Mozart: Requiem

Colin Davis

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Mozart: Requiem Review

by Blair Sanderson

Many will remember Colin Davis' recordings of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem in D minor, K. 626, on Philips and RCA, both excellent performances of the standard completion by Franz Xaver Süssmayer that have held up quite well over the years, if one can judge by the numerous reissues. This recording on LSO Live neither offers a new edition nor is it dramatically different in its traditional interpretation, so it may seem like a redundant effort to listeners who own one of the aforementioned discs. However, it may appeal a little more than the others because of its sound quality, one of the finer features of the London Symphony Orchestra's releases on its own label and a major attraction for audiophiles. The direct stream digital recording sets the four solo vocalists, chorus, and orchestra in sharp relief, and the counterpoint is given great clarity by the clean audio separation. In the wrong hands, Mozart's textures can sound murky and a little dull, but here Davis and the LSO engineers have striven for distinctive lines and have generally avoided the muddiness that sometimes afflicts the Requiem. The attempt to make Mozart's last work sound clear and crisp does not take it into Classical period practice, though, for Davis is decidedly not interested in making an authentic recreation, so anyone who wants a solid mainstream reading of this work can be sure there are no stylistic surprises or editorial changes here.

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