Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Luigi Cherubini, Igor Markevitch, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra|
Cherubini: Requiem/Symphony in D/Médée
Aged like a fine wine!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an older recording of Cherubini's Requiem in D minor, but do not let this frighten you away. Both the sound quality and the performance is outstanding! If you enjoy Cherubini, I highly recommend this recording. This is not the Requiem he wrote for King Louis XVI (C minor), but rather one he wrote for his own funeral. It was written for male chorus, and it is here conducted by Igor Markevitch. Once you hear this recording you will know why it has been re-released on CD. Also included on this CD is Cherubini's Symphony in D and the overture to his opera "Medee" (Medea). They are equally wonderful."
Don't settle with the first requiem!
Magnus the Berlioz fan | Stockholm, Sweden | 06/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very engaging performance of Cherubinis marvelous second requiem. You've probably heard people tell you how superior Cherubinis first requiem is. Don't bother about that. I'm not so sure they are right anyhow. There is so much beauty and dramatic power in this work that you shouldn't miss it. The second reviewer is right that there is some disturbing background noise. That might bother some people when they listen to the cd on headphones. However, it doesn't bother me that much. If you focus on the beautiful music you soon forget about it. The symphony is also very interesting. Cherubini could have been a great symphonist if he had wanted. He said he didn't have any intention of competing with Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven when it comes to writing symphonies. It's to bad he didn't. Instead he focused very much on opera and, later in life, church music. This was good to ofcourse since he produced a number of great operas and masses a s o. Brahms considered Cherubinis opera Medea to be the greatest in music drama. There is a DVD whith this opera recorded 2004 that I can highly recommend even if the sound isn't that great. It's sad this is the only DVD available of a Cherubini opera. Some of Markevitch tempos in the overture is slightly slower than I've heard for instance Sir Neville Marriner use."
Murky sound muffles interesting piece
Magnus the Berlioz fan | 03/02/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"After greatly enjoying two Cherubini albums on EMI, I decided to go for the variety of pieces found on this CD. Big mistake. This Requiem boasts sound that would be considered mediocre on a tape. Instruments and voices are muffled and indistinct, with timbre and tone pooling into acoustic mud. The dynamic range is erratic - you cannot leave the volume at one level and fully appreciate the quieter passages without a distinctly uncomfortable spiking of sound in certain forte parts; and the ambient noise, though subtle, is constant -- very like that found on audio tape copies. The "A-D-D" indicator is meaningless. If this was in fact put through digital equipment prior to duplication, there is no apparent evidence of even the most innocuous enhancement.
Ironically, the liner includes an apology for "slightly inferior sound quality" in the other two pieces. I heard nothing particularly offensive during them. Like many opera overtures, the Medee overture is a fun piece, sort of Fidelio meets Barber of Seville, and has me curious about the rest of the opera. The Symphony in D is a typical period piece in the mold of Mozart and late Haydn, yet bears unmistakable signs of the stylistic transformation instigated by Beethoven and others. A good analysis subject for any music student.
Back to the Requiem. Musically it is insignificant next to his monumental Mass in d (as rendered by Muti on EMI #572786), but is interesting and enjoyable nonetheless. The all-men voicing is refreshing given our relentless American habit of tossing pieces originally conceived for male voices into mixed SATB, and helps set it apart from other middling Requiem compositions. And there are moments of dramatic anticipation and exclamation worthy of later composers. The Dies Irae, much lauded by the liner notes, is distinctive, but I am reluctant to say more without the benefit of a clearer recording.
I was sorely tempted to give this one star, but that would have been unfair to the performers -- who have no control over recording quality. Yet I cannot recommend this as a good CD overall when the premiere piece is in such poor shape. If you're looking for the other two pieces, this CD is fine; but for the Requiem you should keep looking."