Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Giuseppe Verdi, Anton Bruckner, Herbert von Karajan|
Verdi: Messa da Requiem; Bruckner: Te Deum
The best available version of the Verdi Requiem
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Without doubt Karajan's Live Salzburg performance of the Verdi Requiem is the best version available on any medium. Being the proud owner of some 15 versions (all considered top recommendations) of this piece I can heartily recommend what's offered here. The sense of occasion certailny marks the whole performance: It is incadescent, grieving, beautifully sung and played - Karajan at his best, certainly much much better than the three later versions (one on video, two others on audio). The mono sound is amazingly open and clear - one hears many details that are obscure in later, "better" engineered versions. Warmly recommended......."
Not my favorites, but ...
RENS | Dover, NH USA | 08/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not only are these not among my favorite recordings of the Verdi Requiem and the Bruckner Te Deum, they are also conducted by Von Karajan, whose work I generally dislike. BUT: these are splendid performances and well document in both cases significant occasions, especially the Bruckner performance from 1960, the summer of the grand opening of the new Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg. The Viennese choral forces sing much better than they usualy do, too. Compared to Munich or Berlin, they tend to lack good blending and careful attention to dynamics. In this case, they sing with clarity as well as passion. The soloists are for the most part still early in their careers and in deliciously fine voice. Any recording of Leonie Rysanek is worth its cost, and in the Verdi we have not only the young Leonie but also Christa Lugwig and Cesare Siepi. The tenor, Giuseppe Zampieri was not one of the greats, but here he sings beautifully. And yes, Leonie pinches off a final note in the "Libera me" - but that doesn't detract from the beautiful singing that comes before it. The soloists in the Bruckner are also of the first tier, but their singing is less exposed.
The mono sound reflects the two concert spaces: The Felsenreitschule, which in 1958 was the primary space for large performances, and the new Grosses Festspielhaus which first opened in 1960 (I was there for that ... ). The sound engineers had a better sense for the acoustic of the Felsenereitschule, having worked in it for some years, and they achieve a fine recording of the Verdi. The acoustics of the new Festival House were new to them and as a result the recorded sound of the Bruckner is less clear and spacious.
For the Verdi I above all recommend the recordings by Rafael Kubelik and the Bavarian Radio forces on Orfeo and by Ferenc Fricsay with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus on DG, both in superb mono sound. The Orfeo set also includes the Bruckner Te Deum, equally magnifcently performed. I also recommend as of special interest Reiner's recording with the Vienna Philharmonic et al. available on DECCA. This is in spectacular early stereo sound and Jussi Bjoerling is among the soloists. Reiner chooses some unusually slow tempi at times yet does so effectively. Finally, John Eliot Gardiner's more recent recording from the 1990s, a brilliantly realized performance in every way, is not to be missed.
I do not disparage the famous recordings by Toscanini and Giulini, but to my ears they cannot compete with the four I have just mentioned above.
As for the Bruckner Te Deum, in addition to Kubelik's version coupled with the Verdi Requiem on Orfeo, Jochum's (stereo) version with the Berlin forces leads the pack on a DG Originals release including Psalm 150 and a good number of the motets. Finally, find a copy of Matthew Best's 1993 version with the Corydon Singers and Orchestra on Hyperion! You will be astonished at the clarity and energy of the sound and the performance. The Best has already been remaindered, but copies are to be found (this is, after all, Amazon.com!).
Good Interpretations, but what about the sound???
Santa Fe Listener | 02/19/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Just that!! Verdi and Bruckner are presented very well by Karajan, however, the sound...uneven, distorted (very beginning of the Te Deum...) I've heard better!"