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Verdi: Messa da Requiem / Dudamel

Verdi / D'arcangelo / Los Angeles Philharmonic
Release Date: 11/19/2013 
Label:  C Major   Catalog #: 714708  
Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Julianna DigiacomoMichelle DeYoungVittorio GrigoloIldebrando D’arcangelo
Conductor:  Gustavo Dudamel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Master ChoraleLos Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 1 Hours 52 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Also available on Blu-ray

Giuseppe Verdi
MESSA DA REQUIEM


Julianna DiGiacomo, soprano
Michelle DeYoung, mezzo-soprano
Vittorio Grigolo, tenor
Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, bass

Los Angeles Master Chorale
Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor

Recorded live from the Hollywood Bowl, USA, August 2013

Bonus:
- Behind the scenes with Gustavo Dudamel

Picture format: NTSC 16:9
Sound format: PCM 2.0 / DTS 5.1
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Subtitles: Latin, English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese
Read more Running time: 94 mins + 18 mins (bonus)
No. of DVDs: 1 (DVD 9)

R E V I E W: 3753350.az_VERDI_Requiem_Gustavo.html

VERDI Requiem & Gustavo Dudamel, cond; Juliana DiGiacomo (sop); Michelle DeYoung (mez); Vittorio Grigolo (ten); Ildebrando d’Arcangelo (bs); Los Angeles Master Chorale; Los Angeles PO C MAJOR 714708 (90:00 + 26:00 Text and Translation) Live: Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles 8/13 & 15/2013


& Interview and rehearsal footage


For those people who continue to resist the popular appeal of Gustavo Dudamel and who consider him a superficial and flashy young hotshot, this will prove disappointing. At least it will if they approach it with an open mind. This is a probing, sensitive, beautifully proportioned performance of Verdi’s Requiem. You might have expected a reading that emphasized the overtly dramatic, given the setting at the Hollywood bowl. In fact, this is quite the opposite.


Dudamel’s performance time for the Requiem is just about 90 minutes. To put that in perspective, it is similar to Giulini’s EMI recording (88), faster than Reiner (96) and de Sabata (95), slower than Toscanini (various performances range between 77 and 82) and Serafin (73). Tempo is, of course, not the main ingredient of a performance; de Sabata’s feels much faster than Reiner’s. Although Dudamel is slower than the average, it never drags.


What Dudamel manages here is an ideal balance between the devotional and the theatrical, between the intimacy and tenderness of much of the score and the fire and drama also present. And, most importantly, he unifies those elements into a whole that has a logical shape and inevitability despite encompassing extremes. It is a noble, deeply felt, profound performance, one worthy of standing with some of the finest. While the Dies irae blazes, it is the quiet moments that stay longest in the memory.


One of the performance’s strengths is that the soloists and the chorus do not just sing the notes of their music. They are singularly effective at articulating the words and communicating their meaning. At no point do you feel that any singer is just trying to make gorgeous sounds that are unconnected to a textual purpose. To hear all four soloists treat the words as important and worthy of specific inflection is rare enough, but to hear a chorus do that as well is remarkable. Grant Gershon, the Master Chorale’s director, surely deserves credit for the way he prepared the chorus. But the unwavering unity of purpose that one hears in the soloists and chorus has to emanate from the podium.


As for the solo singing, it is at a very high level. Grigolo starts out a bit tight in the Kyrie, but warms up quickly and sings a beautiful Ingemisco and Hostias (though without a genuine trill). D’Arcangelo is one of today’s most important Italian basses for a reason, and though he lacks the organ-like vocal richness of a Ghiaurov he uses his dark voice to full effect, and it is strong at both the top and bottom of its range. DeYoung sings with a lovely, warm sound and an innate sense for shaping the music that surprised me since she is not normally thought of as a Verdi mezzo. DiGiacomo floats some lovely soft high notes, including that treacherous B? in the Libera me, and also has the power for a rich, full-voiced high C shortly afterwards. The orchestral playing is superb, with some beautiful woodwind solos. The rehearsal and interview footage is particularly valuable, as it shows just how deeply Dudamel thinks about this music, and about how to lead it.


The video direction by Michael Beyer is directly from the “let’s not trust the viewer to be able to enjoy this if we hold any shot for too long” school. The view changes just about every five to 10 seconds; after a while it is annoying, and as it continues it moves from annoying to infuriating. The visual could enhance the audio, even at an unstaged concert, if the video director trusted the music and changed his shots from a musical rather than television-induced-limited-attention-span point of view. The sound quality, heard in PCM stereo, is a bit tight; I suspect that one has to mike Hollywood Bowl concerts fairly closely to avoid outside noise. But it is well balanced and clear, and one adapts quickly. There is an unnatural moment when the orchestra enters right after that soft high B? in Libera me, and I suspect it is an edit (note that two performance dates are given). Interestingly, that moment of the score is shown in the rehearsal footage and it is perfect there.


There are too many good videos of the Requiem to say that any one is “the best.” One certainly cannot downplay the famous Karajan/La Scala (on Philips), with Leontyne Price, Pavarotti, Cossotto, and Ghiaurov, nor the Abbado/LSO performance from Edinburgh (Kultur Video) with Margaret Price, Norman, Carreras, and Raimondi. There are also fine performances led by Bernstein, Barenboim, Maazel, Mehta, and others. If in addition one starts to list the really important audio recordings, it will use up pages of Fanfare space. Suffice it to say that this reading belongs on any list of important performances of this masterpiece, and that it signals the continuing growth and maturation of Gustavo Dudamel into someone I believe to be one of the most important musicians of the present and the next 30 or 40 years.


FANFARE: Henry Fogel
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Works on This Recording

1. Requiem Mass by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Julianna Digiacomo (Soprano), Michelle DeYoung (Mezzo Soprano), Vittorio Grigolo (Tenor),
Ildebrando D’arcangelo (Bass)
Conductor:  Gustavo Dudamel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Master Chorale,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Italy 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  3 Customer Reviews )
 Verdi's Requiem: Re-evaluated in the 21 Century February 8, 2014 By Luke Bryant (Oakleigh South, Victoria) See All My Reviews "The first performance of Verdi's Messa da Requiem was on 22 May 1874. This magnificent open air performance of Verdi's -Lament- here presented in the famous Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, freed from the precincts of cathedral doctrine, contains brilliant operatic singing and superb camera work that makes this Blue-ray dts-HD recording another must addition on my record shelf. The solarists are Juliana DiGiacomo (soprano), Michelle DeYoung (mezzo-soprano), Vittorio Grigolo (tenor), and Hdebrando D’Archangelo (bass). This is music making that is stunning. The conductor, Gustavo Dudamel, controls the full cast with his hands (no baton) getting into every part of the music, explained in the -Behind The Scenes- interview. To quote from Warren Harris's earlier review - The result is amazing music that is both operatic and symphonic – it quite simply doesn’t get any better than this. And the fire and brimstone of the -Dies irae- is as wonderful as the -Requiem aeternam- and -Libera me- sections that bring this work to a close. However, as we are now more than a decade into the 21st Century, perhaps we should re-examine the composers -expression of grief- following the conductors holding of his audience of thousands in silent meditation of this performance, where no God - committed to justice - could hear the final Libera me - Deliver me, O Lord, from death eternal on that fearful day - and grant forgiveness to so many of his -believiers- rife with covered up child molestation, while in other countries,slaughtering continues because of different religious belief. Please remember, belief is not fact, but unverified hearsay. This first class recording and performance gets 5+ Stars. Luke Bryant." Report Abuse
 Amazing interpretation of Verdi’s Requiem!!! January 27, 2014 By Warren Harris See All My Reviews "This DVD captures Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a performance of Verdi’s Requiem Mass at the Hollywood Bowl on August 13th & 15th of 2013. And I must day, I am darned envious of those people that got to see this performance live, as the recording is simply spectacular. The performance features Juliana DiGiacomo (soprano), Michelle DeYoung (mezzo-soprano), Vittorio Grigolo (tenor), and Hdebrando D’Archangelo (bass). All of the soloists do an incredible job, but special mention must go to Michelle DeYoung for her captivating vocals and the sheer delight that is evident while she experiences the performances of her fellow soloists. This is music making as a group, and the results are stunning. And Gustavo Dudamel – my, oh my, is he fabulous. He conducts the piece with his hands (as opposed to a baton), so as to be able to “get his fingers” into every part of the piece, as he explains in the “Behind The Scenes” interview extra. It is obvious that he feels the music in a very special way, and in the extra you can see how he expresses this to the orchestra and how they respond. The result is amazing music that is both operatic and symphonic – it quite simply doesn’t get any better than this. And the fire and brimstone of the “Dies irae” is as wonderful as the “Requiem aeternam” and “Libera me” sections that bring this work to a close. If you are a Verdi lover or are a fan of Dudamel, then you absolutely must have this DVD. You won’t be disappointed. Very Highly Recommended!" Report Abuse
 Verdi's sacred opera January 21, 2014 By Jim  D. See All My Reviews "It's been said that Verdi's Requiem is simply an opera on a religious text, and Gustavo Dudamel seems to agree. Conducting from memory, he relishes the dynamic and emotional contrasts of the score, and if the choir nearly disappears in the tumult when the orchestra really cuts loose, well, that's the nature of the beast. The soloists play their roles, too, the soprano rather cool and regal until her "Libera me," the tenor putting down his book to ham up the "Ingemisco." The chorus is fine, with some lovely soft singing (and good intonation in the treacherous a cappella sections), even if the sopranos are not together in their last fugal entrance. The camera work shows everything you could want to see, though the director misses a bet at the beginning of the "Tuba mirum" section: when the antiphonal brass begin their fanfares, the view cuts to the very back of the Bowl--only if you know what you're looking for can you spot the extra players (however, they are nicely spaced in the sound recording). Subtitles just appear when the text is first sung, and do not distract by appearing on each repetition. As an extra, Dudamel is interviewed about the work and shown rehearsing it." Report Abuse
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