BRAHMS: Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45 – Maria Stader, soprano/ Hermann Prey, baritone/ SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart/ Chor des Hessischen Rundfunks Frankfurt/ Carl Schuricht – Hanssler

by | Nov 25, 2005 | Classical Reissue Reviews | 0 comments

BRAHMS: Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45 – Maria Stader, soprano/
Hermann Prey, baritone/ SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart/ Chor des
Hessischen Rundfunks Frankfurt/ Carl Schuricht

Hanssel CD 93.14,  68:12 (Distrib. Allegro) ****:

Recorded in November 1959, the Brahms German Requiem under Carl
Schuricht (1880-1967) provides Volume 4 in the ongoing Carl Schuricht
Collection from Hanssler Classic. A combination of valedictory emotion
and old-world charm grace this inscription, which baritone Hermann Prey
mentioned with pride to me in an Atlanta interview after a recital at
Emory University. That SWR archives have been opened in order to share
the rich Schuricht legacy is cause for rejoicing among collectors of
this independent, monumental musical spirit.

An obvious affection readily communicates itself between choral forces
and conductor, and the How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place section assumes
an Edenic character. Maria Stader, the veteran of so many musical
collaborations with conductor Ferenc Fricsay, simply sails on the word
“Traurigkeit,” and her silver coloratura at “grossen Trost” is
exquisite. The natural step to Mahler’s Fourth Symphony seems but a
musical rest away. The contributions of oboe, flute, horn and cello are
fully accounted for. For Brahmsians, this realization is something very
special, a fascinating hybrid between the grand spectacle and the
intimate salon. Lest readers assume that Schuricht’s account is merely
pretty, witness the inexorable, yet flexible musical line he imposes on
the Denn wir haben hie keine bleibende Statt movement, with its
spiritual crisis between visions of oblivion and faith in eternity. The
sturm und drang is the D Minor Piano Concerto all over again. The
ensuing contrapunctus, with strings and high sopranos, then low strings
and male choristers, invites rapturous vertigo. The solace of the last
movement, its bitter-sweet lachrymosa, seems a fitting tribute to the
conductor himself. Digital remastering by Irmgard Bauer and Dietmar
Wolf of SWR is first class.  The informative booklet contains
another treasure – pictorial: a shot of Schuricht taken in Lausanne,
rapt in admiration for violinist Joseph Szigeti.

–Gary Lemco

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