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In his performances and recordings of Mozart’s operas, Jacobs has shown himself to be a stylish interpreter of Mozart’s dramatic music. The celebrated Requiem is, in places, as dramatic as anything in, say, Don Giovanni, and Jacobs conveys the terror of the Dies irae and the majesty of the Rex tremendae with gusto; the more tender, conciliatory moments are equally convincing. The edition used is a re-thought version of Süssmayr’s familiar account, with numerous subtle changes and some notable rewriting by the French composer Pierre-Henri Dutron. Sometimes the effect is exhilarating, sometimes unexpected, as when passages are given to the solo quartet rather than the chorus. Dutron is prepared to rework quite extensively anything by Süssmayr, for example the end of the Lacrymosa or the re-imagined Benedictus. Possibly best of all is his solution to Süssmayr’s boring repeated chords in the Sanctus. The soloists are a well-matched quartet, and Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and RIAS Chamber Choir are ever-alert in their response to Jacobs. The CD is not well-filled at 46 minutes: why couldn’t we have had a few of Mozart’s shorter sacred pieces as a fill up?

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica

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