Among the major choral-orchestral works of the 19th century, Sir Roger Norrington and his former Orchestra, the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR, have tackled over the years, now finally comes Brahms' "German Requiem." one of the most beautiful and popular sacred music works in the repertoire. Brahms’ contemporaries, including his close friend Clara Schumann were moved with the score and were enthusiastic about it - and it has been a favorite with the general public ever since. Although Biblical texts are used, the piece is not in the standard church-liturgical tradition. It was Brahms‘personal response to "those who mourn"! The central idea of this masterpiece is the reality of human existence. It is precisely this „earthly character“ that Roger Norrington uses to shape his interpretation emphasizing the grave beautify of the music and not religious awe; in this, Norrington draws us close to the composer’s intentions. He is ably supported by soprano soloist Christina Landshamer, basso Florian Boesch, SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart and the NDR.
Herbert von Karajan conducted Brahms's choral masterpiece frequently throughout his long career, but only once on film and with both of these outstanding soloists. This unique document from the 1978 Salzburg Easter Festival was acclaimed by Diapason as "a magical interpretation, prodigiously realized … with a sublime fusion of timbres, a cohesion and, ultimately, a simplicity that are truly unequalled."
MONO • HISTORICAL RECORDINGS FROM 1942-1952. Wilhelm Furtwängler saw “a wild, fantastic and even demonic universe” in the symphonies of Brahms. “Music is not something that is invented and constructed,” he wrote, “but something that grows, emerging … directly from the hands of nature.” With organic development so crucial to Brahms’ music, his symphonies were destined for a prominent place in Furtwängler’s repertoire. Among the other works in this collection are the Violin Concerto with Yehudi Menuhin, and the Piano Concerto No. 2 with Edwin Fischer, both recognised as landmark interpretations.
This is a rather brisk reading of Brahms' masterpiece, the most ambitious work in his output and one of the greatest compositions of its type. Though Herreweghe's tempos often pushed the music to its limits here (except for the first section), the performance never actually sounded fast, or at least not offensively fast. In fact, it challenges the Levine/RCA effort.
Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria. His reputation and status as a composer are such that he is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the "Three Bs" of music, a comment originally made by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow.
Recording a piece like the Verdi Requiem in the Barbican presents various technical challenges. Scored for very large forces, it pushes to the limit the number of people you can fit on the stage. It is a work with an enormous dynamic range. Maestro Noseda, with this performance, teases every decibel from barely audible to almost ear-shattering climax. Representing that in a recording is a challenge, but one that our experienced team of engineers at Classic Sound was more than capable of overcoming.
The Mozart Requiem is one of the best-known sacred works in the classical repertoire. It was the composer's last work, and he left it unfinished at his death. British conductor Roger Norrington, a pioneer of authentic performing practice, and an outstanding group of singers present Duncan Druce's version of the Requiem, based on the latest Mozart research, together with other moving choral works.