FAURE: Requiem; 6 Choral/Orchestral Works – Pavane; Madrigal, Les Djinns; Ave Verum; Tantum Ergo, Cantique de Jean Racine-Soloists/Netherlands Chamber Choir/Limburg Symphony Orchestra, Maastricht/Ed Spanjaard – PentaTone multichannel SACD

by | Jun 4, 2005 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

FAURE: Requiem; 6 Choral/Orchestral Works – Pavane; Madrigal,
Les Djinns; Ave Verum; Tantum Ergo, Cantique de Jean Racine –
Soloists/Netherlands Chamber Choir/Limburg Symphony Orchestra,
Maastricht/Ed Spanjaard – PentaTone multichannel SACD PTC 5186 020,
54:56 ****:

Faure didn’t see death as a terribly frightening or dramatic
event;  his soft-spoken and tender Requiem lacks the fiery Dies
Irae movement of the Berlioz and Vedi Requiems.  The musical
description of a natural and happy passage to eternal bliss is still a
very moving and affecting work in spite of its lightness and modest
means. The work was originally only five movements with a chamber music
sort of accompaniment, but was eventualloy expanded into a
choral/orchestral setting with three more sections and soprano and
baritone soloists in some sections. But Faure retained the intimate
sound and mood in the expanded version.

Some of the short choral pieces are surprising. For example, who knew
that someone had suggested lyrics to Faure for his famous orchestral
work the Pavane? And it was even staged as a short ballet. Les Djinns
was inspired by the same Victor Hugo poem that stimulated Franck to
write his symphonic poem of the same title. All aspects of the
performance are ideally realized, and PentaTone’s engineering places
the performers spatially within the hall in Belgium where the recording
was made. While I personally enjoy the dramatics of the Verdi and
Berlioz Requiems, I’ve always appreciated Faure’s uniquely low-key
approach, and the glorious spatial presentation in many ways makes it
just as much more of an involving listening experience as it does the
exciting hellfire and brimstone Requiems.

– John Sunier
 

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