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Mozart: Requiem Realisations - The Choir of King's College Cambridge Hybrid SACD

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Conductor: Stephen Cleobury
  • Composer: Mozart
  • Audio CD (8 April 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Hybrid SACD
  • Label: King's College Cambridge
  • ASIN: B00BHAQQSW
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,555 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

The Choir of King s College, Cambridge under conductor Stephen Cleobury presents a compelling second release. Here it performs Mozart's Requiem (Süssmayr edition), followed by complete movement realisations by leading composers and musicologists including Michael Finnissy, Robert D. Levin and Duncan Druce. The recording also features a stellar line-up soloists and the Academy of Ancient Music. The second disc features a unique bonus audio documentary about Mozart s Requiem, narrated by Elin Manahan Thomas (soprano soloist), with commentary illustrated by extracts of both the Requiem and the works that inspired it. The album s release will be accompanied by an extensive international press and marketing campaign, supported by advertising and video for online and instore use. The Choir will be embarking on a major North American tour in April 2013 coinciding with the release. The Choir of King s College, Cambridge is one of the world s foremost choirs and unquestionably among the most widely heard. It owes its existence to King Henry VI, who envisaged the daily singing of services in his magnificent chapel. This remains the Choir s raison d être, and is an important part of the lives of its 16 choristers, who are educated at King s College School, and the 14 choral scholars and two organ scholars, who study a variety of subjects in the College. The Choir has been a breeding ground for numerous professional singers, two of whom James Gilchrist and Christopher Purves appear as soloists on this recording.

Review

IRR OUTSTANDING This is a performance of the highest quality by any standard. --International Record Review

***** Certainly the small forces employed bestow an intimacy on this familiar music that is totally engaging and often illuminating ... highly recommended. --Choir & Organ (UK)

And what a stirring job the combined forces of Cleobury and his compadres make of music so familiar you might mistakenly take it for granted...And there s more. A second CD is devoted to an artfully constructed audio documentary by Mozart boffin Cliff Eisen about the life, times, loves and obsessions of Mozart as he was composing the Requiem. But the real USP is the contemporary perspective offered via a sequence of alternative realisations and completions by Michael Finnissy, Duncan Druce, Robert Levin and other worthies. --Sinfini

(5/5) ***** Recorded inside cloistered deep inside the honeyed acoustic of the Chapel of King s College, Cambridge, the immersive sounds are allowed to reverberate along their natural and pure grain, a convincing spatial perspective emerging between the voices and the weathered, characterful sound of the Academy of Ancient Music. --Sinfini Music (UK)

'You could not ask for better soloists, and both the King's College Choir and Academy of Ancient Music are at the top of their respective games at the moment. The two-disc set (which retails for the price of one) includes an enlightening 'bonus' account by Cliff Eisen of the background and genesis of the work, as well as some 'Realisations' Michael Finnissy's 'Lacrimosa' bring the most striking. Is it a Requiem which you must have, though? If, like me, you would choose Sir Neville Marriner's version (also using the Süssmayr Edition), then this new one will please with its measured pace and warm sound; there's little to choose between the soloists, although James Gilchrist's tenor (for Cleobury) engages the ear perhaps more than any other. The King's College Choir is unfailingly excellent, even if you might just miss that last ounce of human frailty in the singing. The recording is dedicated to Sir Philip Ledger, the Director of Music at King's from 1974-82. He could hardly have a finer memorial. --Classical Ear (App)- November 2013

CRITICS CHRISTMAS CHOICE The most original recording I ve heard this year is of Mozart s Requiem by Stephen Cleobury and the Choir of King s College, Cambridge. It s a beautifully judged performance of the familiar Sussmayr completion of Mozart s unfinished manuscript together with examples from half a dozen others who ve tried their hand at this difficult task. --John Warrack, Gramophone - December 2013

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 30 Oct. 2013
Format: Audio CD
This is an excellent recording of the Mozart Requiem. It has a lot of interesting things about it, but the core is a first-rate performance of the familiar Süssmayr completion.

King's College Choir and The Academy Of Ancient Music have been world class performers for decades now (and probably for centuries before that, in the case of King's). They produce something really special here, I think. The vocal and instrumental forces are smaller than in some monumental performances, but they are still perfectly able to produce a powerful, thrilling sound - at the opening of the Dies Irae, for example, where my spine genuinely tingles. They also have the suppleness and flexibility to bring out the delicacy and intimacy of the work where appropriate. The four soloists are uniformly excellent and the acoustic of King's College Chapel helps to form the performance into a wonderful, cohesive whole. This one of the best interpretations I have heard, and that's really saying something, given the quality of the competition.

Disc 1 also includes "Realisations" by five other composers of sections of the Requiem which Mozart did not complete. You can program your CD player to have the whole Requiem with any or all of these substituted for the Süssmayr movements. I find these extremely interesting, and the notes on them are excellent. (Personally, though, I keep going back to the familiar version which is deeply ingrained in me.) In addition, there is a second CD of articles about aspects of the Requiem written by Cliff Eisen and read by Elin Manahan Thomas. It is interesting, but personally I'd much prefer these in written form and I don't go back to this part of the set - but that may just be me.

You simply cannot go wrong here, in my view. This is a superb performance, beautifully recorded, with scholarly additions, interesting notes and lovely presentation. Very warmly recommended.
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What a tremendously good recording of this well-known piece. A very scholarly CD talk accompanies the main recording, and there are also multiple alternative completions recorded here.

But don't be sidetracked by my emphasis on the scholarly. The scholarship simply adds to the excellent recording and lively, engaging performance.
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This is a fine performance of Mozart's Requiem and would justify a good review if that was all you got. But in addition you get a few extra 'completions' by other composers (that can be programmed into the main work on your CD player) and a bonus disc with 3 talks on the Requiem and the end of Mozart's life. Highly recommended.
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The performances are very good, as one would expect from such a good choir and musicians. The notes need to be read prior to listening as one should be aware of the various 'completions' by different people. The second CD is quite a good attempt to give an overview of the "mystery" of the works composition. It probably pragmatically avoids the most interesting question of all, how much did Mozart leave and how much did Sussmayer really contribute?
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