Notes & Reviews:
As featured at the 2013 London Proms on August 17th, Marin Alsop conducts Brahms's A German Requiem, which is almost certainly triggered by the death of his mother in 1865. It is of his greatest and most popular works, quite unlike any previous Requiem. With texts taken from Luther's translation of the Bible and an emphasis on comforting the living for their loss and on hope of the Resurrection, the work is deeply rooted in the tradition of Bach and Schuutz, but is vastly different in character from the Latin Requiem of Catholic tradition with its evocation of the Day of Judgment and prayers for mercy on the souls of the dead.
The Times, 3rd August 2013
It's a clear, unsentimental interpretation, but plodding at times in the fugues, lacking intensity and unpersuasively sung at key moments. A good antidote, though, to more indulgently romantic recordings.
Financial Times, 10th August 2013
The performance, if a mite over-respectful, comes across as sensitively contoured, intelligently paced and immaculately balanced. The soloists, Stephan Genz and Anna Lucia Richter, combine purity and expressiveness, and the radiant MDR chorus has the music in its bones.
Gramophone Magazine, September 2013
The Leipzig Radio Choir sounds like a large body. There are no fluffed entries and no weaknesses. The tenor are particularly impressive, with no sense of strain on the high notes. Stephan Genz is properly suppliant...and Anna Lucia Richter shows great promise.
BBC Music Magazine, October 2013
A sensitive and often moving account of the score. Alsop's tempos are never ponderous, in places almost brisk...at its bargain price, this honest, no-nonsense account, beautifully played and sung, is certainly competitive.
MusicWeb International, 27th September 2013
Above all, it's an asset to hear the German text delivered by native German speakers...Genz is an appropriate choice as the baritone soloist in this Leipzig performance since his musical training took place in the city...Alsop's direction of the score is very good.
American Record Guide, January/February 2014
The timing identifies Alsop as one of the quicker conductors in this piece and places her in the company of Masur and Bruno Walter. In general the results are very satisfying. Still, this soprano is a name to watch. The Leipzig chorus sings with lots of enthusiasm and conviction, and the sopranos manage all the high writing with good intonation and minimal strain. Alsop holds everything together well and offers a good choice if you want directness and a minimum of sentimentality.
Recording information: Groáer Saal, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany (04/11/2013-04/14/2013).
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Works DetailsBrahms, Johannes : German Requiem, Op. 45
- Conductor: Marin Alsop
- Ensemble: MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra
- Notes: Groáer Saal, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany (04/11/2013-04/14/2013)
- Running Time: 62 min. 48 sec.
- Period Time: Romantic
- Form: Choral
- Written: 1857-1868