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Reviews: Britten: War Requiem etc - Hickox

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Reviews: 4

Site review by Geohominid March 27, 2012
Performance:   Sonics:    
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Review by SimonTJU May 20, 2003 (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
As I understand, this is one of the first high resolution CD's of this label. Britten was mastered from 16/44 (info from discs cover). Dispite this, the sonic is increadibly analog like! I couldn't hear any harshness and brightness, usually, associated with such PCM mastering. Superb transparency, powerful bass, wide soundstage (particularly with chorus in Requiem) - sonic delight.
Britten War Requiem is well known work. Performance is very good, the tempo per my taste is a bit slow. Still magic and hypnotizing. Here, when soloists are too close to microphones, some harshness can be detected. Expensive, two disc - double price. Still, highly recommended.

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Review by Dr. O August 5, 2005 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
A very fine recording! (I still have a soft spot in my heart for the version conducted by Britten himself in 1963 [released under the London label]. The voices of Galina Vishnevskaya, Peter Pears and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau are joined by the London Symphony and the Melos Ensemble to create what I continue to consider as the "standard" by which all other performances are judged.)

Richard Hickox does a wonderful job in this new release. The orchestral and choral forces are crisp and well balanced. The recording is of a very high quality. Every single nuance is crystal clear. The tempos are at times different from those chosen by Britten, but nevertheless Hickox's musical judgements are sound and compelling.

I recommend this disc without reservation. And I also hope that in the not too distant future, the venerable London recording so dear to my heart will find a suitable transfer to the world of Super Audio!

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Review by our_john January 8, 2012 (1 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
As one would expect from Chandos, a superb recording and an excellent performance from Hickox and his forces (well, almost). Nobody can expect to surpass the Britten performance on Decca, of course, but this one comes close, or at least would do, if it were not for the dreadful performance by Heather Harper. Ironically, as she was the original soprano planned for the premiere under Britten, something has gone terribly amiss in her performance here, and you find yourself longing for Galina Vishnevskaya's thrilling renditions. A real shame.

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