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Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Richafort: Requiem
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on 14 November 2016
Wonderfully crunchy ficta in places. I love it
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VINE VOICEon 16 January 2013
This re-release of a 2002 recording probably won't be the outright winner in a Best Recording Of A Requiem By Jean Richafort Composed In Memory Of Josquin Desprez category (that would be Cinquecento), but this a darn good recording nevertheless. I am surprised the more because my preference is for all-male ensembles with one voice per part, but as so often Paul van Nevel and his Huelgas Ensemble employing mixed gender and two voices per part have pulled the rabbit out of the hat with a deeply satisfying performance. Maybe I shouldn't really be that surprised. There are also three superb motets, plus three chansons, the latter which don't do a lot for me to be honest.

This issue comes in a foldout digipak with a foldout 'booklet' of sorts providing some basic notes in English/French/German. The booklet indicates that sung texts and translations can be downloaded from the Harmonia Mundi website but I am frankly boogered if I can find such anywhere.

The Requiem is probably in itself deserving of a five star rating, and perhaps the motets too for that matter, but I have to distinguish somehow in a coarse-grained ranking system between this and the Cinquecento recording. I can probably also justify knocking the star off because of the less interesting (to me at any rate) chansons, brevity of notes & lack of sung texts.
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#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 6 August 2013
I think this is a terrific disc. I was surprised by how much I liked it because I tried it mainly to compare it to last year's superlative recording of the Richafort Requiem by Cinquecento Richafort: Requiem (Hyperion: CDA67959) and expected it to sound rather mediocre by comparison. I was completely wrong; it's a different sort of performance but almost as good, in my view.

Richafort was a very fine composer and it is good to see this re-release (from 2002 originally) and other recordings giving him wider recognition. The Requiem is wonderful - based on Josquin's exquisite chanson Nymphes Nappées, it is beautiful, musically rich and deeply moving. There are also a number of lovely motets and a couple of chansons here (although not the Josquin, which is a mistake, I think). It makes for a lovely, quite varied programme.

The Huelgas Ensemble perform it brilliantly. They are a fairly large ensemble with sopranos taking top lines and recorded in a resonant acoustic, so the pitch is higher and the individual lines less distinct than with Cinquecento. However, they are beautifully balanced and blended and the overall effect is stunning with a beautiful wash of sound which never becomes blurred or messy, and they give true feeling to what they are singing. I find it enchanting and quite spellbinding in places, and it's exemplary work from a larger ensemble.

If I had to choose one recording of this Requiem, I'd probably still recommend Cinquecento, which I think was one of the very finest recordings of 2012. However, you can't go wrong here, especially at budget price. It's a terrific recording and wholeheartedly recommended.
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on 29 March 2014
A long time ago I randomly came across this CD in a shop. I bought it and it turned out to be the best CD I've ever listened to. The music is written in the end of the polyphonic era. The requiem is the most complex polyphony you can imagine. Just 6 amazing melodies piled up almost randomly to form a monumental choir composition. The rendition is breath-taking. Van Nevel managed to make the choir sing every note perfectly in tune. There is no annoying vibrato. Vibrato always destroys my mood in English or French choirs performing old music. You can listen the requiem over and over again (which i did a lot) and never get bored by this honest and beautiful music.
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on 27 April 2013
Huelgas ensemble and the music itself are absolutely wonderful, but I happen to now that in the original product there was a very detailed and informative leaflet, unlike this one...which was a huge disappointment.
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