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This review is from: Mozart: Requiem; Coronation Mass; Ave Verum Corpus (Audio CD)
Mozart's Requiem is such a popular work that there is a huge number of recordings. The performing style and the tempi chosen by conductors are wide-ranging. As far as I know, Karl Bohm's is the slowest (lethargic at 64 minutes) and Gardiner's the fastest (too fast at only 46 and a half minutes).
The current recording under review was made in 1982 in then (atheistic) East Germany under the direction of Peter Schreier, a famous tenor of his generation. His tempi are well-judged (to my ear). It is slightly faster than some other well-known recordings such as Karajan's 1976 version and Giulini's earlier 1979 version.
Apart from the question of the tempi, Schreier's recording has a very good quartet of soloists; I particularly like Margaret Price (soprano) who sings radiantly in pure timbre, using a limited amount of vibrato. The famous Bavarian Radio Chorus is never less than excellent; their diction is clear and their singing ardent but never overdone unlike choirs in some other recordings. The orchestral support by the Dresden Staatskapelle is exemplary. This is certainly at the top of my favourite recordings of this masterpiece.
Also, excellent versions of Coronation Mass and Ave verum Corpus are thrown in as bonuses. The recording (Requiem) is very clear and has been impressively re-mastered by Philips.