MakarovaFan

Brahms' Requiem Recommendation

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I'm looking for an excellent recording of the Brahms' Requiem. During my childhood I was raised on the Klemperer recording with Fischer-Dieskau and loved it. But I once I heard Levine's recording with Kathleen Battle. Should I stick with the Klemperer or try something else?

Thanks in advance!

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Ah...try the Seraphic Fire recording. I saw them do the piece last season and they are just amazing. They use a four hands piano setting instead of the orchestra, but the voices are magnificent. As a bit of trivia, the album was Grammy nominated, and went all the way up in the Billboard Classical chart.

http://www.seraphicfire.org/press/seraphic-fires-recording-of-brahmss-requiem-kicking-ass-on-billboards-classical-charts/

http://www.amazon.com/Brahms-Requiem-Johannes/dp/B005I67KRC

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I'm a fan of the Rattle/Berlin recording with the wonderful Thomas Quasthoff.

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I'm a fan of the Rattle/Berlin recording with the wonderful Thomas Quasthoff.

Who's recently retired, alas. Welcome to the Other Arts forum, SimonA!

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The piece is a great favorite of mine, too. The Klemperer remains a great classic, and certainly you can't beat those soloists. I still love it, but I've come to find it a little stodgy and lacking in contrast compared to some others. (Excessive slowness is the one problem that dogs this work.) I agree that Rattle's recording is beautiful, with a phenomenal chorus, and he takes good tempos that seem natural for the proper expression of the words. I find Quasthoff sounds a little less than his usual great self, and I'm a big fan so this bothers me probably more than it should.

There are at least four Karajan recordings I've heard, and each is great in its way, the 1947 one most of all, but if you want modern sound I guess I'd suggest the last one, with Hendricks and Van Dam.

But maybe my favorite recording of all is a sometimes hard-to-find one by Haitink. He gets tempos exactly right, not too slow and not too light. The chorus is superb, and the penultimate movement is just wonderfully dramatic and moving. Gundula Janowitz might have been born to sing the soprano solo, and I find Tom Krause tremendously eloquent in "Herr, lehre doch mich." It's one of those recordings I put on when I need balm for my soul. Worth seeking out!

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Thanks, Anthony_NYC. Nice to hear from you in this forum again.

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