In this recording of the dramatic, commanding choral masterpiece by Johannes Brahms, conductor John Eliot Gardiner attempts to adhere closely to the manner in which the conductors of Brahms' day -- or, perhaps, as Brahms himself -- might have performed the work. He utilizes obscure Viennese instruments and Baroque-era stylings to create a dynamic, exciting sound The fortissimo sections of the work are thunderous; the piano passages are almost too quiet to hear. Ringing tenor solos are interspersed with lush choral harmonies. It couldn't be more different from the steady, solid wall of sound adopted by the Wagnerian school. Through it all, the words of Brahms' Lutheran faith ring through. While people who are used to the Latin texts might find that these German sound a bit dark or disturbing at first, the underlying message is much more comforting and hopeful than the stern words of the Latin Requiem. This is an impressive, authentic rendition of one of the world's greatest choral works.
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