add to wish list | library

5 of 5 recommend this,
would you recommend it?

yes | no

  Universal (Japan) -
  Mozart: Requiem - Böhm
  Mozart: Requiem

Edith Mathis
Julia Hamari
Wieslaw Ochman
Karl Ridderbusch
Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsoperchor
Wiener Philharmoniker
Karl Böhm (Bohm)
Track listing:
  Classical - Vocal
Recording type:
Recording info:

delete from library | delete recommendation | report errors
Related titles: 3

Reviews: 1

Site review by ramesh June 7, 2007
Performance:   Sonics:
There are, amazingly, a dozen Mozart Requiems already on SACD. On the face of it, this expensive Universal Japan SACD of the traditional Süssmayr completion, without coupling, with only Japanese booklet notes, and stereo only, would appear to be a non-starter. Yet, such is the artistic quality on offer that this is a front rank contender for those satisfied with stereo.

Böhm had previously recorded this work in the 1950s. This second outing was committed in 1971. DGG have released a DVD of Böhm in a concert performance of the Requiem dating from about this time, which I have not heard. The orchestra is Böhm's favourite Vienna Philharmonic, recorded in the Grosser Musikverein. The soloists include a radiant Edith Mathis, and the dark bass of Karl Ridderbusch. However, the chorus isn't the Wiener Singverein, as appear in the SACDs of Karajan's 1970s Mozart Requiem or his Beethoven Chorals, but the Vienna State Opera chorus. [ I am unsure how much these choruses overlap in composition. ]

The performance which Böhm elicits from all concerned is of unflagging devotional intensity, within a traditional modern instrument framework, reminiscent of the power which Klemperer achieved in his recording of the Bach St Matthew Passion. The SACD of Karajan's Mozart Requiem is overshadowed in terms of both musical intensity and richness of recording quality. One is given a frontstalls perspective, with closely observed soloists and violins. The chorus is also well captured, unlike the diffuseness in the choruses of both Karajan Beethoven 9s.

From the grave opening to the closing pages, Böhm gives one of his most dynamic Mozart performances. Idiosyncrasies include a late-Klemperer 4 minutes 17 seconds for the Tuba mirum. In fact, the movements are all generally on the slow side, yet such is the fervour of the performance and the beautiful phrasing from singers and orchestra that the performance usually feels just right in terms of tempi. This was an underrated strength of Böhm's conducting : he paced the singers as singers, not as orchestral deckhands, so they could breathe naturally. The Dies irae and the amazing Confutatis erupt with hellfire and damnation, yet the singers here sound exhilarating, not breathless. Another remarkable facet of this performance is that the Süssmayr completion doesn't signal a significant drop in emotional temperature from the Sanctus onwards.

The recording volume on this SACD is quite high, to the performance's advantage. A final reason to buy this disc is that it preserves the magnificent sounds of the Vienna Philharmonic. The strings sound less gutty and transparent than on certain other recordings and in the flesh, but this SACD captures more of their nuances than digital recordings of the 1980s.

Works: 1  

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Requiem in D minor, K. 626