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German Requiem Super Audio CD
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Descriptions du produit
The result here of an unusual piece of rethinking is another Pentatone triumph.The choir on this recording, the Rundfunkchor Berlin, recently recorded the piece for another lable but was not satisfied with the result. These second thoughts are perceptive and intelligent, rendered in the rich acoustic of surround sound that Pentatone is noted for, with Janowski impeccably delineating the architecture of the piece, even if both soloists are not on their best form. Nevertheless, a remarkable reading. --Barry Forshaw's CD Choice Dec 2010
It does seem strange that Johannes Brahms, an agnostic, composed what some consider to be the most important sacred choral work ever written. Perhaps he was influenced by the death of Robert Schumann in 1856, and the death of his mother in 1865. The final version of the work was premiered at the Leipzig Gewandhaus in 1869 and since that time it has been a staple of the repertory. This fine Pentatone release contains a perfomance recorded live in Berlin's Philharmonie in November 2009, Janowski's latest addition to his Brahms series for the label. Superb soloists, splendid orchestra and chorus mark this issue that stands up well to the the fine recordings already available over 90 of them! including versions by most major conductors you can think of. Excellent sound, naturally recreating the performance in Berlin's famous hall. Complete texts are provided in German, English and French. --classicalcdreview.com
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Marek Janowski may not set any new ideas of interpretation spinning with this recorded performance with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester and Chor Berlin, but it is an assured performance. The orchestra and chorus are first rate, providing a creamy sound that is at all times lovely from the almost inaudible opening to the fury of the second movement and the crystalline opening of the heavens in the "Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen". The soloists are Camilla Tilling, the young Swedish soprano whose voice is as pure and focused, easily sailing through the rapture of her solo. She is excellent. The important baritone role falls to German baritone Detlef Roth who may be popular on the opera stage but here lacks the quality and production of tone to match the texts he sings. He is not up to the standards of the remainder of the ensemble.
In short, this is a solid intensely musical EIN DEUTSCHES REQUIEM by Janowski and forces and while it may not erase memories of other more profoundly moving interpretations, it delivers a moving experience. Grady Harp, December 10
Each movement proceeds soberly and without any event that one really takes notice of. The Berlin Radio SO plays capably but not superbly; the same goes for the chorus, although Janowski's lack of drama may not give either group a fair trail. Reverence is the prevalent emotion here, with a studied avoidance of excitement. Baritone Detlaf Roth belongs in the middle of the pack among his many illustrious rivals, being capable but not very involving. The voice is relatively light but encompasses the part fairly well when the lowest notes arena't called upon. Camilla Trilling isn't really effortless enough in her Traurigkeit solo, but the voice has an appealing tremulous quality.
In all, there's nothing to celebrate in this recording, unless it happens that in SACD - a format I don't have - something exceptional is happening sonically. That's not the case listening through two-channel stereo.
This SACD recording was made in the B PO's home, the Philharmonie in November of 1009, by Marek Janowski with the Berlin Radio chorus and orchestra and soprano Camilla Tilling and baritone Detlef Roth for the Pentatone label. yesterday, I reviewed my first Janowski disk, a SACD of the Bruckner 8th, in the Nowak edition. I gave that one a high rating and this one appears headed for the same. The total timing is not brisk, but not drawn out, either. It runs for 68 and a half minutes and is filled with glorious sound and superb singing. I'll try to comment briefly on each of the 7 parts, and keep that short and to the point.
Track #1 is the choral/orchestral only Selig sind, die lied tragen", "Blessed are they that mourn, " and I would invite you to give a listen to the segment from 06:34 thru to 09:03 or so, to hear the rapturously hushed voices, and the concentration on detail that one notices in the flutes and oboes. Truly of an otherworldly effect, this is stunning music in the subtlest of manners, I was, already, transfixed by the serenity of the piece. I shook my head gently side to side in rapt disbelief at the n early unbearable beauty of this performance, assured that, where ever he is, Brahms is certainly already smiling, with deep satisfaction.
The dramatic, earnest and powerful funeral march Part II, "Denn alles Fleisch es ist wie gras, " "For all flesh is as grass, " is as gripping as any I've heard since, that Other great example, by James Levine and his Boston Symphony , also a resplendent SACD of jaw-dropping poignancy. Janowski's masterful building up here pays off as the Chorus smoothly burst forth in full voice, not the least obtrusively serving as a gentle but firm reminder of the fragility of our souls. This is, for Brahms, a loving, but just God, and a God of mercy yet justice, and this message is more like a benevolent urging , rather than a threat to be frightened of. Theologically, this is a sound argument and musically it is quite difficult to pull off correctly, but Janowski and the composer do just that. Already within these first two sections the choral forces have been clearly represented perfectly thanks to Pentatoines careful engineering, and the dynamic range for this SA disk is remarkable. The alternating middle trio section offers some of the composer's best massed wind work, always sonorous and expertly blended it is a short soothing balmAs in his Brucknefr 8th, Janowski wastes little time in the transitions, whereas Levine and surely Giulini, one of my other favorite readings, linger a bit longer, which I preferred over this rendition, but the Polish Maestro is certainly within acceptable limits. In fact, he's a bit like Klemperer in his classic account for EMI. ( as you can tell, I am rich in "Ein Deutsches" treasures.) At 09:06, there maestro slides into the concluding double fugue more gracefully than I expected. Over the next 5 or so minutes, he assembles this exhilarating choral/orchestra combination with great skill. The splendor of this massive major display of choral/ instrumental counterpoint is sensational, each entity extremely well led and picked up by the engineers. Janowski gift wraps this gorgeous package with utter refinement and respect, as I was very impressed, I had to encore the last 6 minutes for sheer pleasure.
Baritone Detlef Roth's warm register opens the "Herr, lehre doch mich," with sincerity and heart felt appeal. Truly a humane plea, he speaks for all of us, as the voice of the souls of the "Everyman" of faith and piety. As the chorus begins chanting their "Ich hoffe auf Dich", "My hope is in Thee," the sense of urgency begins to build up and up in it's dramatic determination to achieve Salvation, drawing near and nearer. Many conductors, seized with excitement tend to let things move too quickly and begin to prematurely attempt to reach the yet to be gained end. But Janowski restrains his forces wisely, and pulls back a bit, gathering the full chorus for yet a second superb fugue into the final bars of this segment. In the process of striving forward, the conductor allows some extacey to leak out from some of the parts of the mixed voices, but draws them all back together for a concluding exclamation point of what is, by this time in the music, a growing sense that deliverance is truly within our grasp. It's almost as if, this track #3 represents the first half of the Requiem, with the real glory and the attainment of ever lasting peace to be found after a "break," which now appears in track #5, "Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen, Herr Zabaoth!", or "How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts!"
Part V is the Soprano aria "Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit", or "And Ye now have sorrow," and was for Brahms a personal piece commemorating his loving mother. Brahms was, by 19th Century standards an unusually attentive son, loyal, charitable and kind to his brother Fritz and his sister -------. He sent money for his parents support and took steps to see they were being looked after, as he became more famous and couldn't get home for visits as often as he wished he could. her was always a good friend to those whom he befriended, especially the young and amazing Antonin Dvorak, and rather than simply introduce him, as he did, to his publisher, Simrock, The elder com poser took Dvorak under his wing with encouragement and advise to help his career. I have sometimes wondered what if he had not done so,where would the Bohemian master have wound up. Soprano Camilla Tilling, using a text from St. John and the Old Testament spins a sweet melody of the assurance of comfort, something the composer was particularly interested in, because of his mother's death, in _____-. The message of consolation also appealed to the composer, long after the death of Robert Schumann, whom he was very,close to. No doubt, Clara also found this addition a loving gesture on the part of her devoted friend and lifelong companion Hannes.
Our baritone, Mr. Roth returns again in part VI for the big powerful movement titled "Denn wir haben hie keine bleibende Statt," translated as "For here we have no continuing city." With a text drawn largely from St. Paul's Epistle to the Corinthians, this part Vi is more than a gentle prayer, but rather an action scene, headed by prophecy and ending in triumphant jubilation. More Te Deum that Kyrie, it features the most aggressive singing and playing in the entire work. Janowski driving his forces with a firm authority and inspiring them to as of yet, unachieved heights.
After the baritone introduces the scene in Heaven, he states that the "last trump" the final trumpet St. John heard in the Book of the Apocalypse, (Book of Revelations), the chorus begins the main body of this hair-raising music, describing the raising ofd the dead, incorruptible ( not decayed) from their graves to stand the Last Judgement before the King of heaven. From the 03:58 mark to about 05:32, the chorus sweeps into a rollicking Allegro boldly taunting both death (Tod!) and thew grave (Holle) to "do you'r best!" but, of course, failing to gain their victory over the Salvation now within our grasp. Emphatically the massed voices chant in FFF level "Tod! Tod! Tod!, wo ist dedin Sieg.!" "Death, death, death, where is thy victory?" Without even a split-second to grab a breath, Janowski plunges into the final massive and jaw-dropping double fugue, booming away at FFF volume repeating over and over, "zu nehmen Preis und Ehre und Kraft," meaning "to receive praise, and glory and power." This brilliant climax, sung in the realm of the highest majesty by voices that sound as convincing as any I have ever heard, runs for a grand timing nearly 4 and a half minutes, and taking us to the movement's closing at 09:58.
The German Requiem closes with a return visit, in very similar mood top the beginning of Part I, some 68 and a half minutes earlier. Part VII is "Selig sind die Toten," "Blessed are the dead." Notice, now we pray for the dead, for this entire Requiem has had, as it's subject the grief of the living, hearts shattered and souls bravely entering a world of darkness., made ever so unbearable by the loss of a wife, a husband, or even a child, lives forever changed and leaving the living to carry on in their unquenchable sorrow. Having experienced such sadness, Brahms wanted to comfort the world, but, in the end, as we would of expected, he settled for the simple, tender consolation of both his mother and his Clara. As fine a performance of this masterpiece as I have heard in a long time, but, for a real treat, collect some of these others, Giulini?DGG, Levine?Boston Live, Klemperer/EMI Robert Shaw?Telarc and, of course, this one. A very high recommendation and best wishes for lots of happy listening, Tony.
Marek Janowski, who also conducted Wagner's Ring Cycle with the Staatskapelle Dresden, follows the score very closely. He remains careful with the music as he avoids all sorts of histrionics. He also makes sure that the music is never rushed, and makes certain that it never becomes dull or ponderous, giving the relatively accurate tempi whenever they're needed. The Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin (Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra) may not be a top-rate orchestra such as the Berlin Philharmonic or the Philharmonia, but it does do a fine job with the score. The Rundfunkchor Berlin (Berlin Radio Chorus) could have made a few improvements here and there, but overall the singers sound nice. The soloists (Detlef Roth & Camilla Tilling) sing exquisitely, and seem very appropriate for this sort of piece. The acoustics aren't very outstanding: this is a live performance at the Philharmonie, Berlin, but it sounds almost as if it's in a recording studio rather than a concert hall. But all in all, this is a very well-done performance of Brahms's German Requiem.