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Ein Deutsches Requiem


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Audio CD, October 30, 2012
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 30, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Seraphic Fire
  • ASIN: B005I67KRC
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,384 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Buhnze on December 7, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought the CD because it was nominated for a Grammy and En Deutsches Requiem is one of my favorites. For the first few moments of listening, I missed the orchestra, but that didn't last for long, because the EXCELLENT choir in this version came through so beautifully. And the piano 4 hands, WOW! what a treat. If you're a Brahms fan, I would give this a listen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 20, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Thousands of American choristers over the years have sung the Brahms Requiem and many of those (including this reviewer) sang it in this version accompanied not by orchestra but by two pianists at one piano (so-called 'piano four-hands'). The arrangement was actually made by Brahms himself; indeed, he made two-piano or piano four-hands arrangements of practically everything he ever wrote, including an arrangement of the Requiem itself for piano four-hands WITHOUT the choir Brahms: Requiem Four Hand Piano Music Vol. 5. I had never run into a recording of this version, the so-called 'London' version of the Requiem; I see, though, that there is another version with four-hand accompaniment Brahms: German Requiem Op.45 (The 'London Version', sung in German) about which I know nothing.

The performing forces here are Seraphic Fire, a choir resident in south Florida, plus singers at their Professional Choral Institute, which is 'a partnership between Seraphic Fire and the University of South Florida'. The two excellent pianists are Justin Blackwell and Scott Allen Jarrett. The soprano soloist (with a lovely almost ethereal voice) is Teresa Wakim and the stalwart baritone is Paul Max Tipton.

The performance is quite a good one. The choirs are marvelously balanced and they produce nuanced dynamics and expression. Conductor Patrick Dupré Quigley makes a few unusual tempo choices which, on repeated hearing, sound more and more natural.
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This version of the Brahms Requiem is not what most listeners are accustomed to hearing. Those of us who have sung this magnificent choral work have certainly enjoyed many practices with piano accompaniment, but this is the one actually composed by Johannes Brahms at the request of his publisher a year following Brahms' completion of the orchestral version. For we who have performed the Requiem, this is simply the finest piano accompaniment ever. The present work is performed by Seraphic Fire and the Professional Choral Institute from the University of South Florida. The accompanists are Justin Blackwell and Scott Allen Jarrett. Directing it all is Patrick Dupre Quigley.

The performance is stellar. Listeners will notice smaller choral forces than usually heard, quicker tempi, and of course a piano played by four hands. The chorus performs splendidly and the soloists are equal to the task. Special mention must be awarded to the fine pianists who prove that Brahms was at his best when composing this version of the Requiem. As a pianist and lover of the music of Brahms and as a singer who once sang the Requiem, I can report to you that this performance is extraordinary in every regard. Different? Yes. But this performance is one of those experiences that stretch your envelope of conventionality. So, not only is it beautifully performed, it is also good for your brain!

The sound of the recording is flawless, with excellent soundstage, center-fill, choral and piano sonorities. Of course the music is some of the most sublime in all of Western Music. The album deserves my VERY HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!!!
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The Requiem is an interesting piece of music because it really isn't a requiem! I never appreciated the piece until I sang in a choir that performed it--in German! Every reading of this has its own twist, and this one is great. Seraphic Fire is a group of professional singers in Miami that are among the best around these days--and they do everything well. If you are into comparing performances take a look also at the Robert Shaw English version done by the Utah Symphony.
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