Notes & Reviews:
"... he [Norrington] maintains a melodic line that is both intense and expansive. The orchestral sound is actually leaner, coloring is blacker, and inner voices are clearer. As in the period recordings, elements come through that are lost in other recordings, including counterpoint and subtle percussion... This is a magnificent performance that clears away cobwebs and baggage to produce an often frightening but finally sublime and serene Requiem... Everyone involved projects power and concentration. The stereo sound is first rate." -Hecht, ARG. "This live performance... is certainly among the most impressive available today. There is a palpable sense of occasion... the abiding impression is of the rock-like nature of the Requiem, the gaunt, sinewy lines that define its vast architecture." -BBC Music Magazine
bbc.co.uk - Andrew McGregor
Norrington's approach is pensive, sober and funereal-but it's so well paced that the sense of inevitability underlines man's mortality, and the outbursts when they do come are more effective for their comparative restraint...a reminder that the first performance was in church, not on a concert hall stage.
Truly it was of frightening greatness," wrote Berlioz after the Requiem 's première. The massed timpani of the "Tuba mirum" produced an "indescribable shock". The chief priest wept uncontrollably, while one of the choral singers suffered a nervous breakdown. Thankfully, there seems to have been no such casualty among the singers in this "live" performance from Stuttgart. The rich, ample acoustics of the Beethovensaal give full value to Berlioz's vast spatial effects, most spectacularly the four brass bands that herald the timpani onslaught in the "Tuba mirum". Yet Norrington's concern for clarity of line and articulation, and the carefully judged balances, mean that we hear far more than usual of Berlioz's brilliant and bizarre orchestral detail. Norrington's dramatic urgency, allied to choral singing of thrilling body and bite, make the apocalyptic movements duly overwhelming. No less moving is the choir's luminous delicacy in the "Quid sum miser" and "Quaerens me" - music of Cistercian purity and austerity - while Toby Spence brings a calm, rapt beauty to the cruelly high solo in the "Sanctus". A magnificent achievement, to be set alongside Colin Davis's recordings of this awesome work.
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Mahler: Symphony no 6, Piano Quartet / Eschenbach
Mendelssohn: Symphonies 1 & 5 "Reformation" / Norrington
Schumann: Symphonies no 2 & 4 / Norrington, Stuttgart RSO
Schumann: Symphony no 1 & 3 / Norrington, et al
Beethoven: Symphonies no 5 & 7 / Gustavo Dudamel
Beethoven: Symphonies no 3 & 8 / Vanska, Minnesota Orchestra
Transfigured Mozart - Transcriptions by Reger, etc / Malan
Czerny: Symphonies no 2 & 6 / Nowak, SWR RO, Kaiserslauten
Beethoven: Symphonies no 4 & 5 / Vanska, Minnesota Orchestra
Works DetailsBerlioz, Hector : Requiem, Op. 5 (Grande Messe des Morts)
- Conductor: Roger Norrington
- Ensemble: Leipzig Radio Chorus
- Running Time: 85 min. 45 sec.
- Period Time: Romantic
- Form: Choral
- Written: 06/1837