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  HMC 801608
  Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem - Herreweghe
  Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem (German Requiem)

Christiane Oelze (soprano)
Gerald Finley
Orchestre des Champs-Elysées
Philippe Herreweghe (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Vocal
Recording type:
Recording info:
  Live recording June 8 and 9, 1996, Auditorium Igor Stravinsky de Montreux.


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Related titles: 5

Reviews: 1

Review by peteyspambucket April 10, 2004 (3 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
If you want to hear an original instruments style version of the Brahms Requiem, this is it. It's really not authentically original instruments because there are some very modern sounding brass instruments, but like everything else, they are played without vibrato. The only performers allowed the "privilege" of using vibrato are the soloists. This kind of wishy-washy performance generally irks me because it's like a car wreck or a curiousity or something that you don't really want to listen to all the time, but it's "interesting" to hear what it would sound like IF no one sang or played their instruments with vibrato. The only things that add expression with this "performance principle" are the dynamics and tempi. However, the expressiveness of the composition requires the utmost emotion while playing and singing it. I have to relegate this as a curiosity, and not a serious contender for being in a beginner's classical library.

The tempi are generally fine and the intention and shape are very pleasant. There are noticeable sections that are slow, and while greater expression can make slow interpretations work, the limitation of the "performance principle" employed here makes these sections seem limp, lifeless, and directionless. It's a very boring performance, in very good sound, ironically. The string instruments are nicely recorded (with a slight hint of a digital sheen) and the brass and timpani are very present.

The soli are recorded very closely and they provide adequate performances, but nothing to erase memories of other more interesting artists.

(Note: I have heard some very good recordings of Mozart Symphonies from Hogwood, but there's none of that excitement to be found in this recording/performance. I am not just an original instruments naysayer.)

I'll take Karajan's last recording, Sinopoli's, or Maazel's, all on Redbook, over this performance any time. This Herreweghe SACD is going straight to my used CD store so I can get back a measly $3, after spending $22 for it (at Tower).

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Works: 1  

Johannes Brahms - Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem), Op. 45