Michelle P. from LINWOOD, NJ Reviewed on 11/2/2006...
New, never opened.
0 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've owned the LP's of this performance ever since they first came out on Decca Gold Label (Seiji Ozawa "borrowed" my copy in 1975 and I never got it back - I had to find a used copy). This is my absolute favorite of all of the recordings of this wonderful work. The slowing of the tempo in the "tranquillo" section of the second movement will be a surprise to many, but, to me, it is perfect. Unmatched and at a bargain price. Go for it."
The greatest Brahms Requiem performance of them all ....
RENS | 05/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording is the performance of the Brahms Requiem on LP that I grew up with. I am a choral singer (with a symphony chorus) and this piece has always been my favorite to perform. I have heard many recordings over the last 40+ years and have sung it many times, and over the years, only a performance I was privileged to sing with En Shao and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra some years ago even approaches this particular recording in its sublime, measured, flowing, and German-to-the-core performance. The orchestra, chorus, soloists, and conducting and pace are without compare if you want to hear authentic Brahms by some of the greatest German/Austrian performers (Maria Stader has the perfect light, lyrical German soprano for the music ~ and of course the young Fischer-Dieskau in his prime). But then I confess that I love the slower tempi and richer sounds that go with the German school of conducting and playing, and that might not be everyone's cup of tea. If that school is to your liking, though, you may never find a better recording.I have waited literally most of my life to find a better rendering, and have yet to find it, so I am thrilled to be able to replace my old treasured, well-worn LP with a CD of this performance. And at such a price! My day is made!"
A noble, profoundly moving performance. Why is it neglecte
RENS | Dover, NH USA | 09/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How can this be? One of the greatest recordings ever made of Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem appears not only to be out of print but to being subjected to a dump on the market: brand new copies being sold by Amazon marketplace associates for $.65! I"ve alread had several copies sent to friends and colleagues as gift.
So, don't let the ridiculously low price put you off: if you have any affection for this choral masterpiece or if you don't know it and would like to get to know it, buy this CD, and buy it while it is available at all and at such low prices.
The 1955 mono recording is as clear and rich and full sounding as many a stereo CD made in recent years. The listener can understand every word sung by the Choir of St. Hedwig's Cathedral and the various vocal parts are always distinct, even in the great fugues. The Berlin Philharmonic plays with both delicacy and power. Otto Wiener sings his solo passages in the 3rd and 6th movements with a heartfelt simplicity that only a heart of stone could resist. Maria Stader also brings unaffected musicianship to her solo. Fritz Lehmann has brought the very best out of each and every musician involved in this recording. Whenver I hear it, I don't just hear Brahms' Requiem, I live it.
Only Rudolf Kempe's recording from EMI, also made in 1955 with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Choir of St. Hedwig's, matches Lehmann's achievement. On that recording, the exquisite singing of Eliabeth Gruemmer rises to the same heights as that of Maria Stader, but even the young Fischer-Dieskau does not reach as deeply into the heart of the text and the music as does Otto Wiener.
There are many more recent performances of Ein Deutsches Requiem, all in stereo and most recorded DDD. To find a depth of feeling and a sensitivity of playing equal to the two 1955 recordings, I would turn to those conducted by Philip Herreweghe, James Levine, and Rafael Kubelik, all of which are currently available."
Expansive, very expansive account of Brahms masterpiece
klavierspiel | TX, USA | 01/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This much-admired classic recording of the Brahms Requiem still has much to commend it. Fritz Lehmann's account emphasizes the gravity and majesty of the music and text, certainly a valid approach, through expansive phrasing and slow speeds in general--this CD lasts almost eighty minutes, ten minutes longer than my Telarc recording (in English). It's possible to feel that, however beautiful the results, there's more drive and drama in the music than is found here. Moreover, the glacial pace of the fifth movement sorely taxes Maria Stader, whose vocal timbre suits the music well, but who is forced to take breaths in the middle of phrases usually heard without a break. Otto Wiener copes better and sings his third- and sixth-movement solos with eloquence. The mono sound holds up well after a half-century. I cannot recommend this as anyone's sole recording of this work but it is certainly still worth hearing."
My favorite by far
Theodore Shulman | NYC | 08/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've sung this piece several times and this is my favorite recording: for the conducting (Lehmann really gets the paradox of Brahms which is majesty, intensity, and, somehow, also restraint, all together at the same time), for the chorus, for silky-yet-motherly Maria Stader, and most of all for Otto Wiener, who might have been born for the baritone solo part. He's one of the highest and brightest of the heldenbaritones, almost a tenor. But not a soft, semi-falsetto head-voice comic hooty whiner like Hermann Prey or Walter Berry or Karl Schmitt-Walter or Fischer-Dieskau when he tries to be funny. Wiener is what I call a "searchlight-baritone". He's most famous as Hans Sachs at Bayreuth during the turn of the decade from 50s to 60s, but he can also be heard as young Wotan, the Heerrufer, Faninal, Gunther, and bass solo in sacred and symphonic pieces by the usual culprits. (His performance in Haydn's "Seven Last Words of Christ" is particularly nice.) He is invariably relaxed, sustained, and free, with his voice miles in front of his face. Like a Verdi-baritone protagonist, Rigoletto or Roderigo di Posa or Germont, is supposed to be. But he's also lieder-lyric, with sensitive phrasing and beautiful vowels.
And he's such a fine, natural actor. In this piece he sings what, four minutes of music? But he seems to suffer and change as much as a main character in a full-length opera, rallying the chorus with challenging questions rather than orders. Equal parts Moses and Socrates. Of course, the chorus and the conductor deserve as much credit for this as he does.
And what else is available? Karajan, yuck, like operetta with too much tinsel. Fischer-Diskau and Eliz Schwartzkopf, like two cats on a wall. And a bunch of unmentionable contemporary over-digitalized crooners. The only other recordings I know of worth hearing are Celibidache's with Hans Hotter and the Italian performance conducted by Vittorio Gui with Boris Christoff(!!)."