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Verdi: Requiem

Verdi: Requiem


Recently appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, Gianandrea Noseda gathered together an outstanding cast of Italian stars for these searing performances of Verdi’s Requiem to open the LSO’s 2016/17 season.

Originally destined to be a collaboration of movements from Italian composers to honour the death of Rossini, the Requiem evolved into a memorial for the Italian writer and poet Alessandro Manzoni, whom Verdi revered, and premiered on 22 May 1874 – exactly a year after Manzoni’s death.

The most complex and dramatic sequence is the 'Dies irae' (Day of wrath). The vivid text of the Last Judgement allows Verdi's operatic talents to flourish amidst the drama and pathos. The main theme erupts in violent fury of brass and percussion while the chorus roars a descending scale pattern of intimidating catastrophe and fear. In a momentary lull, a single trumpet in the orchestra opens a simple fanfare, answered quietly by a trumpet out in the concert hall. The fanfare builds in intensity and numbers until the four trumpets on stage and four house trumpets, often spatially arranged for maximum effect, join the full orchestra for a blazing opening to the choral entrance of the 'Tuba mirum' (The trumpet shall sound).

Whilst not a devout Catholic, Verdi was influenced by a profound sense of higher power: combining his gifts for the theatrical with his admiration for the great Italian liturgical music of the past, he created a passionate and deeply moving masterpiece, beloved of performers and audiences alike.

“Michele Pertusi is exemplary, with a lovely legato quality…Erika Grimaldi is at her best when projecting the drama of the text…the LSO Chorus are superb throughout, as are the LSO themselves. The strings and brass, especially, respond to Noseda’s direction with refinement and panache” Gramophone Magazine, June 2017

“this is an impressively disciplined account of the mighty score, with expressive Italian soloists, a superb choir (trained by Simon Halsey) and the LSO on top form.” Sunday Times, 3rd April 2017

“Under Gianandrea Noseda, this live recording by the London Symphony Orchestra, LSO Chorus and evenly matched vocal quartet of Erika Grimaldi (soprano), Daniels Barcellona (mezzo soprano), Francesco Meli (tenor) and Michele Pertusi (bass), play honestly and powerfully to its strengths. Noseda paces it with dramatic verve and fresh intensity. The chorus has focus, girth and versatility. The soloists strike that fine balance between discipline and indulgence. There are many moments that will send shivers up the spine.” The Scotsman, 18th April 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

LSO Live - LSO0800

(SACD)

$9.75

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Verdi: Requiem & Four Sacred Pieces

Verdi: Requiem & Four Sacred Pieces


Verdi:

Requiem

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano), Christa Ludwig (mezzo-soprano), Nicolai Gedda (tenor) & Nicolai Ghiaurov (bass)

Quattro Pezzi Sacri


Presto Greatest Recordings

1960s

Warner Classics Masters - 0852192

(CD - 2 discs)

$13.00

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Verdi: Requiem

Verdi: Requiem


A Verdi Requiem with a dream line-up of soloists and the forces of La Scala, Milan, directed by one of the greatest maestros of our time.

Preceding acclaimed performances at the Lucerne and Salzburg Festivals, Barenboim and his magnificent partners recorded this masterpiece around a live performance at La Scala, Milan, in 2012. This marks the first audio recording by Barenboim in his role as La Scala’s Music Director.

A superb quartet of soloists – Jonas Kaufmann, Anja Harteros, Elīna Garanča and René Pape – stamp their authority on this terrific performance.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

“The magnificent full-throated chorus project in a manner liable to rip off the La Scala roof. And the soloists too trail opera glory...Barenboim, meanwhile, does everything to encourage bold attack from players and singers; even his pauses tremble. All told, it’s a thrilling account.” The Times, 13th September 2013 ****

“It's a thoughtful, considered interpretation that places the emphasis not so much on the terrors of divine judgment as on mankind's suffering in the face of the unknown...the end result makes up in compassion for what it sometimes lacks in visceral excitement.” The Guardian, 10th October 2013

“an optimum line-up of soloists for our time...Garanca’s lush mezzo sounds like an Amneris in waiting in the Lux aeterna; Pape is a rock in the bass soloist’s pronouncements...I wouldn’t want to be without Kaufmann’s searing Ingemisco and moving, introverted Hostias” Sunday Times, 22nd September 2013

“this performance, exciting and occasionally thrilling though it is, is not remotely Italian...It's a 'through-composed' linked-up performance, paced withy a dramatic curve that makes even the punchiest Italian-led ones...feel like number opera...The non-Italian soloists are in good fearless voice and aurally well integrated into this concept” Gramophone Magazine, November 2013

“Barenboim's interpretative view is grand in conception, with the La Scala performers offering him sufficient depth and richness of tone...the four soloists form a quartet finely balanced in vocal weight and proficiency...this is an impressive account.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas Issue 2013 ****

“what a thrill to hear four such exciting voices announce their arrival one by one in those first electrifying entries in the Kyrie...The chorus and orchestra are on rip-roaring operatic form, not least in a properly apocalyptic ‘Dies Irae’, complete with sinister sibilance that chills the blood and percussion-playing to rouse the dead. Terrific.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 16th September 2013

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Decca - 0743808

(Blu-ray)

$20.25

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Verdi: Requiem

Verdi: Requiem

Recorded at Teatro Farnese/Verdi Festival Parma, October 2011


Conducter Yuri Temirkanov has appeared with leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, London Philharmonic and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

This Requiem fields an outstanding cast of singers, all with glittering international careers.

Fantastic 52 minutes Bonus: Verdi´s Backyard

The documentary introduces us to Verdi’s beautiful “homeland”, the region of Parma.From the little village called Le Roncole in the vicinity of Parma, where Verdi was born, to the estate close to Parma, where Verdi – despite the great triumphs he celebrated in Milan, Venice, Naples and other major cities – always came back to and chose to spend most of his life. We get to know how Verdi “lives on” in the region and has even formed the area – from the everyday life of a simple peasant to the life of one of the biggest opera stars in the world, Leo Nucci, who is a regular guest at the Verdi Festival in Parma.

Running Time Total: 147 Minutes

Oratorio: 95 Minutes

Bonus: 52 Minutes

Picture 16:9, HD

Sound DVD: DTS 5.1, PCM Stereo

Subtitles Italian (original language), English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese

Bonus: English, Italian

“The soloists are all very satisfactory but the performance, whilst precise, is not urgent and indeed seems a bit slow.” MusicWeb International, 13th February 2014

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

C Major TUTTO VERDI - 725408

(DVD Video)

$25.75

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Verdi: Requiem

Verdi: Requiem

Recorded at Teatro Farnese/Verdi Festival Parma, October 2011


Conducter Yuri Termirkanov has appeared with leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, London Philharmonic and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

This Requiem fields an outstanding cast of singers, all with glittering international careers.

Fantastic 52 minutes Bonus: Verdi´s Backyard

The documentary introduces us to Verdi’s beautiful “homeland”, the region of Parma.From the little village called Le Roncole in the vicinity of Parma, where Verdi was born, to the estate close to Parma, where Verdi – despite the great triumphs he celebrated in Milan, Venice, Naples and other major cities – always came back to and chose to spend most of his life. We get to know how Verdi “lives on” in the region and has even formed the area – from the everyday life of a simple peasant to the life of one of the biggest opera stars in the world, Leo Nucci, who is a regular guest at the Verdi Festival in Parma.

Running Time Total: 147 Minutes

Oratorio: 95 Minutes

Bonus: 52 Minutes

Picture 16:9, HD

BD: DTS-HD MA 5.1, PCM 2.0

Subtitles Italian (original language), English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese

Bonus: English, Italian

“The soloists are all very satisfactory but the performance, whilst precise, is not urgent and indeed seems a bit slow.” MusicWeb International, 13th February 2014

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

C Major TUTTO VERDI - 725504

(Blu-ray)

$33.50

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Verdi: Requiem

Verdi: Requiem

Filmed at the Royal Festival Hall, London, 26 April 1964


Ilva Ligabue (soprano), Grace Bumbry (mezzo-soprano), Sandor Konya (tenor) & Raffaele Arié (bass)

Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus, Carlo Maria Giulini

Lovingly restored, using the finest state-of-the-art technology, EuroArts’ series „Classic Archive“ features greatperformances by legendary artists, offering a unique glimpse into our classical musical heritage at an affordablemid-range price.

Legendary conductor and multi awarded Carlo Maria Giulini leads the superb Philharmonia Orchestra & Chorus in awonderful and dramatic performance of Verdi’s «Messa da Requiem» featuring performances by soprano IlvaLigabue, mezzo-soprano Grace Bumbry, tenor Sandor Konya & bass Raffaele Arie.

Picture format DVD: NTSC 4:3 (B/W)

Sound format DVD: PC Stereo

Region code: 0 (worldwide)

Subtitles: English, German, French

Booklet notes: English, German, French

Running time: 90 min

German FSK: 0

“Yes, it’s just a mono sound recording, it’s shot in black and white and the Royal Festival Hall acoustic is not the best. Nevertheless the fifty-year old Giulini draws out a powerfully thrilling and involving performance...He’s energetic and animated, his eyes ablaze, conveying total commitment...An affecting and dramatic historic mono monochrome recording.” MusicWeb International, 7th January 2014

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Ideale Audience International Classic Archive - 3079968

(DVD Video)

$28.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Verdi: Requiem

Verdi: Requiem


A Verdi Requiem with a dream line-up of soloists and the forces of La Scala, Milan, directed by one of the greatest maestros of our time

Preceding acclaimed performances at the Lucerne and Salzburg Festivals, Barenboim and his magnificent partners recorded this masterpiece around a live performance at La Scala, Milan, in 2012. This marks the first audio recording by Barenboim in his role as La Scala’s Music Director.

A superb quartet of soloists – Jonas Kaufmann, Anja Harteros, Elīna Garanča and René Pape – stamp their authority on this terrific performance.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

“The magnificent full-throated chorus project in a manner liable to rip off the La Scala roof. And the soloists too trail opera glory...Barenboim, meanwhile, does everything to encourage bold attack from players and singers; even his pauses tremble. All told, it’s a thrilling account.” The Times, 13th September 2013 ****

“an optimum line-up of soloists for our time...Garanca’s lush mezzo sounds like an Amneris in waiting in the Lux aeterna; Pape is a rock in the bass soloist’s pronouncements...I wouldn’t want to be without Kaufmann’s searing Ingemisco and moving, introverted Hostias…” Sunday Times, 22nd September 2013

“It's a thoughtful, considered interpretation that places the emphasis not so much on the terrors of divine judgment as on mankind's suffering in the face of the unknown...the end result makes up in compassion for what it sometimes lacks in visceral excitement.” The Guardian, 10th October 2013 ****

“this performance, exciting and occasionally thrilling though it is, is not remotely Italian...It's a 'through-composed' linked-up performance, paced withy a dramatic curve that makes even the punchiest Italian-led ones...feel like number opera...The non-Italian soloists are in good fearless voice and aurally well integrated into this concept.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2013

“Barenboim's interpretative view is grand in conception, with the La Scala performers offering him sufficient depth and richness of tone...the four soloists form a quartet finely balanced in vocal weight and proficiency...this is an impressive account.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas Issue 2013 ****

“So many of the older recordings on this list have vintage 'dream-teams' of soloists, and this 2012 Requiem offers a contemporary line-up of comparable lustre: Anja Harteros, Elīna Garanča, Jonas Kaufmann and René Pape are all on thrilling form, and Daniel Barenboim conjures suitably operatic drama from his La Scala forces.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical

Presto Disc of the Week

16th September 2013

Presto Favourites

Recommended Recording

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2013

Decca - 4785245

(CD - 2 discs)

$10.75

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Verdi: Requiem

Verdi: Requiem


Angela Gheorghiu (soprano), Daniela Barcellona (mezzo), Roberto Alagna (tenor), Julian Konstantinov (bass)

Swedish Radio Chorus, Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

'The catastrophic storms of the Last Judgement that assault the listeners’ ears with massive weight and power in the Dies Irae sections are portrayed not just in a raw, bombastic way, but with shrewd phrasing by Claudio Abbado – ever attentive to the musical colours and preserving the tonal eloquence and the massive sounds’ Suddeutsche Zeitung

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

EMI - 4926949

(DVD Video)

$16.75

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Verdi: Requiem

Verdi: Requiem


In the words of Antonio Pappano, himself born to Italian parents, “this is a Requiem written by an Italian and I think Italians’ relationship to religion is explosive, full of temperament, full of fear. …. And the spectre of being punished, of sins – it sounds like an opera I’m describing. …I love doing this piece here in Rome with an Italian chorus and an Italian orchestra, and they have an innate sense of what this music is about, how to bring it to life. They really know what the words mean. They have lived what it is to be religious or spiritual in Italy.”

Interviewed at the time of the performances, Rolando Villazón discusses the same subject: “Many say that this is the best opera Verdi ever wrote. Clearly it’s not … but the theatricality of the piece requires something more than what you would use for an oratorio … It’s a very delicate balance singers have to have. … You have to respect the style of this church piece, and at the same time you have to bring out the emotion.”

To that end, Antonio Pappano brings out the extremes of dynamics in the orchestral, solo and chorus parts: the opening, one of Pappano’s favourite sections, is hushed and what Hugh Canning describes as “the great ‘horror’ moments [send] shivers down the spine.”

“Pappano's conducting maintains a firm control of his forces, showing a sense of drama that includes an awareness of the importance of some crucial moments of silence. Pappano's soloists are evenly matched. Soprano Anja Harteros is beautifully controlled, while mezzo Sonia Ganassi supplies a properly Italianate lyric intensity. ...tenor Rolando Villazón displays... his regular fierce personal commitment to whatever he is singing... René Pape's bass is large and sonorous... The sound captures the work's enormously broad sound picture, as well as a sense of almost infinite receding depth in its overall perspective.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2009 *****

“A Requiem to relish, Pappano's recording is a modern classic. …an authentically Italianate feel is important to any performance of the Requiem. Second nature to Toscanini and Giulini, it is a quality that contributes hugely to the eloquence and allure of Pappano's performance. You hear this early in the sense of a live narrative unfolding which mezzo soprano Sonia Ganassi brings to the "Liber scriptus"...Harteros's lighter...singing, radiant and sympathetic, suits Pappano's reading to perfection... Rolando Villazón is similarly discreet in the self-abasing loveliness of his "Ingemisco"... the bass René Pape is as fine as any on record, strong yet discreet, with a mastery of the subtly inflected cantabile line that is profoundly satisfying.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2009

“a gargantuan, extraordinary performance, given by an extraordinary musical cast...Pappano, with his Italian heritage and operatic career, quite obviously has this music coursing through his veins. Recorded in concert, it catapults the listener into the concert hall with its energetic force and surging rhythms. The dramatic contrasts are magnificently worked” Charlotte Gardner, bbc.co.uk, 21st December 2009

“Pappano surprisingly treats the work primarily as ritual. This is a performance of measured treads and rhythms, ­advancing like some vast processional that flattens everything in its path. Its inexorability leaves you feeling jittery...The choral singing is formidable.” The Guardian, 11th September 2009 ****

GGramophone Awards 2010

Best of Category - Choral

GGramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - October 2009

Building a Library

First Choice - October 2015

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2010

Choral Award Winner

Warner Classics - 6989362

(CD - 2 discs)

$14.75

(also available to download from $16.00)

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Verdi: Requiem

Verdi: Requiem


RCA - 88697646632

(CD - 2 discs)

$10.00

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