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Posted October 1, 2010
Everyone who loves Brahms has a favorite recording of his uniquely beautiful and deeply moving Requiem and the competition among the varying performances is keen. For this listener, still committed to the old Klemperer, von Karajan, and Levine recordings (for varying reasons), this now Grammy award winning CD is in a class of its own. Part of the grandeur of the impact of this Requiem is the fact that it is a true capturing of a live performance, something that at times sacrifices perfect acoustics for immediacy. But here Simon Rattle conducts the Berlin Philharmonic and the Berlin Rundfunkchor in a richly detailed, emotionally satisfying and probing reading of this great work. Rattle's ability to find the nearly inaudible pianissimos in the opening movement are matched only by his explosive bursts of radiant sound in the big moments. The choral sound is pure and unstrained and the mighty Berlin Philharmonic is sensitive to Rattle's every nuance. Thomas Quasthoff is the baritone soloist, producing his expected lush tone coupled with his communication of the text. Dorothea Röschmann may not erase all memories of Gundula Janowitz's exquisitely effortless solo, but hers is a radiantly beautiful voice, blooming on the top while remaining in the communication of the words. The overall effect of this recording is one of warm and eloquent Brahms and the Grammy award for finest choral performance is well deserved. Grady HarpWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.