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Verdi - Requiem / Price, Pavarotti, Cossotto, Ghiaurov, von Karajan, Teatro alla Scala

4.7 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Herbert Von Karajan conducts La Scala Orchestra and Chorus with soloists Leontyne Price, Fiorenza Cossotto, Luciano Pavarotti, and Nicolai Ghiaurov.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Herbert von Karajan, Luciano Pavarotti, Leontyne Price, Fiorenza Cossotto, Nikolai Ghiaurov
  • Directors: Henri-Georges Clouzot
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: Latin (DTS 5.1), Latin (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: Latin, English, French, German
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Philips
  • DVD Release Date: September 13, 2005
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009DBXXQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,051 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Verdi - Requiem / Price, Pavarotti, Cossotto, Ghiaurov, von Karajan, Teatro alla Scala" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This may well be the Verdi Requiem you always waited for; in spite of its almost 40 years of having been recorded, it is only now that it gains legal and therefore more widespread circulation. Thoroughly idiomatic, with a cast the stuff dreams are made of, a marvellous and authentic-souding choir and orchestra. If Karajan's antics and mimics, the maestro ever the grand poseur, annoy or distract you, turn the telly off and just listen to the sound through a good sound system. The sound is remarkably fresh and proportions or sound planes between soloists, orchestra and chorus well managed. The La Scala orchestra may not be the Berlin Philharmonic -at the time an awe-inspiring virtuoso body of orchestral musicians, but Karajan still ventured ocasionally out of his Philharmonie to conduct elsewehere and other ensembles, his love affair with the Dresden orchestra is well documented- but they were long accustomed to the maestro's ways (they had often worked together since the war and through the 1950's and 1960's) and their enthusiasm and commitment do compensate for their lack of finesse -again, compared to the berliners of the time, I don't want to imply they play sloppily or inaccurately, nothing of the sort, they may well have been, and by far, Italy's best orchestra at the time-. The vocal quartet is beyond belief and has been sufficiently praised in these pages by others.

There was criticism in the press at the time of the concert this film was connected to about Karajan's overly theatrical approach, but in a way the work calls for it, Toscanini being the obvious model.
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Format: DVD
I support everything said by the other critic in the previous review. This 1967 filmed performance of Verdi's Requiem is a long awaited treasure of classical music. For years it was not commercially available and now thanks to modern digital technology, it's available on a fine DVD. The DVD itself is not to blame for the lack of synchronization in sound and film; it was Karajan and his people's fault since they were working with primitive camera technology. It was filmed in the Teatro A La Scala, Milan, Italy, sans an audience, providing the performance with a studio recording feel, perhaps to make the singers feel more comfortable. And what an ensemble well-endowed singers! Soprano Leontyne Price, tenor Luciano Pavarotti, mezzo-soprano Fiorenza Cossotto and bass Nikolai Ghiaurov. These singers are captured in their glorious prime and at this time their careers were taking on a meteoric rise to fame in the opera scene of the late 60's and would continue well into the 70's. The Verdi Requiem continues to be a staple of sacred music repetoire and it's a work of tremendous power. The chorus and soloists have music written to sound operatic but the traditional Requiem form is maintained- Requiem Dona Est Domine (Peace Grant them O, Lord), the Dies Irae (Day of Wrath) Rex Tremande (Tremendous Majesty) Tuba Mirum (A Trumpet Shall Sound) Libera Me (Free My Soul) etc. Verdi wrote the Requiem for his deceased friend the author Manzoni. It is his most beautiful and stirring non-operatic work, one of the last things he ever composed. It was an ambitious project and many times it resembles the grander requiems from before Verdi's time- Mozart's, Beethoven's Mass in C, Berlioz's large-scale Requiem and Brahm's German Requiem. But Verdi's signature is clearly on it.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
If the readers will forgive me, the following is a reprint of my 2004 review of the VHS tape that was sporadically available at exorbitant prices. It is now re-issued on DVD for fraction of the price with vastly improved sound and picture quality.

"This is Herbert von Karajan's first video of the great Requiem by Verdi. It comes from 1967 when he was still relatively young, only 57 years old. He collected all the best forces available: the Orchestra and Chorus of the Scala of Milan and some of the greatest soloists of all time. It is a magnificent performance. There is total commitment throughout, an almost religious devotion to the conductor and the work itself.

That Karajan does this with the Scala forces immediately dispels the notion that he achieved all his fame due to the Berlin Philharmonic. The Orchestra plays with fierce intensity and precision that has rarely been heard from them. And the Chorus of serious and devoted Italian women and men sing like angels.

Karajan's concentration and total control is astonishing. His beat is almost unnoticeable, but his tempi are always perfect and relentless. His delicate hands, featured often in the film, shape the melodies and inspire the entire ensemble. But he is also capable of the superhuman hammer blows of the Dies Irae sequence, which are shattering. Tuba mirum has rarely sounded more awe inspiring, sending shivers down on everybody's spine. One could go on and on...

The soloists certainly do justice. Leontine Price , who sings without score, is showing intense sorrow throughout and great drama at the final Libera me section, her crowning achievement in this performance.
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Verdi - Requiem / Price, Pavarotti, Cossotto, Ghiaurov, von Karajan, Teatro alla Scala
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