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German Requiem Import


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Audio CD, Import, April 8, 2008
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Product Details

  • Performer: Gerald Finley, Collegium Vocale
  • Orchestra: Orchestre des Champs-Elysees
  • Conductor: Philippe Herreweghe
  • Composer: Brahms
  • Audio CD (April 8, 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
  • ASIN: B0012OQZWU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #350,854 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem), for soprano, baritone, chorus & orchestra, Op. 45: Selig sind, die da Leid tragen
2. Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem), for soprano, baritone, chorus & orchestra, Op. 45: Denn alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras
3. Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem), for soprano, baritone, chorus & orchestra, Op. 45: Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen, Herr
4. Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem), for soprano, baritone, chorus & orchestra, Op. 45: Ihr habt nur Traurigkeit
5. Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem), for soprano, baritone, chorus & orchestra, Op. 45: Denn wir haben hie keine bleibende Statt
6. Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem), for soprano, baritone, chorus & orchestra, Op. 45: Selig sind die Toten, die in dem Herren

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

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This is a very fine mono recording from 1956 still found on EMI.
RENS
Gerald Finley has a darn good baritone voice, and at the beginning of "Herr, lehre doch mich," his first words are smooth and not strident, just the way I like it.
Eric S. Kim
He was a very deep humanist and this work is a powerful and beautiful work of the human spirit.
Steven Guy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By RENS on September 9, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
*A sentence or section between asterisks indicates an updated comment from November 2011.*

There are many recordings of the German Requiem of Brahms, and I have nine of them in my library. This recording ranks among the finest and is unique in the clarity of voices, whether solo, choral, or orchestral. The woodwinds and brass are never covered by the strings, yet the string sections sound full and play with precision. The soloists are not over-miked and their voices seem to come from the midst of the greater ensemble. Especially impressive and touching is the singing of Gerald Finley (although his command of German has greatly improved since this recording).

Other recordings I rank at the level of this one and recommend equally highly:

1. Rudolph Kempe with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Choir of St. Hedwig's with Elizabeth Gruemmer and the young (therefore not yet fussy and mannered) Fischer-Dieskau. This is a very fine mono recording from 1956 still found on EMI. The playing and singing is exemplary in very way. I hold the same high opinion of the recording made by Fritz Lehmann with exactly the same Berlin musicians but with different soloists. Maria Stader sings as movingly as Elizabeth Gruemmer, and Otto Wiener sings the words and the music with greater insight and feeling than does Fischer-Dieskau. This is a DG Originals CD and already out of print, but you can find many copies, new and used, on Amazon. *There are some days when I think Kempe is the best of the best in every respect, but more often I would give that laurel wreath to Lehmann.*

2. John Eliot Gardiner with his Orchestre Revolutionanaire et Romantique, the Monteverdi Choir, Charlotte Margiono, and Rodney Gilfry on Philips, a studio recording from 1990.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Eric S. Kim on December 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The "classical" romanticist Johannes Brahms has created an astonishing and unique requiem after the death of his mother, and though it is not as dark as Mozart's or gentle as Faure's, it is still one of the finest ever created. Belgian-born conductor Philippe Herreweghe handles the tempi magnificiently (unlike John Eliot Gardiner, who sometimes takes the speed much faster than usual), and the orchestra and choir blend together to make one calling to the gracious Almighty.

Gerald Finley has a darn good baritone voice, and at the beginning of "Herr, lehre doch mich," his first words are smooth and not strident, just the way I like it.

Christian Oelze is good, too, although Brahms could have made just one more solo segment for the soprano.

My favorite moment in this German Requiem is the second half of "Denn alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras." It just sounds so powerful and energetic and extremely saintly. No other conductor's rendition of this five-minute powerhouse comes close, not even Herbert von Karajan's.

Buy this recording, and also try the SACD version and pump up the volume. It'll sound like two dozen angels giving a lament inside your own room.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By MOVIE MAVEN on March 23, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Brahms' "A German Requiem" has got to be one of the most glorious pieces of choral music ever written and this performance must rank at, or near, the top of the pack: a)the soloists are first rate; b)the orchestra and choir cannot be bettered; c)Philippe Herreweghe is certainly one of the most respected conductors working today, especially, for me, with choral music; d)the sound on every Harmonia Mundi recording is always tops and this one is no exception.
Certainly, the EMI Classics recording from 1962 is rightly considered by many to be the first choice in a pretty large field, mainly because of its legendary conductor, Otto Klemperer and soloists, Elisabeth Schwartzkopf and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. But if you can afford two recordings, buy this one also, if only for the 1996 sound: especially in the peaceful, reflective, quiet sections of the Requiem (and there are several of them), every word, every note is clear, perfectly sung and recorded.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. Gerard on June 23, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a prime example of Herreweghe's broad understanding of musical styles- the ability to convincingly conduct works from all eras from Lassus to Faure, Monteverdi to Beethoven, and oftentimes set a standard by which other recordings will be judged.

Just like his readings of Bach's St. Matthew Passion and Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, his German Requiem by Brahms is one of his most notable sets.

First of all, Harmonia Mundi's sound quality is unsurprisingly flawless (and the SACD version is just thrilling.)

A huge part of this disc's success is the way the orchestra and choruses, Champs Elysees, Chapelle Royale, and Collegium Vocale (all formed by Herreweghe himself) achieve balance. In Gardiner's (very good) recording I often found the brass section overbearing, for example. I never found such problems here. Herrewghe's interpretation is all about balance, bringing interesting colors out of the ensemble when appropriate.

A historically-correct recording, the soloists do just fine... sounding neither to bland nor theatrical. Gerald Finley's "Herr lehre doch mich" is lighter in sound than what we may be used to, but so much the better - he compsensates for it in the show of emotion. We get the sense that he is truly "pleading."

As for the interpretation itself- I've never heard a more uniform sound to a choir then Herreweghe's. You would be hard pressed to find a "Selig Sind die da Leid Tragen" with such an angelic purity of singing, or a "Denn alles Fleisch es ist wie Gras" with such ominous intensity.
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