Klaus Tennstedt

Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem

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This recording of Ein deutsches Requiem comes from a live 1984 performance with Klaus Tennstedt leading the London Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus. Tennstedt's reading of the score is deeply felt, shapely, and nuanced, with the stamp of an individual vision. Its most notable characteristic is its serenity. The first movement, "Selig Sind," in particular, unfolds with an ethereal lack of urgency. Even the music with more movement, such as the choral sections of the third movement, "Herr, lehre doch mich," are never hurried. Also notable is the care with which Tennstedt shapes the phrases with dynamic shadings that are sometimes idiosyncratic, but entirely convincing. The chorus and orchestra perform with exceptional warmth and responsiveness. Thomas Allan sings with intelligence, but he doesn't have the timbral richness to make this a truly memorable performance. Lucia Popp has a lovely tone, but she sometimes sounds a little effortful and doesn't display the limpid suppleness of her performances when she was in her prime. The individuality and sensitivity of Tennstedt's vision for the piece, and the fine performances by the London Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus make this a recording well worth considering. There is a little noticeable background noise, but generally the ambiance of the recording is warm and present.

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