This CD, a contribution to the celebration of Barenboim's 50 years of performance, is very well recorded with crystal clear sound. The Chicago Symphony is in fine form and really is the strength of the combined forces on display. Some fantastic playing. The Chicago Symphony Chorus is rounded and convincing in piano sections but is almost erased completely in many of the full tutti by some poor balance. Lots to commend in this performance but Barenboim's tempi are sometimes quite inconsistent with Verdi's intentions. For example, the Dies Irae, marked Allegro Agitato, is not agitated, just plain frantic, especially at the start and the choir really finds it hard going. Soloists are very good, especially Alessandra Marc. Domingo sometimes feels slightly, and strangely, detached. Hoped this recording would surpass the 1972 Karajan (Singverein/Berlin Philharmonic) but was disappointed. But... a good addition - good sound and, what an orchestra!
On a capable large playback system with sub-woofers capable of 1000-Watt per channel (not one mono TV bread) and mid-range towers capable of concert-hall Sound-Pressure-Level, this is most Verdi: Requiem probably the best Recorded Verdi requiem.
The soloists are all exceptionally capable (Find the Basso aria so moving and so deep in emotions). Other recording can barely hold a candle to this one, not even the Reiner and VPO can get this degree of SONIC sophistication. As for some poor souls that are still longing for Karajan's recording and interpretation, one should bear in mind that DGG could never achieve and was never capable of achieving this degree of sonic sophistication and refinement.
This CD deserve a much, much, higher grading than the usual "excellent" grading, and Daniel Barenboim knows his trade in tempi and in accentuation. Hearing this recording is setting a milestone, a whole new mental concept of what a great recording like this one is all about. Very much recommended.