CSO Resound - Verdi: Messa da Requiem
Riccardo Muti, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Chorus, Barbara Frittoli, Olga Borodina, Mario Zeffiri & Ildar Abdrazakov
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I heard a CSO/Muti/Verdi Requiem concert, and this recording totally captures my memory of it. The incredibly soft strings and chorus, the explosive brass and percussion, and Muti's loving treatment of every single second are all on display here. Opera lovers will enjoy the vocal soloists, too. Soprano Frittoli + Muti are glorious!!
Not their best
I’m not really a fan of the Chicago Symphony Chorus on a recording. They are much more enjoyable in a live performance. Their diction is not together at the ends of phrases and oh for the love of all things holy, please use a dental [t] in Latin. Perhaps there are just too many singers here to be that precise in diction. Their sound is somewhat darker than my preference. I spent many weeks in grad school singing under their Associate Choral Director and I know her technique to be that of a darker sound. If you prefer that sound to a much brighter one, then this is the recording for you. That darkening of the sound does give character and depth to the rise and fall of the dynamics in this piece. You must have attention to the dynamics in this piece and I believe the chorus has done a stupendous job of this. The soloists are genuinely great performers. The tenor’s technique in the upper register has much to be desired. I was not impressed with his Latin diction. Mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina is the highlight of this recording. Her technique is sound, the diction is precise, and most of all the musicality was there to represent the pull between life and death Verdi so distinctly wrote.
Technically, the piece was executed very well and I have had the opportunity to see Muti lead the CSO live. It is a wonderful combination that, in my opinion, is best characterized as energetic and awe-inspiring. This performance was not representative of what the Muti-CSO combination actually sounds like. This was emotionless, drab, and quite honestly boring. Not worth the $16.
Born: July 28, 1941 in Naples, Italy
Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s