Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Nikolai Golovanov|
Mozart: Requiem Mass, K 626
An Interesting but Sonically Flawed Curiosity
Tom Moran | New York, NY United States | 09/23/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This recording of Mozart's final work is said by the CD company releasing it to have been "recorded in 1951, restored in 2000." I don't know what kind of "restoration" was done on whatever source material was used for this CD, but I would love to know what it sounded like *before* it was remastered, because this is a promising performance doomed by inadequate sound.Soviet conductor Nikolay Golovanov, previously unknown to me but reputed to be, according to the liner notes to this CD "the outstanding Russian conductor of the first half of the 20th Century," conducts a brisk reading of Mozart's unfinished choral work. My problem with it is not the pronunciation of the Russian singers -- they're singing Latin anyway, so few will appreciate the difference. It's not Golovanov's conducting, which is decent if not stellar and moves things along at a nice, unturgid pace. It's the noisome quality of the recorded sound that in the final analysis sinks this CD. Whenever the choral passages get too high or too loud, the sound is suddenly awash with harsh distortion. In a work with as many great crashing passages as the Requiem (consider the Dies Irae alone), this is a fatal flaw.So this recording is a curiosity at best for those who are interested in Soviet-era Mozart conducting. I own two other recordings of the Requiem (conducted by Scherchen and Herreweghe, respectively), but I don't find either of those overly inspiring either -- although the Scherchen has its admirers. On the other hand there are a lot of very inexpensive, middle-of-the-road Requiems out there conducted by such Mozartian stalwarts as Karl Bohm, Neville Marriner and Herbert von Karajan, so you might want to just pick one of those at random and see what you get. I can pretty much guarantee you that it will sound better than this."