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Mozart:Requiem [Reconstruction CD, Son numérique, SACD Hybride, Super Audio CD
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Mozart: Requiem (Reconstruction of first performance)
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Vinyle , Import, 10 juillet 2015
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Description du produit
Description du produit
Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2014 Choral category winner!
The Dunedin Consort presents the premiere recording of Mozart scholar David Black's new 2013 edition of Süssmayr's completion of Mozart's Requiem.In keeping with several other Dunedin projects, this provides the opportunity to re-imagine what this work may have sounded like at its very first performance.To this end, the recording will be the first not only to use this new edition, but also to present the work using forces close in style and scale to those at the first performances.One striking element of these performances is the fact that the soloists are also the leaders of the choir, thus giving a greater consistency to the relationship between the solo numbers and the choruses.Dunedin Consort seeks to resurrect Süssmayr's much maligned edition to its place and worth in history.Taking centre stage are soloists Joann Lunn soprano, Rowan Hellie alto, Thomas Hobbs tenor and Matthew Brook bass-baritone.
This album has been Grammy nominated.
A pungent energy...the Dunedin Consort Most new recordings of Mozart's famously unfinished Requiem have a new completion of the score as their selling point.Scholars queue up to offer their ideas of what the work might have sounded like had Mozart lived to complete it himself,and demonstrating in the process that what his pupil Frank Xaver Süssmayr did to make the work performable he produced the version of the score that was always heard until the last quarter of the 20th century was nothing more than the most routine hack work.John Butt's approach with the Dunedin Consort,though,is different.He maintains that whatever the weaknesses in Süssmayr's work,he did at least know Mozart,and the version that he came up with proved hugely influential for the next two centuries.The Dunedin version is described as a reconstruction of the first performance,in other words,an attempt to realise the score as Süssmayr completed it,and which was heard at the benefit concert for Mozart's widow,Constanze,in Vienna in 1793.As Butt points out,however,there may have been an even earlier performance of the score that Mozart completed,at his own funeral in 1791,and a reconstruction of that performance,which would have consisted just of the Requiem Aeternam and the Kyrie,with the likely forces eight singers,with single wind and lower strings but doubled violins is also included on this disc.The choir and orchestra used for the reconstruction of the 1793 complete performance is larger a choir of 16,including soloists,and an orchestra of 30,including a fortepiano continuo. Butt's account is as much an exploration of the sound world that the 1793 audience would have experienced as it is of the rights and wrongs of what Süssmayr did.Anyone used to a suave choral sound in performances of the Requiem might be surprised by the almost granular texture here,in which every voice makes its own distinctive contribution,and by the pungency with which the orchestral writing registers.There's a real energy,with tremendous climaxes that belie the scale of the forces involved.It's not going to be the last word on what will remain the unsolvable riddle of Mozart's final masterpiece,but it's a salutary corrective to some of the academic speculation. --The Guardian - 4/5 Stars
'...the version that captures that best for me with unrivalled power and immediacy is the reconstruction by John Butt and the Dunedin Consort...done with superb musicality, coherence and commitment.' Nicholas Kenyon --BBC Radio 3, Record Review - Building a Library Top Recommendation
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Nonetheless, it rare to find a recording of this "original" completion that is wholly satisfying. Enter John Butt and the Dunedin Consort. These individuals have a knack for offering historically informed performances in their original context, and doing so with vitality. Theirs aren't wooden academic performances that sound as though they are layered under centuries of dust. When Joshua Rifkin introduced one-voice-per-part in Bach's choral works, John Butt became one of the conductors to breathe life into the practice with his brilliant St. Matthew Passion. John Butt continued Paul McCreesh's tradition of performing liturgical works in context (hear, for example, McCreesh's "Mass for Christmas Morning" and "Epiphany Mass") when he recorded the St. John Passion to include surrounding biblical readings for Good Friday and singing from a congregation. This may sound tedious if you are a more secular listener like I am, but I promise, in reality the effect is astonishing.
Butt and Dunedin continue the tradition here with Mozart's Requiem, a cornerstone in classical repertoire that is nonetheless fraught with difficulties: Which version is closest to Mozart's intentions? How was it first performed? John Butt, yet again, compiles the circumstantial evidence left over from the 1790s regarding the first public performances of Mozart's Requiem, to offer our modern ears what the first listeners heard. He attempts to answer interesting questions: How big was the choir? How big was the orchestra? How was it performed a mere days after Mozart's death when all Mozart had completed for the Dies Irae sequence were the vocals with barren instrumental lines? Süssmayr's version is not the best. That award probably goes to Levin or Maunder. But it is a valuable part of the Requiem's story, and Butt tries to tell that story in the most complete way possible.
In keeping with Duneding tradition, the chorus is extremely small and the soloists sing along during the choral "tutti", reflecting what was the likely constitution of the choir during the first performances. But in no way does the chorus sound anemic. Indeed, the group packs a lot of punch. Listen to the opening cries in the "Rex tremendae." The listen would be fooled into thinking he or she is listening to much larger choir. Much of this may have to do with the choice of an actual church as a recording venue. The reverberation not only allows for a breathtaking atmosphere during the choral numbers, but serves to augment the sound of the small choir. I have said before, mostly when reviewing one-voice-per-part recordings of Bach's cantatas and passions, that the small forces work best in larger, more reverberant venues. After all, they were composed to be performed in large stone structures with no sound systems... huge buildings that were constructed for ideal acoustics for either a preacher at a pulpit or the harmonies of a choir.
There is not one weak link among the soloists. The somber nature of the Requiem demands no showiness that is pervasive in, say, the Great C-Minor Mass (e.g. the extended soprano flourish in the Kyrie). Rather, the four soloists mostly sing as unit. Lunn, Hellier, Hobbs, and Brook execute this brilliantly.
One benefit to using smaller forces is balance. I cannot think of any recording of the Requiem where each line, both among the instruments and the chorus, was so crystal clear. In the Requiem, Mozart pays homage to his musical forbears Bach and Handel: this work includes some of Mozart' most sublime contrapuntal writing. John Butt's decision to use such small forces benefits the counterpoint by making each line so audible. As it should be, there is no minor part here -- each player is heard.
Just like in the chorus, the small orchestra certainly does not sound small. The trumpets and timpani still sound grand, and punctuate fiery strings in unison in the "Confutatis." The trombones still blast through the "Kyrie" fugue, as if to invoke a fanfare of an impending last judgment. There are no quick, fussy tempi here that one may be used to hearing from historically informed performances. As always, John Butt takes his time with yet another beloved work. Under John Butt's baton, we get the classic works we love, but in a context that deepens our understanding of these works, and without shocking our ears.
As an added bonus, Mozart's very early liturgical work "Misericordias Domini" K 222 is included. It is a work with possible connections to Mozart's last years, and foreshadows the Requiem with its key and character. There is also a reconstruction of what the first performance of the Introit and Kyrie would have sounded like a mere days after Mozart's death. It is helpful to remember that the Introit was the only number that was completed by Mozart in full. Only the vocal lines of the Kyrie were drawn out, while instruments were hastily added colla parte only after his death and in preparation for a memorial service a mere days later. Only the vocal parts of the sequence and offertory were drawn up, along with the bass/cello line. There were a few instrumental cues... fleeting ideas... here and there. The Amen fugue themes were sketched out, but Süssmayer, either through negligence or lack of contrapuntal ability, discarded them. The Süssmayer version that we hear as the main feature of this present record was not heard until a few years after Mozart's death.
In all, if your take on the Requiem is "heard one, heard them all," the Dunedin Consort should change your mind.
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