Berlioz - Requiem (Bernstein)

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Berlioz - Requiem (Bernstein)

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1. Requiem et Kyrie 	
2. Dies Irae; Moderato 	
3. Dies Irae; Andante maestoso. (Tuba mirum) 	
4. Sum Miser 
5. Rex tremendae 	
6. Quaerens me 	
7. Lacrymosa 	
8. Offertorium 	
9. Hostias 			play
10. Sanctus
11. Agnus Dei
12. Te Deum I - Te Deum - II - Tibi omnes
13. Te Deum III - Dignare, Domine
14. Te Deum IV - Christe, Rex Gloriae
15. Te Deum V - Te ergo quaesumus
16. Te Deum VI - Judes crederis

Orchestre National de France
Leonard Bernstein - conductor


Berlioz' Requiem needs a performance of spontaneous brilliance and almost manic intensity to come off. The reason is simple. The big movements--the Dies Irae sequence and Lachrymosa--use a huge chorus and a full orchestra including four brass bands (stationed in the four corners of the concert hall), eight sets of timpani (10 players), and additional percussion. After that, everything else sounds anti-climatic, unless the conductor somehow manages to keep the tension flowing through the quiet (and, let's not kid ourselves, dull) bits. Leonard Bernstein certainly manages the impossible, though God only knows how he does it. The recording helps--it really captures a sense of large forces in a big space, while projecting the aura of mystery that the intimate moments need if they're going to work. ---David Hurwitz

download: CD1 CD2