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Fauré: Requiem; Franck: Symphony / Herreweghe, Zomer, Genz

Album Summary

>Fauré, Gabriel : Requiem, Op. 48
>Franck, César : Symphony in D minor, M 48
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

"This beloved piece deserves to be called 'the people requiem' - it has been performed everywhere by ensembles of all sizes and ability levels, from the church choir down the block to major symphony choruses. Interpretively, this is one of the most 'heavenly' performances I have heard of this music: its gentle, other-wordly spirituality is always there. Nothing is forced - there is no straining for effect... Another triumph for Harmonia Mundi." - Koob, ARG

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Philippe Herreweghe's earlier recording of the Fauré Requiem (also Harmonia Mundi) used Jean-Michel Nectoux's edition of the original 1891 'chamber' score. This is the familiar 1901 version, with its full if curious orchestration, but in other respects this is a more 'authentic' reading than the earlier one. Period instruments are used, gut strings giving the sound a gentle luminescence, and instead of an organ Fauré's permitted alternative, a large harmonium, adds a reedy quality to the wind scoring.

A shade more controversially, the work is sung in 'Gallican' Latin - 'Pié Zhesü' instead of 'Pie Yesou', 'Lüx perpétüa', and so on. Together with the other period details it makes the work sound distinctly Gallic: an admirable antidote to the Anglicised or even Anglicanised Fauré presented by the archetypally English cathedral and college choirs that have so often recorded it. Both soloists are excellent, Herreweghe's tempos are a little more alert than before and the recording is splendidly ample.

Alongside gut strings the big advantage of a period orchestra in Franck is the beautifully smooth sound of the horns. The overall sound is more transparent than usual, and Franck's reputation for dense over-scoring seems more than ever unjustified. It's a fine and idiomatic performance and hugely enjoyable. A fascinating coupling, strongly recommended.


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Works Details

>Fauré, Gabriel : Requiem, Op. 48
  • Performers: Stephan Genz (Baritone); Johannette Zomer
  • Conductor: Philippe Herreweghe
  • Ensemble: Collegium Vocale
  • Running Time: 36 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1887-1900

>Franck, César : Symphony in D minor, M 48
  • Conductor: Philippe Herreweghe
  • Ensemble: Champs-Élysées Orchestra
  • Notes: Composition written: 1886-88.
  • Running Time: 37 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1886-1888