Verdi: Requiem, Operatic Chorusesby Robert Shaw
Verdi's Requiem Mass is less an exercise in spiritual reflection than a vivid interpretation of the Latin text's rich theatrical possibilities, which might explain why it's often referred to as Verdi's greatest opera. Composed in 1873 in honor of the recently deceased Italian poet Alessandro Manzoni, Verdi's Requiem is certainly as enormous and dramatic as any of his major operas, and yet its spiritual qualities are equally intense. If modern performances have often played up its dramatic side at the expense of the spiritual, the late Robert Shaw's 1987 recording with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus finds an interpretive middle ground. Confirming that he ranks among the greatest choral conductors, Shaw brings all of the musical elements into sharp focus: Balance, tempos, dynamic contrasts, weight and orchestral color are finely tuned, and Verdi's massive climaxes are carefully sculpted. Rarely has the "Dies Irae" erupted with such hair-raising force and excitement. The quartet of singers -- all fresh-voiced young Americans -- are first-rate.
- Release Date:
- Requiem Mass, for soloists, chorus & orchestra (Manzoni Requiem)
- Don Carlo, opera: Chorus. Spuntato ecco
- Macbeth, opera: Chorus. Patria oppressa! (Chorus of Scottish Refug
- Otello, opera: Chorus. Fuoco di gioia
- Nabucco, opera (Nabucodonosor): Chorus. Va pensiero (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves)
- Aida, opera: Chorus. Gloria all'Egitto
Performance CreditsRobert Shaw Conductor,Primary Artist
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I became a fan of Maestro Robert Shaw since I came Atlanta and listened several ASO concerts. This orchestra recorded so much choral works especially less well-known requiems. Though Verdi requiem is a common choice in recordings, this version is particularly moving and not so strong. The feeling is like peaceful but lighting moments in a church. The solo singers seem more clearly heard than the chorus, which is perhaps due to recording settings. But I still hope the famous chorus pieces at the end of CD2 should be removed. You will feel weird hearing some fragments after enjoying an integrity of thoughtful requiem.