Britten: War Requiem [Remastered]

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
What can be said about Britten’s War Requiem that hasn’t already been said? That it is brilliantly composed, endlessly fascinating and profoundly affecting? That it is lyrically heartrending, musically heartbreaking and emotionally devastating? That it is the single most persuasive setting of the Requiem text of the 20th century? That is the single most compelling reason to be a pacifist that’s ever been put to music? It’s all been said before.

What can be said about Britten’s own recording that hasn’t already been said? That the soloists – soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, tenor Peter Pears and baritone ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
What can be said about Britten’s War Requiem that hasn’t already been said? That it is brilliantly composed, endlessly fascinating and profoundly affecting? That it is lyrically heartrending, musically heartbreaking and emotionally devastating? That it is the single most persuasive setting of the Requiem text of the 20th century? That is the single most compelling reason to be a pacifist that’s ever been put to music? It’s all been said before.

What can be said about Britten’s own recording that hasn’t already been said? That the soloists – soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, tenor Peter Pears and baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau – are not only three of the great singers of the 20th century and the creators of their parts but for all intents and purposes definitive? That the Bach Choir, the London Symphony Orchestra Chorus and especially the Highgate School Choir are absolutely magnificent and unbearably moving? That the Melos Ensemble and the London Symphony Orchestra are altogether wonderful and overwhelmingly powerful? That John Culshaw’s production was in its time and remains in our time as vivid as life and immediate as death? That Britten’s conducting is, without a doubt and beyond all argument, unsurpassable? It’s all been said before.

What can be said that hasn’t already been said is that this particular release of the War Requiem includes about 50 minutes in 11 separate cues of Britten’s rehearsals for the recording. These rehearsals don’t add anything to the work or the performance but they do allow the listener to hear Britten create the performance, sometimes note by note, and thereby allow the listener to hear the work with much greater clarity. For those who already own one of the previous releases of this recording, this might not seem like a compelling reason to pick up this release. But for anyone who deeply love the work and the composer, the rehearsals will be fascinating listening.
All Music Guide - James Leonard
What can be said about Britten's "War Requiem" that hasn't already been said? That it is brilliantly composed, endlessly fascinating, and profoundly affecting? That it is lyrically heartrending, musically heartbreaking, and emotionally devastating? That it is the single most persuasive setting of the "Requiem" text of the twentieth century? That is the single most compelling reason to be a pacifist that's ever been put to music? It's all been said before. What can be said about Britten's own recording that hasn't already been said? That the soloists -- soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, tenor Peter Pears, and baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau -- are not only three of the great singers of the twentieth century and the creators of their parts, but for all intents and purposes definitive? That the Bach Choir, the London Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and especially the Highgate School Choir are absolutely magnificent and unbearably moving? That the Melos Ensemble and the London Symphony Orchestra are altogether wonderful and overwhelmingly powerful? That John Culshaw's production was in its time and remains in our time as vivid as life and immediate as death? That Britten's conducting is, without a doubt and beyond all argument, unsurpassable? It's all been said before. What can be said that hasn't already been said is that this particular release of the "War Requiem" includes about 50 minutes in 11 separate cues of Britten's rehearsals for the recording. These rehearsals don't add anything to the work or the performance, but they do allow the listener to hear Britten create the performance, sometimes note by note, and thereby allow the listener to hear the work with much greater clarity. For those who already own one of the previous releases of this recording, this might not seem like a compelling reason to pick up this release. But for anyone who deeply loves the work and the composer, the rehearsals will be fascinating listening.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/16/2006
  • Label: Decca
  • UPC: 028947575115
  • Catalog Number: 000638902
  • Sales rank: 30,313

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 War Requiem, for soprano, tenor, baritone, boys' voices, chorus, chamber orchestra, orchestra & organ, Op. 66 - Benjamin Britten & Edward T. Chapman (81:43)
  2. 2 War Requiem, for soprano, tenor, baritone, boys' voices, chorus, chamber orchestra, orchestra & organ, Op. 66: Rehearsing War Requiem. Requiem aeternam. Rehearsa - Benjamin Britten & Edward T. Chapman (7:20)
  3. 3 War Requiem, for soprano, tenor, baritone, boys' voices, chorus, chamber orchestra, orchestra & organ, Op. 66: Rehearsing War Requiem. Dies irae. Rehearsal of th - Benjamin Britten & Edward T. Chapman (9:46)
  4. 4 War Requiem, for soprano, tenor, baritone, boys' voices, chorus, chamber orchestra, orchestra & organ, Op. 66: Rehearsing War Requiem. Dies irae. Discussion in t - Benjamin Britten & Benjamin Britten (2:05)
  5. 5 War Requiem, for soprano, tenor, baritone, boys' voices, chorus, chamber orchestra, orchestra & organ, Op. 66: Rehearsing War Requiem. Dies irae. Rehearsal of en - Benjamin Britten & Edward T. Chapman (4:39)
  6. 6 War Requiem, for soprano, tenor, baritone, boys' voices, chorus, chamber orchestra, orchestra & organ, Op. 66: Rehearsing War Requiem. Offertorium. Rehearsal - Benjamin Britten & Edward T. Chapman (8:23)
  7. 7 War Requiem, for soprano, tenor, baritone, boys' voices, chorus, chamber orchestra, orchestra & organ, Op. 66: Rehearsing War Requiem. Sanctus. Rehearsal - Benjamin Britten & Edward T. Chapman (6:15)
  8. 8 War Requiem, for soprano, tenor, baritone, boys' voices, chorus, chamber orchestra, orchestra & organ, Op. 66: Rehearsing War Requiem. Sanctus. Discussion in the - Benjamin Britten & Benjamin Britten (0:19)
  9. 9 War Requiem, for soprano, tenor, baritone, boys' voices, chorus, chamber orchestra, orchestra & organ, Op. 66: Rehearsing War Requiem. Agnus Dei. Discussion in t - Benjamin Britten & Benjamin Britten (1:06)
  10. 10 War Requiem, for soprano, tenor, baritone, boys' voices, chorus, chamber orchestra, orchestra & organ, Op. 66: Rehearsing War Requiem. Libera me. Discussion in t - Benjamin Britten & Benjamin Britten (1:11)
  11. 11 War Requiem, for soprano, tenor, baritone, boys' voices, chorus, chamber orchestra, orchestra & organ, Op. 66: Rehearsing War Requiem. Libera me. Rehearsal - Benjamin Britten & Edward T. Chapman (5:21)
  12. 12 War Requiem, for soprano, tenor, baritone, boys' voices, chorus, chamber orchestra, orchestra & organ, Op. 66: Rehearsing War Requiem. Libera me. Rehearsal of cl - Benjamin Britten & Edward T. Chapman (3:16)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Benjamin Britten Primary Artist
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 25, 2015

    Composer/Conductor with serious message at work

    Benjamin Britten knew exactly what he wanted to do with this music. Despite the complexity of what he wanted and the fact that this music has need to express both a somber message there is a celebratory note as he observes the rebirth of the end of a horrific war and a whiff of hope after a nightmarish struggle. He led some of the best performers of the day to a triumphant performance. Soloists (and what soloists they were) orchestra and choir all are excellent. Fun to listen to his comments while conducting practices which illustrate how important it was to get something like perfection done. Perfection or not it is close and a fitting honor for poet Wilfrid Owen and all the victims of the war.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews