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Faure, Durufle: Requiems / Davis, Popp, Te Kanawa, Ambrosian Singers, New Philharmonia Orchestra

Faure / Davis,Andrew
Release Date: 03/26/2013 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 7720392   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Gabriel FauréMaurice Duruflé
Performer:  Siegmund NimsgernLucia PoppDame Kiri Te Kanawa
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian SingersPhilharmonia OrchestraNew Philharmonia Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Import   
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Maurice Duruflé preferred the grandly orchestrated large-ensemble version of his Requiem to the organ solo or chamber editions, but there have been remarkably few excellent recordings of it–starting with the composer’s own, which is rather grungy sounding. Basically, choice comes down to Shaw on Telarc, which has typically great choral singing but less-than-thrilling conducting, and this one, which has decent choral singing and remains one of the best recordings Andrew Davis ever made. The big climaxes in the Domine Jesu Christe and Libera me are particularly well captured by the engineers, and Davis has two terrific soloists in Kiri Te Kanawa and Siegmund Nimsgern. It’s a great performance and the one to have for the composer’s Read more preferred version.

The coupling is a very good recording of the Fauré Requiem in its traditional, full orchestral garb. As with the Duruflé, this version has fallen out of favor lately, partly due to the “small is better” period instrument ethos, and most probably because versions with small forces are cheaper for independent labels to record. Shaw also offers the Fauré as the coupling, but in the original, reduced scoring, while collectors will always retain their affection for the classic Cluytens performance on EMI. Still, with the same baritone and a different but equally excellent soprano (Lucia Popp), this is awfully good, and a more than generous coupling to the stunning Duruflé. The budget-ish price only adds to the disc’s appeal. By the way, the tray card suggests that Andrew Davis only conducts tracks 10-12, but don’t worry. He directs the whole shebang.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Requiem, Op. 48 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Siegmund Nimsgern (Baritone), Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Singers,  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887-1890; France 
2.
Requiem, Op. 9 by Maurice Duruflé
Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (Soprano), Siegmund Nimsgern (Baritone)
Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Singers,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Desborough School Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; Paris, France 

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