Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


DVD REVIEW


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

 


alternatively AmazonUK  

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Requiem Op.89 B165 (1890)
Gabriela Beňačková (soprano)
Ida Kirilová (alto)
Josef Protscka (tenor)
Luděk Vele (bass)
Prague Philharmonic Chorus
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Václav Neumann
rec. St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague, 1988
Sound Format; PCM stereo: languages; GB, D, F, SP: Subtitles; GB, D, F, SP: picture Format; 4:3: Region Code; 0 (worldwide): DVD 9 NTSC
ARTHAUS 102 063 [97:00]



No applause in church of course. So when Václav Neumann steps up to the rostrum in St Vitus Cathedral he bows to the audience, the totality of which we never see, with a pleasant but distant look. The camera angles are initially disconcerting. Close, tight shots of the principal cellist’s cello, shots of the drumsticks on the drumhead, a close shot of a small section of the sopranos. It makes for a rather claustrophobic start to the Requiem aeternam. After a while it dawned on me that the director was establishing the polyphonic heartland of the work and setting it in immediate motion; the ear, as it were, directed by the eye. These layers of visual polyphony, once established, don’t recur to anything like the same extent and the point, once made, is a good one. The other camera angles are in the main gimmick-free, apart from a camera shot from the side, and slightly to the back of the soloists, which proved a little queasy.
 
The soloists are a homogeneous though not entirely convincing unit. Beňačková is the pick of the quartet, powerful, imperious but also suitably yielding and good in ensembles. Her Slovak colleague Ida Kirilová makes for a rather florid partner. Her singing in the Tuba mirum is intensely dramatic but will be, for some, compromised by a big vibrato and an overtly operatic sense of projection. Josef Protscka, sporting his vaguely nineteenth century facial topiary, is an involving and attractive tenor. His bass colleague Luděk Vele is also noted as a bass-baritone and it’s the lighter voice that best describes him I feel. Though he has a solid downward extension he’s heard at his best in the upper reaches of the baritone register, where things sit comfortably for him.
 
Neumann directs with impressive and only occasionally impassive control. He sculpts the fugal passages with incision, though the long delay and decay of the cathedral acoustic sometimes blunts his better intentions. The Offertorium is a particularly telling example of his choral control. The orchestra plays well; there are numerous shots of the winds and rightly so given their important commentaries.
 
This visual documentation of Neumann’s Requiem is only very generally dated to 1988 but is nevertheless a valuable one.
 
Jonathan Woolf

 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.