Little known but excellent War Requiem Recording
W. Chiles | San Francisco, CA USA | 05/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Aside from the outstanding composer conducted recording on Decca, this is the version I prefer most. Robert Shafer, normally a prosaic conductor but outstanding choral director, was obviously moved by this amazing piece and led a performance full of nuance and excitement. Recorded live in the Kennedy Center concert hall, the sound is warm, detailed, full of impact but also allowing for attractive acoustic ambiance. The performance, sponsored by the US Dept. of Defense, commemorated the 50th anniversary of World War II's end. The orchestra, made up of members of the National Symphony, Choruses and soloists are all outstanding. Bariton, Richard Stilwell and soprano Christine Goerke are especially effective. I prefer the Anthony Rolfe-Johnson's performance on Gardiner's DGG recording to the work of Richard Clement here, as his voice is not quite as attractive but he acquits himself well.
The Gardiner recording has some incredible details as well, especially the chimes used in the opening, but I find the engineering a bit less attractive than this live recording distributed by NPR. I heartily recommend it."