- Requiem for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, K. 626
- Grabmusik, cantata for soloists, choir & orchestra, K. 42 (K. 35a): Betracht dies Herz
- Vesperae solennes de confessore for soloists, chorus & orchestra, K. 339: Laudate Dominum
There is nothing like hearing a top-flight orchestra and chorus play a masterpiece like Mozart's Requiem. On this new disc, recorded live at a concert in memory of Herbert von Karajan, the Berlin Philharmonic brings resonance and weight to Mozart's dramatic yet soothing work. The orchestra's uniquely dark-toned sound is perfectly suited to music of such majesty. Although the orchestra is the real star of this recording, many people will buy this disc for Bryn Terfel's performance. The baritone stretches his fine voice to fit a part usually sung by basses like Alexander Kipnis or Karl Ridderbusch. Resonantly hitting even the lowest notes, Terfel sounds like Mozart's Figaro let loose at a church service. This operatic approach fits conductor Claudio Abbado's weighty, emphatic interpretation. Tenor Michael Schade elegantly dispatches his part, while not erasing memories of greats like Werner Krenn and Christoph Prégardien. The Swedish Radio Choir, a lively, agile group, sings with point. As part of the concert's memorial theme, this program also offers the sensitive vocalizing of soprano Rachel Harnisch in two brief Mozart works, "Betracht dies Herz" from "Grabmusik" and the popular choral work, "Laudate Dominum" from the "Vesperae solennes." With these affecting performances, Abbado has just not memorialized Karajan, he may have outdone the old maestro!