Faure: Requiem & Durufle: Requiem
Atlanta Symphony Chorus, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, James Morris, Judith Blegen & Robert Shaw
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I think that the Faure Requiem is among the top three requiems of all time. The Atlanta Symhony, I don't think, captures the mood of what this requiem is trying to say. It sounds like they are singing it, but not really feeling it. The solo in Pie Jesu is supposed to be a soft young voice, like an angel's, singing onto the earth. Hear we have an older woman, with strong vibrato, emphasizing too much, so that we don't get to hear the beauty and grace of the song. The orchestral playing was great, but I think the Choral part of this could have been better.
Mr. Shaw's brilliant pairing of these two French mini-masterpieces was ingenious. Fauré, the French Romantic; Duruflé, the great 20th Century Organ-master -- neither a true "Impressionist". And yet, these works are among the most Standard in the Choral Repertoire. The singing is articulate, expressive, and artful. The Atlanta Symphony under Shaw was one of the finest "accompanying" orchestras in the world. I listen to this recording several times annually and never tire of it's magic!
As close as perfection can be
I bought this recording years ago for the Faure. When I listened to the Durufle, it became part of me. There is no doubt that the Robert Shaw direction enabled me to find a new favorite.