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on 6 October 2013
I was fortunate enough to have had obtained a ticket for this performance at La Scala in Milan at the end of August of 2012. Surprisingly enough it was quite easy to do so on the internet. When I came out, I was simply living in a different world. A world full of Verdi’s melodies! This was for me a unique experience.
Finally this performance has come out on Blu-ray and I pre-ordered it from Amazon. Having watched it on some very high-end equipment, I was reminded of how superb that performance had been.
Daniel Barenboim conducts the score with great affection and feeling. The chorus and orchestra of La Scala certainly live up to their name, simply outstanding. As for the soloists, Anja Harteros sings beautifully, with great easy and superb tone of voice. Elina Garanca is up to her usual superb standards. She sings with a superb voice, with character, pathos and plenty of feeling. Jonas Kaufmann sings very powerfully, fills the theatre with his voice that resounds in that immense space. Rene Pape sings in somewhat a softer tone to what I am used to. His voice is perhaps not as deep as some basses of the past like Boris Christoff, but still very expressive.
The high definition recording gives a very clear and crisp image with very rich colours and wonderful views of the theatre. The sound is also first rate, but unfortunately, I cannot but compare it with the live experience, which can never be equalled. I highly recommend this disc.
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on 28 June 2017
I have owned this on CD for many years but I have recently become an addict to the even better sound quality of music on BluRay. After hearing this live recently, I succumbed to the temptation of upgrading to the BluRay. I am very pleased with the result: it does sound even better; not as good as live of course but a significant upgrade from the CD. This assumes that your BluRay player is connected to a good quality sound system. A good subwoofer will help with those bass drum notes. If you just use typical built in TV speakers then this will not apply, it might even be poorer than a CD in your HiFi. That depends on your equipment. In my case, it is the same amp and speakers for both and I hear the difference. The pictures are nice but not a priority for me.

I also bought the mini-score: Requiem (Messa Da Requiem) Miniature Score which added further to my enjoyment and explains why I did not pay much attention to the pictures.
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on 25 October 2013
What could be better than seeing and hearing this piece performed on his centenary, at La Scala, in Verdi's homeland? This Blu Ray impresses from the start with wonderful picture quality and full-range surround sound. The bass drum is captured in all its thunderous power in the Dies Ires and the dynamic range registers the quietest pianissimo.

This is a piece that benefits tremendously from being heard in high quality surround sound - this allows you to hear the complex sound picture, with large choir and orchestra, with the 4 soloists in front of them - as well as details like the off-stage trumpets in the Tuba Mirum. Apart from some Mahler symphonies, this is as complex a soundstage as you could hear and the recording is as good as you could want for such a task.

Soloists and choir perform exceptionally well and Barenboim conducts with vitality and precision. Now in his tenure as musical director at La Scala, this is evidence of a fruitful relationship. The Blu Ray is presented nicely with a colour booklet containing extensive notes and credits. You can bring up subtitles in various languages which can help to let you know where you are and what's being sung - but these can be removed to allow you and unobstructed view.

Overall the direction is good and this has to be close to the best version of this piece so far - a top recommendation for Blu Ray surround?
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on 12 August 2014
This is an astonishing performance, visually flawless, dramatically somber, and sung to perfection. The Scala orchestra and chorus and the four principal singers are all superb. From the Lachrymosa to Harteros singing an anthology Libera Me to Kaufmann's caressing Hostias, a torturingly beautiful Requiem. As for Jonas Kaufmann, he must be the finest tenor in the world today. His long breath control, exemplary phrasing, those held trills, pianissimi and diminuendi, that dark velvety, almost baritonal voice, there is no equal. A magnificent Requiem and highly recommended.
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on 24 December 2013
Faults: missing subtitles in the original language (Latin), and the bass Rene Pape is at a lower level. Though facing a stupendous recording with a frightening dynamic you can't appreciate the great conduction of Baremboin, the power of the choir and large orchestra level. Excellent singers (with the exception of the bass). To sum up the positive aspects are so important that they forgive the small defects mentioned above. Blu Ray with lossless audio is highly recommended. 5 stars
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on 14 November 2013
This version of Verdi's Capolavoro has all the credentials to be expected: top tier soloists, an orchestra and chorus of the highest calibre and Daniel Barenboim conducting with exactitude redolent with insight. The emphasis here compared to other dvd's on the subject is on gradation between interpretations and the cadences which infuse them. For the soloists, Harteros elevates her impact with each repeat play and all of them give the work a differentiation not seen in other versions. The acoustics are extraordinary given the fact it is performed at La Scala particularly with the Tuba Mirum but I do not rate them for any work since it's the performance which is paramount not "special effects" however laudable they might be.
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on 7 November 2017
Beautiful production
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on 26 October 2013
I have seen performances which are its equal but I imagine that this will become a digital / HD icon.

The 1967 performance by Karajan, Price, Cossotto, Pavarotti and Ghiaurov was a benchmark of its era.
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on 4 September 2017
Outstanding recording! Wonderful performance: Alla Scala orchestra and choir ( Jonas Kaufmann ) under Daniel Barenboim! And excellent service on your side. Thank you !
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on 13 November 2015
Verdi's masterpiece is turned into thrilling theatre by Barenboim's energetic conducting and the contrasting faces of the four soloists. Pape whispers "Mors", Harteros glides to that top note, Garanča looks profoundly serious, and Kaufmann controls his operatic fervour. Enthralling.
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