Of late, many radio archives and orchestras have delved into their archives for broadcasts featuring famous soloists with widely varying results. However, this BR Klassik release is a real gem served up in excellent sound for the period. 

Riccardo Muti

By 1981 conductor Riccardo Muti held a considerable international reputation in Italian opera and this performance of Verdi’s Requiem Mass is as fiery and driven as his 1979 London recording for EMI. Caught in a warm and large acoustic, it displays the mastery and empathy of vision shared by conductor, orchestra and chorus.

Muti’s approach here is similar to his earlier studio recording. It is large scale, indeed, operatic, and the passion excites with his choice of heightened dynamics playing to the fury of the composer’s idea of the day of judgement. Here too is a truly excellent quartet of international vocal soloists, one which could have easily turned disparate, but thankfully coalesces in a vibrant and unique way. Soprano Jessye Norman proves to be an ideal interpreter providing both power and also, where appropriate, an intimacy associated with the singing of Lieder. Agnes Baltsa provides an ideal...