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Recorded live in the Netherlands in 2018, Daniel Reuss offers a richly drawn performance of Brahms’s choral masterpiece. The smaller than usual choir for this work and the orchestra’s period instruments, together with a general observance of the metronome markings from the first performance in 1868, lend this reading greater textual transparency than we might be accustomed to. These features also contribute to the performance’s profound sense of calm, and the element of consolation Brahms was seeking to evoke. Both André Morsch and Carolyn Sampson acquit themselves well, with the latter delivering a radiant account of the soprano’s one solo contribution, while Morsch is perhaps less dramatic than is usual in this piece – all part of Reuss’s vision, one imagines. Cappella Amsterdam produce a nicely focused choral sound. Only the quality of the recorded sound robs this CD of a fifth star.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica


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