VOICES Notes and news on Classical releases
10 SEP 12 JASON SERINUS
It takes a superb conductor, chorus, soloist, and engineering team to do the Requiem, Op. 5 full justice. That's just what Telarc achieved in 2003, when it recorded Berlioz: Requiem with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus and Metropolitan Opera tenor Frank Lopardo, all under the direction of Robert Spano.
Hector Berlioz's dream of writing a work that could fill the "sublime, overpowering" expanses of the great Christian churches with music of equal grandeur came to fruition on December 5, 1837, when his Requiem premiered in the dramatic setting of St. Louis des Invalides in Paris. The occasion was the state funeral of the Comte de DamrÇmont, the French governor-general of Algeria, who had died in battle.
Berlioz's musical forces, if not as massive as the French army, were nonetheless mighty imposing -- massive chorus and orchestra, four brass ensembles, massed timpani and tam tams, and tenor soloist. The royal family and most of the court and national government may have covered the windows and walls in black, but the 600 candles and incense boats that surrounded the coffin, and the 4000 other candles that illuminated the vast expanse met their match in a requiem that poet Alfred de Vigny described as "strange and beautiful, wild, convulsive and painful."
For the release, recording engineers Jack Renner and Michael Bishop took full advantage of Telarc's pioneering use of DSD technology to make a recording as aurally stunning as the music deserves. For the ultimate wow experience, turn the volume up high and breathe deeply.