Verdi: Requiem

Verdi: Requiem

3.0 2
by Andrea Bocelli
     
 

Giuseppe Verdi composed his Requiem late in life to commemorate the death of a dear friend, Alessandro Manzoni, the 19th-century novelist and poet. Since the Requiem's earliest performances, it has been criticized for its thrillingly dramatic character -- a quality unbefitting a religious work, according to some detractors. But it is precisely theSee more details below

Overview

Giuseppe Verdi composed his Requiem late in life to commemorate the death of a dear friend, Alessandro Manzoni, the 19th-century novelist and poet. Since the Requiem's earliest performances, it has been criticized for its thrillingly dramatic character -- a quality unbefitting a religious work, according to some detractors. But it is precisely the operatic nature of the Requiem -- along with the sorrowful, deeply felt circumstances of its creation -- that makes it so compelling. The work's Latin text is highly dramatic, describing, for example, in terse, rhyming couplets the wrathful day of the Apocalypse. And Verdi, for once unhindered by the practicalities of staging an opera, unleashed the full range of his vivid musical palette, using at one particularly intense moment an ensemble of trumpets sounding the call to raise the dead for Judgment Day. Valery Gergiev, who conducts the Kirov Orchestra and Chorus in this performance, clearly appreciates Verdi's uniquely dramatic style, choosing to direct in a full-bodied, sculptural manner rather than with a subtle, painterly approach to the ensemble sound. And the sonic effect can be arresting: the cannonlike boom of the bass drum in the opening to the "Dies Irae" (Day of Wrath), or the massive brass chords punctuating the "Rex Tremendae Majestatis" (King of Terrible Majesty). Of the soloists, Renée Fleming and Andrea Bocelli are the star attractions here, and they perform at the caliber we would expect from them. But a more delightful discovery comes from the bass and mezzo soloists: Ildebrando D'Arcangelo and Olga Borodina. Both have rich, sonorous voices, and their moments in the soloists' sun stand out in this truly gripping performance of Verdi's great work.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times - Anne Midgette
This is a raw, primal Requiem. The performance, with the Kirov Orchestra and Chorus, passes in one long snarl, from the pounding, annihilating opening chords of the Dies Irae to Ms. Fleming's near-manic concluding demand, Libera Me. Even the rests become charged when Mr. Gergiev unpredictably extends them, only to shatter them with the next wave of sound. There is also a rough quality to the excellent Kirov Chorus; with round, Russian-tinged vowels bringing a warmth and depth to its dramatic reading, it conveys throughout a sense of many human voices rather than a single polished facade.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/27/2001
Label:
Philips
UPC:
0028946807927
catalogNumber:
468079
Rank:
192602

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Requiem Mass, for soloists, chorus & orchestra (Manzoni Requiem)  - Giuseppe Verdi  - Clive Bennett  - Olga Borodina  - Renée Fleming  - Valery Gergiev  -  Mariinsky (Kirov) Theater Chorus  -  Mariinsky (Kirov) Theater Orchestra  - Ildebrando d'Arcangelo  - Andrea Bocelli  - Laura Lusotarinen

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