"...The combined London Philharmonic Choir and London Symphony Chorus respond to Davis’s conducting as a single entity, the singers’ exquisitely blended textures melting into the acoustic. The tenors and basses show glorious control at “Te decet hymnus” in the opening ‘Requiem aeternam’, while the great ‘Lacrymosa’ – an epic on five lines of text – has rarely sounded more arresting. Even the ‘Offertoire’, which can outstay its welcome in a more routine account of the Requiem, emerges as a fervent prayer offered up with restraint and near-stillness.Bel canto specialist Barry Banks is an inspired choice for the ‘Sanctus’ and the distanced recording adds rapture to his limpid tenor as it keens its way through the Cathedral like a seraphic prayer. The London Symphony Orchestra revels in its role, producing colours of the utmost richness and fielding an unbuttoned quartet of brass bands (which David Cairns refers to as an “apocalyptic armoury”) to make hair-raising interventions.
Davis achieves a kind of alchemy in allowing long, relaxed phrases to unfold in lyrical comfort yet with a real sense of urgency. The composer helps with his propensity for extended top lines underpinned by rhythmic bass interpolations, for example in ‘Querens me’. Throughout the performance (as was clear from his unforced manner on the night) Davis resists any temptation to exploit the acoustic in pursuit of a sonic spectacular. That side of things is allowed to look after itself. Lesser mortals would be tempted to play the cathedral; Sir Colin Davis plays the score."
Mark Valencia - classicalsource.com - 6 April 2013
"...The recording captures the sense of occasion that must accompany ay performance of this extraordinary work, whose demands on soloist, chorus and orchestra- and for that matter, the listeners-- are massive. Davis distils a lifetime’s practical expertise with Berlioz into a performance that is noble, thrilling, intiate and richly satisfying. His orchestra plays for him as if possessed and the massed choirs are exceptional in what they deliver... Even if you have Davis’s 1960s recording of the Requiem, it is worth investing in this new one to savour his insights." *****
Philip Reed - Choir & Organ magazine - July/August 2013
***** - Exceptional disc
Giuseppe Rossi - Musica magazine - June 2013
"... lovely orchestral detail ... The chorus is excellent ... Colin Davis is a must have."
Richard Lawrence - Gramophone magazine - June 2013
Music **** (Very Good) Sound ***** (Outstanding)
Andreas Friesenhagen - Fono Forum magazine - June 2013
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