"Herbert von Karajan is good for some things--Mozart's requiem is not one of them. I'm reading these other reviews and getting the impression that most of these people have never heard any other recordings of this piece. I'm sure of it, because this is definitely not the way it was intended to be played. I hate saying anything bad about Karajan-- He's done so much good work. Unfortunately though, this late in his career he just hammed up far too many recordings to be ignored.One of Karajan's worst habits is to slow the pace down, drearily squeezing every last nuance out of a work, making you just want to just cover your ears. Some times he pulls it off, many times even adding something you'll have never heard before. This requiem just sounds like the little engine that could, slowly trudging up the mountain for what seems like hours. Another bad element he brings to this recording is the cast of soloists. These are all fabulous singers with beautiful voices. (I love Vincon Cole, I have three of his recordings) But this needs to be an unpretentious piece, and these singers add drama in too many places where it isn't called for. They spoil the beauty of the work with unnecessary builds and vocal color that is really only appropriate in Italian opera.A couple of better recordings: -Robert Shaw conducting the Atlanta Symphony Chorus & Orchestra -Sir Neville Marriner cunducting the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields ChorusIn that order. It could be argued that the sound quality is not as good on these recordings but the interpretations are so much better it makes up for it."
vaughna | 04/04/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not that Mozart needs to be assessed, but I just wanted to tell ya'll that of all Requiem recordings I've listened to, the version of the Great Herbert von Karajan is THE best. So, if you are wondering which performance of the Requiem to get, the answer the one by Karajan and the Vienna Philharmony! You won't be sorry!"
Music and Voice
Amir Ismail | Jeddah, Western Saudi Arabia | 11/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is no need to say anything about Mozart's Requiem, as the facts are mostly known. The point, however, is to review Karajan's interpretation. This recording by far is the finest I have heard. I heard Karajan's with the Berliner and the Wiener; Bohm's, Abbado's, Shaw's, and Muti's. Karajan's Wiener stands out in the fact that the music seems to come from the voice and vice versa. It is not voice and orchestra playing side by side, but a beautiful whole that seems to stem one from the other. The playing is lean, yes; but you can hear minute details and still feel the amazing weight of Mozart's final masterpiece. It's leanness is not a diminishing factor here. It has been creticized many times - the leanness of Karajan's late style, but it is a style that gives the listener the chance to interact with his music through searching and understanding it rather than merely listen to a conductor's interpretation. It It does not overwhelm the listener but allow's him/her to get to know the music better."
"Mozart: Requiem / Tomowa-Sintow, Müller Molinari, Cole, Burchuladze; von Karajan~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is a splendid recording with the talented and brilliant Herbert Von Karajan. The pacing is right on the mark and this probably one of the best recordings that I have ever heard of this particular piece in question. As when it comes to any Deutsche Grammophon recording the sound is astounding and the vocal skills of the singers is without a doubt high-class. The book-let is great with well-written liner notes and an interesting short essay written Alex Hyatt King. The book-let also has some very nice photos. von Karajan is so passionate and intense and one can verily feel his passion for the music as one listens to this truly stupendous recording. Highly recommended indeed. 5 stars without a doubt!"