Frieder Bernius / Kammerchor Stuttgart

Luigi Cherubini: Requiem in C minor

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Luigi Cherubini's Requiem in C minor (1816) was one of the most highly regarded sacred works of its time, often compared in its solemnity to Mozart's Requiem in D minor, and admired by Beethoven, Schumann, and Brahms. Composed for the belated obsequies in 1817 for Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, and performed 10 years later at Beethoven's funeral, this Requiem is conservative in style; modest in its scoring for choir, orchestra, and continuo; and almost subdued in its lack of vocal solos and theatrical devices (except for the brass fanfares and tam-tam crash at the opening of the Dies Irae). This performance by the Kammerchor Stuttgart and the Hofkapelle Stuttgart, conducted by Frieder Bernius, is true to period style, and the distinctive sound of the original instruments give this music its late Classical flavor. The strongest attraction, though, is Cherubini's fluid counterpoint, which stands out in high relief in the austere scoring and lends the work a high-minded intellectual quality that suits its formal nature. The sound of this hybrid SACD is clean and transparently clear, so all the subtle nuances of the voices and instruments are easily discerned.

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