Cornel Grozav

Mozart: Requiem

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While this release from Arte Nova presents a respectable performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem in D minor, K. 626, in Franz Xaver Süssmayr's performing edition, it is simply that and nothing fancier. While some conductors and ensembles look for ways to get the public's attention with interesting revisions of the orchestration or alternate completions of the unfinished score, Wolfgang Gröhs, the Europa Symphony, and the Cluj-Napoca Choir stick with the standard version of the work and offer no special changes to it. Of course, the basics should be expected on a budget recording, and buyers of this CD won't be disappointed, except perhaps with the slower-than-usual tempos Gröhs chooses, and the rather enervated playing and singing that come from such weighty direction. The Domine Jesu Christe, Hostias, and the Benedictus are taken at a somewhat quicker pace and sound lighter as a result, but these are exceptions; most of the time, especially in the Introit, the slow sections of the Sequence and most of the movements from the Sanctus to the Communion are quite heavy and for the most part drained of tension. But on the whole, this is a passable Requiem, and listeners who just need a good recording for study purposes will find this one adequate, if unexciting. The sound is generally well balanced and clear, though the vocalists and the choir are a bit distantly miked, and the timpani seem a little too prominent.

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