Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Lisa Milne, Karen Cargill, Peter Auty|
Never performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra before, and rarely heard in concert at all, the Requiem by Antonín Dvorák captured on this CD from a live concert seems a near-forgotten masterpiece. Dvorák scholar Gerv... more »
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Never performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra before, and rarely heard in concert at all, the Requiem by Antonín Dvorák captured on this CD from a live concert seems a near-forgotten masterpiece. Dvorák scholar Gervase Hughes cites this work for four soloists, chorus and orchestra as one of the composer's finest sacred creations, 'a deeply moving expression of faith on the part of a composer whose religious conviction never wavered'. It's a conviction stamped through the composer's illuminating, fervent score.
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A Creditable Performance of an Underrecognized Masterpiece
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 06/05/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Since its premiere in Birmingham in 1890 under the composer's direction, this mammoth work has been performed only rarely even though most experts consider it one of Dvorák's finest works. It may be that one reason for this dearth of performances is due to the concentrated efforts by a fairly large group of musicians is required: four solo singers, a large chorus and full orchestra. But that's neither more nor less than the forces required by the much more popular Verdi Requiem. Another reason may be that Dvorák's customary Czechness is less in evidence than in others of his works. Be that as it may, the work has had a fairly large number of recordings and most of those are still available conducted by the likes of Ancerl, Kertesz, Jansons and Macal and with singers such as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Maria Stader, Kim Borg, Thomas Quasthoff, Tom Krause, John Aler and Gabriela Benacková. Tough competition.
So, although this is a creditable performance by Neeme Järvi and the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, plus second tier soloists, it does not quite measure up to some of the others both in terms of the interpretation itself and the quality of the singers. The LPO are their usual reliable selves, however, and some of the orchestral effects are marvelous, as in the Dies irae and Tuba mirum My own personal favorite recording is that of Istvan Kertesz and the London Symphony and Chorus Dvorák, Requiem; Mass in D. Another favorite, perhaps a surprise since it features an orchestra generally considered less than world-class, is that with Zdenek Macal leading the New Jersey Symphony Dvorák: Requiem/Symphony 9 which also includes a terrific performance of Dvorák's Ninth Symphony. All these issues require two CDs because the Requiem itself takes a little more than 80 minutes. Thus some issues include other music to fill out the two CDs. This set under review does not have any extra music, and although it is currently selling for mid-price, the others are selling at budget price.