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Operatic Requiem

Mozart's Requiem may be the piece of music I value over all others but Verdi's Requiem is by far my favorite Requiem.

After it's premiere, many thought it was sacrilegious and better suited for the theater and opera stage than the church.

Performance practice has supported that criticism. Verdi's Requiem is for concert use only.

I'll never forget the first time I heard the Verdi Requiem. The opening Requiem aeternum was introspective until the tenor solo demands mercy in the Kyrie.

I had no idea what was coming next. The Dies Irae attacked and I was conquered by Verdi forever.

As dramatic as the Dies Irae and Tuba Mirum are it is Verdi's Lacrymosa that stuns us.

While Mozart's Lacrymosa is personal and poignant, Verdi's is written on a biblical scale.

One can hear all of humanity rising from the ashes to be redeemed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UENK70U6Lk

Verdi was not a particularly religious man but he was a master of setting text to music. At least he was by the time he wrote The Requiem.

Premiered in 1874, The Requiem belongs to Verdi's mature works which include Aida, Otello, and Falstaff.

Verdi's middle operas (Trovatore, Rigoletto, La Traviata) were inconsistent with the marriage of text and music. However, they contain extraordinary scenes of dramatic vision that rank amongst the most amazing moments in the operatic repertoire.

The Requiem is a flawless, dramatic, interpretation except for the Sanctus. It is fantastic music but sounds more mirthful than holy.

In the final Libera Me, Verdi brings all his compositional powers into focus.

In a tour de force for the soprano soloist, Verdi brings back the powerful Dies Irae, and demands deliverance before pleading for liberation. Finally, the heavens and earth and shaken with a masterful fugue for the chorus and orchestra.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUuIDJqz2XY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPZ8kAIxuKw&feature=related

What Verdi's Requiem gives us is a theatrical experience of music that has a spiritual content. It may not be appropriate for church but Verdi's music is sacred.

So far as the performance in the video clips. We may never see another Verdi performance with a collection of artists such as these.

Leontyne Price is utterly and absolutely amazing.

Mezzo Fiorenza Cossotto is the greatest singer the general public has never heard of. No singer has topped her performances of Santuzza (Cavalleria) and Amneris (Aida).

A svelte, clean-shaved Pavarotti is the tenor.

Bulgarian bass Nicolai Ghiaurov completes the dream team quartet.

At the time of this performance, conductor Herbert von Karajan was simultaneously the principal conductor of The Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna State Opera, Vienna Philharmonic and La Scala. He was, for all intents and purposes, the principal conductor of Europe.

This is more than a documentation of a great piece of music, it is also a recording of tremendous artists some of whom dominated the later half of the 20th century.

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Mozart's Requiem may be the piece of music I value over all others but Verdi's Requiem is by far my favorite Requiem.

After it's premiere, many thought it was sacrilegious and better suited for the theater and opera stage than the church.

Performance practice has supported that criticism. Verdi's Requiem is for concert use only.

I'll never forget the first time I heard the Verdi Requiem. The opening Requiem aeternum was introspective until the tenor solo demands mercy in the Kyrie.

I had no idea what was coming next. The Dies Irae attacked and I was conquered by Verdi forever.

As dramatic as the Dies Irae and Tuba Mirum are it is Verdi's Lacrymosa that stuns us.

While Mozart's Lacrymosa is personal and poignant, Verdi's is written on a biblical scale.

One can hear all of humanity rising from the ashes to be redeemed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UENK70U6Lk

Verdi was not a particularly religious man but he was a master of setting text to music. At least he was by the time he wrote The Requiem.

Premiered in 1874, The Requiem belongs to Verdi's mature works which include Aida, Otello, and Falstaff.

Verdi's middle operas (Trovatore, Rigoletto, La Traviata) were inconsistent with the marriage of text and music. However, they contain extraordinary scenes of dramatic vision that rank amongst the most amazing moments in the operatic repertoire.

The Requiem is a flawless, dramatic, interpretation except for the Sanctus. It is fantastic music but sounds more mirthful than holy.

In the final Libera Me, Verdi brings all his compositional powers into focus.

In a tour de force for the soprano soloist, Verdi brings back the powerful Dies Irae, and demands deliverance before pleading for liberation. Finally, the heavens and earth and shaken with a masterful fugue for the chorus and orchestra.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUuIDJqz2XY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPZ8kAIxuKw&feature=related

What Verdi's Requiem gives us is a theatrical experience of music that has a spiritual content. It may not be appropriate for church but Verdi's music is sacred.

So far as the performance in the video clips. We may never see another Verdi performance with a collection of artists such as these.

Leontyne Price is utterly and absolutely amazing.

Mezzo Fiorenza Cossotto is the greatest singer the general public has never heard of. No singer has topped her performances of Santuzza (Cavalleria) and Amneris (Aida).

A svelte, clean-shaved Pavarotti is the tenor.

Bulgarian bass Nicolai Ghiaurov completes the dream team quartet.

At the time of this performance, conductor Herbert von Karajan was simultaneously the principal conductor of The Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna State Opera, Vienna Philharmonic and La Scala. He was, for all intents and purposes, the principal conductor of Europe.

This is more than a documentation of a great piece of music, it is also a recording of tremendous artists some of whom dominated the later half of the 20th century.

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[b]u said: Leontyne Price is utterly and absolutely amazing.[/b]

indeed she stamped with her fine fine voice the need for the range of coloratura soprano voice in Opera

i love ur blogs and am happy to see an Opera lover as a regular blogger on the READER

Nov. 5, 2010

Nan, it's great to have an opera lover in the blog community posting comments! Thanks, Garrett

Nov. 8, 2010

more will come now that u r here Garrett

Nov. 8, 2010

Verdi's Requiem is, indeed, magnificent. It makes me regret that Verdi did write more operas between Aida and Otello.

Bill Smith

Nov. 11, 2010

Btw, whenever I try to play the posted YouTubes, my computer always says: "an error occurred, please try later." It does not happen when I access YouTube directly. You know of any reason for this?

Nov. 11, 2010

dmopbuff, the videos stream perfectly for me. Might be your browser? Try Firefox.

Nov. 11, 2010

i have google chrome and get the stream perfectly dmopbuff

Nov. 11, 2010
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