- Requiem (Grande Messe des morts), for tenor, chorus, & orchestra, H. 75 (Op. 5)
Back in 1984, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus proved they were up to the awesome requirements of Berlioz's Requiem in a sonically spectacular Telarc recording under Robert Shaw. That disc, recently reissued at midprice, gave audiophiles a chance to show off their new CD players. But now, Telarc has gone back to Atlanta to re-record the Requiem, which, with its antiphonally placed brass choirs, happens to be ideally suited to the SACD/surround-sound format. And even if you don't have a surround setup or super-audio capability yet, the regular two-channel version still sounds stunning -- it's not as heavy-hitting as some, but the sense of acoustic spaciousness and the warm clarity created by Telarc's engineers are truly to be marveled at. As for the performance, it's tauter than Shaw's and more atmospheric. Indeed, for all its size, the vast majority of this work is contemplative in mood, and in Robert Spano's hands, the quiet passages float like musical incense in a luminous spiritual haze.