Notes & Reviews:
Verdi's famous Requiem became popular with a broader audience when it was performed at Princess Diana of Wales' funeral almost ten years ago. Just like the Mozart Requiem it has always been a work that people turned to in times of grief and more than 130 years after its premiere, it remains a uniquely stirring work that goes far beyond the confines of the liturgy, transcending denominational boundaries and speaking to the whole of the human race. Giuseppe Verdi - at that time already a successful opera composer, who had enjoyed an unprecedented triumph with Aida in Cairo in 1871, chose to compose his Requiem in response to a private grief. He had already composed the impressive "Libera me" in 1868, when Gioachino Rossini, a composer he much admired, had died. When Alessandro Manzoni, whose novel, I promessi sposi, played a seminal role in Italy's linguistic unification, died in 1873, Verdi decided to return to the composition. The result of his yearlong grieving process was his Requiem, which received its first performance at Saint Mark's Church in Milan on the first anniversary of the poet's death. TDK now presents the recording of a concert that was a mark of solidarity in times of global mourning when, two years ago, on 26 December 2004, the earth beneath the Indian Ocean shook and the third-largest earthquake ever recorded, triggered a tsunami that cost the lives of more than 200,000 men, women and children, chiefly in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India, and left almost two million people homeless. Just over a month after the flood catastrophe, the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini performed Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem under Zubin Mehta's direction in the concert hall at Renzo Piano's Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome. Mehta gathered a high-ranking cast of soloists for this concert, all of them well known for their singing of the Italian dramatic repertory. Conductor, orchestra, chorus and soloists all donated their fees, not only for the concert itself but also for the current recording, to the victims of the tsunami. Zubin Mehta, born in India, is not only a great conductor. His concerts often set an example of humanitarian concern for others. He uses music as a transcendent language to reach out and extend a helping hand. Thus, in 1994, he conducted a performance of Mozart's Requiem with the Sarajevo Symphony Orchestra in memory of the victims of the war in Yugoslavia, he conducted Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony in Weimar in honour of the victims of the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1999, when the Israel Philharmonic played alongside the Bavarian State Orchestra and, on the first anniversary of the Asian tsunami, he conducted the Bavarian State Orchestra in Madras. With this DVD, the home viewer not only buys an impressive and emotional work performed by artists of the first degree but also shares an act of global understanding and solidarity expressed through music.Notes & Reviews:
Run Time: 93 min.
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9 anamorphic, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo, DD 5.1 Surround, DTS 5.1 Surround
Country of Origin: USA
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Works DetailsVerdi, Giuseppe : Requiem Mass
- Performers: Ramón Vargas; Rafal Siwek; Luciana D'Intino; Fiorenza Cedolins
- Conductor: Zubin Mehta
- Ensemble: Orchestra Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini
- Running Time: 93 min. sec.
- Period Time: Romantic
- Form: Choral
- Written: 1874