Britten: War Requiem [download]

  • Catalogue Number LSO0719
    UPC 822231171928

    HD FLAC 24bit 96kHz [stereo]
    MP3 320 kbps [stereo]

    James Mallinson producer
    Jonathan Stokes and Neil Hutchinson for Classic Sound Ltd balance engineers

    Recorded live at the Barbican, October 2011

    DSD (Direct Stream Digital) recording
    Notes in English / en français / auf Deutsch

  • Best International Album of the Year 2012 'Conductor Gianandrea Noseda, the London Symphony and powerful singers came together for a concert at London’s Barbican last year that knocked my emotional socks off. This is a message — and music — that will never grow stale.’
    Musical Toronto (Canada)

    ***** 'The LSO and its Chorus are on cracking form, and the soloists are as good as you will get ... Sabina Cvilak sings with a freshness and edge that make you sit up ... Noseda’s dramatic, pulsating account represents another landmark.' Financial Times (UK)

    ***** 'Gianandrea Noseda is an expert in Britten´s music, superiorly conducting this big and sophisticated orchestra ... Sabina Cvilak's superior handling of the difficult soprano part and male colleagues (Bostridge and Keenlyside) ... were both marvelous heirs to Peter Pears and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.'
    Rondo (Germany)

    ***** ‘All of the forces, including the star-studded soloists are excellent, and this 50th-anniversary release of the premiere performance is memorable indeed.’ Audiophile Audition (USA)

    CD of the Week ‘Noseda proves to be more than a worthy substitute [for Sir Colin Davis], easily encompassing the dramatic scale of the work … Ian Bostridge’s tenor is as individual and idiosyncratic as Pears’s.’ Sunday Times (UK)

    ‘Mr. Noseda … boldly draws out the score’s operatic elements, as in his stunning account of the fitful Dies Irae, while vividly conveying its overall organic structure … Ms. Cvilak sings with shimmering sound and elegance. In different ways, the ethereal Mr. Bostridge and the commanding Mr. Keenlyside bring alive the dark imagery of Owen’s verse.’
    New York Times (US)

    ‘Noseda offers an account rich in drama and is excellent at knitting together the Latin sections to commentary on war, forging a sense of momentum and cohesion … Noseda paces the music perfectly, drawing playing and singing of great beauty from his forces … this performance is incredibly moving and as fine a modern account as one could wish for … no other orchestra can boast such a pedigree in this work on disc.’ International Record Review

    'This is an important issue: Noseda's judgement of pace is unerring, and the orchestra and chorus simply superb.' BBC Music Magazine

    ‘[Noseda’s] understanding of the relationship between ritual devotion and political anger in Britten's great pacifist statement is marvellously acute …The choral singing is fervent and intense, the playing fierce and sensitive by turns. Sabina Cvilak is thrilling.’
    The Guardian

    *** (3 * max) '[This is] an epic version that doesn’t sacrifice the obvious emotion of the choral passages' 'une version porteuse d’un souffle épique évident sans sacrifier l’émotion des passages choraux.’
    Point de Vue

    ‘The LSO and the London Symphony Chorus are the performance’s rock: they start on top form and stay that way. Another essential recording.’
    The Times

    ‘A deeply moving account of this thought-provoking piece.’ Presto Classical

    'Gianandrea Noseda's interpretation is notable for the way he plays his cards very close to the vest. This is a purposeful, efficient performance... Bostridge and Keenlyside prove to be optimal casting for their solos... The chorus of the London Symphony seconds Noseda's conception to the letter.' Opera News

    '‘This is very serious music making of the highest order. I believe that LSO Live went all out to produce a great recording of a truly great composition.. I cannot fault any of the soloists' performances and orchestral performances seldom are superior to what I hear on this recording’ Positive

    The LSO musicians, joined by the London Symphony Chorus and the Choir of Eltham College, play with admirable color and clarity. Slovenian soprano Sabina Cvilak sings with lovely freshness, and Ian Bostridge and Simon Keenlyside are consummate storytellers. And kudos to the engineering team for clear and present sound. If you're searching for a contemporary avenue into a piece imbued with timeless meaning, one that carries particular poignancy during our own war-torn era, look no further’

    'Ein echtes Hörabenteuer. (A true listening adventure.)' Neue Presse

    ‘The concert recording is technically excellent and is as well produced as it is musically great. This is a great orchestra with two excellent choirs - the London Symphony Chorus and the Children's Choir of Eltham College - with Sabina Cvilak, Ian Bostridge and Simon Keenlyside three outstanding soloists and, finally, a conductor who sentimentalized this great work with a moving, gripping force.’ BR Klassik

    Recording of the Month

    'Noseda as well as many of today’s other conductors including Simon Rattle approaches Britten’s music in a much more expressive and contemporary way […] The tenor Ian Bostridge proves himself a congenial successor of the unforgotten Peter Pears. The soprano Sabina Cvilak, with her beautiful singing, outclasses her colleague Galina Vishnevskaya.' Aachener Nachrichten

    ‘Die Überzeugungskraft dieser Einspielung stammt nicht zuletzt von den hervorragenden Solisten - Sopranistin Sabina Cvilak, Tenor Ian Bostridge und Bass Simon Keenlyside sowie dem Knabenchor Eltham College Choir.’ (‘The persuasiveness of this recording is also owed to the outstanding soloists – the soprano Sabina Cvilak, the tenor Ian Bostridge and the bass Simon Keenlyside as well as the Choir of Eltham College.’) Musikwoche

    'Noseda geht expressiver und diesseitiger an die Musik heran als Britten. Noseda setzt mit dem London Symphony Chorus streckenweise opernhafte Akzente. Der Tenor Ian Bostridge empfiehlt sich als kongenialer Nachfolger des unvergessenen Peter Pears.' (‘Noseda approaches Britten’s music in a much more expressive and contemporary way. At times he sets operatic accents with the London Symphony Chorus. The tenor Ian Bostridge proves himself a congenial successor of the unforgotten Peter Pears.’)
    Westdeutsche Allegemeine Zeitung

    ‘Dass der Gesamtcharakter der Aufnahme dennoch zurückhaltend und intim ist, spricht für die Meisterschaft dieses Dirigenten.' (‘The fact that the overall character of this new recording is charming yet intimate speaks volumes for the musical leadership abilities of this conductor.’) NDR Kultur

    ‘Fand das "War Requiem" nun einen perfekt geformten Klangkörper für diese genuin englische Neuaufnahme ... Das Trio harmoniert ohne Konkurrenzkampf, es addiert sich in der Interpretation zu mehr als einer Summe der Teile ... 90 spannende Minuten des Schmerzes und der Trauer abläuft, in der aber doch Zuversicht und Hoffnung siegen' ('the “War Requiem” has found a worthy, perfectly formed orchestra for this genuinely English recording … The trio of soloists work together in perfect harmony and improve the quality by more than 100% … 90 gripping minutes of pain and grief in which, however, confidence and hope triumph in the end.’) Spiegel

    ‘Das Oratorium ist überwältigend, intensiv, es mischt die lateinische Totenmesse mit Gedichten von Wilfred Owen. Jetzt hat das London Symphony Orchestra unter Gianandrea Noseda mit den Solisten Sabina Cvilak, Ian Bostridge und Simon Keenlyside das Werk vermutlich unübertrefflich eingespielt' (‘The oratorio is magnificent, intense and combines the Latin requiem mass with poems of Wilfred Owen. The London Symphony Orchestra with the conductor Gianandrea Noseda and the soloists Sabina Cvilak, Ian Bostridge and Simon Keenlyside has released a probably unrivalled recording of this work.’)
    Rheinische Post

    ‘Gianandrea Noseda,conducting the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, presents a full-blooded rendition of Britten’s War Requiem. Featuring a stellar line-up of soloists, including Ian Bostridge, Simon Keenlyside and Sabina Cvilak, as well the Choir of Eltham College this recording sets a new benchmark for this epic work. Incredible orchestral playing impeccable singing. Highly recommended.’ The Northern Echo

    'The London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and the Choir of Eltham College give a stunning performance. They capture the desperate, brutal atmosphere that often prevails in this work, as well as the vulnerable, beseeching and all-too-human pleas beneath its roiling surfaces.'

    ‘Soprano Sabina Cvilak is outstanding here, but then again, so is everyone else. There's enough committed energy contained in every note to make the ground tremble. Both Ian Bostridge and Simon Keenlyside are also at their best here during their final Let us sleep now’ Classical Music


Gianandrea Noseda
London Symphony Orchestra

Premiered in 1962, the War Requiem is one of the twentieth century's defining works. Britten was commissioned to write it for the re-dedication of Coventry Cathedral, which was destroyed during the Second World War. Interspersing the Latin mass of the dead with texts by war poet Wilfred Owen he created a work that both mourned the dead and pleaded the futility of war.

Composer   Britten
Conductor   Gianandrea Noseda
Performers   The Choir of Eltham College (Trebles), London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra
Soloists   Ian Bostridge, Simon Keenlyside, Sabina Cvilak

Track list
Vol 1
1. War Requiem: i. Requiem Aeternam - Requiem aeternam
2. War Requiem: ii. Requiem Aeternam - Te decet hymnus
3. War Requiem: iii. Requiem Aeternam - “What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?”
4. War Requiem: iv. Requiem Aeternam - Kyrie eleison
5. War Requiem: v. Dies Irae - Dies irae
6. War Requiem: vi. Dies Irae - “Bugles sang, saddening the evening air”
7. War Requiem: vii. Dies Irae - Liber scriptus
8. War Requiem: viii. Dies Irae - “Out there, we’ve walked quite friendly up to Death”
9. War Requiem: ix. Dies Irae - Recordare Iesu pie
10. War Requiem: x. Dies Irae - Confutatis maledictis
11. War Requiem: xi. Dies Irae - “Be slowly lifted up, thou long black arm”
12. War Requiem: xii. Dies Irae - Dies irae
13. War Requiem: xiii. Dies Irae - “Move him into the sun”
14. War Requiem: xiv. Dies Irae - Pie Iesu Domine
15. War Requiem: xv. Offertorium - Domine Jesu Christe
16. War Requiem: xvi. Offertorium - Sed signifer Sanctus
17. War Requiem: xvii. Offertorium - “So Abram rose, and clave the wood”
18. War Requiem: xvii. Offertorium - Hostias et preces tibi

Vol 2
1. War Requiem: xix. Sanctus - Sanctus
2. War Requiem: xx. Sanctus - “After the blast of lightning from the East”
3. War Requiem: xxi. Agnus Dei - “One ever hangs where shelled roads part” Agnus Dei
4. War Requiem: xxii. Libera Me - Libera me
5. War Requiem: xxiii. Libera Me - “It seemed that out of battle I escaped”
6. War Requiem: xxiv. Libera Me - “ ‘None’, said the other”
7. War Requiem: xxv. Libera Me - “Let us sleep now…” In paradisum
8. War Requiem: xxvi. Libera Me - Requiescant in pace

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