Claudio Abbado - Verdi: Messa da Requiem


Warner Classics



Product No.:
AWCL 760495
EAN: 5054197604959
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Vinyl Record

No. of Discs: 2
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180-gram double LP

Claudio Abbado conducts the Berliner Philharmoniker for Verdi's Messa da Requiem

Claudio Abbado had only made a very few recordings for EMI Classics (now Warner), including Mozart's Flute Concertos with Emmanuel Pahud. This live rendition of Verdi's Messa da Requiem is definitively a major modern version of the work.

In 2001, Claudio Abbado was soon to complete his tenure as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Berliner Philharmoniker, when he was diagnosed with stomach cancer not long before. Nonetheless, he was able to conduct this Verdi Requiem during two concerts that held a special significance, offering us a remarkable modern interpretation of the work. It featured an outstanding quartet of soloists, three of the world's most renowned choirs, and Berlin's iconic orchestra.

"EMI was quite right to be on hand to record this performance in Berlin at a time when Abbado had arisen from his sick bed to show just how much this work meant to him in the circumstances. It's conveyed in spades through the tremendous concentration and emotional thrust felt throughout this shattering interpretation. This performance has something extra that you find in Fricsay's live, 1960 account, and both come close to the spiritual element in the music. Abbado has at his bidding a superb group of specialist choirs who combine effortlessly into a cohesive whole, singing with commendable breadth, accuracy and involvement, few if any better on disc. They find fit counterparts in the players of the BPO who seem individually, in solos, and collectively intent on giving of their appreciable best for their chief. So all the big choral moments, Dies Irae, Rex tremendae, Sanctus, Libera me fugue are superbly achieved.

"EMI's recording is wide-ranging and immediate, the equal of any the work has yet received. If the solo singing can't be given such an unqualified encomium, much of it is impressive, especially that of the young mezzo Daniela Barcellona, even in tone and beseeching in manner. Gheorghiu does so much so well: she sings throughout in that rich, warm tone of hers and offers many long, arching phrases. She's also as dramatic as one could wish in the Libera me (...). Alagna sings with a deal of passion and authority. (...) Given it's superlative sound and special circumstances, (it) is an important addition to the work's discography." — The Gramophone Classical Music Guide

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