Miriam Nemcova

Mozart: Requiem

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This 2006 recording on Silva Classics of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem in D minor is a respectable period style rendition of the standard edition, completed by Franz Xaver Süssmayer, and it is more than serviceable as a budget reissue. The Praga Sinfonietta Orchestra and the Vox Pragae Choir, led by Miriam Nemcová, are idiomatic and assured in their performance, and the solos of soprano Monika Brychtová, alto Edita Adlerová, tenor Vladmir Okénko, and bass Milan Burger are eloquent and expressive, though a bit operatic in tone and not evenly blended in their quartet passages. On the whole, the recorded sound is fairly well balanced, except for some spots where the singers seem uneven in dynamics; the responsive acoustics make the brass more cutting and overwhelming than they were probably intended to sound. But beyond these minor problems, the music is suitably grand, somber, and austere, and Nemcová demonstrates that this familiar version of the Requiem can still be persuasive, even in light of several popular revisions and re-orchestrations that lack Süssmayer's handiwork. But even though some historically informed performances of the work offer changes that are more polished and arguably closer to Mozart's late style, the standard version deserves the benefit of the doubt for being closest to the composer's time, and effective in spite of its rough edges. Aside from the balance problems mentioned above, Silva's reproduction is clear, and in many places, warm and vibrant.

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