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Berlioz: Requiem; Te Deum Import
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The first CD version is still available (Amazon asin # B00000E34S, more reviews there).
And special it is. The recordings come from the Colin Davis Berlioz cycle form the the 1970s. And they are some of the best of that cycle at that.
The Requiem is brilliant. Without detracting from the obvious spectacle you get with such a large contingent of musicians, Davis never gets lost in the massiveness of the piece. Berlioz composition is both Grand (the full title is "Grande Messe des morts", or "Grand Mass for the Dead") and sublime, and Davis captures the sublime elements as few other conductors have ever done. The choruses (the London Symphony Chorus and the Wandsworth School Boys Choir) work together well, and the soloists are very fine.
The TE Deum is also given a memorable rendition by the LSO and Davis.
Sound is ever so important with a work as large as the Berlioz Requiem, and the Philips engineers, both the original recording engineers and the digital remastering engineers, deserve the bulk of the credit for this presentation. with such massive forces, engineers are challenged to give full efect to the sections that feature all of the forces and yet still capture the quite sections in a manner that makes them equally enjoyable in the home.Read more ›
I'd go so far as to say that later Berlioz Requiems with great sound--from Levine, Shaw, and Ozawa--are so much more listenable that the Davis set is outdated. I don't know what kind of audio system anyone else has, but mine reveals major sonic improvements on many reissues, just not this one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The two really classic recordings of the Berlioz Requiem: This one, and the Charles Munch/Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1959. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Robert Malone
The late R.C. Zaehner, an expert on Eastern religions and a Roman Catholic, once said that Berlioz's TE DEUM was so moving that it made him feel manic. Read morePublished 21 months ago by reading man