(5 out of 5 stars)
"An excellent performance and recording taped before an audience at Usher Hall in Edinburgh in 1982. The solists are in top form, and they are properly miked so that they don't sound too distant or too immediate. A choice of six- or two-channel audio tracks is provided. The visuals are solely of the performance, but even they manage not be tedious since the camera focuses mostly on the singers and avoids the deadpan instrumentalists. One flaw of the DVD is in not providing subtitles in Latin or English nor a booklet containing the text. The producers must think everybody who's going to watch this has the Latin mass memorized."
Worthwhile for the soloists
I. Martinez-Ybor | Miami, FL USA | 08/18/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is not by far the best Verdi Requiem I have seen and/or heard. The negatives leap at you: compressed sound, lack of eloquence, bite and power in the choir, and a somewhat tepid, let's-keep-Apocalypse-tidy Abbado. In short, this is not the Verdi Requiem I'd choose were I to have only one..... But one should not limit oneself to only one, pocketbook permitting, where great masterpieces of music are concerned.The soloists are superb. In 1982 they were all in their prime. It is a rare privilege indeed to hear Jessye Norman perform a part which lies almost exclusively in the richest and most powerful range of her voice, middle-to-low. I love it. We don't have too many samples of that. It is also a joy to hear Margaret Price, the great Welsh soprano, and arguably the greatest soprano voice to have come out of the UK so far, in top form. She soars with crystal-bright, perfect intonation and minimal vibrato.... Again, she's under-represented on DVD. Her voice contrasts well with Jessye's (though not as stunning a pairing as Caballé/Cossotto under Barbirolli on EMI CD). Carreras sounded even and full in all registers, fresh, and golden throughout. The voice was at its peak before he started abusing it and, of course, before leukemia. Raimondi, even if not a dark base, is, as always, a pillar of strength, musicianship and a moving, noble artist. If one loves singers, that is one good reason to purchase this DVD.There was around that time a live PBS broadcast of the Requiem with the NY Philharmonic under Mehta with Caballé, Domingo and others. I saw it. I remember Caballé's performance being legendary. A commercial recording of the performance was issued by CBS which edited a slip Domingo made in the Ingemisco (if I recall, he came in early which resulted in a repetition of the "inter oves" phrase....everything handled most professionally and with total aplomb....if you were not familiar with the score you probably wouldn't have noticed it). We are all aware of Domingo's greatness... I hope this does not inhibit the issuance of this live performance on DVD.I understand Abbado's new performance for EMI is superb but I haven't seen it."
Fall of the Hall of Usher
Bertam A., Workum II | Cincinnati, OH United States | 08/11/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This performance was beautiful; I never have heard Carreras sound better. But I have to dispute those who acclaim the acoustics of Usher Hall. Either that, or the technology of 1982 just falls flat. I listened to the DVD on 5.1 surround sound; there was no reverberation at all, from neither soloists/chorus nor orchestra. The notes just stopped, dead -- CLUNK! From the audience's response, the performance may have sounded better in the hall; on DVD, it's dead."
A powerful performance
PhantomOfTheOpera | Norway | 10/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't know what I can say about this requiem that hasn't been said before..... It is a wonderful recording of Verdi's Requiem. What I especially like about this one is that the soloists are right in front of the orchestra, close to the conductor so you can easily watch them while singing. (Unlike some other recordings of this requiem where the four soloists are far away) I love watching the singers to see how they approach this piece and also the interaction between the singers and the conductor.
The four soloists are all in wonderful voice as this was recorded in 1982. Among other things I really enjoy hearing Ruggero Raimondi singing "Confutatis". His voice is just so beautiful and his singing captivating. And José Carreras' lyrical voice is as beautiful as ever. His "Ingemisco" must be heard to be believed. The two sopranos are absolutely fantastic. I have to admit that I hadn't heard of Margaret Price before I watched this performance, but I was really impressed. Her voice soars with no effort at all and it's a pleasure listening to. Jessye Norman also puts in a solid performance. The voices of the four soloists blend perfectly. And the choir is wonderful.
Watching and listening to this Requiem is a powerful experience that most probably will knock your socks off. Highly recommendable both as a first and a second choice...."