- Performer: Varsov Chamber Choir, Elzbieta Towarnicka
- Orchestra: Sinfonia Varsovia
- Conductor: Jacek Kaspszyk, Ryszard Zimak
- Composer: Zbigniew Preisner
- Audio CD (12 Oct. 1998)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Erato
- ASIN: B00000I3XG
- Other Editions: MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,616 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Requiem for my Friend
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Top Customer Reviews
This is certainly worth the purchase, it is very original and although extremely melancholy considering the composers motivation, haunting and extremly inspirational in its intentions.
5 out of 5 is a bit generous, as there are one or two slightly corny moments, but there's no provision for 4.5! It was good enough to get me to write this; I hope this is good enough to get you to buy it. Play it loud and feel the hairs on the back of your neck stick up! Fantastic.
Zbigniew Preisner is a film composer. His Requiem is his first large-scale classical work and is written in two parts. The first, the requiem proper, is 31 minutes in length; the second, the life, is 36 minutes. It is dedicated to the film director Krzysztof Kieslowski, who died in 1996.
Part one features six soloists, a string quintet, an organ and percussion. It was recorded in Warsaw Cathedral and in a church in Krakow, so there is a great atmospheric echo. It is meditational in feel; there are large sections where only the organ plays, and then the music is slow and lugubrious, note by note. The soloists (one soprano - the only female - and two angelic countertenors, plus two tenors and only one bass) emphasise the otherworldly feeling. The Dies Irae is anything but!
The strings enter at the Offertorium. A single bell maintains a mournful tone. The pace is slow and measured, quasi-Baroque with minimal counterpoint. The music can sound very beautiful and celestial, such as in the short Sanctus where voices, organ and bell combine. For what kind of film would this be a soundtrack? Perhaps one by Tarkovsky?
The Lux Aerterna has a folkloric quality; the Lacrimosa, the climax of the piece, is forcefully beautiful with the organ thunderously underpinning the soloists. The repeated riffs throughout this piece remind me of Gorecki's third symphony. Its soundworld is neither comforting nor damning. It is ethereal, ending with a simple organ meditation that suddenly slows and stops. The music can be enjoyed as music and can be recommended for someone seeking a thoughtful and minimalist (in terms of participants) interpretation of this musical-religious form.Read more ›
Whilst the circumstances of its creation are a little sad (the death of his friend the director Kieaelowski curtailing a bigger project), the result is a stunning work.
To quote two fellow reviewers there are pieces which genuinely make the hairs stand out on the back of your neck and at times you just have to stop and listen.
Whilst technicans may be able to pull the indiviudal pieces apart and comment on their construction etc, for me it is just perfect.
The voices are clear and the production atmospheric where it needs to be (part one was recorded in Warsaw Cathedral).
There are a variety of instruments (nice to see the alto sax get some credit) and beautiful voices, the music flows throughout. The two distinct halves complement each other from loosely familiar Sanctus, Agnus Dei and haunting Lacrimosa (I challenge you to play that quietly) to the stirring Apokalipsa sections which all show, I think, their comtempory roots.
Buy it. You will not be disappointed.
I will be exploring this composers other works very soon.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I heard a couple of tracks from this album on a programme about the cosmos...took me a while to find out what it was..I haven't stopped playing ever since.. Read morePublished 12 months ago by se1tuse1tu
Suggested by a friend, very nice with a lot of three dimensional spacing. It is a really bargainer for every music lover.Published on 14 May 2014 by Wil
This is the fifth time I bought this album, because I give it away to friends/family who lost a love one in the hpe it gives them some comfort (and I know they appreciate it). Read morePublished on 8 April 2014 by G. van den Hof
The Cd was like on the advert, with a tiny scratch on the box. Thanks a lot, it was a great gift!Published on 31 Dec. 2013 by mealone
Great work - not always easy listening, but imaginative progressions and intervals as one expects from Preisner. Good performances and sound.
Repays repeated listening.
My 7 year old grand daughter said "Beautiful but a little sad"