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Discussion: Verdi: Requiem - Davis

Posts: 7

Post by peteyspambucket January 28, 2010 (1 of 7)
I just listened to this, and I can't believe how much the choral parts sound like Christmas music. This is not very a idiomatic performance at all. The chorus sings with a straight tone mostly (no vibrato) so it comes off sounding very dull, didactic, and perfunctory to my ears. To date, I think have 3 SACDs of Verdi Requiem (Giulini, Harnoncourt, and this one), and the best one from a performance standpoint is the Giulini, but it suffers from poor sound.

This LSO version is so bad, that I had to come out of my lurker mode to share my feelings about it. LOL

On the other hand, since I want to balance my negative with something positive: the LSO SACD of Elgar's Dream of Gerontius is a revelation. I had never heard it performed with this style and beauty before, and it is now my reference recording of the piece. I am so pleased with the sound quality, too.

Post by Windsurfer January 28, 2010 (2 of 7)
peteyspambucket said:

I just listened to this, and I can't believe how much the choral parts sound like Christmas music. This is not very a idiomatic performance at all. The chorus sings with a straight tone mostly (no vibrato) so it comes off sounding very dull, didactic, and perfunctory to my ears.

I recently listened to this for the first time and hardly thought that the choral parts sound like "Christmas music". I (of course) noticed the lack of vibrato but my reaction was quite different from yours - governed especially by the splendid orchestral performance and recording. I have to listen to it again a few times, of course, but right now I think it is a recording I am really happy to have in my collection, and one LSO Live can be truly proud of.

Post by peteyspambucket January 28, 2010 (3 of 7)
I agree the orchestra played well on the recording. My problem was mostly with the choral style.

Post by hiredfox January 29, 2010 (4 of 7)
From the chatter around the web this was one of the least successful of the LSO Live recordings with a variable quality performance from players and singers. I didn't buy because of that.

Post by Allen January 31, 2010 (5 of 7)
I actually complained about the sound level for this title on a different thread. The whole recording sucks when comparing with Karajan's DG release.

I know LSO people is not convinced, but to me, I would say this title really does not have the striking dynamics it deserves.

Post by Windsurfer February 2, 2010 (6 of 7)
Allen said:

I actually complained about the sound level for this title on a different thread. The whole recording sucks when comparing with Karajan's DG release.

I know LSO people is not convinced, but to me, I would say this title really does not have the striking dynamics it deserves.

Allen,

It has an ENORMOUSLY wide dynamic range. I remember your statement about the soprano, what you don't seem to realize is that on the DG, the soprano is treated to her very own microphone and channel in the mix which is adjusted to give people like you what they think they want to hear.

When I sit 3/4 of the way back in Symphony Hall in Boston, the orchestra can ROAR but a single soprano is a very small voice. A wide dynamic range reproduces that. IF you give the soprano her own mic and channel in the mix then boost her sound, you reduce the dynamic range. Dynamic range is the width of decibels between the loudest and softest sounds. No more, no less.

Bruce

Post by ramesh February 2, 2010 (7 of 7)
Windsurfer said:

Allen,

It has an ENORMOUSLY wide dynamic range. I remember your statement about the soprano, what you don't seem to realize is that on the DG, the soprano is treated to her very own microphone and channel in the mix which is adjusted to give people like you what they think they want to hear.

That's right, Bruce.
I saw Giulini conduct this Requiem at the RFH, London with the Philharmonia. The soloists, as usual, sounded small in the soundstage.
On CD, I can recommend the 2005 Japanese EMI remastering of the classic Giulini Philharmonia recording. The serial # is TOCE 13589-90
This recording has tape overload in the Dies Irae etc, but it sounds less objectionable in the Japanese CDs compared to the UK 'Great REc of the Century' remastering. The Japanese remaster has more tape his, but the sound is much more open, has more presence, and the impression of a wider dynamic range due to this.

Closed