Daniel Graser | Wappingers Falls, New York United States | 04/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What an event this is. Solti is in top form here conducting the Vienna Philharmonic in a very powerful and fiery performance of this most famous of requiems. While some conductors take the Kyrie pretty slow, Solti kicks it in high gear and keeps it moving. The soloists are all magnificent especially Cole and Pape. The Dies Irae and the Confutatis are more powerful here than I have ever heard them before. The chorus is very fine and sings with power and a lovely round sound. The Lacrymosa and Domine Jesu are incredibly beautiful. This is probably the 2nd best Mass recording ever, right behind Barenboim's Verdi Requiem recording. Get them both and be prepared to be moved in a way you never thought possible."
Very special performance of Mozart's Requiem
Valerie | 11/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very special performance of Mozart's Requiem, performed for 200 years anniversary of his death, what is remarkable is the fact that it was performed as a real liturgical mass for the dead. Too often we forget that this is a sacred piece, after hearing it so many times in concert halls, it is very sobering to find it placed in the proper context. The opening sound is not of the first bars of Introitus but the cathedral bells, it's little startling, but it sets the right mood perfectly. This Requiem was recorded live in St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, with George Solti as conductor. He died quite soon after this event, I wonder if he thought about his death when he did this recording. The orchestra he conducts plays great, and the chorus is very good, especially in Kyrie, one of the best I have ever heard. The soloists are wonderful, soprano Arleen Auger, mezzo Cecilia Bartoli, tenor Vinson Cole, and especially bass Rene Pape, you can easily hear why he became so famous since then, he has a gorgeous, deep bass and sings great. Cecilia's singing is just as good, she sings her lines a little different from what you may be used to, just listen to the way she goes down on the word "debit" in Tuba Mirum, even if you have heard this Requiem in hundred different version before, you will really like this fresh approach. If you are looking for a remarkable performance of Mozart's Requiem, this is a perfect choice. I can't believe that someone would complain about the "verbal pauses"- that is how Requiem is supposed to be performed. This is like a proper funeral for Mozart, he might have been buried in a mass grave after he died, and only 200 years later we finally paid our respect to him with this grand performance. I am just glad he left us this beautiful music."
Best recording of Mozart's Requiem
The Cultural Observer | 05/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Near the end of Solti's illustrious career, I believe that Solti had developed an unparalleled understanding of Mozart's music that allowed him to bring musical and dramatic perfection to his works. While Solti's earlier recordings show a conductor who heavy handedly conducted Mozart as if it were Wagner, the later recordings (especially those after the births of his daughter Claudia and Gabrielle) sound more tamed, more musical, more religious. Solti was famous for his innate sense of rhythm, and not only does his music come to perfection (it does, but unlike Karajan, his music is full of life), but it also allows the meaning of the score to jump out of the page and affect the listeners. This, I can say about his Mozart requiem. I find that the recording is very heartfelt and dramatic where needed. The soloists, as expected of the standard that Solti would choose, are excellent. The chorus, orchestra, and conductor all come together to make a great enterprise such as this work, and for Mozart, Solti does work."
In Celebration, In Memoriam
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 01/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Happy 250th Birthday, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart! While the world celebrates a year of festivities around the extraordinary composer, it is also a time to recall the life and output of one of the true geniuses of music. This recording of the Requiem was made during a live performance in 1992 at St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Mozart's death. It is not just another of the many recordings of Mozart's Requiem K626, it is a true tribute to the young master. The concept of incorporating the spoken portions of the Catholic Requiem Mass with the musical aspects of Mozart's work may hinder some as disruptive, but taken as a whole the effect is stunning.
Sir Georg Solti (at the end of his brilliant career) conducts the Vienna Philharmonic chorus of the Vienna Staatsoper with élan and profound religious texture. The soloists are superb and include the now departed and deeply missed soprano Arleen Augér, mezzo soprano Cecilia Bartoli bringing her usual intelligent musicianship to her lines, tenor Vinson Cole who sings with a purity of ringing tone, and the now famous bass Rene Pape adding glowing thunder. Not only are the soloists individually excellent but also their emergence out of the orchestral fabric is otherworldly.
The ambience of the cathedral complete with the spoken recitations lend a feeling of solemnity and yet also a spiritual uplifting. And isn't that what Mozart was all about - the beauty of the spirit? This is a beautiful commemoration and whether or not there are other performances of the Requiem in your library, this special recording deserves a special place. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, January 06"
The anniversary Requiem
Vasile Andreica | Romania | 06/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These days I've found and bought a copy of the 1991 Vienna live Requiem, conducted by Georg Solti and recorded to commemorate 200 years from the death of Mozart and the outing of the piece itself. A few remarks: it's live, recorded in a cathedral, and the music parts are sung in a real Requiem mass, with priests doing their part after the Hostias and Benedictus sections. It gives you a feeling to be right there, at a real funeral or commemoration of the man who passed away. The cast is impressive: the Vienna Philarmonic (very good throughout and especially in the Lacrymosa section), conducted by Georg Solti, who choosed quick tempos in certain points, a choice which underlines someway the emotion and hurry in which Mozart actually wrote the piece. Even if in some places we'd prefer him to slow it down (e.g. the trombone solemn intro to the Tuba Mirum section), but the performance is very good overall. Highlights for Solti: the Introitus with its slow tragic orchestral intro, the Lacrymosa and the final Communio, not so well caught some moments in the Recordare Jesu Pie section, where the quick tempos played him a little trick :) The chorus is the Vienna State Opera Choir, and they give a splendid performance, very good all over with no weak point. Especially the first three sections are sung wonderful by them. The 4 soloists: Arlene Auger (soprano), Cecilia Bartoli (mezzo), Vinson Cole (tenor) and Rene Pape (bass) ... they have each their moment to shine. Bartoli is simply wonderful in the Introitus and Benedictus, Auger in the Domine Jesu, Cole has his shining point in the Tuba Mirum, and the bass, although hurried up by the conductor, shows good voice and feeling in the Tuba Mirum introduction. And when it comes to sing together, they complement each other in good fashion, more notably in the Benedictus (obviously my favourite section). Overall a good CD and marks a special moment, in the Stephankirche in Vienna in december 1991, a Requiem for the one and only Mozart :) It's not a CD to play in the background. When you put it you must pay attention :) and there are the latin prayers spoken which create again the solemn atmosphere and all finishes with the dark bells sound... mass is over, Rest in peace Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, thank you for all you've done!"