Magazine article Gramophone

Verdi: Messa Da Requiem

Magazine article Gramophone

Verdi: Messa Da Requiem

Article excerpt

Verdi

Messa da Requiem

Anja Harteros sop Daniela Barceliona mez

Wookyung Kim ten Georg Zeppenfeld bass

Munich Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra / Lorin Maazel

Sony Classical [B] [2] 88875 08330-2 (92' * DDD)

Recorded live at the Philharmonie im Gasteig, Munich, February 2014

Lorin Maazel made his Proms debut with this work back in 1969, the first live performance of the score that I heard. One of the conductor's two previous recordings of the score, both DVDs, was given with his own Symphonica Toscanini in Venice in 2007 to mark the 50th anniversary of the maestro's death. Richard Osborne (A/09) called it 'measured, occasionally brilliant, sometimes moving', a result we might expect from this well-organised musician, more German--than Italian-trained. Recorded at Munich concerts in 2014 a few months before the conductor's death, Maazel's reading now sounds more of a piece than in 2007. As a general indication of intent, the stopwatch shows that he was getting slower, his 'Requiem and Kyrie' and the 'Libera me' now outlasting de Sabata's (the former section now takes three minutes more than Toscanini in 1940) and even rivalling the transcendental non-impetus of Celibidache's performance with these same forces. Yet overall this does not herald an unidiomatic north-of-the-Alps attempt to make sacred drama more oratorio-like; rather it presages a degree of commitment from the performers which is actually quite nakedly emotional. …

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