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Berlioz: Requiem, 5 Sacred Pieces / Ainsley, Dutoit


Release Date: 01/11/2000 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 458921   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Hector BerliozDimitri Bortniansky
Performer:  John Mark AinsleyDarquise BilodeauMaren NelsonAndrée de Repentigny,   ... 
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony OrchestraMontreal Symphony Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 50 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Berlioz is alive and well in eastern Canada. After I gave Noel Edison a heartfelt rave in the January/February Fanfare ("anyone who can bring off the . . . Requiem with this sort of sure, sheer power, this superb élan, these spellbinding alternations of mystical hush and cataclysmic grandeur must be destined for greatness . . .") for his work with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Elora Festival Orchestra (Naxos 8.554494-95), this similarly paced performance looms as an embarrassment of riches. Both seem indebted rivals to Beecham's 1959 Albert Hall document for incandescent sweep (BBC BBCL4011-2, Fanfare 23:2). Where Naxos's sound seemed to strike an "ideal balance between vastness and impact," it must be said Read more that Decca's engineers have worked the overtopping sonic miracle of combining far-flung grandeur with a vivid, often walloping closeness of detail. Popular and effective, too much of Dutoit's work over the years has been vitiated by glib facility, mere brilliance, though with the Requiem he seems to have entered an Old Master phase that strikes more deeply—or, perhaps, with Berlioz flamboyance and profundity are one in a way that fits him hand in glove. For instance, after the virtuoso choral work of Dutoit's go at Les Troyens (see Fanfare 18:4), the Montréalers' finesse should come as no surprise, but it does as the lovingly molded phrases—lyrically alive and crisp with conviction—whirl one into some major weather of the soul. Orchestrally, too, balance, color, accent, and the like have obviously been closely shaped, yet they ring out with a grandeur that seems bom of discovery. And if John Mark Ainsley's Sanctus hasn't Simoneau's easy fluency at the top, he nevertheless recalls the latter 's ethereality. The Veni creator, the Tantum ergo, and the Bortniansky arrangements are little more than deft workings in the vein of conventional piety, but the Resurrexit, reworked from the early, discarded Messe solenelle, is Berlioz white-hot. Recorded several times—John Eliot Gardiner, for instance, gives both the original version and its revision in the premiere recording of the Messe solenelle (see Fanfare 17:6)—other conductors bring out its thematic catalog aspect, underlining the préfiguration of the Requiem's Tuba minim and the oddments that turn up decades later in, for instance, Benvenuto Cellini and the Te Deum. One may still not be able to suppress a smile as the rising figure with which the crowd welcomes Mardi gras in Cellini (salvaged in Le Carnaval romain) is sung to "Cujus regni non érit finis" ("His kingdom shall have no end"), but Dutoit, in another stroke of old-masterly tact, integrates these Berliozian pre-echoes into the larger design without italics, so to speak, thus giving the young master his due rather than treating the Resurrexit as a mere curiosity. Benvenuto Cellini, by the way, is overdue for another hearing, while Dutoit and his Montréal band are the obvious choice for a recording. Maestro? Meanwhile, liner notes by eminent Berliozian Hugh Macdonald confect a final elegance. And that's to say that, while the Naxos Requiem remains a terrific bargain, Dutoit's is an indispensable classic and, in a crowded field, currently the Berlioz Requiem of choice.

Adrian Corleonis, Fanfare [5/2000]
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Works on This Recording

1. Grande messe des morts, Op. 5 by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  John Mark Ainsley (Tenor)
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  Montreal Symphony Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837; France 
Date of Recording: 05/1997 
Venue:  St. Jérome, Montréal, Québec, Canada 
Length: 84 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: French 
2. Veni creator by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Darquise Bilodeau (Soprano), Maren Nelson (Alto), Andrée de Repentigny (Soprano)
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 19th Century; France 
Date of Recording: 05/1997 
Venue:  St. Jérome, Montréal, Québec, Canada 
Length: 4 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
3. Tantum ergo by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Andrée de Repentigny (Soprano), Darquise Bilodeau (Soprano), Maren Nelson (Alto),
Patrick Wedd (Organ)
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1877-1888; France 
Date of Recording: 05/1997 
Venue:  St. Jérome, Montréal, Québec, Canada 
Length: 5 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
4. Pater noster by Dimitri Bortniansky
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Chorus
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 05/1997 
Venue:  St. Jérome, Montréal, Québec, Canada 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Arranged: Hector Berlioz 
5. Adoremus by Dimitri Bortniansky
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Chorus
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 05/1997 
Venue:  St. Jérome, Montréal, Québec, Canada 
Length: 5 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Arranged: Hector Berlioz 
6. Messe solennelle: Resurrexit by Hector Berlioz
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1824; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 05/1997 
Venue:  St. Jérome, Montréal, Québec, Canada 
Length: 7 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: Latin 

Sound Samples

Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts): 1. Requiem - Kyrie
Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts): 2. Dies irae - Tuba mirum
Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts): 3. Quid sum miser
Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts): 4. Rex tremendae
Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts): 5. Quaerens me
Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts): 6. Lacrymosa
Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts): 7. Domine Jesu Christe
Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts): 8. Hostias
Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts): 9. Sanctus
Requiem, Op.5 (Grande Messe des Morts): 10. Agnus Dei
Veni Creator
Tantum Ergo
Pater Noster - Arr. H. Berlioz
Adoremus - Arr. H. Berlioz
Resurrexit

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Good representation. April 27, 2014 By Joseph Erdeljac (West Chester, PA) See All My Reviews "Though not great this is a good representation of the Berlioz work. The tenor soloists lacks in the part and is not at all convincing. The rest of the Requiem is well represented." Report Abuse
 Cut to the chase! May 5, 2013 By A. Barak (Sandwich, MA) See All My Reviews "All of the "academic" reviews of this work miss one very important point, for a layman, such as I. This is such a great and spiritual work and collection. I know there are "fine points" in the critiques, but this work, in addition to the added choral selections, are just another example of the glorious music composed and performed to the glory to God. To simplistic? This is God's gift to the world, in another worthy version. In any case, this is a must get performance. I especially like Ainsley, in his very tender interpretation of the Sanctus. And, the "Lords Prayer" is just gravy." Report Abuse
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