Better than ever!!!
Juan Keledjian | MIAMI, FL USA | 08/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have every Karajan DVD available, and I enjoy them so much. But this one is superb! Karajan is in better emotional and physical shape than ever. He conducts this requiem with a passion, artistry, and dramatism that will take your breath away. The intensity of his expresion is almost scary, in accordance with the music. Jose Carreras is amazing, as always, and Anna Tomowa-Sintow is probably on the the few sopranos that could overimpose her voice over the ultra fortissimo moments on this piece. It is special when you see the Vienna chorus sing from memory as they always do. Favorite moments? How many...but especially the Dies Irae and the trumpets of Tuba Mirum, collapsing in a triple forte that seems to surprise Karajan himself, and the finale with a breathtaking Libera Me. This is a historic performance, of Verdi's best composition. It puts to shame other director's versions. I always had the CD, but the sound in Dolby 5.1 is perfection. I thank Sony Classical to choose to publish Karajan's version over any other in this first Verdi Requiem (it's really unnecessary to have other versions)."
There are better performances on DVD than this one
Robert G. VanStryland | Denton, TX USA | 08/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm sure that I would have been impressed by this performance if I had been in the audience. But if you're in the market for a DVD of Verdi's Requiem, you can do better than this one. Karajan's tempos are a little sluggish; the choral work is not quite first-rate; and the soloists, although they are all excellent singers, fall short of the timbral and stylistic rightness found in a couple of other recordings. The two best DVD performances of this work are the earlier one of Karajan (Italy, 1967) and Claudio Abbado's recent Berlin version (not his older Edinburgh one). Karajan's 1967 solo quartet (Leontyne Price, Fiorenza Cossotto, Luciano Pavarotti and Nicolai Ghiaurov) is the best, not only on DVD, but in any modern recording. The younger Karajan conducts with greater energy and control than the older one, and the orchestral and choral work are better in the earlier recording. Abbado's 2001 Berlin version has even more thrilling orchestral and choral contributions than either of Karajan's, plus superior picture and sound, and extra DVD features. His soloists are excellent, too, although less stellar than Karajan's (in 1967). If you're looking for your first DVD of this piece, I suggest you try one or the other of those two instead of Karajan/Vienna."
One of the two best on DVD
operamaryc | DIAMOND BAR, CA United States | 05/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was prepared to send this back when I received it in error as I had ordered the Price version. However, I decided to give it a chance and played it. Wow! The singing of the soloists couldn't be any better! (Carreras shows why, prior to becoming ill, he was one of the famous 3 tenors.) All were in top form as were Von Karajan, the chorus and orchestra. Just gorgeous and moving! I'll watch this and the Price version many, many times. Both are a must have in any collection. Highly recommended!"
PhantomOfTheOpera | Norway | 09/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderful dvd of Verdi's masterpiece conducted by one of the great maestros of our time, Herbert Von Karajan. I never used to paying much attention to the conductors, but after I started listening to opera I have discovered a whole new world where the conductor is essential for the outcome. It's a real treat watching Karajan conducting; literally seeing him creating the music with his bare hands. It's also interesting watching the interaction between him and the singers. And I'm impressed that he's conducting without the score.
This Requiem is recorded in 1985 and it serves as a proof to why these singers where among the greatest in the operatic world at that time. My two favourite singers here are (of course) Baltsa and Carreras. There are so many great moments throughout this Requiem. I especially love "Ingemisco", superbly sung by Carreras. It's divine. And Baltsa singing "Liber Scriptus" is a real treat. Van Dam has a beautiful voice, but I can't help wishing for him to sound just a tiny bit more dramatic in "Confutatis". Other than that I think he's great. And "Recordare" sung by Tomowa-Sintow and Baltsa is heavenly.
I have a tiny complaint about the four soloists being too far away from the conductor and also in such a place high up above the chorus so that most of the filming is done upwards from the same angle almost all the time. Normally, I love watching the soloists when they are singing; facial expressions and how they approach the music and so on, because I feel that it adds to my appreciation of the music. Due to the filming in this dvd you don't get to see the singers as much as I would've liked. However, it's just a minor flaw and one I can easily live with. It's still a Requiem highly recommended."