Putting aside preferences for particular performances of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem in D minor, listeners will benefit from this presentation because it makes clear the differences between the familiar completion by Franz Xaver Süssmayr and modern scholarly restorations. Most recordings of the Requiem are based on the Süssmayr version, as edited by Johannes Brahms, so there is no shortage of examples for study. However, recordings of the modern realizations that feature the Lacrimosa as completed by Michael Finnissy, the Amen fugue as worked out by C. Richard F. Maunder, the Sanctus and Cum Sanctis Tuis as envisioned by Robert D. Levin, or the Benedictus as recomposed by Duncan Druce, are infrequently available and not guaranteed to stay in production. Not everyone will want a full performance by men and boys, even though the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, delivers a period-style rendition under the leadership of Stephen Cleobury, and they sound magnificent in the SACD format. Additionally, the vocal quartet of soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, mezzo-soprano Christine Rice, tenor James Gilchrist, and bass-baritone Christopher Purves is almost evenly balanced and well-blended. Augmented with the alternate movements and coupled with a CD documenting the history of the Requiem, this recording is an invaluable study guide for the newcomer as well as the connoisseur, who may be equally baffled by the controversies over Mozart's unfinished masterpiece. There are good reasons for debating the merits of various completions, but having the evidence laid out in a clear, coherent fashion makes this package indispensable. Highly recommended.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
Track Listing - Disc 1
|Requiem, K. 626|
Track Listing - Disc 2
|Mozart's Requiem: An Audio Documentary|