Magazine article Gramophone

Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem

Magazine article Gramophone

Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem

Article excerpt


Ein deutsches Requiem, Op 45

Sally Matthews sop Christopher Maltman bar London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra / Valery Gergiev LSO Live [M] [SACD] LS00748 (64' * DDD * T/t) Recorded live at the Barbican, London, March 30 & 31, 2013


This hybrid SACD was recorded at the Barbican in March 2013 as part of the LSO's Brahms/Szymanowski festival. Although there are several splendid top choices for a German Requiem recording, this latest offering won't, alas, be joining them.

At the outset, however, all appears well; the veiled opening unfolds with a hushed, organic pulse. Choral entries are cleanly marked and draw out the text's emphases with an assured certainty. This continues into the extremely slow 'march in triple time' second movement. Matters start to come adrift in the third movement, which lacks a sense of forward propulsion: one senses that the immaculately drilled chorus is straining at the leash. Occasionally it takes a bar or two for choir and orchestra to synchronise until the magnificent fugue stretches out over a pedal D. …

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