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Posted October 1, 2010
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Mozart's Requiem is above any kind of criticism in terms of quality of writing as far as I'm concerned, so I will leave any criticisms of Mozart to the experts; what I'd like to talk about is THIS recording.
I am not originally a classical Music enthusiast. It's not that I didn't like classical music, it's just that I didn't have any way to begin relating to it; In fact I only discovered this music due to seeing the film "Amadeus", wherein I was floored by the excerpts from Mozart's Requiem that they played in that film.
And that is a good place to start with this review, as the Mozart in the film "Amadeus" was conducted by the illustrious Neville Marriner, who is also the conductor of this particular recording.
I will say that my enthusiasm for the "Amadeus" recordings is not my only qualification for writing this; I also sampled quite a few other versions of this work before I settled on this one.
The Live Karl Bohm recording I found at my local Library: It had a somewhat unorthodox sound, in my opinion, that was actually quite interesting, but the real clincher was that it had some very slow tempos, but with the "Dies Irae" being downright Manic.
A title from the "Seraphim Classics" collection, that had an excellent orchestra and vocal (and a good sense of timing), but was just a bit sluggish and understated for my taste.
The Robert Shaw/Atlanta Philharmonic version, which hit all the right notes on everything but sound quality, which seemed somewhat muffled on all the samples I listened to.
And what I BELIEVE was Herbert Von Karajan's '89 recording, that arguably had the best sound quality of all, but seemed a little... sloppy in terms of the timing. (Notes coming in fractionally early or late can really throw you off, but I don't think I need to tell you THAT.)
So after all this I finally just decided to go with a Neville Marriner recording of which there are two that I know of. This, the Cotrubas/Watts version, and the Mcnair/Watkinson one.
The Mcnair version is the one that seems to get more hype, (it actually has a BUNCH of customer reviews) but When I sampled it the sound quality seemed a bit dim, so I decided to try this one out instead.
I can find no complaint to level at it other than the fact that it is not quite as full and bass-ey of sound as the "Amadeus" excerpts were, but it is very clear, crisp, and choral oriented. (Frankly I've gotten over the slightly thinner bass of the music and have come to enjoy it enthusiastically.)
The timing within each song feels virtually perfect to me, and Marriner displays a pleasant flair for musical drama. At first I was worried about the "Lacrimosa" as it has one of the longest play times I've seen, but upon actually hearing it, I find that I really like it's deliberate pacing, which actually packs a lot of "oomf".
That said I'm not adverse to picking up the other Marriner recording, and possibly even the Shaw recording at a later date, but right now, I'm more than happy with this one.
Posted April 26, 2010
No text was provided for this review.