Hermann Meyer

Franz Lachner: Requiem in F

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A prize student of music theorist Simon Sechter and a good friend of Beethoven and Schubert, German composer Franz Lachner was appointed Royal Court Conductor in Munich in 1836 where he directed the Court Theater, the Court Church, and the Court Concert Hall for with pride, dedication, and professionalism for the next 33 years. However, the death of his patron Maximilian II and the ascension of Ludwig II, avid patron of Richard Wagner, effectively ended Lachner's career. Though he lived another 23 years, Lachner's music was rarely if ever performed.

Thus this 2006 Carus recording of Lachner's Requiem is the work's world premiere, and thankfully it's a knockout. Written in 1856 in honor of the centenary of Mozart's birth, Lachner's Requiem is an hour-long work that breathes the same exalted air as Mozart's Requiem. Scored for six soloists, chorus, and orchestra, Lachner's work is severe in harmonic language, austere in tone, contrapuntal in execution, and fuliginous in color, but surprisingly moving in effect. Performed here with polish and panache by the Kammerchor der Augsburger Domsingknaben under Hermann Meyer, Lachner's Requiem does not equal those of Mozart or Brahms in spiritual profundity or those of Berlioz or Verdi in dramatic intensity, but its more conservative sincerity still deserves to be heard by anyone with a deep interest in nineteenth century German music. Made in cooperation with Bavarian Radio, Carus' super audio sound is rich, deep, and full.

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