Verdi: Messa da Requiem

Verdi: Messa da Requiem
Verdi: Messa da Requiem (click images to enlarge)

Verdi: Messa da Requiem

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Manufacturer Description


Verdi's Requiem--certainly one of his most moving, eloquent masterpieces--was written in honor of the great Italian poet Alessandro Manzoni, whom he admired enormously both for his writings and his political outlook. Though its text is the Latin liturgy, it has been called Verdi's greatest opera because of its basically dramatic character, as well as his own ambivalent attitude toward organized religion. Thus, interpretations tend to emphasize its secular or its sacred aspect, though, naturally, the soloists are trained in the Verdi opera tradition.

For example, Toscanini's legendary performance, recorded live at Carnegie Hall in 1951, takes exactly the opposite approach to this version. Inwardly expressive, noble, devout, pleading, prayerful, yet with plenty of dramatic intensity, the Toscanini encompasses every human emotion and offers a synthesis of Verdi's vision of the earthly and the sublime. The performers on this recording, captured live on the 100th anniversary of Verdi's death, take the theatrical view. The soloists swoop and slide, sob and sigh, and overdramatize the fear and trembling. Tenor Roberto Alagna belts out his part in the best operatic style, the bass sounds rough, the alto's vibrato wobbles, but soprano Angela Gheorghiu soars radiantly. The choruses are good, the orchestra is wonderful, but the dynamic contrasts go from inaudible to ear-splitting. --Edith Eisler

Key Product Details

  • Artist0: Angela Gheorghiu
  • Artist1: Roberto Alagna
  • Artist2: Daniela Barcellona
  • Artist3: Julian Konstantinov
  • Genre: Classical