape, and they give their all for his monumental reading of the score. Harteros, Kaufmann and Pape – the latter despite a few quirky pronunciation glitches – are thoroughly familiar with Verdi, Garanca seems somewhat in awe at times, but carries her part very well. What she may occasionally lack in sheer vocal power (at least on this particular evening), she amply makes up with musical beauty. From the first hushed notes of the Kyrie through the overwhelming cataclysm of the Dies Irae, a stupendous Mors stupebit, a highly expressive Liber scriptus – Garanca shining out – and Quid sum miser with an exquisite dialogue of Harteros and Kaufmann, the quartet perfect in Salva me and a wonderful Recordare – listen to the angelic duet of soprano and mezzo – to one of the finest tenor solos on record in the Ingemisco, you will be spellbound with this performance. Barenboim conducts his large forces with intense concentration, and even during those moments when he seemingly gives them free rein, there is no doubt that all is painstakingly rehearsed. Among the many high points there is a formidable Lacrymosa punctuated by percussion, a glittering tenor solo in the Hostias, the festive Sanctus and hushed Agnus Dei with both female soloists tender and moving… I could go on and on, but listen for yourself. This is Daniel Barenboim’s Requiem. And it is a great Requiem, here to stay with us for many years to come.
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5.0 out of 5 stars AWE INSPIRIING, 18 Mar. 2014
To get soloists of the calibre shown here in such a stage and under such a conductor as Barenboim was bound to be fantastic.
I was not disappointed, Pape and Kaufmann reach the highest and deepest tones with no effort, equally the ladies and the choir.
La Messa de Requiem is such a spectacular work that I though I ought to have it in Blu ray. The DTS sound of La Scalla is superb and does the wonderful acoustics of the space justice.
I lovely work to own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful experience, 13 Jan. 2014
Four great soloists, inspirational conductor and orchestra matched with superb sound and picture quality make this release a truly wonderful experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 24 Dec. 2013
By 
marco (Bologna Italy) - See all my reviews
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Faults: missing subtitles in the original language (Latin), and the bass Rene Pape is at a lower level. Though facing a stupendous recording with a frightening dynamic you can't appreciate the great conduction of Baremboin, the power of the choir and large orchestra level. Excellent singers (with the exception of the bass). To sum up the positive aspects are so important that they forgive the small defects mentioned above. Blu Ray with lossless audio is highly recommended. 5 stars
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5.0 out of 5 stars sublime, 9 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Verdi: Requiem (Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano) [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Powerful, sublime, moving, emotional. Barenboim gets so much out of the music and musicians (singers and orchestra). La Scala is renowned for superb performances and this is certainly one of their best in my opinion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, 14 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Verdi: Requiem (Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano) [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
This version of Verdi's Capolavoro has all the credentials to be expected: top tier soloists, an orchestra and chorus of the highest calibre and Daniel Barenboim conducting with exactitude redolent with insight. The emphasis here compared to other dvd's on the subject is on gradation between interpretations and the cadences which infuse them. For the soloists, Harteros elevates her impact with each repeat play and all of them give the work a differentiation not seen in other versions. The acoustics are extraordinary given the fact it is performed at La Scala particularly with the Tuba Mirum but I do not rate them for any work since it's the performance which is paramount not "special effects" however laudable they might be.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Verdi Requiem, 26 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Verdi: Requiem (Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano) [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I have seen performances which are its equal but I imagine that this will become a digital / HD icon.

The 1967 performance by Karajan, Price, Cossotto, Pavarotti and Ghiaurov was a benchmark of its era.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, 13 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Verdi: Requiem (Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano) [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Jonas Kaufmann really is at his best, both singing and acting in this wonderful performance. This version of Verdi's Requiem is well worth its price.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime!, 6 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Verdi: Requiem (Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano) [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
This is the best recording of Verdi's Requiem. The four soloists are just superb! Also, Daniel Barenboim's understanding and interpretation of the piece are clearly conveyed to the orchestra and the choir and they come up to his expectation. It is really a wonderful DVD and I do highly recommend it to anyone.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars quite wonderful !, 30 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Verdi: Requiem (Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano) [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Superb performance of all involved Conductor, orchestra and the
4 soloists really superb !! the choir excellent.
I recommend this to anyone who loves classical music
Verdi's Requiem is more like an opera than a requiem
( " never a dull moment " )
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Verdi: Requiem (Teatro Alla Scala Di Milano) [DVD] [2013]
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