"William Christie and Les Arts Florissants have put together a powerful recording of Mozart's Requiem. All the debates surrounding its composition and history notwithstanding, this is beautiful music. The opening in the Introitus is crystal-bright and spaciously stunning. Christie creates a beautiful vocal ebb and flow throughout the whole disc. The orchestra moves hand in glove with the vocalists. The brass is wonderfully forceful yet not overbearing in the Dies Irae. The beautiful singing on the Recordare alone makes this CD well worth the price. The recording quality makes this a 53:39 program irresistible. I recommend this CD."
Good performance, and good quality recording
Patrick Fewell | Phoenix, AZ | 01/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this CD, because it is fairly cheap, and because it also has Ave Verum. I really enjoyed how well this conductor worked the vocal (and instrumental) parts together. That alone is worth the price of this recording. Also, the whole requiem fits together well. It makes you want to listen to all of the CD, not just one song. The most important thing for me is that the sound quality is really good. It is not only that it was a good studio digital recording. The performers themselves are exellent. This CD is well worth the price."
An Exciting Authentic Performance
B. R. Merrick | 04/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I will only listen to Baroque music performed on authentic instruments. In my opinion, the music demands the proper instruments in order to be truly heard. Mozart, however, along with other composers of the Classical era, is perfectly acceptable on modern instruments to my ear, as long as they play like the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Les Arts Florissants is not a modern orchestra, though. They are clearly playing on what are supposed to be properly constructed instruments for Mozart's day. I don't mind the difference at all.
Considering that I suffered many years with a recording that became increasingly intolerable due to its lack of originality and fire, the crisp, thin texture of ancient strings, as well as the combination of women's and boys' voices in the choir, is refreshing and new (to me, anyway).
One of the nicest things about authentic early music ensembles is that the brass are not constructed to play as loudly as modern brass, so that the orchestra as a whole does not need to hold back. The choir can belt it out (and they do) while the orchestra goes for greater vigor in the louder, faster passages like the Dies Irae and Confutatis. In the latter, I prefer to hear only men's and boys' voices, and on this recording, there are women as well, but it is a criticism hardly worth mentioning. Just listen to these expert singers handle the melismas in the faster tempos.
And Christie really pushes the tempos here. This doesn't sound like those austere, all-too-proper readings of Mozart's music. Incisive brass, archi con fuoco, even a timpani that shocks you with its ferocity. I would love to hear him turned loose on some of Mozart's symphonies. Perhaps sometime in the future, no?"
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For all the lovely recordings of the Mozart Requiem, KV 626 - and there are many fine ones that run the gamut of 'authoritative/authentic' performances to richly robust and romantic versions that ring the halls with operatic grandeur - this 1995 recording with William Christie conducting Les Arts Florissantes is one that is so richly rewarding to return to for its delicate yet soulful sincerity. The instruments are in keeping with the instruments of Mozart's time, and the choral technique is more straight toned than other more modern choruses. The soloists - Anna Maria Panzarella, soprano, Nathalie Stutzmann, alto, Christoph Pregardien, tenor, and Nathan Berg, bass - are all excellent, both as individuals and in quartet and combinations. But the overwhelming beauty of this recording is the concept and conducting of William Christie. He crowns this magnificent performance of the Requiem with an otherworldly 'Ave Verum Corpus' KV 618. This is a collector's item and deserves serious consideration for including in the music library. December 09"
One of my favorites...
K. A. Flanigan | IL USA | 11/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is amazing. I have owned it for several years, and I never tire of listening to it. The soloists are great. The words are in the CD insert (in English as well). This is my favorite recording of Mozart's Requiem."