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Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, 2 September 2013
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- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 14.5 x 12.9 x 2.01 cm; 269.89 Grams
- Manufacturer : SIGNUM
- Item Model Number : SIGCD340
- Original Release Date : 2013
- Label : SIGNUM
- ASIN : B00ECAAIX8
- Number of discs : 2
- Customer Reviews:
Following their acclaimed recordings of Berlioz's Grande Messe des Morts and Mendelssohn's Elijah, Paul McCreesh has once again assembled the mass forces of Gabrieli Consort & Players and Wrocaw Phiharmonic Choir to record one of the iconic masterpieces of the 20th century oratorio repertoire. The work reflects Britten's long-held and committed pacifist beliefs. Composed to mark the consecration of a new Cathedral in Coventry, Britten combines the Latin text of the Missa pro Defunctiswith nine poems by the First World War poet Wilfred Owen, which provide a moving (and frequently uncomfortable) commentary on the liturgical text.
Best Choral Album, BBC Music Magazine Awards 2014 --BBC Music Magazine
"Tenor John Mark Ainsley and baritone Christopher Maltman are compellingly eloquent Owen surrogates, well matched in bot the naive bravado of "Out there, we've walked quite friendly up to Death" and the eerie, horrified hush of the altered-ending tale of Abram and Isaac." --Patrick Dillon, Opera News, February 2014
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McCreesh is normally associated with Baroque and pre-Baroque musical eras, but he tackles this massive work with successful results.
He brings out many details not heard in other recordings. The soloists are excellent.
I vote this my own classical music disc of the year.
I recommend Britten's recording on London/Decca the one to have if you are having but one. This is especially so if you obtain the new audio Blue Ray remastering which also includes a lengthy set of excerpts from the recording sessions. Britten: War Requiem I also recommend very highly the superb 2012 performance on DVD and Blue Ray led by Andris Nelsons in the Cathedral of St. Michael in Coventry on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the premier performance in that same consecrated space. War Requiem And also on CD: Britten: War Requiem Also of interest is the DVD of an enthralled Erich Leinsdorf conducting the War Requiem at its premier in the United States with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The DVD is sufficiently clear black and white and the sound is stereo, unexpectedly focused and powerful given the state of television transmission in 1963. The performance is dedicated and thrilling. It took place at Tanglewood in the big shed, so the arrangement of the forces is quite cramped and odd. Unfortunately, the two male soloists have little sensitivity to the language of the poetry or to Britten's style. In any case, it is a wonderful historical document. Britten: War Requiem
There are a good number of other recordings of the War Requiem as befits the masterpiece it is. I have distilled out my favorites for this review. You will want to examine all the possibilities and choose what sounds best to your own ears. Certainly you will want to check out the 1966 recording by Karel Ancerl Britten: War Requiem if you are interested in the reception of the Requiem in a Soviet dominated country. A stunning performance in good mono sound (with a rather raw tenor). It is coupled with a recording of the Spring Symphony sung in Czech! Still, it is a pretty much a matter of historical importance. The original Britten recording cannot be beat, honest, period.