Giulini - Empathetic with the Spiritual even in his early ca
Andre Gauthier | 08/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While 1964 hardly represents the "early" Carlo Maria Giulini, it surely is a period in which he made many recordings, some of which are still the great standards by which others are judged.
I have always seen Giulini from the back as a conductor. I've never seen those piercing eyes!! No one can resist this conductor when he gives them a look. He is able to take generally conservative tempi, and yet get very fine performances from virtually every performer. This Requiem is not particularly star studded, but who cares. As I've stated in other reviews, if you think the Verdi Requiem is an opera, you should think again. First class singing is required, and all but the bass Arie deliver that standard. My only complaint about Arie is that he covers his sound on the lowest of pitches, and that just doesn't sound very good.
The others, Ligabue, Konya, and especially Bumbry, are all in the front rank. In fact Ligabue is much better than I thought she would be. See what a great conductor can do?
The last time I saw Giulini conduct it was 1983, and it was in the Royal Festival Hall, which looks no different 20 years earlier. He gave the greatest performance of the Bruckner 8th Symphony I've ever heard, and with the Philharmonia as well. His conducting style by then was not as four square as it sometimes appears to be here. Of course, that doesn't make any difference in the performance. In the Bruckner, where he was reaching from the heavens all the way down to the floor in huge beats (and he was a tall man too) he managed to achieve a majesty that no one else in my experience ever equaled in this work.
Again, its the eyes, the eyes!! The man is a musical miracle. To have this televised document is a great treat, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
The sound is not great, but it is not terrible. It's what I would expect from a BBC TV broadcast from the era."
Carlo Maria Giulini Verdi Requiem
Xavier | 01/29/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Even though I rate this 1964 recording of Verdi a 3 I recommend purchasing to anyone because Grace Bumbry, mezzo soprano, was simply amazing. Just having her there singing made it worth buying. It is a pity she was never given the opportunity to sing mezzo to Leontyne Price in this great work. Add Placido Domingo, Simon Estes and all would have been perfect!!!!
I read of someone saying (during the 80's) Grace Bumbry's voice would be torn to shreds in a few years. It is now 20+ years later and the voice remains. The late Carlo Giulini was magnificent as director. There was nothing superb about the chorus and I was disappointed. The sound I always search for in a chorus was simply not there. Sandor Konya, a really good tenor, did a great job. Raffaele Ariem, great bass, was moving and shifting too much during the performance. This was too annoying and distracting for me. I only wonder how the tenor felt. The soprano was stiff, nervous, and seemed unsure of herself; however, she reached her notes. The orchestra overpowered her where she should have been "shinning" (maybe the mikes were not adjusted?). Her sound was lacking. I would have thought that for a work such as Verdi's a soprano with higher quality voice would have been chosen. After this performance she probably/hopefully improved? I know nothing of her and her years after this Verdi. I don't mean to be cruel and I could hear possibilities in the voice; however, she needed much more training before performing this great work with the likes of Giulini, Bumbry, Konya and Arie.
Oh!!!!!!!! The orchestra was great."