Donizetti began writing his Requiem Mass after the death of fellow composer and friend Bellini. Ironically it was not performed until after Donizetti's death in 1848. Lacking a 'Sanctus', 'Benedictus' and 'Agnus Dei', the work is nevertheless a large-scale, powerful and compelling work which is one of Donizetti's most important non-operatic compositions.
The last recording of conductor Lorin Maazel. World-famous conductor Lorin Maazel was chief conductor of the Münchner Philharmoniker until shortly before his death in July 2014 at the age of 84. This live recording, which happened in February 2014, is probably the last recording of Maazel. It documents an acclaimed and moving concert in the Munich Philharmonie with Lorin Maazel and the Münchner Philharmoniker and their choir per-forming Verdi’s famous requiem. The excellent soloists were Anja Harteros (soprano), Daniela Barcellona (mezzo-soprano), Wookyung Kim (tenor) and Georg Zeppenfeld (bass).
The fiftieth anniversary of Toscanini’s death in 2007 was celebrated with gala concerts around the world, one of the most glamorous events being this benefit concert at the basilica of St Mark’s in Venice. The 11-year-old child prodigy Lorin Maazel once met the Italian maestro in New York, and Toscanini’s legacy left a permanent mark on Maazel as a musician. His tour with the Symphonica Toscanini, called “In the Footsteps of Toscanini”, culminated in two concerts in Venice featuring Verdi’s Requiem, a showpiece of Toscanini’s, and St Mark’s, the birthplace of stereophonic and quadraphonic sound, proved to be an ideal venue for this eloquent and musically impressive confessional work.
Compared to the Decca recording, Solti here has the finer chorus, a better orchestra (for this work at least), and strangely enough, better sound, particularly in this admirable new remastering that minimizes the claustrophobic closeness of the original and allows some air to circulate around the performers. Solti’s interpretation remains consistent, exciting, and direct, with a particularly thrilling account of the brief Sanctus and a Dies Irae chorus that is as violent as anyone could want without ever turning merely brutal or hysterical. - David Hurwitz, Classicstoday.com
This recording marks the start of Riccardo Muti's tenure with the Chicago Symphony. It is also his first appearance on the orchestra's own label. Given the reputations of the conductor, the orchestra, and even the label itself, expectations run high are not disappointed. This is as good a Verdi Requiem as you'll find anywhere on disc. It is a distinctive interpretation as well, the work of a conductor who is clearly intent on stamping his identity on his new ensemble. www.classical-cd-reviews.com, October 2010
For a few decades now, Fritz Reiner's recording of the Verdi Requiem (one of his rare stereo recordings not made for RCA, and not with the Chicago Symphony) has lurked in the shadowy corners of Decca's catalog, appearing only on budget LPs and CD two-fers. Now, in its latest incarnation as part of the Decca Legends series, it may at last get the recognition it deserves. Reiner's rendition has several things going for it, not least of which are the superstar soprano and tenor soloists.
Celibidache developed a dislike of sound recording early in his career; his work was therefore represented mostly by live performance recordings, many of which were unauthorized.