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CD Review

Hector Berlioz

Requiem, Op. 5

Peter Schreier, tenor
Bavarian Radio Symphony Chorus
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Charles Munch
Deutsche Gramophone 477756-1 2CDs 84m ADD
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Charles Munch was always a consummate Berliozian and his rendering of the Requiem is excellent although I still would plump for Colin Davis in his unimpeachable Philips recording which is of similar vintage. The Bavarian acoustic lends greater clarity to the opening Requiem et Kyrie while the famous Dies Irae is suitably apocalyptic as one might expect from these forces. The rest of the work is commandingly done although there is a slight lack of momentum towards the end which contrasts with other recordings such as André Previn's.

The booklet note includes some interesting observations on how the work came to be recorded for DG in 1968 – largely through the insistence of Rafael Kubelík. As always the Originals remastering is of the highest quality throughout and committed Berlioz fans will want to have this important recording in their collections.

Copyright © 2011, Gerald Fenech