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Thierry Lancino: Requiem (2009) / Grant Murphy, Gubisch, Skelton, Courjal

Album Summary

>Lancino, Thierry : Requiem, for chorus
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Thierry Lancino's vast Requiem is a challenging and eloquent contemplation on human mortality which the composer describes as 'both an epic fresco and sacred ceremony'. In a paradox which brings the Christian into dialogue with the Pagan, Lancino presents an exploration of Death and Time which is both human and relevant, as well as posing eternal and unanswerable questions. This recording captures a unique and moving event, performed by a stellar cast of artists and France's leading choir and orchestra.Since winning first prize in the Cantelli Conducting Competition at the age of 26, Eliahu Inbal has enjoyed a lucrative career, conducting leading orchestras in Europe, the United States, and Japan, and making regular appearances at international festivals. Inbal became the chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic in 2009.

Lancino's Requiem is a powerful work and a difficult one on several levels - not especially easy to listen to or to think about. It is a piece that challenges rather than reassures the audience, and in so doing shows the power of modern choral composition within a more-or-less traditional form.

Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review
The performance is spirited and excellent. Lancino's music has undoubtedly some considerable merit. I would most definitely like to hear more of it. It is undoubtedly a work and a performance that merit the attention of modern music lovers.

Forum Opera (France)
Without denying its passage by IRCAM, Thierry Lancino realize in recent years an authentic voice work and declamation, without asking the singers to be constantly in the extremes of their range and with a concern for intelligibility. This is music "spiritual" modern does not yield to the ease of a certain ecstatic minimalism, but who goes in search of new sounds, matching tones and textures for an inspired and inspiring results.

L'education Musicale
The premiere of this work, at the Salle Pleyel, was recorded by Radio France on January 7 and 8 of 2010. The release of the recording uses the material from the concerts. Let us congratulate the performers for having so brilliantly mastered "live" from such a complex and immense work (72 minutes of music). The vocal casting is better on the female side: the role of the Sibyl falls to Nora Gubisch whose flamboyant temper on stage and warm voice excel in exceptional characters (she embodied an unforgettable Pythonisse in Honegger's Roi David at the Palais Garnier last March) ; a vibrating innocence radiates from Heidi Grant Murphy who embodies the suffering of a simple mortal. The singers of Radio France Chorus (prepared by Matthias Brauer and Sébastien Boin) demonstrate their total commitment to the drama as a real characters. The Orchestre Philharmonique is at ease in new music, and Maestro Inbal is particularly fond of ambitious frescos. Let's prophesize (please, Sibyl, forgive us!) that such a rich and so sincerely thought out work will have access to eternal life by entering the repertoire. This work will always make its own resonance on the constant questioning from the human soul because it shows pure inspiration - beyond divides of a "dated" aesthetic - and imagines creative force of the the moment with a universal dimension.

Listen: Life with Classical Music
Thierry Lancino's audacious work keeps in the tradition of the Requiem but is by no mean traditional, reconceiving the form as a sacred oratorio, or in the words of the composer, "an epic fresco." Inspired by the liturgical text "Dies irae ... teste David cum Sibylla" ("Day of wrath ... as announced by David and the Sibyl"), Lancino's Requiem unfolds as a dialogue between the pagan Sibyl - from the Greek "Sibylla," meaning "prophetess" - and the biblical David. With the choir functioning as a Greek chorus of sorts, the four soloists are the oratorio's principal actors. David is sung by the tenor and the Sibyl by the mezzo-soprano. The soprano (Heidi Grant Murphy) is the mortal, suffering Everyman, and the bass represents the warrior side of David. Challenging but approachable, the musical landscape is wide and far-reaching, yet the work's lexicon steers clear of any dogmatic or academic approach. In collaboration with librettist Pascal Quignard (Tous les matins du monde), Lancino's Requiem makes for a thoughtful meditation on Death and Time.

If you want a challenging mix of bracing dissonance, stark beauty and non-standard techniques, this Koussevitzky Music Foundation commission premiered in 2010 is perfect. Quignard sets up "desire for annihilation and desire of eternity" alongside each other; the clashing sounds and styles reflect the clashing philosophies of the Psalmist David (dually portrayed by tenor and bass soloists and the pagan Sibyl (mezzo-soprano), plus Everyman (soprano), while the choir acts as Greek chorus. This work reaches far beyond the parameters of a standard Requiem, becoming an epic, multi-cultural oratorio.

Chr de Radio France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and soloists Heidi Grant Murphy, Nora Gubisch, Stuart Skelton and Nicolas Courjal give white-hot, emotionally charged performances in this recording from Naxos. In particular I would single out mezzo-soprano Nora Gubisch; her portrayal of the desperate plight of the Sibyl is incredibly moving.

ON Magazine (France)
Only few composers of today dare braving this grand form of sacred music which is the Requiem. Yet, it is without any complexes that Thierry Lancino tackles a genre in which Gilles, Mozart, Berlioz, Brahms, Verdi and many other famous composers who preceded him.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Salle Pleyel, Paris, France (01/07/2010-01/08/2010).


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Works Details

>Lancino, Thierry : Requiem, for chorus
  • Performer: Nora Gubisch (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Eliahu Inbal
  • Ensemble: French Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Salle Pleyel, Paris, France (01/07/2010-01/08/2010)
  • Running Time: 69 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 2009