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  • Verdi: Requiem [2 CD][Live In Milan / 2012]
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Verdi: Requiem [2 CD][Live In Milan / 2012]

24 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 3, 2013
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$14.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Verdi: Requiem [2 CD][Live In Milan / 2012] + The Verdi Album + The Best Of Jonas Kaufmann
Price for all three: $42.58

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A Verdi Requiem with a dream line-up of soloists and the forces of La Scala, Milan, directed by one of the greatest maestros of our time.

If you were to devise a dream casting for this most theatrical of sacred masterpieces you might well come up with Anja Harteros, Elina Garanca, Jonas Kaufmann and Rene Pape, plus the Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala, Milan, under their current maestro, Daniel Barenboim... I was blown away by this Requiem... Kaufmanns first entry was like an erupting volcano. Garanca was as mesmerising, floating creamy legatos while mustering a thrilling chest voice that I never thought she possessed. Harteros, looking like a distressed pre-Raphaelite beauty, turned the final movement into the most sublime death scene never to appear in an opera. And that incredible chorus, with their barrel-voiced basses and wonderfully hammy rolled consonants and gasped aspirates, hurled out the apocalyptic moments as if determined to blast the roof off. - The Times

Preceding acclaimed performances at the Lucerne and Salzburg Festivals, Barenboim and his magnificent partners recorded this masterpiece around a live performance at La Scala, Milan, in 2012.

A superb quartet of soloists Jonas Kaufmann, Anja Harteros, Elina Garanca and Rene Pape stamp their authority on this terrific performance.

This marks the first audio recording by Barenboim in his role as La Scalas Music Director.

Review

Even without a fully Italianate instrument, Kaufmann s honeyed, warm tone makes him exceptional in Verdi... Kaufmann s refined artistry shows that even without the leather-lunged Verdians of half a century ago, today s stars can stake their claim on the composer. --The Telegraph

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Disc 2
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Chorus & Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala, Milan
  • Conductor: Daniel Barenboim
  • Composer: Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi
  • Audio CD (September 3, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B00D6UV0V4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,789 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Andrew R. Barnard on September 3, 2013
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Among other Requiems, Verdi's composition has always seemed like a sort of noisemaker. Interpretations have tended to display the work's extrovert nature, sometimes to the point of vulgarity. Daniel Barenboim's previous recording of this work, with the Chicago Symphony, was a true exemplar of this tradition, with blaring brass and definite extrovert nature.

From the first bars of this new La Scala disc, we hear a big difference. There's actually tenderness to Barenboim's phrasing, which builds with natural emotion that is quite moving. We notice how fresh and clear the choir sounds, caught in very good sound. Things get even better when the soloists enter. Jonas Kaufmann is full of passion and commitment that should make a casual listener stop and take note. He goes on to deliver an Ingemisco that is heartbreaking and virtually beyond compare. The rest of the soloists, Anja Harteros, Elina Garanca, and Rene Pape, are also top of the line. Listening to the quartet is the kind of vocal experience that is rare these days. I can't over-stress the conviction and sincerity each singer displays, though it's clear that Kaufmann represents the very height.

Moving through the work, we realize just how many layers of varied emotion are waiting to be uncovered. By removing the usual hysterical style, we no longer feel exhausted by over an hour of choral frenzy. Instead we witness just how much beauty and grief are in the work. I feel we are actually listening to a requiem, which is a true compliment. That's not to say that the excitement has been drained. It's simply that instead of making impact through volume and power, Barenboim makes his point by moving with a feeling of near-spontaneity that deftly maneuvers through the tosses and turns with hushed expectation.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 11, 2013
Format: Audio CD
I hesitated in deducting one star from my assessment of this live, La Scala recording and would prefer to be able to award four and a half, but in the context of six or seven decades of accounts of this most recorded and grandest of choral works, it isn't quite up there with the very best and I have good reasons for saying so.

In some ways, my reaction to this excellent performance is similar to that to the Pappano recording from 2009 with two of the same soloists, but this one is better, not only because Harteros and Pape surpass their contributions for EMI but also because Garanca is considerably preferable to Ganassi. This version also benefits from a really superb choral contribution which breathes new vigour and expressiveness into the old war-horse. Time and again, Barenboim has them delivering the text with real pointedness without their sounding self-conscious; their first "Requiem" really makes you sit up, especially as they are so well recorded, such that we get fullness of sound but also detail. Everything is in focus, from the bass's whispered "Mors" to the cataclysmic choral outburts in the "Dies Irae".

However, for all that Harteros is fine, she is not, pace one previous reviewer, the equal of the likes of Leontyne Price in her prime; her tone is not absolutely pure and she tends to slide. Thus her "Sed signifer" slides in dreamily but then she spoils the effect with a sloppy A-flat on the ensuing word "sanctus" and her final "Requiem" on another A flat at the end of track 8 is a slight disappointment.
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Format: Audio CD
Decca made a famous Verdi Requiem under Solti that was a sonic blockbuster, and now they have released a new one that also breaks the sound barrier. It is rackety and thunderous, and although Barenboim makes some effort to evoke religious reverence - Solti threw that out the window - every great climax tries for a knockout punch. As a demonstration of what digital sound can do, ranging from the bass's whispered "Mors stupebit" to the cataclysm of the Dies Irae, I can't imagine anything with more impact.

The bane of large-scale choral works, when transferred to disk, is the muffled sound of the chorus, whose words are generally unintelligible. So it's startling to hear how perfectly the La Scala chorus has been recorded here. When the orchestra is playing softly, as in the very opening, you can hear the choristers breathing; they are captured in a natural ambience, and the real beauty of heartfelt Italian singing comes through. Karajan's multiple recordings of the Requiem used the Vienna Singverein, and Giulini's classic EMI account features the Philharmonia Chorus as trained by the great Wilhelm Pitz - wonderful ensembles but not as emotional and dramatic as the singing here - this is Italian music, after all. (Elsewhere the engineers let us down by miking the soloists so closely that each one blares into our ears, giving the impression, not of a blended quartet but of four opera singers fighting for the limelight. This effect is worse in the Kyrie and improves, thankfully, when there is softer singing.)

The old saw that the Requiem was Verdi's greatest opera reminds us that the ideal solo quartet should be the same as for Aida.
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Verdi: Requiem [2 CD][Live In Milan / 2012]
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