WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Cimarosa: Requiem / Negri, Ameling, Finnila


Release Date: 05/13/2010 
Label:  Philips Baroque Classics Catalog #: 422489   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Kurt WidmerBirgit FinniläElly AmelingRichard Van Vrooman
Conductor:  Vittorio Negri
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Chamber OrchestraMontreux Festival Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The existence of not just one but three settings of the Requiem Mass by Cimarosa came as a surprise to me, as I imagine it will to most of us. We know him as a composer of a very large number of operas. and in particular of Il matrimonio segreto, composed five years later than this Requiem in C minor which now receives its first recording.

Early in December 1787, as I learn from the very informative but unsigned sleevenote, Catherine II of Russia invited the famous composer to her court at St Petersburg where Italian opera was all the rage. A few days after his arrival the wife of the ambassador of Naples and Sicily died and Cimarosa was asked by him to compose a Requiem Mass for the funeral. Composers did not need to bother
Read more about being original in those days and Cimarosa could draw easily on a common stock of melodic ideas, but, nevertheless, his Mass is well shaped and certainly not a mere puce d'occasion. He unifies it by recapitulating the theme in the orchestral introduction to the Introit and sometimes also the vocal setting of "Requiem aeternam" at various points, as for example, in "Dies irae", "Tuba mirum" and the end of "Lacrymosa", and at the close of the work after the conventional fugue. It was certainly an original idea to allot "Tuba mirum" to the solo soprano and at this point the two horns are first added to the prevailing strings. There is little drama in "Dies irae", mostly straightforward chordal writing, with occasional imitative passages. Even if the music is not profound it is not trivial, though it is naturally at its most operatic in some of the numbers for the soloists, notably "Preces meae" for tenor and strings—in which the singer starts on a high and sustained B flat—and there are many expressive passages. Cimarosa secures plenty of variety by alternating solos with chorus, giving the solo soprano and contralto duets and, in one of the best sections, soprano, contralto and bass each a verse of the text before uniting them in a trio. The brief "Benedictus" for chorus is also notable.

Vittorio Negri edited and prepared the manuscript of the work—which he found in the library of Einsiedeln Abbey, Switzerland and performed it with the above forces--except for the tenor and bass soloists—at the Montreux Festival when it aroused great interest. The performance and recording are excellent and the conductor never gives the music more weight than it can bear.

Elly Ameling sings her part, as one would expect, beautifully and Birgit Finnila. though rather too restrained and too inclined to portandos, is at least adequate. I liked the unusual timbre of Richard van Vrooman's tenor voice, and Kurt Widmer, the bass, is good too. The chorus and orchestra sound to be just the right size and are both excellent. Altogether this is a most acceptable and welcome addition to the catalogue.

-- Gramophone [4/1970]
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Requiem by Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Kurt Widmer (Bass), Birgit Finnilä (Alto), Elly Ameling (Soprano),
Richard Van Vrooman (Tenor)
Conductor:  Vittorio Negri
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra,  Montreux Festival Chorus
Period: Classical 
Written: Italy 
Language: Latin 

Sound Samples

Requiem: Introitus - Requiem Aeternam - Kyrie - Graduale
Requiem: Sequentia - Dies Irae - Tuba Mirum - Mors Stupebit - Judex Ergo - Rex Tremendae
Requiem: Recordare
Requiem: Ingemisco
Requiem: Preces meae
Requiem: Inter oves
Requiem: Lacrymosa
Requiem: Domine Jesu
Requiem: Sanctus
Requiem: Benedictus
Requiem: Agnus Dei
Requiem: Lux aeterna

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN - TRY IT FREE!
Listen to all your favorite classical music for only $20/month.
Sign up for your monthly subscription service and get unlimited access to the most comprehensive digital catalog of classical music in the world - new releases. bestsellers, advanced releases and more.
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In