Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Olaf Bär, Johannes Brahms, London Classical Players|
Brahms: German Requiem - Olaf Bar, Lynne Dawson, Roger Norrington, London Classical Players
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Leslie Richford | Selsingen, Lower Saxony | 10/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording was made at London's Abbey Road Studios in 1992, using 20-bit technology, and both these factors account for an excellent recording; it is well-known how difficult it is to capture such enormous choral and orchestral works on disc, but this version seems to fulfil all the criteria of success. The balance between soloists, choir and orchestra is well-nigh perfect, and despite the fact that no less than 132 singers and musicians were involved, there is plenty of detail to be heard. Brahms himself might have, in fact, used even larger forces, and it is at this point that Norrington was forced to achieve some kind of compromise in his attempts to re-create what Brahms had in mind. He seats the orchestra in typical 19th century fashion, with the second violins on the right of the conductor, and makes use of Rheinthaler's tempo markings from the first performance in Bremen Cathedral, although allowing for a certain licence demanded by Brahms himself. The soloists Olaf Bär and Lynne Dawson are both excellent, neither of them attempting to turn their solo parts into opera arias or to gain prominence at the expense of the other participants; both have beautiful voices which harmonize really well with Brahms' deeply serious music.
Roger Norrington has harvested both enthusiastic praise and bitter criticism for his attempts at extending 'historical performance practice' to the music of the 19th century. Personally, I think he made a wonderful job of this music. What a pity the London Classical Players have disbanded! But it seems that the work they started is still going on: If you are interested in 19th century music in 'authentic' performance, you might be interested in a number of fairly new Cds by the Dutch orchestra Anima Eterna directed by Jos van Immerseel (most of them on the French specialist label Zig-Zag Territoires)."